Creeps are everywhere. Most days, the right response is to avoid them, and remain calm and composed.
But don't get me wrong. We need feminism. Domestic abuse and wage gaps are serious and ongoing issues. So is safety, obviously.
Sure, in the grand scheme of things catcalling isn't that bad, but it is horrible. Nobody likes getting called out on the street.
Many men say they are feminists but still, catcalling is still around. Some people claim it's because people don't really know what constitutes catcalling.
Well, I've put together a list of 12 -- yes, 12 -- different kinds of catcalls, so nobody will ever be confused again.
1. The slobby catcall.
This is hands down the worst.
It's the kind of catcall that is often accompanied by a blowing kiss or wink. You end up feeling like you need a shower.
2. The entitled catcall.
This one is often delivered by guys who think they've got the right to catcall you because they know you: you're at the same school, or maybe you work together.
Newsflash: Familiarity does not equal attraction, or even remote interest. Just leave me alone!
3. The racist catcall.
Here's an example: "You and I should go to the beach sometime. See if you get some color."
What? How are you even meant to respond to that? Answer: don't.
4. The purple-prose-rant catcall.
I'm so over this one. This is when someone thinks giving a speech will make a catcall OK.
Launching into "You have a special kind of beauty..." does not make your remarks any more acceptable. It just takes longer.
5. The Shakespearean catcall.
This is the same as number 4, but with a Ph.D.
6. The out-of-reach catcall.
You're basically out of earshot, but they're still catcalling you.
Get over it! Let me go!
7. The persistent catcall.
When the same person catcalls you several times throughout the day.
This happened to me recently: The same delivery dudes yelled out at me four times on my walk to and from work. Who are you? What do you want from me?!
8. The claustrophobic catcall.
When you're catcalled in an enclosed environment like the subway and there's no escape.
9. The catcall that wasn't actually a catcall, but you were so defensive you interpreted it as one.
I really hate these. They're harmless and someone was just trying to be nice. But maybe you were caught so off-guard that you started panicking before you realized nobody meant any harm.
10. The "Was that a catcall?" catcall.
You heard it, but now you're not sure. You speed up, just to be safe.
11. The catcall that wasn't.
This is the catcall we want. It's what occurs when a dude thinks of catcalling, reflects for a second and then decides not to say anything.
12. The compliment that isn't a catcall.
Before you say women can't take compliments, and that all you've been trying to do is pay her one, listen up.
Saying “Wow! Your hair looks nice!” is very different from saying, “Mmm. Let me pull that hair.” OK? Please notice when you're being weird and making people feel uncomfortable.
Also, even if your deepest desire is to actually pull my hair, addressing me like this won't help you get me in bed with you. Instead, I'll run in the opposite direction.
So, I'd like to invite all men to sit down and take one good look in the mirror and ask themselves: “Man, is my 'flirting style' a little weird? Am I being disrespectful?” If you do this, I promise you will become a better person.
And for those of you with tact, respect and common sense: Thank you.