Opinion

Catcalling On Campus

No, It’s Not Okay

By Kinza Khan

Everyone knows catcalling is wrong, right? If you don’t know the meaning, Webster’s dictionary defines catcalling as, “a sound or noise that someone (such as an audience member) makes toward a speaker, performer, athlete, etc., that he or she does not like.”

According to the survey of 612 women that associates Penn, Schoen, and Berland conducted between June 17 and June 19, 2000, they found that almost all women had experienced street harassment: 87 percent of American women between the ages of 18-64 had been harassed by a male stranger.

Catcalling happens more often than not. It happens more often while casually walking down a street, but it can also occur in places you wouldn’t think, like a school setting for example.

A friend of mine had experienced being catcalled on campus; but not by a student peer: by an employee.

She had been walking through building 1P with another female friend, people were around and out of nowhere the employee (who was an older man) had catcalled her.

Not only did this occur on campus, but the fact that it was done by an employee was downright disturbing. She made an attempt to confront him but he denied it.

Now, I understand that due to the majority of people this may not have been a big thing and that sure, my friend could have brushed it off, but it’s the principle of things–she is supposed to feel safe on campus. Why should anyone just brush it off?

Personally, I feel that ignoring it would mean to accept that an employee of the school had made a pass at her.

That will only give more of an incentive to those who do catcall, it makes them feel like they can get away with it and that isn’t right.

Brushing it off could also relay a message to other women who have been placed in similar situations, and that can make things worse as opposed to trying to stop future occurences.

The cases of street harassment have dramatically increased today, and people really have to step up and instead of just letting it go–let it out, speak up.

According to Business Insider, there are a few ways you can respond.

By making eye contact, they are forced to think about what they said, you can also use a firm voice to let them know to leave you alone–after you’ve made eye contact and used your angry voice, if that doesn’t work then fake a phone call to the police.

If you feel threatened in any way, then make a real phone call to the police.

There are a few things a bystander can do as well, if you see someone being catcalled intervene by saying things like leave him/her alone. That will create a distraction by speaking to the person is the catcall target.

Fortunately, there is a place on campus that you can go to if you feel that you are being verbally harassed (catcalling), 1A room 103.

There, you can speak to Danielle Dimitrov, CSI’s Title IX Coordinator. She handles any case regarding discrimination, victims of domestic violence/stalking/sex offenses, or any other legally prohibited basis in accordance with federal, state, and city laws.

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