Catcalling is not “compliments” or “jokes” but harassment

Catcalling is arguably a common thing in Indonesia. From big cities to rural areas, there are people who are victims of catcalling. Sadly, the victims of this catcalling are mostly women, both adults and minors. Then, what is catcalling ? Now, quoted from Women Republic, when men whistle, shout, call or make comments about women’s sexuality and physicality on the street, it is called catcalling.

Not Praise

Often heard catcalling phrases that seem to contain compliments. Starting from, “Hi, beautiful!”, “Wow, really cute.”, And many others. These sentences were uttered by strangers and at the wrong time. Why wrong? Yes, this catcalling usually occurs when the victim is on the road, while waiting for public transportation, or is alone in a public place. And the “compliment” is not sincere, but with the intention of teasing and being done by a stranger as well. Of course, this caused a feeling of insecure and discomfort. It may cause trauma to the victim, even though there is no physical violence.

Not a joke

There is also catcalling that sounds like a joke, of course if this sentence is said by someone closest to you or someone you know it can sound a joke. However, if the speaker was a stranger? The meaning of the sentence can change and sound “scary” to the victim.

“Don’t frown, smile please!”, “How come it’s going so fast?”, “Want to be escorted home?” These are some of the “joke” nuanced catcallings that are often made when the victim is in a public place. Because the sentence was not uttered by someone close to the victim, of course it caused discomfort. And just so you know, catcalling like this is a type of harassment against women, you know!

Research by Stop Street Harassment, a non-profit organization, states that three out of four women in America have experienced catcalling. Even more sad, research by Hollaback and Cornell University in 2014 found that most women around the world have experienced catcalling for the first time when they enter puberty.

Catcalling Impact

Although not touched physically, catcalling has a significant negative effect on a person’s psychological condition. This is because a woman can experience self objection ( self-objectification ) which causes a person to see himself as an object. If you have this, a person’s self-confidence can be affected.

Not only that, catcalling can also cause trauma to the victim. For example, being afraid to leave the house alone, afraid to ride public transportation, afraid to meet new people, and many more. Especially in victims who experience catcalling at a young age. They tend to be afraid to act so that there is a big trauma that causes them to limit themselves from social life.

Catcalling Can Be Combated

Don’t feel afraid to take action and report catcalling actions that you feel are interfering with activities. Especially if it affects emotions and even physical actions.

Remind yourself that you are not an object, so there is no need to feel inferior. Stay confident without listening to annoying catcalling phrases or sentences. Be normal regardless of catcalling. Choose a place with a lot of people so that there is no chance for the male “mouths” to do catcalling. Take advantage of social media to share stories about catcalling so that many people are aware of this. Both the victim can dare to act, and the perpetrator also realizes that his actions were wrong.

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