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An Open Letter to All My Catcallers

Do you feel satisfied as you watch us cringe at the sound of your voice? Perhaps you do, and that's the fact that sickens me the most.
IMAGE Mark Jesalva ART Clare Magno

You think that I don't see you. You think that I don't notice your sweaty palms and hungry stares looking over every crevice of my body as if I'm a prized showhorse. You think I don't hear your less-than-discreet whispers with your equally slimy wolves—eyeing me like a piece of meat. Burning holes through my clothes. Then I watch helplessly as you fit me into your revolting fantasies. Stripping me bare in your sick, twisted mind.

Do you really expect me to be grateful for your unwanted attention? Do you feel so entitled to my body that you think it gives you the freedom to comment on it as you please?

I try my best to hide my weakness, disguise my vulnerability as I force myself to block out your deafening screeches disguised as "compliments". Whistling, heckling, challenging. How dare you ask me to smile for you? How dare you tell me that I'm sexy or beautiful as you whistle and jeer? Do you really expect me to be grateful for your unwanted attention? Do you feel so entitled to my body that you think it gives you the freedom to comment on it as you please? Do you think I owe you even an iota of my attention? How dare you tell me how to dress appropriately if I didn't want to be whistled at? Where do you even find the audacity to tell me that I should learn how to take a compliment if I feel disrespected or threatened by your sickening predatory advances?

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Does it make you appear like more of a man in front of your jeering wolves? Watching you, criticizing you, challenging you to disrespect all those innocent young women to prove how much of a "man" you are?

I don't know what it is about catcalling that you enjoy so much. Perhaps it's how masculine you feel after breaking us down. Do you enjoy it? Does it make you appear like more of a man in front of your jeering wolves? Watching you, criticizing you, challenging you to disrespect all those innocent young women to prove how much of a "man" you are? I suppose you do. You hunger for our misery. You want to feel predatory, dominant, masculine. Do you get high off of the power you feel as you call to us like starving strays?

Do you feel satisfied as you watch us cringe at the sound of your voice? Perhaps you do, and that's the fact that sickens me the most.

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Do you even think about how you make us women feel as you howl your compliments? Commenting on our body as if that alone is all that we can offer the world? As if freedom of expression liberates you from basic respect. Must all women—regardless of age, social status, or race—have to be unwillingly put on the defensive on a daily basis just because of the potentially threatening advances of complete strangers telling her about how much they lust for her?

Catcalling is not a compliment. It makes women feel uncomfortable, unsafe, and unfit to wield the very same right to walk the same streets as you do. You catcall to comment on our bodies, telling us that it's our fault as if you can't and shouldn't take responsibility for your actions. You expect us women to alter the way we dress,  the way we speak, the way we behave simply because you are bereft of the the basic human empathy to see us women as human beings like yourself.

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Allow me tap into what is left of your broken soul and seared, tainted flesh. If you wouldn't treat your own mother, daughter, sister, grandmother with the same form of disrespect, then what gives you the right to call out on innocent young women who have done nothing to you—innocent young women who are capable of being intelligent, funny, opinionated, and caring?

We, women have the right to stand up for who we are. We have the same amount of potential as men to be cunning, strong, noble, and courageous. You, wolves, have no right to disrespect any woman you see. It doesn't matter if she is a nun or a prostitute, a vagabond, or a woman of status. We are all human, and we all cry for the same amount of acceptance and respect from the people who surround us. Please, let us not taint what's left of the purity in the world we live in.

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End the catcalling.

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About the author
Daryn Agapay
Candymag.com Correspondent
As a certified Candy Girl, I constantly push myself out of my comfort zone to experience all the adventure life can bring and to pour my heart out into everything I do. If I'm not writing, you may find me obsessing about cats, latte art, fashion, books, or french fries.
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