Thursday, September 24, 2020

Women should not permit cat-calling

I am writing in response to a State News letter written by Dave Wirth (”Runners shouldn’t sweat cat-calling,” SN 9/18). I just wanted to thank Wirth for setting me straight about the behaviors of males, especially groups of college men. He states that when a group of “college boys” yells out their car window at women runners, it is just simply college boys having fun. I guess I should just overlook the fact that I feel violated every time a man yells at me when I’m running, walking down the street or just waiting for the bus. I should also ignore the fact that I didn’t ask for men to yell comments at me, look me up and down or objectify me in any way. In fact, even though I tell men that I do not want to be yelled at, I should just forget that I have a right to be respected just as much as any other person. It’s all just fun and games, right?

In case you haven’t figured out by now, the tone of this letter is extremely sarcastic. For all the men out there who agree with Wirth, wake up. Regardless of how much fun you think you’re having, it is not OK to yell at women runners or any other women who happen to cross your path. Getting a high five from your buddies does not make objectifying and degrading women acceptable. Why is it that fun for men has to come at the expense of women? Doing stupid things so your friends will like you should have ended in the third grade.

Furthermore, no means no. I don’t need to hear you attempt to defend yourself and try to justify your sexist, degrading remarks. I also don’t need you to tell me how I should feel about men yelling at me. If I ask you to stop a specific behavior because I feel violated, just stop. It’s not a difficult concept.

Alyssa Baumann
social relations senior

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