If you’re reading this and you’re a woman, chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about. Whether it’s happened to you personally, or to somebody you know…catcalling is real. Before coming to college, I can’t recall a time that I was ever catcalled (but this is probably because I looked way younger than my age). However, once I came to JMU, my eyes were opened to the ~wonderful~ thing we like to call “catcalling!” Catcalling is a type of harassment that is directed at women who are walking by, and frankly, it’s disgusting.
Almost every experience I’ve had on this campus has occurred in the same location: Carrier Bridge. You know, that overpass that you walk on to get to East Campus? Yeahhhh, I truly LOVED that walk back to my dorm *insert eye roll.* The first time I was ever catcalled, I was actually with two of my best friends. It was dark outside, and we were walking back from dinner on the other side of campus. The next thing I know, a car of 4 guys approaches us, slows down, rolls down the back window and they shout something about us having “fat asses.” Cute, right? All 3 of us INSTANTLY wanted to bang those guys right then and there! *insert eye roll, yet again*
The rest of my experiences were very similar to that one, all happening on Carrier Bridge at night. I’ve seen it all…honking, shouting, and even sexual gestures. So, it’s safe to say I avoided that area at all costs, once the sun had set for the day. But these disgusting encounters with the male gender have left me with so many questions: What is the purpose of doings these things? Do you *really* think it’s gonna get you some? Or was I just “asking for it” in the winter coat that covered 3/4ths of my body?
I’m just so tired of men thinking they have the right to do this to women. I’m even more tired of the fact that catcalling has become so normalized in our society. When I’ve told the men in my life about my catcalling experiences, the majority of them thought that I was overreacting, or that I wasn’t even in any real danger. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’ve had to stop myself from giving these assholes the bird because I fear they’ll retaliate. I absolutely hate that I can’t even defend myself in these situations, so I just have to take it and keep walking. I’d like to think that one day catcalling will be a thing of the past, but I find that reallyyy hard to believe.