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  1. D. D. Syrdal
    D. D. Syrdal August 20, 2014 at 1:37 pm |

    It’s so preposterous and over-the-top, I say satire. Either that or the writer is a man. So still satire, I guess.

  2. Elly
    Elly August 20, 2014 at 1:46 pm |

    I don’t see anything that makes me think that’s satire. Nor does reading other articles by the author. Ugh.

  3. Athenia
    Athenia August 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm |

    I’ve actually never been catcalled by construction dudes in New York City–it’s always been random dudes in my neighborhood or once, a strange dude in a parked car. So I call satire.

    1. EG
      EG August 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm |

      Yeah, construction workers always seem either too busy or too tired to give a shit about who walks by.

      1. Moxon Ivery
        Moxon Ivery August 23, 2014 at 1:28 pm |

        I think it may partly be because construction industry employers are aware of the “catcalling construction worker” stereotype and have started penalising workers who do it, because it’s not good for their industry’s reputation.

    2. Echo Zen
      Echo Zen August 20, 2014 at 2:44 pm |

      The only folks who think catcalling is an NYC construction worker thing are privileged girls whose only exposure to catcalling has been through “Sex and the City”.

      1. Computer Soldier Porygon
        Computer Soldier Porygon August 20, 2014 at 7:41 pm |

        I’ve definitely been catcalled enough by construction workers to be wary around build sites but it’s definitely not “a construction worker thing.” The last time I was catcalled was yesterday by another broken-limbed person at the orthopedic clinic as I went by slowly on my crutches

    3. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable August 20, 2014 at 7:55 pm |

      Ditto on construction workers in NYC. Creeps going the other way on the side walk, and creeps in trucks for me.

    4. Anna
      Anna August 21, 2014 at 5:13 am |

      I’ve never been to NYC, but to share my anecdata, I’ve only been catcalled by construction workers once. I was walking down the sidewalk in a residential neighborhood, and these two guys were working in a front yard. All other street harassment has been courtesy of fellow pedestrians, passing motorists, and one person loitering at a public transit station who started following me and eventually told me I had a “good butt.”

  4. Andie
    Andie August 20, 2014 at 3:02 pm |

    I was in Toronto a week or two ago, and actually had a construction worker cat-call me. My first reaction was “Wow.. this really is a thing that happens?”

    To be clear, I was referring specifically to cat-calling construction workers, not street harassment in general. I know the latter exists, unfortunately.

  5. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm |

    It’s not satire, but it doesn’t sound completely genuine either.

    I don’t agree with the article at all, but I commend Doree Lewak for coming up with an avenue to get herself a lot of publicity. The fact that I am using her name is evidence enough that it has worked, I’ve spent years not reading the New York Post so I wouldn’t know the name of any of their writers. What’s more, a google search of her name shows that a whole slew of blogs are writing about her today, and a look at her Wikipedia shows her as a complete nobody. You have to hand it to her in terms of a person using the publicity machine of the internet to her advantage.

  6. Drahill
    Drahill August 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm |

    That goes into the very few articles (I can count them on one hand) that I truly read and just came away needing to sit back a little more in my chair, rub my chin and just sort of say, “What the hell was that, truly?”

    Like…really. What exactly is her point? Is she an exhibitionist of the traditional sort? Is she yearning for validation? Is she a narcissist who sees the hooting as validating herself? Why am I trying to analyze this? Why have I spent five minutes just composing and typing this?

    I’d like to think this is some real next-level trolling type of thing, but that would require an NYP writer to have some degree of self-awareness, which might ask too much.

    I do find it interesting that she seems to have only been subject to the “kinder, gentler” harrassment types. She seems to not have encountered the gross, lewd or even thinly-veiled sadistic kinds yet. I think that sort of thing can color one’s view quite differently.

  7. Comradde PhysioProffephys
    Comradde PhysioProffephys August 20, 2014 at 5:24 pm |

    It’s neither satire nor earnest. It’s intentional click bait.

    1. Yonah
      Yonah August 21, 2014 at 4:33 am |

      Glad to have you back, Comradde.

  8. Nahida
    Nahida August 20, 2014 at 5:59 pm |

    …The fuck did I just read?

    I say satire. It’s way too much… of everything. I mean there’s no way you could lack THAT much self-awareness.

  9. Michelle Garver
    Michelle Garver August 20, 2014 at 9:10 pm |

    So satirical that I’m pretty sure the writers from Colbert Report did this. Right? RIGHT??!

  10. Andrew
    Andrew August 20, 2014 at 10:53 pm |

    Please don’t criticize me harshly for saying this, but I think it’s completely serious (and also clickbait).

    I work in the mental health field with some very progressive minds and strong feminist women AND YET, I’ve had this conversation and it typically ends with…

    “Well, yeah, but it’s still nice to be validated.” followed by a wink, shrug or some other non-verbal, “but I like it so so what.”
    Or some version of that.

    As a man who promotes feminist thought, it gets frustrating.

  11. PeggyLuWho
    PeggyLuWho August 20, 2014 at 11:27 pm |

    I think it’s clickbait.

    I just had a guy lean in and bark at me as I was coming out of the library. And I distinctly remember the first time I was harassed. Nothing like having a grown man tell you that he “knows you want to fuck him” when you’re a scabby-kneed 10-year-old to really stick in your brain.

  12. Brett
    Brett August 21, 2014 at 2:12 am |

    I’ll fourth that I think it’s “look at me!” trolling that got published because the New York Post is an idiotic conservative tabloid (and the conservative response to the rise in anti-sexual harassment and violence campaigns has generally been to downplay and dismiss the problem). Just the fact that she used a single, super-stereotypical example of catcalling reeks of bullshit.

  13. Anna
    Anna August 21, 2014 at 5:09 am |

    The first time I remember being catcalled was when I was walking in the downtown area of my suburban hometown with two friends. We were all 16 years old. Some guys drove by in a white truck and yelled at us out of the window. I don’t even remember what exactly they said; just stereotypical “hey baby” catcall crap.

    As they drove off, my friend threw out her arms and half-yelled, “Wait, come back!” Her deadpan delivery perfectly conveyed her point, that none of us would want anything to do with someone who’d yell shit like that at girls out of a window. Then we had a great conversation about sexual harassment, which was pretty deep for high-school juniors, and it brought us closer together. I remember feeling really united with them when we all started laughing at these guys, mockingly wailing, “Wait, come back!”

    It would have been totally different if I’d been by myself, that’s for sure. But as it was, it turned out to be a weirdly positive experience. I wish I could say that subsequent experiences with street harassment were equally positive, but alas, they all ranged from annoying to scary.

  14. Angel H.
    Angel H. August 21, 2014 at 10:03 am |

    The first time I was sexually harassed was in the 5th grade….

    …by another 5th grader.

    Just goes to show how early this type of behavior can take root.

    1. Anna
      Anna August 21, 2014 at 2:35 pm |

      So true. My experiences with street harassment didn’t start until I was 16, as far as I can recall, but sexual harassment in school at the hands of other students started in junior high for me. Ugh.

  15. Anna Birkas
    Anna Birkas August 23, 2014 at 2:27 am |

    You guys are probably going to dislike me for this, or just assume I am undereducated or not an empowered woman, because I do sometimes like catcalls. I am not condoning them…I know that they are too uncomfortable for too many people, but I like them when I also feel safe and respected. There are different types of catcalls…some I mind, some I don’t. I am going to have to think about this before I explain why.

    I don’t like slimey guys, or dudes that stare at you, but I can appreciate a passing call of appreciation.

    1. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable August 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm |

      I’m actually right there with you. Some days I walk out of my apartment thinking I look hot, and I like some amount of validation (to your point, safety is a key component). Those days, when a stranger smiles and tells me I look beautiful, it makes me smile too. As you note, not all women would appreciate that or feel comfortable so I’d rather they stop, but a stranger telling me I look pretty on a given day actually does give me an ego boost. One of the keys for me is that it’s not sexualized, though. Don’t know if that’s true for you too.

      1. Lumina
        Lumina August 29, 2014 at 11:16 pm |

        Seriously?? Couldn’t that be said about anyone, woman or man, paying a compliment of a nonsexual nature? Or, would you not feel validated if the compliment came from a woman. A smiling stranger, telling you that you look beautiful isn’t exactly a catcall. The intention of catcalls is to debase and harass women. If a man threw you a sexual comment (catcall) in a crowded mall, would you get an ego boost because he said it in a ‘safe zone?’
        I think the all too said point of the article is that women still look for empowerment from men, even if that empowerment only validates them as one dimensional, sexual beings.

    2. Athenia
      Athenia August 26, 2014 at 9:55 am |

      If a dude is talking to you with some genuine appreciation–I wouldn’t even call it a catcall.

  16. emily
    emily August 23, 2014 at 9:16 am |

    I like the part where she felt the need to remind readers that enjoying attention of the opposite sex doesn’t make us traitors to our gender. Because strawman.

    I think a conversation could be had about random comments in the street and how some women are flattered by some of them versus how some comments are clearly harassment and there shouldn’t be apologists for it and how it needs to be explained clearly that some things are appropriate and some things are not. But this article wasn’t that conversation.

    1. Andie
      Andie August 23, 2014 at 9:35 am |

      No, sadly this article was “What’s the big deal ladies?? It’s FUN when guys pay you attention!”

    2. EG
      EG August 23, 2014 at 11:43 am |

      Right? Occasionally some dude will say something along the lines of “Ma’am, I love your hair,” and I don’t have a problem with that–I classify it along with the times random strangers will say something like “What a beautiful baby” when I’m out with my godson, or a woman will say “What awesome sandals!” Sometimes strangers talk to each other. And that has nothing to do with catcalling, and let’s not pretend it’s so hard to figure out the difference between something conversational and something creepy and threatening. (If in doubt, consider whether or not it would be appropriate to say this thing to me if I had my godson with me; anything that would not be is something you should wait until I have expressed unmistakeable interest in you to say. Err on the side of caution.)

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve August 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm |

        Right? Occasionally some dude will say something along the lines of “Ma’am, I love your hair,” and I don’t have a problem with that–I classify it along with the times random strangers will say something like “What a beautiful baby” when I’m out with my godson, or a woman will say “What awesome sandals!” Sometimes strangers talk to each other. And that has nothing to do with catcalling, and let’s not pretend it’s so hard to figure out the difference between something conversational and something creepy and threatening. (If in doubt, consider whether or not it would be appropriate to say this thing to me if I had my godson with me; anything that would not be is something you should wait until I have expressed unmistakeable interest in you to say. Err on the side of caution.)

        I’d imagine time and place has something to do with it. I recently complimented a woman’s tattoos on the subway, but waited until she was just leaving the train and I was staying on. She seemed genera;y pleased and knew there was nothing creepy as we would never seen again. Similarly, one times I was at Sloan-Kettering, I rode home on the subway with a woman I had seen in the hospital, and she was wearing a hat over her bald head and trying to look invisible. I got off before she did but as I was leaving I said ‘you look really beautiful,’ and I think she genuinely appreciated as she was still smiling as the train pulled away and I looked through the window.

  17. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 23, 2014 at 2:45 pm |

    The headline was addressed to ‘Ladies,’ and said ‘deal with it,’ so a discussion of whether or not it’s wrong for the author to like ‘catcalling’ is irrelevant.

    What the author is describing is a consensual situation, wherein she is admired by men that she wishes to admire her- from a safe distance. That’s perfectly fine. However that does not mean every catcalling incident is as consensual or as safe and it certainly doesn’t mean women should have to deal with it.

    I see that the author writes a lot of stuff about being single and unable to find a partner. I don’t know too many men, liberal, conservative, or otherwise, who think ‘hmmmm I’m searching for a soulmate who loves flaunting her body to random construction workers,’

    1. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable August 24, 2014 at 1:31 pm |

      While I don’t think it’s cool for anyone to say, “I like this, therefore everyone should like this” – please let me be the first to resent that I’m supposed to never seek out approval and be perfectly secure as a single woman in order to land a dude. And flaunting her body? Did you mean her confidence? Because she specifically says what she wears is irrelevant.

      Annnd now I’m ready to crawl into a hole, because I’m apparently going to be single forever.

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve August 24, 2014 at 8:35 pm |

        please let me be the first to resent that I’m supposed to never seek out approval and be perfectly secure as a single woman in order to land a dude. And flaunting her body? Did you mean her confidence? Because she specifically says what she wears is irrelevant.

        Well, her articles seem to imply she’s looking for a conservative guy, which is who imagined thinking the comment I quoted….I just added the ‘or liberal’ because I literally have never heard one make those comments. I personally wouldn’t hold someone’s article against them in a relationship, but I feel the sort of ‘manly’ men she is looking for would. I may be totally wrong, but I suggest you read her dating articles before you totally disagree with me.

      2. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve August 24, 2014 at 9:43 pm |

        …however, I realize my comment was stupid and insensitive and I wasn’t considering the feelings of people like you who may agree with her on this or any other thing when it’s her specifically and her whole view of what makes a ‘man’ or what women think that I object to.

        So, sorry for my insensitivity and I hope you don’t think that I’m judging you for thinking that way.

  18. Sunday feminist roundup (24th August 2014) (feimineach.com)

    […] Street harassment is a compliment, says writer we pray is joking (feministe): “But the mystique and machismo of manly construction workers have always made my heart beat a little faster — and made my sashay a little saucier. It’s as primal as it gets, ladies! They either grunt in recognition or they go back to their coffee break. It’s not brain science — when a total stranger notices you, it’s validating.” […]

  19. Merryn
    Merryn August 24, 2014 at 11:38 pm |

    Fiction. Troll fiction. First cat called at 20? Not even halfway believable.

    1. Andrew
      Andrew August 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm |

      Why wouldn’t it be believable? There are millions and millions of people in NY and who knows whatever circumstances in her life led to her at 20 years old to be in a situation where she was catcalled for the first time. There are many reasons to think of as to why a young woman wouldn’t have this experience until 20.

      To go straight to fiction, “troll fiction” no less, I think is stretching your point way past the point of believability.

      1. tigtog
        tigtog August 25, 2014 at 4:43 pm | *

        Andrew, surely you don’t think, as the author of this trollumn purports to believe, that it’s only construction workers who catcall women? Because that’s the only way that millions and millions of people in NYC could be remotely relevant. Catcalling happens all over the world in all sizes of communities, because it’s not just roughneck blue-collar workers who catcall.

        It may well be that it’s only construction workers well up in the air away from any masculine retaliation who are willing to catcall where other men who might feel possessive about the women they are accompanying can see/hear them doing it, but the daily reality of catcalling is that it happens when women are walking alone or with another woman, and it comes from men sitting on benches, men driving by in cars, men walking past on the street, men standing waiting for the pedestrian sign to change, boys on bicycles etc. For every woman I know, catcalling started the moment the secondary sexual characteristics associated with puberty became obvious from a distance, so for some women that’s around 9 years old.

        I was a skinny tomboy who was a relatively late bloomer re puberty, so my first catcall in a coastal Australian city wasn’t until I was 14, as I was cycling to the beach.

        1. Bunny
          Bunny August 26, 2014 at 10:42 am |

          Yeah, this.

          I grew up in a smallish village in Essex, England, where most people knew each other, and I’m pretty sure I was 11 the first time it happened to me. I was popping down the road to buy my mum’s newspapers for her and some guy I didn’t recognise wanted me to go to a “party” with him. He was hanging about at the end of my road so I took the long route back home to avoid him. Most of the other incidents from around that age upwards kind of blur into one another, but I can always recall a few of the more memorable ones.

          It’s not something that happens all the time, but it is something that started when I was young and has been pretty consistent. I know pretty much no women who, when we start talking about it, don’t have anecdotes of their own going back into at least early puberty.

          To me, catcalling and harassment feels basically identical to bullying, if you’ve ever been a victim of an extended bullying campaign as a kid. The tone and body language used, the way you can never tell whether this time they’re just planning on saying something mean and laughing at you or whether this is one of the times they’ll get in your way and not let you move past and escalate to violence. It’s just bullying with a more overt sexual component.

        2. Andrew
          Andrew August 28, 2014 at 10:04 pm |

          No, of course I’m not suggesting it’s only construction workers and I agree with your larger point. This is a typical thing that happens to many women.

          Mine was more about the definitive stance that this could never happen. Absolutes are typically wrong. On a planet of billions of people with the billions of factors, it’s easy to believe that a woman would make it to 20 without being catcalled. Probably tens of thousands. They aren’t writing articles, but they are the ones who get confused when other women talk about how this happened to them.
          I’ve been in those conversations. Someone above even referenced the “does that really happen?” concept.

          So to say that it’s going all the way to “troll fiction” to suggest that a woman could never never have this experience is exaggeration. Not troll exaggeration, but just the regular kind. That’s all I’m saying.

    2. ma
      ma September 2, 2014 at 10:53 am |

      I’m 29 and I don’t remember ever being catcalled. The closest I came was earlier this year, when a drunk guy (probably a student) on party night in a foreign city said “hello hello hello” as I walked past, which could have been over-friendliness as easily as anything else, and it didn’t feel threatening.

      I HAVE been sexually harassed, mostly in my first two years of college (age 17-19ish), but it was always more ongoing and personal, from people I couldn’t get away from socially.

      Since then, pretty much none. I don’t know why, because I know most women experience much more harassment, but there it is.

      So yeah, I could believe someone who didn’t get catcalled until 20.

  20. a lawyer
    a lawyer August 26, 2014 at 1:42 pm |

    Not satire. Just a post by someone who is pretty far to one side of the spectrum. Which is expected. Right? Because if there is one thing which is true about all people, it’s that we’re all individuals and some of us are very, very, different from others.

    I’m sure that there are some people who get totally freaked out when I smile and nod as I pass them on the sidewalk. And I’m equally sure there are some people who are inwardly disappointed that I don’t openly stare at their butt and say “nice ass.” Her views are rare but well within the bounds of human nature.

    Most of those outliers don’t write columns, but this woman did.

    But the question of what to DO with it is a bit like the free speech conundrum: To what extent should “free speech” advocates support or oppose someone who wants to talk about abolishing free speech? Should the goal or the process win the fight? The answer is not always obvious.

    I think that applies here as well. The facts that she has her own beliefs and that she wants to express them in the face of disagreement are, at their essence, pretty classic feminism. That remains true even though the views themselves are opposed to what most feminists stand for. It’s really a question of what you value more: “freedom for women to speak their mind,” or “people saying things I believe in.”

  21. Donna L
    Donna L August 26, 2014 at 2:17 pm |

    [Long comment in moderation; this is it in two parts. Dear Moderator, you can leave the moderated comment where it is if these go through.]

    Caveat to the “believability” issue: it’s certainly believable that a woman hasn’t been catcalled by the age of 20 if she’s a trans woman who didn’t transition until after that age! Interestingly, the younger trans women I’ve talked to about this issue tend to have felt flattered, validated, and affirmed in their “woman-ness” when they first started getting public attention — especially those who had never received a compliment about their physical appearance in their entire lives prior to transition — but they all got very tired of it very quickly. As one friend said to me, it’s not much fun having people make animal noises at you every time you go out for 10 minutes.

    As for me, I was in my mid-40′s before I started presenting publicly as “myself,” and have never been subjected to that sort of thing at all. Middle-aged invisibility has its advantages, although being generally ignored isn’t so wonderful either. Then again, I’m not entirely sure I would have noticed anything other than the most obvious sort of comment, or thought it was directed at me if I did notice it, given that I am notoriously oblivious to my surroundings, and am usually too busy trying to overcome my terrible sense of direction to focus on anything else! (Sometimes when people are looking at or talking to me, I assume they aren’t even if I know them; just last week, I was in a large group of people when a good friend I hadn’t seen in quite a while gave me a big smile, and my immediate response was to look behind me to see if she intended to smile at someone else — the classic “who, me?” reaction.)

    1. Donna L
      Donna L August 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm |

      Part 2: In fact, other than strangers asking directions or the time, the only times I can remember being spoken to in public by a stranger in the last 9 years are:

      (1) The guy who looked at me on the subway and said “What is this, the Jerry Springer Show?” when I was with several other trans women from my support group;

      (2) The guy who came up to me on a subway platform and called me an “ugly old b***h”;

      (3) The guy who walked up to me on 6th Avenue a couple of years ago and said “I think you’re very beautiful,” and then kept walking; I did feel flattered, although of course part of me thought he was just making fun of me;

      (4) A couple of random “hey, mami” comments I’ve gotten in the West 40′s, which I interpreted as insulting me by calling me “old,” until someone explained what that phrase means;

      (5) The strange-looking elderly man on the subway who was sitting next to me, asked me the time, and then started vigorously rubbing my arm and shoulder when I told him, at which I completely froze until I got off at the next stop; and

      (6) The woman who came up to me on a subway train about 5 years ago and pointed at me and kept saying in a loud voice “I know what you are; I know what you are — I can always tell!” Of course I thought “oh, sh*t; she knows I’m trans,” but when I finally said, “OK, what am I?,” she said “You’re a Jew, aren’t you? I can always tell!”

      So, hardly anything at all compared to most women.

      1. Yonah
        Yonah August 27, 2014 at 7:02 am |

        DonnaL, you’ve probably got a great handle on this already, and I wasn’t there, but it doesn’t sound to me like #3 was making fun of you.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L August 27, 2014 at 9:58 am |

          You’re probably right; I’m just so unused to that kind of compliment — under any circumstances — that when I do receive one, it can be difficult for me to believe that it’s sincere.

  22. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll August 26, 2014 at 5:32 pm |

    I was 11 or 12 when a guy in his 40s drove past in a convertible and yelled nice tits at me. I was 13 when some guy who owned a strip club gave me his card and told me to come apply for a job. From that age on I’ve been subjected to more comments on my ass and boobs than I can count, or even recall, because they’re a blur of daily life. Except for a few that really stood out, it’s been as much of a daily thing as brushing my teeth. They’ve dropped abit because I’m 41 now, but I still get some idiot looking at my chest and saying things like WOW or NICE like they just saw something surprising. A few days ago some construction guy in Lowes was looking at my chest and when I noticed he said Nice Shirt, then actually read what it said. ( it was a doctor who shirt. I seriously doubt he’s a fan. Plus he didn’t read it until after he opened his mouth). Told my husband and he was all, yeah..he got caught and tried to cover it.

  23. Trust
    Trust September 1, 2014 at 2:44 pm |

    12? Try nine years old. But I guess that’s my fault, I was an early bloomer after all.

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