Catcalling: That's how you can defend yourself

Never heard of catcalling? Okay, but you’ve already experienced it. We explain what it is and how best to respond to it.

  • “Well, sweetie, is something going on today?”
  • “Uh-la, who have we got there ?!”
  • +++ UNIQUE WHISTLE +++
  • +++ +++ KISS NOISE
  • “Hey, snail, come over!”
  • “Wow! Geiler ass!”

THAT is catcalling.

Catcalling: definition

In the urban dictionary , catcalls are referred to as overblown , sexually charged comments by men on women they cross on the street or other public spaces. Often catcalls contain allusions to the look and body.

So is called: Catcalling is a verbal sexual harassment , and indeed – as the name makes clear – a one-sided: molesting men, women are harassed, so “Cat” and not “tom cat”, “dog” or “donkey” …

Catcalling ≠ compliment

Any woman who has ever experienced catcalling knows that with a compliment, esteem, interest or respect, this kind of attention has nothing to do with it and it does not feel good. On the contrary, catcalling is a downgrading of the woman and a gesture of supposed (!) Male dominance and superiority – or can you imagine how someone z. To whistle to his boss or a lender and greeted with the words: “Chic outfit! Today still something ahead?”? Just! Whistling you may communicate with dogs – but certainly not with people you respect.

Catcalling: What is the benefit of the perpetrators?

Of course, catcalling is different for different women. Some register it only as an annoying everyday phenomenon, others are unsettled and frightened it so much that they do not dare in the summer in a short skirt on the street. But just about every woman feels at least annoyed by catcalling, hardly anyone is completely without a trace. Problem: Even if you say so many times and try to make it clear to men, it will not deter very many. For many perpetrators is the whistle, Knutschgeräuche making and commenting a well-established, in part also routine means to strengthen their own self-confidence and to feel good . Therefore, it is usually men who, for example, do not get along well with women or are largely unsuccessful in other areas of life.

After all, this gives us a clue as to how we can best fight catcalling. All we have to do is give the catcaller a bad feeling and make him feel unsure.

Catcalling: That’s how you can defend yourself

First of all, there is no such thing as an optimal strategy for responding to catcalling . For one thing, because the harassed women are different – one is easier to ignore a catcall, others feel good when confronted with the harasser. On the other hand, the harassing men are just as different and complex (yes, they are complex!). Some feel disturbed by being ignored, others are unsettled. Therefore, it is best to react in the way that best suits you and your species . This makes you feel most comfortable – and in case of doubt, it also comes across the most credible and convincing. Here are three common and workable strategies for dealing with catcalling.

  • Ignore: Ignoring catcalling is the simplest option for many women. Ideally, do not make a face, take an upright posture and hold your head up and walk proudly and dignified, as if nothing had happened. Although you certainly do not give the Catcaller the most formative lesson, but at least you do not confirm it in his behavior.
  • Confronting: To tell the Catcaller in a nutshell: “Do not do that! I feel annoyed by it”, which requires courage but is often very effective. Especially the Siezen restores a distance and a limit that the harasser wanted to exceed with his action. However, it is important in a confrontational rejection that it is expressed loudly, directly and decisively.
  • Whistling a song : Experts recommend that you call as a cat just start yourself to whistle a ditty. Many women experience a sense of calm and strength by hearing their own voice, and the harasser can surprise and upset such a response. In a way, you beat him with your own resources.

Under no circumstances should you ask a Catcaller a question such as: B. “What is this?” or appear politely and hesitantly (“Please leave me alone!” ). For most, this comes as a confirmation and they feel called for further responses.

By the way : The Dutch Noa Jansma, who launched the Instagram account ” dearcatcallers ” some time ago, chose a particularly creative and courageous approach to catcalling. There, the young woman posted selfies with her catcallers to draw attention to the problem and to demonstrate the perpetrators. Find out more about Noa Jansma and her action in our article.

Want to share your experiences of catcalling or sexual harassment with others? Then have a look at our community !

Videotipp: These are the worst startups of all time

Die schlimmsten Anmachsprüche aller Zeiten: Mann quatscht Frau in der Disko von der Seite an

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, analyze site traffic, personalize content, and serve targeted advertisements. Read about how we use cookies and how you can control them by clicking “Privacy Preferences”. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.