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What are men seriously thinking when they catcall? Do they think we dig that type of attention? Do they believe that it’s such a turn-on? That it makes them manly? Do these men have any idea how it makes us feel? One thing is certain: it is a power issue, because when they shout out at a woman or whistle at her, they have taken on a predatory role. It’s the unconscious role of the hunter. Even when they say something not verbally threatening, such as, “Good morning,” if they express it with that particular flirtatious tone, it still comes across as street harassment.

Every Day After Work, West Philly (by Hannah Price)

Every Day After Work, West Philly (by Hannah Price)

Philadelphia photographer Hannah Price chose an interesting approach to this matter by taking the men’s picture after they catcalled her. The Morning News published her gallery on their website and while it’s entitled “My Harassers,” Price didn’t choose that name and she doesn’t mean to cause a movement or bring change with her project.

I’m in the photograph, but I’m not. Just turning the photograph on them kind of gives them a feel of what it’s like to be in a vulnerable position — it’s just a different dynamic,” Price says. “But it’s just another way of dealing with the experience, of trying to understand it.

In an interview with npr.org, Kat Chow reports:

Price’s portraits leave much to interpretation. Not only do we not know the situations in which she crossed paths with these men, but we also have no idea of their relationship. The photos are framed in a variety of ways; the lighting, composition and even positioning of the subjects themselves vary so much that viewers have plenty of freedom to interpret them.

I do appreciate that not every woman doesn’t just get mad about it (like me), because we have the tendency to de-humanize harassers. To shed some further light on the issue, I do have another take on street harassment.

CONCLUSION:

Coming to an understanding might help us deal with the catcalls, but it probably won’t change how I feel about them. I personally think those backhanded compliments belittle me, like I’m something outer-worldly walking down the street. It’s tiring having to endure comments about my body. I thinks it’s disrespectful and rude. It’s far from romantic. Catcalling (anything from shouting to whistling to honking) is disgusting and one of the Big Three Turn-offs; the other two being Aggression and Entitlement Behavior. If you wonder what the latter is, Entitlement Behavior is when the man acts as if he is always deserving of sexual attention and treats his girlfriend or wife (or in some cases, any woman at all) as though she exists to serve his needs.

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