These predatory comments are often made by older men towards younger girls. There is no confusion here. These men know they are talking to teenagers and pre-teens.
"When I was only 13 years old an older man came up to me and said 'Call me when you're 18.' I am still disturbed that a man said that to me at 13 years old."
"When I was 15 years old, walking down a street with a couple of friends, we passed this small group of men who were at least twice our age. One of them motioned his hand towards me and said 'Wow... beautiful. Call me in 3 years!' He said more after that, but I felt immediately violated, and helpless. He was aware that I was a child, a teenager, had no regard for my peace of mind and decided that everyone around us needed to know that I was an object of his desire. I remember feeling afraid, and ashamed of myself from my first catcall."
"I don't live in New York but I went on a school trip and I was with my friends on a walk and this man decided he could cat call me and my friends, 'oh mama, I'd love to fuck you in 2 years' and I was horrified and we ran back to where we were staying."
"I am a trans boy but I look very feminine. I am fourteen years old and I have been catcalled many times in NYC. The first time I was 11 years old and whistled at by someone almost 5 times my age. The other time was when I was 13 I was with three friends and we were walking past my old elementary school when some guy yells out 'nice ass mama' to me."
"One day I was walking from the train after visiting a friends' house and I saw these two guys standing on the corner, and me being 16 at the time, I decided it was best for me to cross over, but one of them proceeded to shout at me 'you don't have to be afraid sweetheart, it'll only hurt a little.' so I immediately picked up the pace and called my dad. It was scary and is why I now carry mace in my bag."
Much like President Trump's "Grab 'em by the pussy" scandal, cat-callers often talk about our "pussies" as if they're public property. It needs to stop.
"A guy was standing next to his bike and when I walked by he said 'can I suck your pussy?' I ignored him and speedily walked away. He apparently then got on his bike and few seconds later after I crossed broadway I soon had him riding next to me on his bike aggressively asking again and again 'can I suck your pussy?' I crossed the street and thought I finally got rid of him but soon saw him riding by me again, this time not saying anything. I moved closer to a group of people walking in front of me and made it to my dorm."
"I don't live in New York, but i went there last summer with my parents. It was really hot and i was wearing a casual sundress with thin straps. At one point I was walking alone back to the hotel, when a couple of middleaged construction workers yelled at me, that i should lift up my dress, 'show them that pussy' and flash a little more cleavage. So many more things like that happened while i was there. Men looked me up and down, whistled at me and shouted. I was 15."
"We were going out to meet our friends. It was late at night and we walked past some guys on the street who were clearly staring at us. As soon as we passed them they started whooping and one of them said 'Lemme finger fuck that pussy.' We couldn't believe they actually said that. It was shocking and terrifying."
"I was on my way to the gym in broad daylight minding my own business. I pass some guy on the street and as soon as he's close enough for me to hear him, he whispers 'damn tight pussy.' I felt so extremely violated."
Catcalling is an intersectional issue that affects women of color differently than white women. Here are a few examples of racist street harassment.
"As an American-born woman of Chinese ethnicity, I've had to endure this label endlessly. There is a privilege to walking the streets with anonymity; with being able to actively claim your identity rather than have it thrust upon you. Over time, the comments that single you out for where you seem to be "really from" wear at your sense of belonging in this country. Then there are the times when it gets worse; in Niacaragua, I once had to walk through a gauntlet of men sitting on the sidewalk grabbing at my arms. "China, China, China," they said. This is when what's seemingly harmless becomes immediately physically threatening."
"I look Mexican bc I’m Asian so this man took it upon himself today to refer to me as 'hey Mexico' and as I ignored him he chased after me and was like 'fuck mexico, fuck you mexico that’s right I said it' and threatened to hurt me"
A main theme among these catcalls is that men get offended and angry when they don't receive a response. This shows that they are sensitive to "rejection" and strongly believe that recipients of catcalls should be thankful for these compliments. This is blatantly untrue, damaging and sexist.
"I was on a run in Central Park when a man said 'Hey hottie! Hello? I'm talking to you? Yeah fuck you, you ugly Bitch'"
"Once at Gotham pizza in Chelsea I was on my phone minding my own business when I hear this pizzeria guy try to catch my attention. Hey, what's your name? Where are your parents from? I didn't pay attention, I was on my phone. He literally starts screaming: hey you are you deaf? Mind you I didn't know he was talking to me because I was busy waiting for my pizza pie because I wanted to go home already. Then, he throws his phone and says: your ugly anyways."
"He said: Hey beautiful. Well shit. Why'd you make a face like that? I probably looked confused because I don't know you and you've invaded my space"
"Today I was rushing to the train and a man called out 'Want a ride, baby' and gestured to his crotch. When I didn't respond, he shouted after me 'Oh okay, you're gonna ignore me? I know your type. You think you're all that. But you're not. You think you're hot but you're not.'"
These comments are aggressive violations of our bodies. They provoke fear and powerlessness. I'm disgusted by how often men find it acceptable to make these vulgar comments.
"Nothing a woman wants more than a dick pic from a stranger!"
"I'm already feeling terrible about all the catcalling in NYC (just moved in July!) A couple weeks ago during rush hour a group of older men were looking me up and down making whooping noises and one said to his friend 'Take her home!! Take that shit home!!' And that's just one of many comments during the past month."
"The guy yells: I'm going to come in your mouth *gets closer* still yelling: every last drops *gets even closer* whispers: and you're going to like it"
"He says 'oh my god, BABY!' and he comes at me for a hug blocking the sidewalk"
"A large man walked up to me, and I saw that he was saying something to me, but I couldn’t hear him. Did he need directions? I took out my headphones to hear what he was saying. He walked up to me, until there was a half-foot of space between us. 'Are you gonna take care of me?' He said. I didn’t fully understand what was happening, but he repeated himself to make sure he was heard. 'I said, are you gonna take care of me?' He then started rubbing himself while repeating that question over and over. I just stood there, frozen, having absolutely no idea what I should do in this situation."
"A few weeks ago a man told me that 'you’re way too sexy to be walking alone' I don’t even want to know what he would have done to me if it was nighttime."
The definition of objectification is to turn something into an object. These comments often refer to one specific aspect of a women's body, thus turning her into a sexual object.
"I didn't even think I could have heard him right... such a bizarre comment to compare my legs to chicken wings. I hate that it made me so self conscious."
"One time some men started catcalling me and when the pedestrian light in front of me stopped me from walking ahead to avoid them, they came up to me. One of them squeezed my butt and asked me 'do you even squat?' and burst out in laughter. It was one of my most humiliating and revolting experiences."
Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are often targeted on the streets for their sexual orientation or gender expression. This homophobic, transphobic and often sexually aggressive behavior illustrates damaging attitudes towards individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community.
“I’m 13. I’ve faced a lot of things in nyc, and it’s something I’ve gotten ‘used to.’ More recently, l was wearing a pride shirt, and this guy called out ‘You ain’t gay, you just haven’t had my dick yet.’ Like on 110th street or something”
“I’m a guy, is this allowed? I was walking into grand central when a group of guys all made comments and one stuck with me ‘with a face and ass like that me and my boys can take some good care of you’ I was so scared I asked a security guard to walk me to my destination.”
"I am a trans boy (but I look very feminine) I am fourteen years old and I have been cat called many times in NYC. The first time I was 11 years old and whistled at by someone almost 5 times my age. The other time was when I was 13 I was with three friends and we were walking past my old elementary school when some guy yells out 'nice ass mami' to me. I hope this helps to raise awareness and show that it does not only happen to older people and that it also happens to kids"
In the past months, we’ve seen dozens of men ejected from positions of power due to accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. This is an epidemic that has been deeply ingrained and normalized in our society… up until now. People are raising their voices and speaking back against sexual, gender based violence. Unfortunately, the fight isn’t over. These comments use the names of powerful men to make aggressive, threatening comments, referencing and echoing the very behavior we are fighting against.