The McBournie Minute: Catcalling is demeaning to men

As most men can tell you, now that it is getting warmer, women are wearing less clothing. Their uncovered legs and shoulders bring out primal urges in men that date back to prehistoric times when cavewomen would wear skimpier furs in the summer months. “Ooga booga,” the cavemen would say to passing cavewomen. This was because no one had yet learned how to whistle.

Yet today, the very same urge still resides in men, at least if you ask a few women who sound kind of angry about it. Apparently, catcalling is not OK. This came as a shock to me when I heard the news, not that it was not OK, that people still catcall. In my time on this planet, I have never been a construction worker nor have I ever been a vagabond, so I have never felt the need to yell anything to strange women. Even in my formative days, I was never one to honk at women I passed by, whether out of courtesy or slow reflexes.

This does not mean I am against the practice. Most women when they dress a certain way crave attention. They crave this attention because every single woman on the face of the Earth, thanks to tabloid magazines and makeup commercials, is extremely insecure about her looks. Some women, because they feel they need attention from men but act like they hate it, will dress to get attention. Showing them that attention cannot be offensive despite what they say, it is more just a bad form because you play right into their hands.

To me, the act of catcalling is somewhat lame, anyway. One of my buddies from college was to the point of embarrassing when he would yell to a girl nearby. It wasn’t that he was saying anything lewd, or making obscene gestures, in fact, all he would say was, “Hey giiiiirl.” He would then try to engage her in conversation, which is challenging enough while someone is walking by. Though the girls would always make it obvious to everyone else they were not interested, he just kept plugging away.

There was a time when it was socially acceptable to catcall as it is today. There was a brief period in the 1970s when it was not. Luckily, things are back on track. Even words like “toots” and “broad” are making comebacks. But these are just words that assert women as women, which most of them are.

Catcalling, while a form of communication the male of the species readily prepares for, is demeaning, not for the woman, but for the man. Worse, it embarrasses the males one is with. Instead, I recommend trying a more professional route, like buying her a drink and using a pick-up line.