Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

The other day while at work I heard a wolf whistle in a public area as I walked by. I don’t know where the whistle was directed at, but my hackles raised up and I tensed, an automatic amygdala response. I walked even faster to my destination.

Later I pondered why anyone would harass every woman in the vicinity of that whistle in this day and age. Did they have no consideration or respect?

A wolf whistle is intimidating, disrespectful, demeaning, threatening and harassing. It’s intruding on every woman’s space who happens to be in earshot. It’s the sound made by a sexual predator. Not cool at all.

I felt like I wanted to wear a bag over my head and the most shapeless baggiest, concealing clothing so as not to be noticed or preyed upon like I was a piece of ass that they are entitled to.

How dare I not just play along and be appreciative that someone thinks they have the right to impose their opinion about what they think my sexual attractiveness is. “Lighten up, it’s a compliment.” No, it’s a display of power and force over women who you consider to be objects you’re entitled to. It’s misogyny.

“Smile, you look prettier.” Prettier for whom? For what?

I was on my summer daily nature walk one day and there was a group of young men far away from the path I was on, someone in the group began yelling at me repeatedly, “Hey, what’s up? Hey, how’s it going?”

Wtf?

I ignored them and walked faster and went a different route back home and for the next week or so avoided that spot.

How is any of this acceptable? Wolf whistling, catcalls need to be kept to the confines of your own home with a consenting partner.

Most women have been sexually preyed upon as a matter of course from childhood on in some form or another and any form of harassment including “innocent” “fun” wolf whistles are a trigger to us.

The fact that you still feel entitled to impose your uninvited opinions on us even when we ask you to have respect, to leave us alone, yet you still demean and intimidate. This shows us that your actions are not so fun and innocent. You wish us no love, you want to control and have your way with us, keep us “in our place.” I am not your public property. I have the right to be in a public space without you hounding me. It’s an act of dominance, of aggression and is threatening to the point where I do not feel safe.

Men do you know how that feels? Can you put yourself in my shoes and consider how harmful it is when you have your fun at my expense? Wolf whistling and yelling at me is scary, offensive and repulsive.

Not fun for us. Sad, scary, depressing and disappointing.

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Me. And if you really get curious and question it, the “boys will be boys” mentality, you might see things in a stark and menacing light.

Keep your lecherous ways to yourself.

Fie patriarchy. Fie kyriarchy.

Me, not smiling.

Michelle Miyagi
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