Sunday, June 24, 2007

On Thursdays We Grab Titties

So girly-blog Jezebel has this post announcing that holla season is back (ladies of the 'Bel: do check out my boy VK, he's the proprietor of a popular DC blog that has much entertaining prose on "the dark art of the holla." Fellas should check him out also (nullus).).

The source material comes from Kimberly Klinger, racist, who has been keeping some sort of cat-call spreadsheet in the interest of launching a two-part attack on the neighborhood heterosexual immigrants who harass her with come-ons once or twice a week. First Kimberly confesses she's a racist (agh, aren't we all sista-girl?), and explains why sexism trumps racism in her Court of Minority Offenses. Her dilemma: Kimberly went to college, so she knows she shouldn't hate brown (excluding the hunky UPS guy of course), but what's a pretty white girl to do in the face of such aggressive misogyny? Just lay out her vagine in a chalupa or bucket of fried chicken? In part two of Kimberly's Mein Kampf she lays down the gauntlet and shares her Top 15 Hollas, so that we can get a little glimpse into her personal Holla-Hell (hella?).

Now before we commence with the tarring and feathering, I should say I agree with Klinger about sexism trumping racism, or as I like to say at cocktail parties: "the penis is mightier than the skin." Sex, and the reproductive drive, is a stronger impulse than racism. Just ask any lion on the street, he'll tell you.

But Klinger's fretting over her racism comes off as disingenuous. For example, look at some of these excerpts from her Holla Diaries:

"A short, 30-something man walks toward me, moves closer, and blatantly looks me up and down. He sucks his breath through his teeth and utters “sexy.” Really? I kind of smell

Walking in rain on street, jeans, coat, hat, etc. Some guy sticks his face almost totally under my umbrella to say, “Hello, sweetie.” Gross. It’s 9 a.m.!

Dec. 30, 2006
Late night, walking from car to apartment: From across street, from a guy getting out of his car, hear grunts, kissy noise, and the popular low-pitched “beauuuutiful.” I have on jeans, sneaks, puffy winter coat. Puffy winter coat.

Jan. 2, 2007
Walking from bus to apartment: Jackass standing at parking meters, calls out, “Hey sweetie,” as I walk by.

(these two I included the dates on to point out: it's holiday season, lighten up mami!)

Also, is about my dad’s age. Gross."

Don't these sound weird? I think it's because she chooses to provide these odd details about her holla worthiness (i.e. "I look a total wreck"). But to notice when she's sweaty, or wearing a puffy coat, or thinking about her father totally misses the point. It's like she's being sexist about the sexism. If she were dolled up in a dress, would she then smile and say, "that's right, I'm working it tonight!" No one cares what her outfit is. Everyone gets holla'd at, and she knows this, but apparently her diary doesn't. Meanwhile all the approachers are generic "guys" (but we know what kind of guys they are *wink, wink, hiss, hiss*).

Then she drops this one:

"The armchair sociologist in me knows it's all about power"

Uh, wrong. Your armchair sociologist needs to get off the couch and go talk to some of them thar ethnics. If anything, those who would cat-call on the street lack power. These aren't f'ing gorillas on the discovery channel sparring for a mate. More often than not, these are guys hanging out cause they got nothing better to do. This is a citified version of fishing. Just casting out the net and seeing what gets stuck. Maybe have some beers while you do it. You don't need a sociology degree to know this (congrats on that, btw!). Just pop your head out of your ass for ten seconds. They're just saying hello (and also letting you know that if you wanted to have sex or something they wouldn't necessarily disapprove).

Well, I guess I would if I weren't feeling annoyed, threatened, and scared. The tone of most harassment is very hostile. Sometimes it escalates to full-on yelling. I've been grabbed and groped.

I'd like to see Kimberly tell me this part face-to-face, so I could see her avert her eyes and look down to the left (is it down-left or down-right? not sure if she's lying or recalling some memory of the ocean). Anyrape, I find this hard to swallow from a girl who's been tracking all her cat-calls for six months. So are the rapes noted in the holladex also? I mean, I'm sorry, but I just don't believe it. You can't casually throw in "grabbing and groping" like we (society) just find that acceptable these days. From minorities no less. When the Puerto Ricans have their National Grope Day Parade in NYC, guess what? There are arrests made. In record numbers. I've never heard a girl say, "oh, watch out for 125th street today, apparently on Thursdays they be grabbin' titties." Come on, that's assault. People don't do that. Even the negroes and papi-chulos. The average minority on the street is not trying to see no policeman. Period. They may walk within an inch of your body, but they are conscious of that inch. That's part of the artistry.

Meanwhile I bet KK (leave off the last K for "Krazee!") is all smiles and giggles at the office when the button-down frat-boys compliment her "skirt and boots."

The only thing I can come up with is to make people aware of it. Many times, when I tell a male friend what's up, he looks at me in amazement, and says, "I had no idea it was that bad." Well, guess what, dude? It is.

Yeah, and guess what, girl? You're a racist bitch cutie-pie.

Don't keep a diary of your racism and bother your male (white?) friends with it. Just rent West Side Story and get over yourself.

(oh, and also pick-up last month's Penthouse)

holla!


Diary of a Cat-Call Hater [ Washington City Paper]
Holler of Fame [Jezebel]

39 comments:

  1. *hands slowly reaching towards own titties*, "oh crap, it's not thursday!" I'm always up for a good titty reference on a blog, especially embedded in an entertaining post. Blog of Note indeed! But yeah, the cat callers are always the lamest people out and about, they are *usually* more annoying than they are scary.

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  2. Hmm. My wife says it's not uncommon to get grabbed while at a club (she usually responds with a sharp elbow to the ribs) and my sister, who used to live in Adams Morgan, said guys trying, pathetically, to holla at her happened on a regular basis, so I can believe that her entire story isn't complete bullshit. But while she does seem somewhat appalled by her own racism (really it's bigotry, but why quibble?), she also seems to think it's somewhat justified.

    I'm not sure how to feel about this. Is she a bigot? A woman who'd like to go through her day without hearing in graphic detail how much every stranger she meets would like to smut her out? A paranoid narcissist? Maybe she's all of those things, but it seems "racist bitch" is a tad too harsh.

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  3. Interesting. It gives me so much insight to those who select the Blogs of Note. Challenge the minds of your young people at YouthPlay.

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  4. Anonymous6/25/2007

    Meh. Catcalls aren't really a color thing, they're more a socioeconomic class and stupidity thing. If you're poor, or badly educated, or hang out with, well, immature dumbasses all day, you're more likely to do the catcall/sexual harrassment thing.

    Unfortunately, brown and black folks are more likely to be poor or to get a poor education. Its too bad the woman in question didn't understand it as a class thing instead of a race thing.

    But, getting mad at her for her outing herself as a 'racist'? Heck, I'm not even sure she's really a true racist, from reading the article on her blog she sounded more like she was having a bad case of the 'white guilts' because she was wary-er around blacks and browns, based on their behavior.

    Put another way, is Jesse Jackson a racist for saying that he's relieved when he hears someone walking behind him at night, turns around, and its a white person?

    In any case, the people you have to worry about aren't guilt-ridden-little-white-girl bloggers. Its the guys with gun racks in their pick'em up trucks who don't bother putting down their hate in blog form and have a lot of free time to kill.

    And I can't really get down on a woman for being angry about this kind of treatment, 'cuz she's always aware that she's just one 'wrong place at the wrong time' away from being sexually assaulted.

    Think that's full of shit? Too bad. The stats don't lie... 1 in 3 women is sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

    If it were me, I'd tell the girl to stop thinking of it as a race thing, and to carry a gun, or a taser. And to start taking some martial arts classes.

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  5. I see your point somewhat, but at the same time wouldn't we all agree that if a particular type of person, male, female, black, white, Asian, Latino, etc... were harassing you over and over about something, you may begin to form a prejudice? This happens all the time. I'm not saying that it's smart, or well thought out. You claim to understand that sexism is the ultimate all time prejudice, and then end with calling her a racist bitch! Maybe she's not as adept at expressing her issues as you, but a bitch?! After listing all the harassment? As a woman(as any woman)I can attest to also being cat called, pick ups and put downs.If some guy isn't telling you he wants to fuck you, he's telling you how fucked up you are. the biggest thing I think you miss, in regards to this is that some men rape women, and we have to watch out for that shit. Women, in general, don't rape men. So when someone calls out, or follows you, or slows down in their car, it is scary as shit. your adrenaline pumps, your hands sweat, etc... some things are brief call outs you can ignore, others are not. But just like anyone who's had shit yelled at them, you just get sick of being a target, no matter what you do.

    Where is your post about how fucked up guys can be to women on the streets?!

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  6. Ouchity ouch...was the last comment close to a bull's eye(it's called "voll[fold] Treffer" in german) on the nuts? Nice play there, Palm Springs Beatnik:P

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  7. Amen, palm springs beatnik. Sometimes that stuff comes close to being a non-physical assault. In certain cultural contexts, the cat-calling is considered somewhat complimentary but sometimes it's difficult to make the adjustment quickly from one context to another, and I imagine if you have no frame of reference for such behavior, like the the so-called "racist bitch", then it's particularly difficult.

    And I have to agree with psb, I don't get saying that sexism trumps racism and then calling the woman racist bitch. What does hypocrisy trump?

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  8. PSB - ok, but we've stepped away from the details here. This isn't a post about women in general dealing with "guys on the street." It's referencing KK"s specific accounts, which rings disingenuous. You want to comment in her defense about hand-sweating fear, but she's logging down whether she's wearing a puffy coat or not. There's a disconnect there.

    Which is why one gets choice with the language; it's insidious to allude to the ultimate stakes when you're keeping a log of your cat-calls for six months.

    Would it be better if I called her a racist female asshole?

    Sex trumps race, yes, but you can't just use the veil of sexism to protect your racism.

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  9. It seems you've touched a nerve. One -ism versus another.

    I never thought I'd miss the hollers, but they're just not coming in the way they used to. Ironically, I'd be less worried about the cat-callers who draw attention to themselves than the under-the-radar types. The crazies come in all colors, but crazies there are aplenty. If you're following me or outnumbering me, I don't care who you are, I'm worried. No one wants to end up like your boy VK's masthead.

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  10. Jee-zus! Hollering at a lady can't be that goddamn bad.

    If she went two-weeks without any street male attention she might go out of her mind.

    Don't get it twisted, women DO like a little validation of their beauty, and guys cat-calling is just a natural part of life.

    It's all good, guys who cat-call are generally pretty good about getting ignored.

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  11. so sexism trumps racism...but what trumps sexism? economics?

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  12. I do think KK is overreacting, that perhaps indicates her own lack of power. As to her self-flagellating glee in proclaiming her "embarrassment" about her racism--that's cause for shame, not embarrassment.

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  13. virgle Kent6/25/2007

    Tammy,

    Leave my masthead out of this, chick had it coming.

    Tan,

    Man welcome to DC!! The sad thing is that KK is probably a 6 or 7. The rics in her neighbor hood got her head gassed up on Exxon unleaded. Let her spend one week in NY surrounded by models, actresses, musician, writers, and career women, basically surround her by real “dime pieces” and girls who really deserve to get cat called and then get back to me.

    Those dudes on the street would cat call and hump a grapefruit. KK is so delusional that if I just went up to her and said, “Hi”, her holladex would say something like, “bald black guy comes up, stares at my cleavage, then asks me if I want some dick”.

    This is the struggle in DC, where all we have is highly educated 6’s that work on The Hill trying to trade sex stories for a book deal and dream on the side. But as my boys and I like to say, if you can spit game here and pick em up, you can holla anywhere in the world.

    It’s like a, “dealing with stuck up broads who think they’re hotter than they really are” boot camp. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

    Save me a bloupie when I come up to NY this summer

    holla

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  14. Anonymous6/25/2007

    I have had this discussion with men before and I feel like, in general, they don't understand because they would like to get that kind of attention walking down the street. KK mentions what she is wearing at the time because she feels that the clothes she is wearing do not warrant the comments that she receiving. For example, if he is walking down the street in a miniskirt and heels, for men to shout out obscenities would be expected. A puffy and sweats - clearly she wants is not aiming for attention and she wants you to know. BTW - men do grab you on the street to get your attention. you might not, but others do and it is just as ridiculous as you think it is.

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  15. KK, you are not Scarlett O'Hara risking rape by traveling through a Reconstruction shanty town to get to your mills. I'm not saying catcalling is all right. It's obnoxious and flattering and annoying and sometimes scary, yes, all of that. But if you're going to pen an editorial about it in the City Paper, be responsible about what you're saying. Know the history of the topic you're fucking with. Go read some Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Read some Eldridge Cleaver. Let's remember that fifty years ago no one would have wanted to hear your opinion about anything except babies and cleaning solvents. You have more resources and autonomy than you are claiming. Feminism was about getting a voice, and now you're choosing to use that voice to call yourself a racist and complain about how hostile the world is? That's irresponsible. And tacky as those outfits you're running around town in. Dang girl clean yourself up before you leave the house. You're not helping DC's reputation as Hollywood for ugly people.

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  16. Blah Blah Blah6/25/2007

    I hate scary-ass-woe-is-me broads...
    SO WHAT if dude is hollerin' at you...so effing what. Did you turn around and lick your lips at him? No? Then move the fuck on and stop stressing over it.

    Regardless of anything mentioned above about socioeconomically down trodden men being the only ones.. men in general do it (not all)... hell, if I've had a few drinks I'll holla out my own cat calls to 'licious looking dudes... ok, maybe only in my head but so what...
    I am not saying that poor little Ms. Ofay isn't warranted for being irritated... I get irritated and I can say I get alot of attention...'cause I am fly like that yo! (that was a joke, you ass)...so that I can understand... However, just seems a wee bit pathetic to let us know that even at her worst she looks Oh So Fine As White Wine...ya know. I mean ol' girl wouldn't be mad if dude was one of those ofay's from ...hell I don't know, I don't watch enough tv to know what dude is hot right now... but you get what I am saying... if he was cute, hot, and probably had a $50 in his hand she'd be all for that cat calling shit! And don't let her have a few drinks in her....'cause I seen how melanin challenge ppl act...hell half those women @ SUEDE or BED try and feel me up when I am waiting in the girls bathroom to pee!
    I'm just sayin'...if you like it, it's ok to say you like it... but don't write about not liking it but make sure we know about it.
    Get over it already.

    bloopty!

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  17. Blah Blah Blah6/25/2007

    ...and TAN...why haven't you told me about Tittie Grabbin' Thursdays before man!!!

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  18. nice pic

    like to see the face :)

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  19. Anonymous6/25/2007

    ...and in other news, TAN decided to hide behind extra-large vocabulary words and not admit that he was wrong to call her a "racist bitch".

    This to be followed by a tragic lack of understanding that sexism and racism alike are perpetuated by those who fail to understand and empathize with the other side.

    Story at eleven.

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  20. Anonymous6/27/2007

    Using "racist bitch" is like, if she were to turn around and call one of the guys who catcalled/psychologically assaulted her a "sexist spic" or a "chauvenist n*****."

    You apparently have not the slightest idea of what women go through on the street in any city in any country in this world.

    Do then you expect any empathy for your fight against racism when you are incapable of offering empathy any to this--or seemingly any--woman who fights against sexism and who is assaulted day in and day out on the streets of your city?

    At least KK is engaging in what bell hooks calls "self-interrogation" about her motivations and reactions to her situation.

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  21. ok, i concede that even I flinch using the term "racist b*tch." It's not me. And it's too strong, and requires a chaser. The star symbol is apparently good for something.

    But I don't read her plight and want to help her. I read and want to help the sexists. And I wish one of her diary entries said something about calmly telling them she doesn't appreciate their attempts at conversation.

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  22. Sir-

    By discounting Ms. Klinger's experiences simply because she admits to her racism is not helping to create a soloution to this issue. Instead of posting gratuitous photos & questioning the "weirdness" and number of her experiences, experiences you couldn't possibly understand being a male- why not instead spend some your energy looking at sexism & it's effects on all people. Why not look at how racism & sexism intersect & actually talk to several women from different backgrounds & get to know their truth.

    Does Mr. Klinger have a perspective that comes from white privilege? Yes. Does she at least admit to her racism? Yes.

    Do you sir have male privilege? Yes. Do you admit you are sexist? So far your post seems to prove otherwise.

    As a woman of color & simply a woman I can attest to the frequency & "weirdness" of her experiences. I don't have those experiences now because I'm a little older & wear headphones with my iPod to tune such irritations out. But they do happen & your doubt & blatent disregard not only not help but in some ways further the gap in finding meaning solutions in such instances. Thanks for reading!
    ~F

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  23. What reason do you have to believe that she's lying? HollabackNYC has taught you nothing? I live in a small town and can count on one hand the number of times I've been catcalled, but hey, that's my experience, and I'm willing to hear about different ones. And I'm just not willing to blame the victim (It's like she's being sexist about how she thinks about the harassment? Like women who blame themselves for rape?).

    And the issue with the power: yes, she's much more likely to be raped in her own home with someone she knows than out on the street. (I am too - we all are.) But most people have a hard time viscerally believing this when there's so much mythology to the contrary, and that's why women carry mace and have men walk them home at night and get freaked out when they're the subject of street harassment. It's built on a lie, but that doesn't mean that the harasser isn't taking advantage of that lie to participate in that little power play she's referring to.

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  24. Anonymous6/27/2007

    Men who psychological assault/catcall on the street aren't lacking in power as this post suggests. In fact, they have the power to assault any woman at will at any time, simply because she is walking down the street, simply because she is a woman.

    That men do this to young women, old women, women with children, *any* woman (unless she is with a man) shows where the balance of power lies.

    Assaulting women in public is one of the privileges that any man can take advantage of, regardless of his race. And, as this post proves, men are perfectly comfortable judging women as "bitches," "woe-is-me broads," etc., when they don't conform to male standards of behavior (ie, when they express their opinions or their experiences).

    "I read her and want to help the sexists"? Well, then how about a post directed at them that tells them exactly where they are going wrong? A little less blaming the victim in that case, hmmmm?

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  25. Anonymous6/28/2007

    Wow...u gotta love it..

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  26. Women like this whine about being catcalled to simply to show others how much attention they get simply by walking down the street. It's equivalent to being at a club or bar and complaining "Ugh, so many men are hitting on me."

    Don't listen to it KK, simple as that. Or....answer back. Any time I get a catcall I don't like I look at the offender and say something akin to "You want to come up with something a little more unique?" They never fail to back down.

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  27. I'm thinking this girl has too much time on her hands that she writes down everytime someone says "hey sweetie" on the street.

    however, i feel her anger, it really sucks. i lived in italy for a year, and after being spanked and having my dress lifted up in public in the middle of the day, i will take that skinny inch the Puetro Ricans leave us here in the US of A.

    p.s. "racist bitch" prolly not helping the situation.

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  28. Maybe KK is a little self-aborbed (or alot!) and not very mature. But it's not fun to get that kind of attention so frequently, ESPECIALLY at night. It isn't, and I'd be surprised to meet one woman who'd say otherwise.

    TAN- admit it, besides over-doing the name calling, you stretched poking fun at her when you assumed she was lying because of her personality. Ask ANY woman, (aside from the grabbing- I couldn't speak to that), this is a typical experience of women in lots of cities, depending upon the neighborhood.

    The person who said it's more a class issue (and I'd add: cultural-as in WHERE you are, not necessarily WHO you are) I think is right on!

    One more thing: Claire Huxtable would kick your a*s! I say this affectionately!

    Great blog- I think it's fantastic!
    I live in Costa Rica and forgot how stimulating you guys in NYC are! Better to be thought-provoking sometimes than tame.

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  29. Assimilated Negro, you totally called it, brotha!!! (..wait, you're "assimilated" so I guess I can't call you that up, how about "my fellow Negro American" - is that better?)

    Based on Ms Klinger's own account, most of these men are merely TRYING TO SAY HELLO TO HER!!!

    Yes, they're speaking to her because they find her sexually attractive... but hey, isn't that pretty much the only reason men speak to women?

    However, these men who are trying to strike up a conversation with her are "harassers" simply because they are POOR and LATINO.

    You can bet if some rich White lobbyist or congressman walked up to her and said hi, she wouldn't feel "harassed"!!!

    But, let a low income man of color show a healthy adult interest in her, then it's nothing but outrage "how dare this low income colored man be sexually attracted to me!!!"

    Ya know, less than 50 years ago, White Southern women like her were quick to call their local KKK klavern if a Black man was "recklessly eyeballing" them.

    BTW that is an actual term that was used by police officers in the South in that era to justify arresting Black men for the "crime" of looking at White women.

    Of course, those Black men were frequently brutally tortured and murdered for the "crime" of noticing White women sexually.

    These days, of course, that doesn't happen anymore (thank you Dr King!!!)

    But, I'd bet that racist White women like Klinger would like to go back to the days when men of color were castrated and flogged for the "crime" of noticing White women in a sexual way!

    Gregory A. Butler
    New York, NY

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  30. she's been "grabbed and groped?" It dont quite ring true with her slightly-guilty-and-confused self-revelations as a "racist." She wants to "make people aware of it?" Sorry, you touch me and then it's over, f*ck that, thats a whole nother level!

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  31. Anonymous2/25/2008

    You're quick to call this woman a racist without acknowledging your own sexism.

    There is nothing "healthy" or "adult" about making another person feel unsafe and uncomfortable. Any decent, sensible person would know this. It is never appropriate or acceptable to engage in that behavior.

    You can be all offended and pissed off if you want to. You can refer to us as "bitches" and "broads" if you want to. Has it ever crossed your mind that women are sick of this shit? ALL women, whether black/white/blue, would like to be able to walk down the street without worrying about what will possibly happen to them. We would like to be able to walk to school, drive, shop, play, and work without having to deal with lewd comments or worse.

    Men rarely have to worry about their safety because a woman cannot physically rape a man. A man can wound a woman emotionally, psychologically and physically. To the men (and deluded females) who see nothing wrong with harassment: you need help. It is real and it does happen to women, no matter how old they are or what they wear or how they look. I had to run away as a child from BOTH boys and adult males who wanted to seriously hurt me. I was raped at 12 years old by a 20-year-old man. I have been harassed on the street, at school, and while walking with my mother since childhood.

    That is what runs through most women's minds when somebody shouts at them on the street. Most "normal" women don't feel flattered, nor do we find it funny. We're scared, pissed, and we wonder what will happen if we respond or say nothing. Will we be followed, possibly assaulted physically/sexually in addition to the comments? We're not "man-haters". We're sick of the bullshit. No one is saying it's a crime to find women attractive...but it is a problem if you objectify women and don't see how fucked-up that is. It isn't about racism. And yes, cultural differences do play a role in how men interact with women. Respect goes both ways. I want to be able to respect men as the people they are and I want the same treatment. I want to enjoy being feminine and beautiful and sexy without being disrespected. Many women want that, too. Telling a woman that she looks nice or that you like her style/hair/pretty eyes is a compliment. It is VERY different when you leer at her and make comments about her "titties" or "ass". Or call her names when she decides that you aren't worth her time. Think about it.

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  32. Anonymous4/02/2008

    I'm a young white female college student. When I'm walking down the street and anyone, regardless of race or gender, decides to compliment me, I am not flattered. I am annoyed, pissed off, appalled, and often afraid. I dislike having random assholes talk to me. The excuse, "I'm just trying to say hello" isn't comforting. That's just not a good excuse to talk to me. I don't fucking know them and I don't want to.

    Assuming that a white female would be more ok with a white male catcalling them than a non-white male doing the same thing is absurd. It's just as uncomfortable, just as terrifying.

    For the record, yes, women do get groped and grabbed and nothing happens. In case you haven't noticed, people do illegal things with no legal consequence all of the time. Sexual assault is one of those things.

    Catcalling is not ok, goddamnit. Not from anyone. Ever.

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  33. I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. And when I first got here, a lot of skanky, scary, oil rig working white men called out to me.. but it was also degrading (as in whistling to me like a dog as they saw my backside) and bumping into me and whatnot. Also, one time, I was with my baby in his stroller and some guy called out "Nigga" to me in his pick up truck. I was standing beside an Asian woman.
    In LA, where i used to live, I was walking out in my stretch yoga pants with my friend. I felt, like this energy, on my ass. I kid you not. I just felt, in one weird moment, very, very conscious of my ass... I see this guy across the street- like a busy intersection. He is Middle Eastern or something like that. I note him for some reason. He then is across the street and looks in my face (first at my ass, then my face)
    Having grown up in Baltimore, I am used to bruthas hawking my ass. I learned early on to smile and nod when the eyes traveled upward to my face and I heard a "how you doin." I accepted it as a kind of homage to the power of the black butt. And kept on going. So, on the street corner in LA, I looked at this guy to deign him with a smile that acknowledged that he acknowledged my beauty (booty) and I saw a rage in his eyes that made me turn away.I mean I was intending a light smile to this Middle Eastern brutha in light of his obvious honoring of my big black butt. But I stopped, sensing trouble. Well, you know what this cat did, he proceeded to step off the curb, smack dab in front of me on the street, and begin to unzip his zipper. Before I could see any horrible surprises, I grabbed my clueless friend, yelled at the guy, and ran away across the street as fast as I could.
    All that to say that, in the community from whence I came, there was definite mysogyny and potential rape scenarios, but somehow, with most black men, I realize that it's all talk, and usually a very male-centric attempt to be nice. White folks tend to be stiff and remote when you see them on the street in most big cities (or if you are black in Calgary, AB Canada) and black folks, from my observations tend to "speak." I grew up hearing, "What's the matter, you can't speak?" I think, because of our American violence mingled with sex phenomenon, which you really find made by white television producers starring white actors, the overt sexuality of some (albeit less well off) communities, be they black or white, gets mixed up constantly with danger and threat. The White slaveholding purtian, derived, protestant community of America of yore was completely disgusted and threatened by anything below the belt-and the way Africans tended to gyrate and move their hips, incorporate sexuality into their spiritual celebrations was VERY off-putting. However, I feel like the cat calls from various communities are often men paying, as I said, homage to the sexuality of women. Unfortunately in our sex and violence, puritan derived society, this is mingled with threat. Sex is so repressed, it can only show its head (No pun intended) when it has to find a release, and often a violent one. Some cultures incorporate sexuality into their daily lives with a little more fluidity (and I aint saying indegenous brown cultures are utopic and without problems) Westerners seem historically confounded by sexuality and thus, this Jezebel's woman's rant seems to be as well. I have found however, that a lot of bruthas on the street saying that stuff, they're rying to flirt. Not threat.

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  34. All that to say... white America has always been confounded by the ease with which Africans incorporate sex, sexuality and acknowledgemnt of it into daily lives. I aint talkin' bout Utopia, but if you read the history of New Orleans for example, the French and Spanish were a little less freaked out than the control freaky white English protestants. Which is why Jazz started in New Orleans. Musical riffs which resemble the climax of an orgasm for an example. I think there is a difference between overt sexuality and aggressive sexuality.Personally, I feel like I can use my intuitin to understand that difference.

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  35. Anonymous6/04/2008

    Melanee,

    Do you think it is an issue of appearance or male power? I never get catcalled or anything by men.I admit that it makes me feel unattractive. But then I realize it's not so much about that. I was walking behind Nicole Aire Parker (the girl from Soul Food, light eyes) and not ONE man said anything to her, not so much as even looked her way. I was so surprised because she is 10x more beautiful in person. So, I don't know.

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  36. Anonymous9/09/2008

    Ok..I was tickled by the disection of her blog. and I do agree wit TAN that she was on the BITCH side. Its natural for males to be attracted to females..Duh, just some aren't well equipped with the smarts to correctly "Know-How" to complete the task. I'm not gonna say she's a bigot or racist really..I'm not really seeing that in her text. More so she's just a bit pissed off. Its like she HATES getting this type of attention, tho innocent and relative to male natural habitat. TAN also mentioned that if she had be "Well put together" for the cat calls, would she be more appreciative? I say NO..she'd probably be just as mad because she was gauked at..Its a lose lose for her..SORRY Kim.

    Personally, when I get "Cat Calls" and I'm looking less than favorable..I take it as a complement. I feel if a man..no matter wat race or color or creed thinks that I am "Holler-Worthy" in mix-match clothing that I am naturally a desirable woman without the uses of Tight Clothing and Make-Up. Anybody else feel the same way?

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  37. Anonymous11/02/2010

    The offensiveness of the holler is all in the delivery. Coming from some guys, it's a compliment, from others it's an insult and then there are the occasional hollers that trigger my warning bells. And I get hollered at by white Americans, too. Those tend to be more on the side of the second. Those people are assholes and no doubt my ignoring them only contributes to their hatred of women, but that's not everyone.

    For some reason, older guys are better at sounding innocuous and complimentary and if I'm not preoccupied or in a rush, they usually get a smile and a thank you.

    Maybe KK doesn't register the obnoxious antics of white guys as "hollas"?

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  38. Anonymous9/30/2011

    This is from back in the day but I kind of a few a desire to comment on it.

    Of the hollas posted they all seem to be the kind about power; seriously does anyone even expect a holla to work in the first place?

    Also as posted people don't seem to actually holla at women they respect; even if that respect is only based on their appearance like an actress.

    Though I have to question; comparing a scenario where someone gets within an inch of a woman and calls them sexy vs white corporate guy sitting on a desk around a foot or more away making a commenting about her shoes. Once is essentially making a commenting reducing a woman to her body and the other is making a statement about her resourcefulness/personal sense of flair.

    I just don't see the confusion about the reasons why one would be better received than the other.

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