Sunday 15 March 2015

#1 Sunday Segment: Catcalling and Creepy Men.

Allow me to introduce you to a new weekly feature that I am adding to this blog entitled Sunday Segment - not the most imaginative of names, I know, but it's all I've got so far. If you have any other suggests then send them my way. This feature is going to be home to a multitude of things that I would like to share and discuss be it reviews, poetry, silly cat videos... this will be the space for it. 

Today I was inspired by recent posts written by Katie (Buddle and Squeak) and Annika (The Pineneedle Collective) on their blogs tackling the issue of cat calling and creepy men. Reading about their experiences angered me to know that such lowly derogatory behaviour is still prevalent in today's world. It also made me reflect on my personal experiences since starting my year abroad.   

When I arrived here in Montpellier at the beginning of September it was hot, like really hot. My days on English beaches paled in comparison to the intensity of the French sun. Naturally shorts and T-shirt combos were a must. I found, however, that along with baring more skin came bearing the brunt of more unwanted male attention. I brushed the ogling aside and just took it as part of living in a big city and something that I would have to learn to ignore. 

There are so many things wrong with the statement I just made, and I shall get back to that in just a moment. 

One of the first instances of sexual harassment I experienced took place merely weeks after my initial arrival. It was a week-day, early evening, with the sun still shining in the busiest area of Montpellier: Place de la Comedie. Walking briskly to meet my friends I became aware of a presence to my left which, glancing at, I saw was a 30-something man smiling at me like I was his next meal. Deciding to ignore him I moved my legs as fast as they'd carry me; being 5ft 2ins it wasn't very fast at all. 

Said man continued to walk next to me and said hello to me in French to which I replied, with the worst French accent I could muster "Pardon, je ne parle pas le francais". I thought that would be it. I thought he would leave me alone. Much to my dismay he then began talking to me in English telling me how sexy my arse was and how much he wanted to fuck me (I kid you not). I still tried to brush it aside telling him I already had a boyfriend and attempted to get away from him. He still persisted however, gesturing with his hands how big his dick was and how great it was going to be to fuck me. Spotting my friends not far off I still tried to laugh it off and bid him goodbye. It wasn't until I actually greeted my very confused friends that he went away. Even then I only think he left because one of them was male. 

It absolutely sickens me when I think about it and in many ways I still cannot believe it actually happened. What's worse is a couple days later he passed me in the street, once again throwing an onslaught of cat calls and insults my way.

Perfectly sums up my feelings (source)

And yet my only reaction was to do nothing. I tried to laugh it off. Brush it aside. Not make a big deal out of it. And worst of all I accepted it. I was shocked yet it wasn't anything out of the ordinary as I had learnt to deal with it. This is where I rectify my previous statement. This behavior should not be ordinary and should not have to be learnt to deal with. This man in particular, though unfortunately among many others, felt it was his right to treat me the way he did. He saw something he desired and saw no problem with aggressively trying to obtain it. It was obvious he had no filter to determine what was inappropriate behaviour and if anything actually got a kick out of making me feel uncomfortable. 

It's creeps like this that spoil men and masculinity. They need to undergo a serious attitude change needed for the necessary leap towards equality.  To quote Crystal Eastman hailing from the 1920s "we must institute a revolution in the early training and education of both boys and girls". In other words, it is the attitudes of the younger generations that need to be fed with ideas of feminism in order to birth a world of equality. What is alarming is that Crystal knew this just under a 100 years ago and not much has really changed. Us feminists are still wading through custard on the path towards equality, and we're slowly getting there. However, it is the attitudes and mind sets of people that we really need to change. Once we do we can come off the custard path, but only then. 


  1. I'm so sorry that happened to you, how gross! I don't get how some people think they can talk to women like that....what did that guy think, you were gonna be all like 'Yeah sure, your place or mine?' We're moving forward but so much more needs to be done still x

    Josie’s Journal

  2. Really sorry to hear this story and that man definitely needs some serious help! Hope you are feeling better, take care!


  3. There are some creepy people out there - I hope you are feeling better about it now though!


  4. It's SO important that when something terrible like this happens, you share it because this needs to stop; I hope you'll have a better week! -xo Naomi in Wonderland

  5. Thank you for sharing your story - I couldn't agree with you more! Hope you feel better soon! Sending you MUCH love!

    xoxo, Vanessa

  6. So cool that you're writing posts like these, and I completely agree! It's important to speak out against catcalling, it's the best way to stop it!


  7. This makes me sick to my stomach. Did he really think that talking to you the way he was, was going to win you over? Men like that should be institutionalised. Ughh they make my blood boil. I've had similar experiences to yours and it's so scary when you are alone when it happens, at night. I'm actually scared to walk at night (even though I love it because it's so quite and peaceful) because of it. I dream of the day that that's no longer an issue!

  8. Haha, exactly! I wonder how many times that technique has worked for him in the past? It isn't a ploy to have sex, it's a ploy to scare and intimidate women which is in many ways so much worse.

  9. Things like this have happened to me so many times I thought it was about time I vented haha. And thank you so much Naomi, I hope you have a good week too :)

  10. Thanks Abby! Yeah I feel fine, I'm not really one to dwell but it still angers me that behaviour like that still exists.

  11. Thanks so much Vanessa - Sending love right back at ya gal :)

  12. Thanks Sandra, I've wanted to write posts like these for a while and thought I should just finally do it. I hope that the more awareness there is about how inappropriate behaviour like this is, then the sooner we can alter people's mindsets and attitudes for the better.

  13. Exactly! What on earth was he thinking? The only reason he could have been doing it was to intimidate and scare me - which is in many ways even worse. I dream of that day too Miriam - we'll fight for it to be in our life time.

  14. I find the best thing to do in that kind of situation is tell them to get the fuck away from you! They usually call you a bitch, but who cares? They are disgusting.


  15. Ew!! Ok at the beginning of the post i was thinking I honestly don't mind a tiny bit of cat calling - it rarely happens in Denmark so when it does it can be kind of flattering - but then I got to the bit about what he actually said and GROSS! That's so chauvinistic!

    Danika Maia

  16. Great post.
    People should be aware of this stuff esp women
    We shouldn't let men do this stuff to us.

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  17. Oh dear, that sounds like it was a scary situation... definitely not ok!! Thanks for sharing this post lovely, and here's hoping it doesn't happen to you again!! <3

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  18. Great post lovely - I think you're right we have to stop accepting this as normal behaviour. We should make them feel stupid for their behaviour not just laugh it off but it's hard when you're in that situation! Last week I walked out of a cafe and a man on his own walked up to me and said aggressively 'I'd fuck you all over the place!" .. but I just laughed out of embarrassment and hurried away. Thinking back I wish I'd told him he was a disgusting creep!!

    Gabby from

  19. creeps, smh. this is a great post. I will stop myself before i wrote a page in response to this.



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