29/03/2017 9:15 PM AEDT

10 Women Explain How It Feels To Get Cat-Called On The Street

Whether you’re walking down the street, cycling or out for a jog, cat-calling is a depressingly regular occurrence for most women.

It doesn’t matter where you are, what you’re doing or what you’re wearing, it happens.

Movements such as Everyday Sexism, an online collection of sexual harassment stories, and a collection of viral catcalling social experiment videos have raised awareness around the severity and widespread nature of the issue, but nothing’s changed.

Patrik Giardino via Getty Images

“It’s easy to ignore when it’s a public place and there are lots of people around. But sometimes it’s a situation where the cat calling turns into them sort of following you or continue to talk and when you’re alone and not many people out and about, it can definitely be scary.”

 - moochesto 

“I get this sinking feeling in my stomach every time it happens. I don’t really know if it’s fear or just absolute disappointment, but it’s a really terrible feeling.”


“The thing about cat-calling is that it’s entirely egotistical to assume I’m going to be flattered by what a random stranger thinks about the way I’m looking.”

“There’s the tiniest little ego boost before I feel super gross, like I can feel their eyes on me. Makes me self-conscious about whatever I wore that day, thinking maybe it isn’t appropriate for work (even though intellectually I know I dress pretty conservatively and it isn’t my fault regardless).”

“I remember it mostly being scary.”


“It wasn’t something I cared about, I didn’t acknowledge it, just carried on with my day. Then one night while out with some friends some guy got offended when I took no notice. He followed me up from one club to another calling me names that grew steadily worse until he grabbed my arm and I was forced to turn around and knee him in the balls. Now I care and I don’t like it.”


“It’s uncomfortable and scary. Ignore them, and they will follow you, start spitting out profanities, if you give them the time of day they think they are entitiled to something, and will follow you again to pester you about getting your number or again, call you names and get aggressive.”


“It can either be annoying or terrifying. What I hate is when men yell things at you from their cars. I usually don’t know what they’re saying but I don’t care to know. They go by so fast it just sounds like someone screaming at you as you walk to your car by yourself. It makes an ordinary situation into a fight-or-flight situation and it usually takes a while for me to calm down.”


“Sometimes it goes in one ear and out the other.

“Sometimes it feels like those tv scenes where the character is walking down a row of prison cells and the inmates are yelling all of those graphic, violent, sexual things. Minus the guards, bars, and anything else that would make you feel even moderately safe.”


“When you don’t know how badly it can escalate and literally ANY reaction can get you in trouble, including no reaction at all. It’s like catcallers want you to acknowledge them and make their day by giving them attention...

“Cat calling is not just rude, it really makes you nervous because some guys are capable of making it worse for you no matter what you do. It’s the fear of not knowing if he will follow you home, insult you or touch you.”