Madeleine Coles

Life Editor

Dear Badvice,

I’ve been catcalled multiple times on campus, and I know a lot of friends who have experienced this problem as well. Any suggestions for avoiding catcallers?


I was wearing sweatpants

Dear I was wearing sweatpants, My darling, you’re asking the wrong question here. You shouldn’t be concerned with how to avoid catcallers, but rather how to confront them.

I, like every other female human, have been catcalled many, many times. I’ve heard some pretty creative lines, but most of the time it’s the generic “hey, sexy,” “smile, beautiful,” “nice t*ts/a**/legs/any other body part that could possibly be considered attractive” that the unintelligent men who choose to harass women on the street favor.

I’ll stop right here to explain something to my readers who have ever catcalled a woman and are now silently seething about me calling them out on it.

I know what you’re typing in that angry email you’re about to send to me. “Complimenting a woman is not harassing her. Girls should appreciate it when we tell them they’re hot.”

Listen, I get it. No, let me rephrase that. I hear you. No, I don’t really. Okay, I can understand where you’re coming from. Kind of. But let me put this into perspective for you, misunderstood straight guys. Would you really, honestly, actually appreciate it if a group of random women you had never seen before in your life wolf whistled at you while you were walking to class and proceeded to comment (loudly and in front of other people) about how great your butt looked in those pants?

Would you genuinely like it if a car full of women sidled up to you and said women hollered at you, asking where you were going and if you needed a ride?

Maybe you would, you sick freak.

The point is, I don’t like or appreciate these things when they happen to me, and I can guarantee you that co-ed you’re “complimenting” doesn’t either.

All this to say, I was wearing sweatpants, don’t avoid catcallers. If you’ve ever read anything I have written before, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that I’m a big fan of pettiness.

And while your mother might have taught you take the high road, believe me when I say ignoring catcallers is just not satisfying. You know what is satisfying? Shutting. Them. Down. Next time a guy tells you you’d be so much prettier if you just smiled, Freddy Krueger that dude. Bare those pearly whites in a way so threatening and feral, he’ll at the very least
take a step back if he doesn’t go running for the hills. And I’m not gonna tell you to add biting motions, but I mean, I’m not gonna stop you either.

And if a guy comments about wanting to do explicit things to/with you, you go straight crazy commitment. Tell him you’re saving yourself for marriage, but you think he could be the one. Plan your wedding right then and there. Call your best friend to tell her all about how your new fiance proposed. Chase him down the street when he runs away. Strangle him with a bowtie. Own that man.

Of course a personal favorite of mine is the feminist rant. In a rational and long-winded manner explain to him why his behavior is problematic and will likely result in intimacy and commitment issues later on down the line if he ever decides to grow up and attempt to ask a woman out in a manner other than yelling at her as she walks past him.

But ultimately, I was wearing sweatpants, just remember that you looked good enough for a guy to stop and tell you how good you looked. And you should take that as a compliment and stop being so sensitive. I’m totally kidding. Take a self-defense class. Knock that loser out.

You’re better than catcalling.



Disclaimer: If you are currently drunk, easily offended, or just not very bright, I would like to remind you that THIS IS SATIRE. Please do not follow my advice, or you could end up living life like me. And your mother does not want that for you.

Need some badvice? Email moc.liamgnull@lagnebeht.ecivdab

Send to Kindle