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February 2013  THE PHEMINIST

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How do you feel about cat calling? It annoys me. It annoys me that men think they can tell us whatever they want to because they’re men and we’re women. They do it to exert some sort of control over us. A “small” thing like “hey baby you looking good in those yoga pants” really means “here I am, and there you are. I am bigger and stronger than you and I just wanted to remind you that. I wanted to make you feel uncomfortable and remind you that there’s nothing you can do about it.” I think that’s essentially why they do it.

Amber, 20 Student at University of the Sciences

There’s a whole fucking issue built into society that needs to be fixed before cat calling is ever going to stop because we are still just viewed as helpless beings that need to be owned and controlled. That we are objects for sale, or really for the taking. Men really need to get on board with it too because catcalling isn’t just uncomfortable and offensive to women. It’s basically telling the whole world that we need to be afraid of men because they’re nothing more than sexual oafs that can’t form a single thought beyond getting it in.

Photo and interview by Monica Miller

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February 2013  THE PHEMINIST


Have you ever been verbally or physically harassed in public? Yeah, definitely. Most of it’s just been cat calling, and that’s usually where it stays. But it’s when it goes beyond that when I really consider it harassment. Say you’re at an event or you’re in a social place and somebody’s saying “hey shorty, hey shorty,” whatever, that’s honestly normal, unfortunately. That’s where I’d like it to stay. But if they’re starting to call me names and saying what their intentions are with me, then…it gets worse. I really don’t want to hear it.

Ari, 21

Student at Community College of Philadelphia

How does cat calling make you feel? It makes me feel less free, like I can be less of myself because when somebody does it, it really does take away a part of me. I feel like I can’t dress the way I want to dress. I don’t dress like a hoochie or anything by any means, [but] I feel like I can’t just wear sensible clothing because somebody’s going to be staring at me. I have to alter the way I am just so this doesn’t happen. That’s wrong. It shouldn’t be like that.

Photo and interview by Chris Montgomery

February 2013  THE PHEMINIST

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Can you think of any times you’ve been cat called on the street? Yes, at least two or three times this week. It actually happened last night and today.

Do you see it as harassment?

Emily, 19

Student at Temple University

I don’t really consider it harassment. I think it is a part of the culture. When the comments get too vulgar then it can become harassment, but I think a lot of times they just do it for fun.

Has it ever gone too far? One time a seven year old looked at me and said he wanted to smack that. That was too far, and where was his mother?

Photo and interview by Rachel Del Sordo

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February 2013  THE PHEMINIST


Have you ever been verbally or physically harassed in public? I definitely have. As a biker in Philly, you get whistled at [all the time]. I was the recipient of a drive-by butt-slap and wound up at the light next to the people and thought it was pretty funny because [they were] totally not the type of people that I would think would do that. They were extremely embarrassed. Luckily, as a biker, I could just bounce through the light so I didn’t have to wait there and look at them. It was quite awkward.

Marielle, 31 Apprentice at Poison Apple Tattoos

Why do you think it happens? I often don’t want to think that it’s just because they’re “being sexist” and cat calling.… I would prefer to think…they really just don’t know how to approach people. I guess I’m not a feminist – I still think it’s kind of funny that people do that. It doesn’t bother me. I don’t take offense. I think that humans have reacted and done things like whistling at each other or winking or whatever it is forever – how do you fall into the presence of other people?

Photo and interview by Chris Montgomery

February 2013  THE PHEMINIST

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Can you think of any times you’ve been cat called on the street? Yes, I think it is an issue. A lot of times I feel like I am in danger if I respond to them.

Do you see it as harassment? Yes, definitely, it is not friendly. It makes me feel uncomfortable.

Megan, 20 Student at Temple University

Has it ever gone too far? One time someone said he was going to kill me. There was clearly something wrong with him but it still really scared me. I think all cat calling goes too far when I reject the call and they don’t take that as a no.

Photo and interview by Rachel Del Sordo

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February 2013  THE PHEMINIST


Do you ever get cat called? I’ve been cat called, for sure. Not so much when I was younger, I don’t think but going to bars and places like that now it’s pretty common to be hit on. It doesn’t happen too much but it can be pretty annoying when it does. There’s a time and a place. When I’m just out with my friends that kind of attention is not something I really welcome. I don’t necessarily find it insulting or demeaning, just annoying.

Valerie, 32 ER nurse at Abington Memorial Hospital

Why do you think it happens? Like I said, anyone can cat call. Anyone can hit on someone else. Maybe it’s a power thing. These people want to feel important and powerful so they hit on people who seem like easy targets. Or maybe cat calling actually works for them when talking to new people. Who knows?

Photo and interview by Monica Miller

February 2013  THE PHEMINIST

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021313 It's All About Love