A Good Man’s Guide to Catcalling

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About Katie J.M. Baker

Katie J.M. Baker is a writer living in San Francisco. You can learn more about her on her website.


  1. One of the most empowering things I ever did was drop the finger to a bloke cat calling me as he drove past. I used to freeze, or smile nervously, or ignore it. But by letting the guy know he was being inappropriate and I wasn’t happy with him, the cat calling wasn’t so scary any more. Communicating displeasure when it’s inappropriate makes me feel much less vulnerable, and more able to respond to positive attention. A guy saying ‘I like your smile’ or complimenting an outfit, in a respectful way, especially if they’re not doing the ogle, and if they just walk on without demanding anything, can be flattering and make my day. I don’t find that offensive, just as I’m sure me telling a co-worker like his new haircut or how well that shirt suits him is appreciated also. Respect is the ticket!

  2. “Guys, if you really want to get a pretty girl’s attention, here’s what you should say.”

    So I read this through, only it doesn’t say.

  3. Personally, I have a bigger problem with men who either get into my personal space or follow me than those who catcall from a safe distance. I’m not fond of catcalling for the simple reason that I don’t like loud noises or people (of any gender) involving me in any capacity while making an ass of themselves. However, I don’t usually find the behavior threatening so long as it’s from a reasonable distance. I think most everyone, regardless of gender, would feel somewhat threatened if a stranger who is much stronger than them get into their personal space.

  4. I wish I was “catcalled” but men are not seen as such nor are they seen worth the effort.

  5. Charles Wendell Apley says:

    What are you talking about?; “The vast majority of women” do not experience catcalling “on a regular basis.”

  6. I have always found interesting the “I would love it if done to me” arguement from most men, specially how they react when a gay man or an ugly woman does it to them. They asume that such comments would come from beautiful women begging for their attention. For a moment look at the men who do this behavior, and now place them in drag. Yeah, that’s the female counterpart.

    I am a man, and I have delt with this in my younger days. It is not amusing.

    In my teen years, I went to an All-Girl school for an academic competition. Walking down the hallways, at first I felt all proud and cocky with all that atention. 10 minutes later, I felt like a piece of meat, and it was actually creepy.

    I have always prided myself in dressing up and looking proper. I have had that weird looking lady get just a little to close in the crowded metro, or that really loud and crass woman say the strangest things as if that would automatically smiten me to her.

    It’s creepy, it’s annoying, and most of all it’s degrading.

    You want to tell a woman how beautiful, or atractive, or good she looks? There are hundreds of ways that do not involve “Baby”, “Sweet-thang” or whatever other term that robs of her identity.


  1. [...] advances from men. Some of those advances are not made with good intent, like the guys who shout gross comments at me in the street. Yet at the same time as that kind of deliberately invasive behavior is going [...]

  2. [...] week over at the magazine we featured “A Good Man’s Guide to Catcalling” by Katie Baker. She breaks down the problems with [...]

  3. [...] well to think about some of the other reasons why women are drawn to the fashions Medine promotes. Street harassment is still a worldwide problem, and while it can happen to women of any age no matter what they’re [...]

  4. [...] -A Good Man’s Guide to Catcalling, Katie J.M. Baker [...]

  5. [...] After The Violence In My City, I Can’t Laugh Off Catcallers Anymore February 11, 2013 | by Kate Conway Originally posted on xoJane and cross-posted here with their permission. Credit: Good Men Project [...]

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