If you’re a construction worker in Manhattan or you live in the Bronx, you might have to keep you mouth shut. Lawmakers in New York are considering banning catcalls from the city’s streets.
While it may be a citywide tradition, numerous groups are fed up. Hollaback, a group fighting against street harassment, is pushing for the city to commission a study, public-awareness campaigns, and, possibly, legislation creating “no-harassment” zones.
Holly Kearl, a national street-harassment expert (yes, such a title actually exists), believes that catcalls have deep-seated negative effects on a woman’s psyche:
Kearl, author of Stop Street Harassment: Making Public Places Safe and Welcoming for Women, said she informally surveyed more than 800 women from 23 countries and 43 states, and 99 percent of them had been harassed by strangers.
“Because of street harassment, from a young age women learn that public spaces are male territory,” Kearl said. “They learn to limit the places they go, they try not to be in public alone—especially at night—and when they are alone, they stay on guard.”
Hollaback also contends that some women have broken leases, quit jobs, and skipped school because of the “incessant unwelcome advances from strange men they pass on their commutes.”
Maybe if more guys were like Todd, we wouldn’t be having this problem: