This is a comment by Mike L on the post “Why Men Catcall“.
“There is no question that ‘cat calling’ is objectively stupid. There’s no reason for it, society would be better off if it didn’t happen, and it’s grossly unfair that women have to suffer this behavior. But that doesn’t mean that ‘calling men out’ is the solution either.
“Look at the list of speculative causes:
“[I]t’s a competition-fueled performance of masculinity (which is why catcallers will often be in a group of men), a man wants to assert his power over a woman, a guy wants to get any kind of attention (whether positive or negative) from a woman he deems ‘out of his league’ (or beyond his social status), or he is simply grossly misinformed about how to communicate with the opposite sex.”
“With the exception of the last possible cause, all of these point to a societal deficiency in the way that men are treated. Whether is the ‘straight jacked of masculinity’ or frustration at the female privilege possessed by a woman ‘out of his league,’ the cause is properly characterized as societal in nature. Yet the proposed solution is individual: call out the specific man who is acting out.
“This seems not unlike the policy of dealing with drug use by ‘calling out’ individual drug users for arrest and prosecution. You attack the individual without going after the larger institutions that lead people to abuse drugs in the first place.
“So, if you believe that the solution to issues like ‘poverty’ or ‘drug use’ is to go after the individuals who are actually destitute or abusing drugs, and blame them for their behavior, then by all means ‘call out’ men who cat call. But if you think that maybe individuals act in response to the institutions they live under, maybe it’s worth going after those institutions before we start to ‘call out’ individual men.”
Photo credit: Flickr / mattdipasquale