Catcalling is not okay.
'GIVE US A SMILE, DARLIN'
That's just a selection of the many ways in which I have been catcalled by men in recent years. Like pretty much every woman I know, I have been catcalled from a young age. I remember the first time it happened, I was about 12 or 13, on my way home from school - practically a child.
Well let me tell you, I'm bloody sick of it. I'm sick of having to cross roads to get away from men outside pubs. I'm sick of being honked at loudly by blokes in vans. And I'm especially sick of explaining to people that catcalling is not a compliment.
But how to handle catcalling? Well, there are a few options.
1: The Avoidance Method - look away, walk away, get away. Not always a bad idea, particularly if the people catcalling seem like they might get aggressive.
2: Respond. Recently, I have preferred this option. It's scary to confront catcallers, because you don't know what they're going to say/do back, but I think sometimes, it is necessary. If I had kept my head down when Mr Never-Too-Early-To-Try-And-Get-Laid started coming onto me, I know I would have regretted it.
I would have felt that I had let him say those things - and that he had gotten away with it.