July 23, 2017

Catcalls are commonplace and it’s not OK

After nearly 26 years of being a female human, I’m pretty immune to the typical “damn, girl” catcall.

If some creepy loser wants to stare at my ass and yell then so be it. I don’t appreciate being made to feel like a show hog at the Des Moines County Fair, but I won’t give you the satisfaction of a response.

Last week one of those creepy losers took things way too far.

I was paying for a pop at a Price Chopper gas station when a man standing behind me asked to see my tattoos.

This happens pretty often when you have tattoos and I’m fine with showing them off. I turned so he could see the tats on my thighs and then turned back around to finish paying.

As I walked out of the store, he yelled, “Excuse me!”

I turned again to face him.

“I apologize in advance for this,” he started. “Your legs look real nice, but they’d look even better wrapped around my head.”

My face turned bright red. I froze. He stared at me and smiled. The cashier looked at me and then looked down.

I managed to string together a few expletives and a “no.” The cashier looked up at him and said, “That wasn’t cool, man.”

I gave him one final, “That wasn’t OK,” and walked out.

It’s hard to put your words together on the spot like that. As I drove home, I thought of a few more things I would’ve liked to say to him.

I wish I would’ve told him that what he said humiliated, scared and disgusted me.

I wish I would’ve told him that I would never go anywhere near him without a baseball bat in my hands.

I wish I would’ve told him that the mental image of my legs around his head made me physically ill.

There’s a fine line between the creepy loser who says, “damn girl, nice body,” and the creepy loser who tells you what they want to do to your body.

There’s a fine line between the creepy loser who tells you what they want to do to your body and the rapist who does what they want to your body.

It’s easy to brush off a “damn, girl” after you’re exposed to that sort of objectification your entire life. It’s just a harmless catcall, right?

It’s sexual harassment. It’s not OK. The next time you want to yell about a nice ass, go to the county fair.

Addie Olson 3 Articles
Staff Writer

Addie was born and raised in the Mississippi River town of Burlington, Iowa. She was co-captain of the mediocre 2008 Burlington Grayhound Volleyball team and hasn't done much since. Addie attended the finest educational institution known to mankind, Iowa State University, where she majored in broadcast journalism and flip cup. She likes writing, wine and treating her dog like it's a human child. She hopes her resting bitch face doesn't scare you.

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