Mon | Apr 6, 2020

Catcalling and street harassment

Published:Saturday | August 24, 2019 | 12:18 AM


The issue of catcalling and street harassment was widely broadcasted on the current affairs ­programme ‘Beyond the Headlines’ on August 22, 2019.

Many female respondents had mixed reactions on the focus on their sexual organs in the name of compliments by their male ­counterparts. In the main, many said it was all right, as long as they were not physically touched. On the male side, the views were ­summarised as having its ­intention to make the ladies feel good.

Other males zeroed on ­women’s attire, citing it as a calling card that prompted them to make salacious approaches. In the main, the women interviewees felt that they should be free to wear whatever they wanted.

Answers to the ensuing list of questions would help to ­rationalise the issue and help us, as a nation, to focus on some behavioural changes that could help to ­refashion our society.

I. Does what is being defined as a compliment to females ­exemplify their completeness as a person, or is it simply praising their anatomy?

II. If it is true that some of the men interviewed are already in a relationship, why is the giving of compliments to other women so compelling?

III. If the compliment is designed to be uplifting to the female ­recipient, why is it that on the occasions when such ­compliments are rebuffed, those hostilities are the result?

IV. If and when these women accede, for how much longer afterwards are these ­compliments sustained?

V. Could it be that the signals some women send are interpreted by men in such a way that the ­premium they put on ­themselves is the very premium that ­benchmarks how men respond to them?


Golden Spring, St Andrew