There's a local news story today about a woman columnist for the New York Post who wrote an article about how she appreciates call calls on the street as it confirms that she looks good. Lots of outrage about it -- saying that cat calls are harrassment.
It reminded me of an incident back in the late 70s -- and I had read some feminist book saying you should confront men who yell out to you and the idea really appealed to me. I can say this: I am NOT going to make the joke that ha-ha I wish men were whistling and calling out to me now as I really love the invisibility that comes with being older.
So I was crossing Park Avenue going back to the office after lunch and there was a truck at the red light and the driver yelled out, "Nice tits!" -- I wasn't going to write that word, but that is what he said. I was crossing in the cross walk and I walked over to his open driver window and said, "Did you say something to me?"
And he started humm-a-nah, humm-a-nah sputtering, "No ma'am" -- that's all it took for him to call me Ma'am. I was very calm and said, "I could have sworn you just said something to me..." and again he denied it. Then I said, "In fact, I think you said 'nice tits'... is that what you said to me?"
I have to say I was really enjoying this.
He said it wasn't him, but, of course, it was... and I said, "Really? Are you sure it wasn't you?" as if I were puzzled. Meanwhile, he kept looking at the red light praying it would change. Then I said, "Because if it were you, that would make you a real asshole." All of this was said very calmly.
Again, it was so empowering and he kept saying, "no, it wasn't me"... well, then the light changed and he took off and I'm sure I was called every name in the book, but I did have my moment of power which I still relish.