Who are these guys?

In addition to thinking about what happens on Halloween night, I want to encourage bloggers to think about what role race plays in cat-calling and how cat-calling/hollering makes you feel. Barbara Perry notes that the sexuality of men of color/nonwhite men is often constructed as "dangerous," or they're portrayed as oversexed (In the Name of Hate). Do you think this is true? How does this affect a woman's (or your) decisions to go out at night alone, or your fear of men hollering (if you do fear it)? It would be interesting to hear viewpoints on this idea and how race affects how you perceive the cat-calling. Does the race of the guy who's calling affect whether you feel fearful? If you picture a guy cat-calling who is he? And you don't have to focus on race. Is he rich, poor? Old or young? Why do you think of him like this? Feel free to discuss!


Anonymous said...

A friend of mine told me she dreads walking around her neighborhood because there are all these men hissing and hollering at her. She says she just puts on her ipod and ignores them. She also specified that her assailants are black and hispanic men, to which I asked if she thought that made it more uncomfortable for her, or if she wouldn't feel as uncomfortable if the cat-callers were white. She replied that the 'race' of the men doesn't make her more uncomfortable, but its just different, and that black and hispanic men are more likely to cat-call.

These comments sound a little biased but I'd bet many people have felt this way or have thought along these lines one time or another. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I live in an area of London, UK, which has a large eastern European population; one of the main streets seems to be the male 'hangout', where they stand around all day making unwanted and inappropriate comments about women who walk past. I hate walking down there - I just know that every time I do I'll get some unwanted attention, just for going about my business. What riles me is: the fact that I acknowledge there is a cultural difference here, leading to such behaviour, makes me in some way 'racist'. There are 'subcultures' in every culture: there are harrassing white men, of course there are! But the heavy bias towards eastern European men in this area makes it obvious AND provides a place in which their behaviour towards women is constantly reinforced and applauded by their peers. I hate the fact that this specific 'sub-demographic' of men have made me become wary of other men, sometimes based on their race. The problem is education (and I say this about all harrassers, background unimportant) - it's not clear to them that their attitude to women isn't cool and the flippant attitude of people generally allows it to continue - but we're not allowed to pinpoint any groups for education in case it's politically incorrect....

this is ladies night

washington, dc, United States
Have you ever been walking down the street and been hollered at, or perhaps been beeped at by a car - or whistled at while waiting for your ride? We know what it feels like and we want YOU to know that WE'RE RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. Share your experiences here. Share your stories, your reactions, your reflections... maybe your message will help someone else.