Reader “Charles” left this comment on my post “Why Guys Catcall”:
Charles: “It’s the downside of the privileged position women occupy. The desired. The valued. Men have no street value, their bodies are not desired, in fact their nudity is considered visual assault. Catcalling may be a way for the oppressed to reclaim power and agency which the mating game forbids them.”
I know Charles personally, and I realize that he really enjoys debate and finding the political significance in just about ANY scenario, haha, but he brings up a valid and important point.
Women complain, as they very well should, that guys that they don’t feel like hooking up with approach them without invitation and discuss whatever type of sex they want to have with her or try to get a date or just tell her how sexy she looks today. That’s now known as Street Harassment. At the same time, the alternate reality of the vast majority of men needs to be considered as well, which is that women *NEVER* approach them and suggest sex. o_O
Privilege Of Desirability
The way the dating game works is that guys chase girls. Period.
Cavemen have been slandered since…. well.. since the caveman days (and their talking pet dinosaurs) for hitting women over the head with a club and dragging them back to the cave for definitelty sex and probably procreation because it wasn’t until The Roman Empire that anyone was looking for a pack of Trojans:
Club or no club.. How many stories are there in history of women pressing up on men to get sex?
Similarly.. How many brothels are there where women can walk in the door, select a guy to have sex with and make that happen, so long as she has the ducats in her pocket?
Relative to locations where men can purchase sex from women?… Zero.
What does this have to do with catcalling?… In general, if a guy doesn’t attempt to get sex from a female, it’s not going to happen at all. If he doesn’t throw his hat in the ring and put in his two cents when he sees her looking good, he’s not likely to get laid by her.
Meanwhile, all women have to do is go outside, and some guy’s going to want to tap that. While this is perceived as a nuisance to a lot of women because they feel negatively about being seen as a sex object, it’s also the Privilege of Desirability.
Women are seen as valuable, right out the gate. The vast majority of men, as Charles points out, have no street value. This is why The Game is skewed in favor of the women, whose job it is to lay back and receive from whichever of their myriad suitors they select. Meanwhile, a guy has to put in A. LOT. OF. WORK. if he wants to attract even ONE female, much less maintain her sexual interest in him.
On top of that, if a guy demonstrates an inability (or lack of desire) to focus on only one woman, he gets low-rated, as if there’s something wrong with him or his brain doesn’t work properly or he hasn’t “grown up” yet or he’s still a “boy” and not a “man”… *YAWN* The whole situation is geared towards the (worthless) male demonstrating why the (valued) female should bless him with her presence at the very least, her time, attention, conversation, and way down the line, physical, sexual interest.
This is the genesis of buying women drinks that haven’t demonstrated ANY value to you whatsoever. You automatically go in the hole (no pun intended) for spending your hard-earned cash on someone that you probably won’t end up hooking up with, might not even end up as friends with and MIGHT receive a fake number from after she consumes the alcohol you bought her because you’re a sucker and you don’t value yourself enough to walk up to a woman on equal ground, say “Hello” and see what happens.
Do you think women buy other women drinks in order to talk to them? Nope. They just….. TALK! 😀
Have you ever seen that in your life?.. I mean, aside from being in that kind of bar when it’s women’s jobs to kick it to women. Have you *EVER* seen a woman attempt to bribe another woman for a few minutes of conversation? I know I haven’t.
I’ve never seen them bribe men either. I get bought drinks by women all the time, but that’s because we know each other and I’ve already demonstrated value to them. This is because women know that the gift that they’re bringing to the scenario is……. THEMSELVES! and not only don’t they have to spend money on you, but several minutes into the conversation, you’re extremely likely to reciprocate and offer her a refill of whatever she’s drinking in exchange for the gift of her presence, attention and loveliness.
So, while I disagree with Charles’ “blah blah oppressed regain power blah blah blah”, the fact of the matter is that if you don’t enjoy the privilege of desirability, you know damned well that if you don’t try to kick game to this chick that you’re standing next to on the street corner, she’s about a gazillion percent unlikely to turn to you and say “Hey.. You’re looking good. Let’s go hook up! >:D”
Having said that… There are definitely guys that utilize Street Harassment in an obviously-ridiculous, intimidating, advantage-taking fashion, which isn’t cool at all. :/ This would be these bum-ass dudes that know they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting a date from a particular chick, much less sex, yet they still insist on making comments to her when they pass each other on the street or get stuck next to each other in a crowded subway car.
There are also the guys that have become jaded due to their lack of desirability (for whatever reason.. lack of looks, money, humor, nice car or apartment, ability to articulate properly…) who only speak up because they know this gal isn’t going to stop and talk to them, so why not say something potentially degrading to her because this is the only chance they’ll have at catching any recreation with a female. That’s another completely wack state of mind for a guy to have.
Field Of Dreams
This brings us to another reader comment on the same article:
Liz: “The real question is: “Why don’t men care about how their catcalls make women feel?”
Catcalling IS about power. Men are still raised to feel a certain entitlement to women.”
I don’t think it’s about “entitlement to women” so much as a recognition of The Game.
The options for a guy, whether he stands a chance of hooking up with the woman he’s targeting or not, are to try to MAKE something happen or to ALLOW absolutely nothing to happen. The odds are completely and entirely stacked against anything sexual occurring that a female initiated.
Put it this way.. Let’s say that restaurants weren’t compelled to sell you food if you had the money to buy it. You could walk into a store with $100 in your pocket and they would refuse to sell you a $6 meal unless you specifically requested it. Since you entered the restaurant with the intention of eating, you have two choices, flag them down and tell them what you want, or starve, because all the other restaurants have the same policy.
Since your goal isn’t to starve, you’re likely to tell the cashier or waitress what you want.
Similarly, since guys don’t have the goal of NOT having sex with women they think are physically attractive, their options are to see what they can do or let it slide. It’s not that they feel entitled to the female. In fact, if men felt entitled to women, there wouldn’t be any catcalling at all. What do you say when you want to drink some water from your own refrigerator or from the tap on your sink? Nothing. You’re entitled to it. You want water? You drink it. There’s nothing to discuss.
It’s actually the LACK OF ENTITLEMENT that spurs on catcalling. What’s that construction worker going to get when he goes home? Nothing. He might pass by a bar after work and try to pull chicks or he might go to the strip joint, but for the most part, his entire interaction with women is yelling at the ones that pass the construction site. Same thing with dudes that stand around kicking it to females in the street. If they had anything better to do, they’d be doing it.
So, the reason why men don’t care about how their catcalls make women feel is that it’s not more important than getting laid. If you don’t say anything, she’s not going to offer sex to you. If you say something she doesn’t like, she’s not going to hook up with you. If you say something she likes, you have a chance.
There are lots of guys that care whether what they say to women makes them feel good or bad. There are lots of guys that refuse to catcall at all, because they think it’s a low-class thing to do, or it’s not their personal style. Since guys are forced to be the aggressors due to the uneven playing field for women & men when it comes to perceived desirability, how she feels about what you want may not register at all. If it IS considered, it’s most likely written off as collateral damage because if you’re trying to make an omelette, you have to break a few eggs.
In fact, if the playing field WERE even, I think catcalling would disappear entirely amongst desirable males. The disgruntled dudes will still talk yang because their goal isn’t to achieve the impossible and pull the girl.. it’s just to have SOME kind of interaction with her before she disappears and they never see her again, even if that’s just that the guy said something and the gal heard what he said.
The guys who girls actually like wouldn’t have any time for or interest in catcalling because they’d be too busy hooking up with girls that had stopped them on the street, told them how good they looked, gave him their contact information and invited him over for sex.
Connect with Bill via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Email Subscription, RSS Feed