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An Open Letter to Cat Callers

Dear Catcaller,

It’s me. The girl walking by myself, just trying to get through my day without incident. The girl who has to actively think about keeping a straight face while walking down the street because looking happy might open a door I’d rather stay shut. Yet, somehow, even with the bitch face I’m desperately trying to keep on, you find a way to kick that door in. Today, you licked your lips and blew kisses while I did squats at the gym. Yesterday, you walked just inches behind me, breathing on my neck, for a full block until I finally turned around to say “What the fuck?!” to which you just smiled and nodded, because making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end was apparently all you were interested in. I guess I should feel lucky. The day before that you drove slowly beside me while I rode my bike, makeupless and in a helmet, just to raise your eyebrows before revving your engine and speeding off.I know you’re usually the one that gets to ask the questions, but today we’re going to change it up. And even though my questions aren’t nearly as pressing as “Aye girl, what’s yo name?” (Please stop asking) or “Damn, where’d you get that booty?” (Target, on sale. Love that place.) I hope I’ll be able to keep your attention.

I know most people want to ask catcallers if they have a daughter or sisters? And how would they feel if someone talked to them like that? But considering anyone who asks another person where they got their body probably doesn’t have too many brain cells to rub together, I’ll ask something that involves less deep thinking or comparative skills. I just want to know, when exactly you started to feel so powerless that you wanted to make other people feel that exact same way? What happened to make you so insecure that you think the best way to get attention from a female is to make her afraid to say anything at all? I can only assume that you’ve been stepped on for a while to feel so small. That must be awful, to be so insecure in your masculinity. You know, I know a lot of people who have felt the same way. People who have been told no because of something they have no control over. People who have been pushed down for reasons that neither reflect their intellect nor work ethic. People who have been rejected or belittled  because of something that is out of their control. People with ovaries.

I’m sure you can relate to those feelings. Feelings of insecurity, self-doubt and worthlessness. I’m not sure when you felt like this. If it was just once and it changed you forever, or if your self-esteem is chipped at a little every day so much so that you feel the need to overcompensate any chance you get. Either way, I’m truly sorry that that happened to you. It’s an awful way to feel. I’m sure you were expecting me to be angry. To yell at you. To call you names, and say things about your sexual prowess. And I am mad, and I do think you probably have never seen a woman’s tits that you haven’t had to pay for, but above my anger, I just feel bad for you. Because for some reason, I think you feel like a winner for standing on that street corner or following behind me or waiting for me to turn so you can get that moment of satisfaction knowing that for a second of my day, you had my attention. But what you’re not seeing, is that I win here. Because I get to walk away, fine ass and all. I get to have successful relationships and friendships and make it in the world to show men like you that I can. And you will always be that idiot boy who couldn’t figure out who let me have this booty. I don’t know about you, but that’s not the title I’d like to be left with. But then again, I’m just a silly little girl.

All the best,
Alyssa

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