Catcalling girls needs to stop


Sophomore Laura Eshelman

Laura Eshelman, Guest Writer

When walking down the street one shouldn’t feel vulnerable, but many women do. What this means is the comments men commonly make to strangers on the street can be a harmful and terrifying experience. Many women just downplay these comments, but in reality this is a form of harassment. Men should not make make these comments to young women.

In a study from 2008, the country’s leading street harassment expert concluded that 1 in 4 girls at age 12 received these comments and by 19 it reaches nearly 90 percent of young women getting these comments. So many young girls get these “compliments,” it’s becoming a big problem throughout the country. Nothing gets done because a lot of people don’t see it as harassment, but when it happens to one person they will see it as such. This needs to stop before the nearly 90 percent becomes 100 percent.     

Kathryn Stamoulis,who has a Ph.D in Educational psychology and is a therapist, says that there are serious psychological implications surrounding street harassment. It can lead to self-objectification, which is the process by which girls start to look at their bodies as objects. Multiple studies, Kathryn says, have linked harassment and self-objectification to depression, eating disorders and lower academic achievement. These comments affect a girl so much and comments like them don’t even have to happen.    

A young girl, age 14, was worrying her parents because she didn’t want to be more independent. She was hesitant to run errands on her own and wanted to be escorted to and from school. When she was talked to by a therapist she told the therapist that she “didn’t like old men talking to her.” Almost everyday men would make comments to her that ranged from “hey baby” to other things either in public places or on public transportation. These comments, even if men are trying to be nice have taken over her life to the point where she doesn’t even want to be alone, comments like this can hurt a young girl.

Some people may say that getting a complement would be nice from anyone anywhere. This is not true,when walking down the street young women don’t need to have older men commenting on their bodies. Also these are not compliments, this is considered harassment. Another thing people may say is that if it scares women so much why don’t they do something about it. When someone says something about their body like that they don’t say anything because they are busy coming up with ways to avoid the situation.

These comments are sickening and men shouldn’t be making them. These so called complements can make a young girl feel vulnerable and not want to be alone. There’s psychological problems that these girls shouldn’t be facing. This act of harassment and all other forms need to stop.

Source: Stamoulis, Kathryn. “”Hey Baby” Hurts.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 19 Aug. 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2015