Walking down the street as a woman is downright tiring at best and threatening at worst. Given that up to 65% of women have experienced some form of street harassment, it comes as no surprise they have their responses down pact.
While some say it's best to stay quiet, oftentimes for safety reasons, others believe speaking up will help educate and curb the problem. But here's the thing, there's no one right way.
"It really does depend on the situation," Holly Kearl, Stop Street Harassment's founder and executive director, told Revelist in an interview.
She explained that while staying silent appears to look like the safest choice, some harassers will get aggressive anyway.
"There have been a number of cases where men escalate because they don't like to be ignored. At the mild end, [they've] called a woman a bitch, on the extreme end [they] throw trash at her, chase her, shoot her," she said.
In other words, women can't win.
"You can ignore it and it could escalate. You could lash out, it could escalate. Whatever you can do in the moment that helps you through is the right response," she added.
Because of this, we've compiled how women on Reddit, and a few of us at Revelist, respond to catcalls below. Do what feels right to you. Because feeling powerless isn't right at all.
Make a funny face
"I usually make a face, say "Ew" and keep walking." — murderousbudgie
Tell them to go F themselves.
"Depends on who's doing it and what they say. I usually tell them to get fucked." — Cult_recruiter
Flip them the bird.
"Flip off and keep walking." — DConstructed
Do something super gross.
"I pretend I didn't hear and then I pick my noseostentatiously." —˜tramliner
Get that eye-roll game up.
"Loudly telegraphed eyerolls, mostly. Like the kind that make you feel like your eyes are gonna get stuck there."
Have a myriad of response to choose from, like saying you just farted.
"Here's a few things I have said to street harassers.
- "Leave me alone. Don't harass people in the street."
- "Get back."
- "Go shit yourself."
- "I just farted." (or other unsexy lies, to derail sexual remarks)
- Take a picture of them with your phone. Don't explain yourself.
- Contort your face, cross your eyes, stick out your tongue awkwardly. Basically, kill their sexual mental image of you." — VanceArgyle
Make them repeat their nonsense out loud.
"It depends. Sometimes I roll my eyes, sometimes I ignore, sometimes I ask them what they just said, sometimes I flip them off and speed off." — shwel_batata
Intensify the bitch face.
"I intensify my bitch face and walk away. My time is too precious to waste on duds."
Kill 'em with kindness.
Yesterday, I was walking through a park in a secluded area and a guy was standing in the path (he saw me go down a dead end) and was playing bj porn loudly on it. He said "[I've] been waiting for you" with a smile and turned his phone toward me.
I smiled and said "no thank you" and kept walking and exploring the park.
Awesome park, btw!
I'm not going back though. Lol" — Desert_raver
Be the bigger person.
"Just keep your chin up and ignore it! Don't let it bother you." — agatha-crispy