Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cat Call

Here's a short comic about my personal experiences with Cat Calling. Keep in mind, this is a very VERY vanilla version. I kept out all the super horrible and gross stuff because, I'm hoping this gets my point across.

This comic is only meant to illustrate my history with this upsetting part of our culture.


  1. Hope you find a sponsor for your work. Married to my wife for close to three decades and this is one of her pet peeves.

  2. Thanks for doing this, it's a very accurate depiction of what we go through.

  3. Spot on! So glad you put this into a comic form so people can understand it quickly! I've learned to not look at anyone in the eyes in public because of unwanted attention. Now I don't even notice someone I know if they walked right in front of me.

  4. This is so eloquent & so accurate. I'm also an artist, & have sketched out a strip about being catcalled. Depressingly similar usually is.

    Thanks for saying this so very well. Will share (& will also shift my own strip to a particular instance, so it's not too similar..)

    ..I'm a new fan of your work..!

  5. This is a great way to put such an important issue that ladies deal with. It's getting ridiculous. I'm only 18, but I've had older guys checking me out since I was about 13. It's very creepy and disconcerting.

  6. <3 so much, thank you for creating this!

  7. I have a major problem with this strip.

    The comic strip above presumably represents the artist's point of view of her experiences with men out on the street. In the FIRST section, the comments from men are fine and appropriate.

    However, in the SECOND section, the comments from men are DISGUSTINGLY INAPPROPRIATE (and just plain awful).

    But the THIRD section (at the end), the woman involved is absolutely RUDE to the guy, and really behaved (I'll just say it) like a total bitch. The guy addressing her might have been about to innocuously say something like, "Hey, you know what time it is?"

    She did not know his intent, and instead automatically assumed that all men on the street were rude, evil, repulsive creatures....and so now her instant response was to actually become an obnoxious bitch.

    How in the world was it the last guy's fault that other men were rude to her? Speaking personally (as an adult), I have to take responsibility for my own behavior, regardless of what everyone else is like. And that philosophy stands for everyone else too.

    It sounds like the girl in the strip has become embittered and rotten in response to her life's experiences. I would never want to have a relationship with someone so horribly rude. I don't want to go over the top here, but if your life experiences are making you so horribly bitter towards others, then you need some serious therapy.

    And to Paige above, I resent the statement that a guy "checking out" a girl is "creepy". "Creepy" is being told that you have a nice ass, or having a strange man out on the street tell you that you're sexy. "Creepy" is having someone invade your personal space. But "creepy" is NOT having members of the opposite sex check you out (unless you have mental issues). Once you reach puberty, people will check out if they think that you're cute, interesting-looking, or attractive. This applies to both men and women. Deal with it.

    So I simply cannot applaud this comic strip. Insult the men being obnoxious to you all you want, but please do not automatically insult men who talk to you or check you out, unless they've actually done something wrong. Because that's just not fair or right.

    1. That's a hell of a lot of text to basically say "I didn't understand the point of this comic."

    2. I agree with most of your comments. Especially the one about the last comic.
      We women are often confused. When men give us positive attention we are perturbed. When no one looks at us we wonder why. Some men mean these words as compliments. Not all men are creepy or want to strip you with their comments. If you are pretty (you would know it) men will check you out. What is wrong with that ? There is a line between being nasty and just plain looking.

  8. I did not miss the point.

    It's obvious that this strip is about men rudely and inappropriately catcalling women. However, this comic strip showcases a sad transformation....where the girl involved changes from someone sweet to someone bitter and rude. Catcalling is obnoxious and wrong, but behaving like an obnoxious jerk to RANDOM GUYS out on the street is wrong too.

    Did you see the last panel of the comic strip? The last guy was not catcalling at all, and didn't use expletives until she did first.

    Imagine if I walked past you out on the street (and you said something to me; maybe to ask what day it is), and I suddenly told you to "fuck off". Wouldn't you RIGHTLY assume that I was an obnoxious jerk?

    The only thing I learned from this is that the protagonist in the story is surrounded by assholes, and as a response to her environment...she became an asshole herself (whether such an obnoxious response is warranted or not).

    ~The End

    1. yep you did miss the point. As for your view on people checking each other out and that people should just deal with it. It's perfectly possible to see a good-looking girl dressed revealingly and think to yourself "damn, she looks good" without thinking you have any kind of right to verbally or physically harass her.

      Most adults have the common sense and maturity to realise they can have an unexpressed thought about how someone looks.

    2. I would say that you did get the point, but you seem to be highlighting the wrong part. The "only thing you learned" is what I thinkyou were actually supposed to learn.

      "this comic strip showcases a sad transformation....where the girl involved changes from someone sweet to someone bitter and rude" To me, the point of the comic is exactly this. It is meant to show people the sad consequences of catcalling, rather than just "catcalling exists throughout a woman's life".

      At least where I'm from, it's a bewildering thing in itself to be called out at in the street by a stranger (most people keep to themselves unless it's something important or you know them), so when you're used to those callouts being inappropriate or unwelcome, the bewilderment becomes manifold.

      After so long, you begin to develop a knee-jerk reaction to any unexpected callout, regardless of whether or not it is rude. It's a defense mechanism, flawed as it may be.

  9. Again...I ABSOLUTELY GOT THE POINT, and missed it entirely.

    "Checking people out" doesn't mean catcalling. Catcalling is verbal harassment. "Checking someone out" probably just means glancing or looking at somebody....possibly in a flirtatious way.

    But Paige is "creeped out and disconcerted" when the wrong guys check her out. I guess the right to look at her is reserved for guys that she's actually attracted to.


    Verbal and physical harassment is WRONG. I very specifically said it was WRONG. If you read my statements, then you'd know I said it was WRONG.

    Remember when I said, "however, in the SECOND section, the comments from men are DISGUSTINGLY INAPPROPRIATE (and just plain awful)"?

    Remember when I said, "it's obvious that this strip is about men rudely and inappropriately catcalling women"?

    Remember when I said, "catcalling is obnoxious and WRONG"? It's fair to say I get the point.

    The artist fails (or maybe she did this deliberately) because at the end.....her protagonist becomes extremely OBNOXIOUS and BITTER to a random guy out on the street WHO DID NOT CATCALL HER, or do her any harm whatsoever.

    The protagonist in the comic strip jumped to conclusions, and unjustifiably insulted a stranger.


    The woman's common sense and maturity went straight out the window at the end. This is not a woman that you should want to emulate.

    In this case, it is you who has sadly missed the point. I don't know if you're being deliberately obtuse, or what your deal is, but I object to the notion of all men being painted in a negative light because of the actions of an obnoxious minority.

    For the record, I can understand why a woman might be rude to random guys out there if they've been badly treated, and might even feel threatened when they walk the streets. But let's be honest here. Your bad life experiences are never an excuse to take out your anger on innocent people who do not deserve your wrath.

    Now do YOU get the point?

    1. Thank you for taking the time to explain how well you clearly DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE STRIP.

  10. #notallmen? Is that supposed to be snark? I can't be sure what you mean, as I'm not up to date on my Internet memes. Educate me, please?

    1. A wondrous website exists that allows you to search for answers to all manner of queries. It's pretty obscure, though, so you probably haven'y heard of it.

      It's called ''

  11. Just so that I understand....

    When I asked if that was snark (which I now understand that it was), the reply is further snark?

    That's pretty rude. And epic rudeness was part of the point of the comic strip.

    Look...all I am is another anonymous idiot on the Internet, but you guys (you women?) are not going to going to win the hearts and minds of men with this type of attitude. Treating men like the enemy just doesn't succeed in changing the behavior of others. Instead, it just causes guys to dig their heels in even harder. Furthermore, most of us men absolutely refuse to accept responsibility for the sins of others. Rightly so, I might add.

    If you paint the majority of us men with the misogynistic brush, then we will not take that attitude seriously. But surely you guys must already know this.

    Anyway, if it matters....I actually do hope that none of you get harassed out in the street by rotten jerks, and I do wish the artist good luck. So I guess I'm off.

    ~el Saco Lambo

  12. I think the comic explains why the main character got bitter. She's not a role model who does the best thing possible, she's a normal person. It's about understanding more than about justification.

    Her reaction may not be “good” — but anyone would have done the same if they had been through this kind of treatment for years. I think that was the point.

    « Speaking personally (as an adult), I have to take responsibility for my own behavior, regardless of what everyone else is like. [...] I don't want to go over the top here, but if your life experiences are making you so horribly bitter towards others, then you need some serious therapy. »

    > Ideally yes, but... people are not like slates you could so easily erase. If you've been through bad treatment for years, of course you're going to react like this. You can't be expected to react cold-headed after all this.

    (And yes, I agree with you, the snark above was uncalled for.)

  13. This is incredible and poignant. Bravo.

  14. For those confused and thinking the person in the comic is "rude" at the end. Look, this whole comic is a slice of life. It's not supposed to teach a lesson or anything, it's telling a story. It's that simple.

    By focusing on her sudden "rude" behavior at the end of the comic IS missing the point. The point of the comic is explaining her life story, and just why she may come off as a "bitch" later in life. We aren't perfect people and she will change because of this. We can't all be perfect and always be rational. Personal experiences do that to you if that is all you ever knew about the world. And calling her out that she has "issues" is also rude. Maybe she does need therapy, but don't make it like she's alien because of it.

    Downplaying the effects of catcalling on the psyche is probably even more of an asinine thing to do.

  15. Sacrificial Lamb: Why do you suggest women must "win the hearts and minds of men"?! This is about the men and women who believe in equality standing together. It's not just women pointing this stuff out!

    The first comic scene illustrates how girls are constantly reminded about the importance of their looks from an early age. You could argue such comments would be okay if from family members, who would also regularly comment about how clever they are etc. But these are comments from 'strangers' in the street (never mind the compounded implications of what's fed to us all via the media).

    You might want to check out this interview with a NYC woman who was videoed receiving 100 comments in 10 hours, not including winks and whistles, plus guys walking along beside her - an average day for her - and how if felt, despite her martial arts training. EVERY DAY of her life:

    Sure people will always be checking each other out and flirting. That is not what this comic is about. If more men stuck their heads above the crowd to show they choose not to behave like that, spoke up when their friends behaved that way and taught their sons the same, that would start to improve what is an ugly normal existence for women and girls.

    My young daughter was very upset this week as she continues to learn more and more about the inequalities among men and women and kept asking me "why?" So, despite the fact she hasn't experienced cat-calling and groping quite yet (a regular experience for all young women btw - me & every woman I know, 30% of female UK commuters...) and despite the fact all her male relatives and friends are awesome and believe women are equal, she already feels the world isn't very safe or fair for her, because she is female. I hate that I have to teach her to yell "fire" instead of "rape" and that I have to admit cat-calling, groping, internet trolling, being overlay alert when walking on the street (especially if a 'stranger' tries to speak to you), texting someone so they know she got home safe, the pay gap and all the rest of it is still, unfortunately, what we have to deal with in our 'civilized' society. Even still, I always make the point of saying that most people are good, kind & respectful.

    It will be impossible to find any women who doesn't feel deep anger and intimidation from the very first cat-call through to the years of abuse later.

    That doesn't mean we believe all men are the same. But a man that we don't know is attempting to talk to us on the street, our default reaction is to be annoyed and nervous, because of our experience.

    How many days would it take for a man to be constantly harassed like this every single day, for him to react by flipping the bird: weeks, months, years?!

    Labeling cat-calling as obnoxious is treating it as trivial. The protagonist is definitely not surrounded by assholes, but (like every other woman on the planet) she has to treat random men on the street speaking to her with defense. Most woman ignore it, because if they react, this is the very reaction they get from the men attempting to speak to her, outlined in the great comic above.

    Interesting #notallmen meme is progress (kind of) article on Time which also features a funny comic strip by a guy "Not all men will make that shift, ultimately. But some is better than none.":