Despite the sexual innuendos you can derive from the term catcall it actually began in the 1700s as a way to exclaim dissatisfied experience in theater. It was a term meant for a verbal thumbs down approval and now is a way for women to turn down men.
The prevalence of these whistles, shouts, and piffle is a cataclysm in objectifying women for simply being within earshot of these offenders. In essence, for going about their daily lives. The affliction of this is that there is no escape for females to avoid this persecution.
In trying to understand the nature of catcalling it is essential to evaluate some possible reasons behind this behavior. For example, according to Alain de Botton’s book Status Anxiety, “In traditional Spanish communities to be worthy of honra, a man had to be physically brave, sexually potent, predatory towards women before he was married and loyal thereafter”.
Therefore, one possible answer even outside of Spanish communities could be a result of ideals from ancestry. The United States was founded on patriarchal confounds and catcalling may be a byproduct of this ideation.
The motivation for this type of disrespect could also be to initiate some source of power. This overcompensation for dominion is widespread whether this be self-esteem issues, lack of control in their lives, or anger at their mothers. However, it does boil down to respect. If men genuinely want to make a women feel good they would not purposely subject them to appease their own agendas. This preservation of power is not strategic it’s disgusting and desperate.
In hollering at every women they see in the street it sends a message that they do not care to actually pursue a women but to pursue any women. This conveys that they clearly cannot gain the interest of a women any other way, so maybe they are just looking for attention. The immaturity displayed in the nature of crying out for attention is the opposite of powerful because it shows weakness and the need for validation. So this childish subjection of their own insecurities is actually degrading themselves.
Women cannot not change or escape the volume of catcalling but perhaps instead of giving men the power they seek by being afraid, they should give these men the pity they deserve.
There is clearly no answer to this behavior, however, it catcalls the question:
How does it feel knowing that the women you’re squawking at actually have more self-respect than you?