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‘Why can’t you take a compliment?’

I think catcalling is revolting.

I don’t like derogatory comments shouted towards me just because of how I look. Comments such as “Hey sexy.”, “Why don’t you come back over here?”, “What can that mouth do?” , making kissing sounds or whistling are not compliments.

However, saying “You look nice.” or “Your makeup looks good” is a compliment, while things stated about my body or chosen attire said in a sexual manner make me feel like an object.

I have spoken to many of my male friends who have given me mixed opinions on the matter. Some say they don’t understand why others do it, while others say they are just giving a compliment.

No one wants to walk down the street and be treated like an object – especially with the fear that these people might start to follow you or worse, assault you.

I remember when I was in my teens; I was walking down the street coming home from my dance class when two older men opened the windows of their apartment just to shout crude things at me until I was out of sight. I remember how scared I was that they would try to follow me or hurt me.

Experiences like this are not uncommon.

Roughly 65% percent of women face street harassment, 23% percent are touched sexually, 20% percent have been followed and 9% percent have been forced to do something sexual. Among men, 25% percent have faced street harassment, 18% percent have been verbally harassed and 16% percent have been physically forced into doing things against their will.

No matter my age or appearance, people see me as an object and think it is okay to shout comments towards me that sometimes make me feel sick or scared and I am tired of being treated like this.

“Why can’t you take a compliment?” They would say if you ignore them or glare in their direction.

Why can’t I take a compliment? I can, but what you are saying is in no way a compliment, nor is it something anyone should have to tolerate on a daily basis.


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