You'd think we'd have evolved by now, yet "catcalling" appears to be as popular as ever. Just ask any reasonably young and attractive person who's ever spent a fair amount of time walking alone on public streets: Most all have a story to tell in regards to how catcalling caused them to feel objectified, harassed, embarrassed, even futile. One thing's for sure: I've never heard anyone describe having been catcalled as being in any way welcome and/or "cute."
However, as a somewhat less than "reasonably attractive" man, I'm unable to speak from personal experience about the hurt that typically results from this primitive phenomenon. The closest I've ever come to feeling these types of emotions was during the times I was the lone male student in classes filled with women: I've participated in dozens of English, Social Science, and Human Resources classes where that was exactly the case. During those times, I recall having occasionally felt embarrassed, objectified, and way outnumbered.
In case you're wondering what exactly IS "catcalling," here is merriam-webster.com's current definition:
catcall: a loud, sexually suggestive call or comment directed at someone publicly (as on the street).
Still unsure as to what a catcall sounds like? Listen to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel." He cuts loose on a high-pitched and loud "OWWWWWWOOOOHHHHHWWWWWW!" catcall about halfway through the song.
So, why do people (mostly young males, that is) catcall? For a number of reasons:
We really do mature at a much slower rate than females.
We've heard about this concept our entire lives. It's not necessarily provable, but it's true. I honestly was incapable of carrying on an intelligible conversation with a woman until I was about 35. Young guys who choose to catcall wish they were capable of calmly approaching the object of their affections, and then coolly saying something like,
"Hi, my name is _______. I don't want to appear too forward, but I find you to be truly stunning and absolutely beautiful. You seem like someone with a kind soul as well--and I'd just like to take this opportunity and introduce myself."
However, because they (the catcalling "young guys") haven't yet fully matured, instead you get the..."OWWWWWWOOOOHHHHHWWWWWW!"
Don't be too hard on young males, though: While most little boys are out there playing sports, climbing trees, pretending to be at "war (either for 'real' or virtually)," many little girls are already bonding among themselves, while simultaneously honing their communication skills and assessing their respective places on the social stratum. By the time straight boys and girls become mutually attracted to one another, the girls are already about eight years ahead of the boys in the communication skills department!
We haven't evolved much.
Yes, we males are behaving better than ever. But not due to any type of anthropological evolution: It's because we're scared. Scared of getting expelled, scared of getting fired, scared of getting sued, scared of going to jail, scared of an unexpected paternity test. You name it, we're scared of it.
Minus all that fear though, and we're still left with a bunch of "men behaving badly." For example, if you could covertly record a private conversation between two adult, single (let's say straight) men, I believe a lot of woman would be shocked to hear the amount of objectifying, potty-mouth blunt talking, and pornographic language being so casually thrown about.
And that's why catcalling almost always occurs in public places--rarely in school, practically never in the workplace: Because that fear (of getting fired, expelled, etc.) has been all but completely taken away.
They (people who catcall) are actually paying you the ultimate compliment.
A beautiful woman who is the victim of a random catcall is actually being paid the highest compliment that an uneducated/under-educated fool is capable of uttering.
Just think of the animal kingdom, and all those raw, unrefined mating rituals that have existed since the dawn of zoological life. In other words, a catcalling victim's raw beauty and sex appeal have effectively reduced the catcaller to his lowest animalistic instincts. Keep on walking, though--don't you dare acknowledge that loud-mouthed meathead..
Occasionally, however, a catcalling victim might find the offending person to be "kind of cute," and could be inclined to favorably respond, in the long shot hope of eventually helping this injured soul--by the sole virtue of her feminine charms--maneuver his way to a state of normality. Just like in a Disney movie!
Has such a scenario ever been successfully played out in real life? No, it never has.
As far as grown men (let's say, over age 30) are concerned: DO NOT EVER catcall! If you are over this age and still prone to vocally producing these inane, childish, shrilling, ridiculous sounds--then you ought to have your head examined.