7 Ways To Respond To Street Harassment

Street harassment totally sucks. It’s awful. Since I moved to New York, I’ve gotten catcalled every single day. It’s really annoying. At first it wasn’t that bad, but now it’s just like “REALLY? AGAIN?!”

And street harassers think you should be flattered, which is just gross. I am not flattered that you shouted a disgusting slew of words describing what you’d like to do to me. It’s actually really offensive.

If you compliment me and tell me you like my shoes or that I have nice hair, I don’t mind. I will smile and say “Thank you” and move on, probably in a good mood. But telling me to smile or yelling “Hey Sweetie, I’d like to [insert obscene phrase here]” is not okay. Ever.

I’ve been getting creative with my responses to catcalls because 1. my morning routine is getting a little lackluster and 2. I think it’s only fair. So here are my favorite responses to catcallers:

Do you ever deal with street harassment? What do you do about it? Tell us in the comments!

Maybe wearing different clothes will prevent street harassment

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  • Anastasia

    I live in london and work from home. I had to leave the house today for two hours to pop out for a business meeting. The amount of times i was starred at and whispered nasty horrible things to as men passed by. It is a very tiring experience which at times puts the person being harassed in direct danger. Not only there is no respect but we are not being looked at as human beings. “Smile love!” – “Do i know you? Please do not talk to me.” How to get the message across? We all are sick of you – little, insecure arseholes who think it’s ok to mess up someone’s day just because you are not in control of your basic instincts. There is one thing you need to remember though someone out there is doing the same thing to your mother, sister, daughter or wife. And unless you start with yourself if not now but eventually you will be dealing with the same issue but on the other side – wiping somebody’s tears..

  • Kay

    I live in Latin America and catcalls are fairly common. Almost all of these suggestions would be interpreted as encouragement, no matter the tone used. Also I personally don’t think a person should have to lie or make something up to respond to street harassment (e.g. my cat died). My personal response is either to ignore them, tell them to fuck off or ask them if they kiss their mother with that mouth. It really depends on the situation- if you feel that you might be in danger or not- how rude or lewd the harassment is. I find that making eye contact and saying nothing (piercing stare) can really do the trick- guys are used to women looking away. Just some thoughts

  • Victoria

    I am actually proud to say that I have used a few of these before. Sure, they may sound a bit like you’re encouraging them by responding, but if you say it in the correct tone of voice you can easily leave those cat-callers confused and embarrassed.

  • kat

    does anyone know what episode of sex and the city miranda’s exchange with the street harassers is from? i really want to see it and can’t find it on youtube.

  • Gabi

    is this supposed to be a joke? these are THE WORST tips ever.

  • Gicelle

    Haha, I’ll never forgive when one of my best friends at the time and I were walking her dog, and a van full of marines pulled up, and the driver said, “Hello, my name is John” and she said without looking at him, “Shut the f*** up”

  • Hikaru

    Where I live, most of this would be treated as a sign of encouragement to continue -.-‘