“Why can’t it be like that?”

I got my fair share of catcalls and unwanted attention when I was a student in New York. I began having a discussion about this with one of my classes. The (male) teacher said in some cultures men giving that kind of attention to women was acceptable, so why did we women get so uptight about it here?

Another boy piped up that in his country, saying hi to a woman he didn’t know was completely acceptable.

I couldn’t manage to get anyone to understand that it wasn’t the attention that bothers me and other women, it’s the blatant sexual come-ons. And the fact that these things start out innocently, but can lead to things much more sinister.

A few days later, I was walking to work and a construction working waved and said a cheery, “Good morning!” to me.

I said good morning back, and that was it. I wonder, if you want to talk to a woman, why can’t it be like that?

Submitted by SJ

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