Art by Natalie Rulon
She can feel her body tense up as she quickens her pace. She hates walking alone, especially at night. She makes a mental note not to smile at strangers in the dark because “that’s inviting.” Words as simple as “hey, baby,” “pretty girl” and “come here” feel like threats disguised as flattery. It is an experience that is expected.
A Currents survey found that 84% of 134 female students have been catcalled and 93% have felt unsafe because of their gender. The magazine invited the women of Pepperdine University to share their stories. Here’s what they said.
“I felt like an object and not a person. It made me feel like the only thing I amounted to was my breasts.”
“I placed all the blame on myself.”
“This experience changed the way I walk in public now.”
“I remember feeling scared and like I had done something wrong.”
“When I got home, I asked my dad how to punch without damaging or hurting my own hand.”
“My first week of college I got catcalled twice in the same night.”
“I truly got used to catcalling and started to expect it.”
“Nobody had talked about my body like that before.”
“I remember avoiding eye contact as best as I could.”
“The worst was on this campus.”
“I was 15 walking with my friend.”
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Email Channa Steinmetz: email@example.com