Discuss: The Catcall Conundrum
Jul 6, 2012
Every May, I head up to Bethesda for The Front Row, a fashion show curated by Bethesda’s local boutiques. The show is always fun, with a special guest (Andy Cohen, Kelly Cutrone) and an open bar, but there is one part of the event that I truly hate.
For the past two years, one of the models for the show was a very attractive, very buff man who works as a personal trainer–washboard abs, calves like a Greek god, etc. The second this guy steps onto the runway, some of the women in the crowd go absolutely berserk–like The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show berserk. And should he strut down the catwalk in swimwear, well, I hope you brought earplugs and some extra strength headache medicine because your cochlea are about to take a beating.
This year, the middle-aged women behind me were screaming so loudly that they made Justin Bieber fans seem reserved by comparison. Their behavior was truly embarassing–snapping pics with their iPhones, saying things like “yum, yum,” and yelling at a decibel level that put their glasses of white wine in jeopardy. And as I attempted to turn my ears away from the sonic blast, I began to wonder: Why is it okay for women to whoop, holler and catcall at men, but not okay for men to do the same to women?
For example, the movie Magic Mike. Every woman I know is psyched to see this movie. And why shouldn’t they be? A half-dozen hot, shirtless guys dancing on a 40-foot tall screen has girl’s night out written all over it. But what would we say if all of our male friends, boyfriends and husbands were lining up to watch a movie about six buxom, G-string clad women?
I’m certainly not trying to ruin anyone’s weekend trip to the movies, but I’m slightly uncomfortable with the double standard. I’ve seen women chastise their boyfriends or male friends for simply looking at an attractive woman with a slightly wanton eye, but we’re permitted to cheer and whistle for a shirtless Channing Tatum and it’s all in good fun? Something about that just feels out of balance.
What do you ladies think: Is there a different set of rules for women than for men? Are we being too hard on the guys or not hard enough on ourselves? Or am I just over thinking this whole thing? Leave your thoughts in the comments.