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Dear Certain Men: When You Focus on the Substance of Those Catcalls, You're Missing the Entire. F*cking. Point

By Dustin Rowles | Think Pieces | October 31, 2014 |

By Dustin Rowles | Think Pieces | October 31, 2014 |

I know we’ve already spoken to this more than some of you care to hear, but I saw the Media Matters video posted below — where Rush Limbaugh, some Fox News jackasses and others not only downplayed the viral catcalling video, but added to the catcalls — and I had this overwhelming need to say something else.

That something else is this: I’m sorry. I’m sorry on behalf of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News and Michael Che, who took this woman’s very real experiences and minimized them not only for the female in the video, but for every other woman who has experienced it. I want to say that not all men are like that, but I fully understand that that’s beside the point, and that even if 90 percent of men weren’t like that, it doesn’t change the fact that 10 percent are (I’m sure it’s a much higher percentage, anyway).

But mostly, I see these trivializing reactions, and I feel embarrassed. I feel embarrassed because these guys are missing the goddam point because they refuse to value her experiences. I would imagine that that is even worse than the catcalls themselves. I mean, for a woman to say, “Look. This is what I’m going through. This is what have to deal with every time I leave my house. This makes me feel violated, and scared, and like less of a human, and it sucks” and then for these guys to ignore her feelings — which are real, and honest, and true — and to focus, instead, on the content of the catcalls themselves is missing the whole fucking point.

It doesn’t matter what the men in the video are saying; what matters is how it makes women feel, and to ignore that just illustrates the larger, overall problem that we are dealing with: Stop trying to devalue people’s feelings based on the way you think you would react to certain situations as a man and start trying to honor how it legitimately makes women feel. Instead of trying to tell someone that something shouldn’t bother them, listen to them express why it bothers them and then respect those feelings because you are a human being and you should have respect for the feelings of other human beings whether you would feel the same way they would or not. It’s called human fucking decency. Look into it.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.