Catcalling in School Must Stop

'Catcalling' is sexual harassment and it's causing a toxic environment in the school and workplace.

Catcalling in School Must Stop

Street art by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

Amanda Ghiloni, Reporter

A girl wearing a camisole and cardigan walks down the hall to a chorus of “nice t*ts!” and “hot damn” with whistles filling in between lewd comments. Scenes like this happen everyday in schools around the country, yet there are no programs to put an end to it.

In our health classes, you learn about sexual harassment, which is the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks in a social or professional place. The teacher tells you that it is bad, but doesn’t give any way to report or tell people not to do it. When you do try to report it, they blame you, or tell you that they “can’t do anything about it now.”

This problem in enforcement only contributes to the harmful attitude towards sexual harassment in schools. During the rush in the hallways between classes it is easy for someone to “accidentally” brush against someone’s chest or butt, or get away with a lewd comment or two. In schools as large as ours, it may be hard to patrol every hallway and punish every incident of sexual harassment, but even when a teacher is there, they turn a blind eye.

This toxic environment leads to the desensitization of the student body. Boys don’t even mean what they say, they just catcall because that is what they do. Not only are these harassment meaningless, people can’t even recognize that it’s bad.

On August 28th, Fox News discussed cat calling on their show, Outnumbered, a show with four women and one man. They unanimously said that catcalling was a compliment, though some of the women expressed hesitation. Kirsten Powers said that she thought it was sexist when she was younger, but now she thinks its okay. Kimberly Guilfoyle confessed that it is awkward when her young son is there, but that he is used to it. While they were discussing catcalling outside of schools, their discussion shows insight into the future we’re creating, a future where sexual harassment becomes so normalized preschoolers have accepted it as part of life.

The normalization of sexual harassment is something we all have to fight against in order to make a difference. If you know anyone who catcalls, question them. Make them realize for themselves that they are wrong. Don’t attack them, just plant the seed of doubt, it will grow and kill any urge to catcall. Don’t let yourself become complacent, stand up to sexual harassment and fight back.