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Your Catcalling Doesn’t Offend Me

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Being a female in the construction industry, you can imagine I have lots of female-specific issues to deal with: sharing a porta-potty with only men during that time of the month, attempting to make a safety vest and work boots look attractive, I could go on. There’s one issue, however, that I should be annoyed by, but I’m totally not: catcalling. Whether it’s a laborer giving me the signature catcall whistle or a random passerby giving my long blonde hair underneath my hardhat a prolonged stare. I don’t mind it at all. In fact, I’m flattered.

Let me go over some things before we go on. My coworkers aren’t the ones catcalling me, because that’s definitely against a policy somewhere. These are men hired by my company that work at the same site. Also, I’m not a fan of vulgar, sexual catcalling. That’s a little too far. I’m talking about throwing a “beautiful” in after asking me how my weekend was. Noticing that I changed my makeup or got a haircut and commenting on how nice it is. Little gestures that make me feel good inside. I don’t care if it’s coming from a guy my age or one old enough to be my grandfather. I don’t feel threatened by their comments. If I know there doing it genuinely, I’m grateful for their words.

I actually think I’m more offended by people asking about sexual harassment at my workplace than enduring sexual harassment. Because you know, any type of catcalling, even the most innocent, is considered sexual harassment in our world of people offended by everything. I constantly have friends and relatives ask me about the perverts on my jobs. I can’t stand it. It makes me feel like I’m some small, vulnerable girl who can’t stand up for herself. Sometimes my coworkers think I’m being too passive if I let their “rude” comments go. Sure, I could shut down the catcallers and put them in their place, but I don’t want to. I love the extra attention. I am unique for being a female in this industry and I don’t mind a few reminders of that.

I think this part of my personality is why I fit in at my workplace environment so nicely. Sometimes men use catcalling simply to get a rise out of females. When I don’t respond with a bitchy remark and instead respond with a “thank you,” I’m the ultimate winner. As long as it’s not demeaning and somewhat respectful, I’m cool with it. So go ahead, call me babydoll. You probably just made my day.

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22 · Washington, DC

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