Is it okay for men to comment on women on the street?

The #MeToo movement encourages all people to speak up against sexual harassment.

Sally Boese

The #MeToo movement encourages all people to speak up against sexual harassment.

Sally Boese, Staff Writer

Catcalling women (or men) with no context or consent has been an issue for centuries. However, it has not always been acted upon until recently. Women have gained more confidence and independence, which makes it easier to speak up. Especially with inspiring and supporting movements, such as #MeToo.  Catcalling is not only an issue in big cities where more people are present. Inappropriate gestures are made everywhere, making women uncomfortable. Of course the same can be said about men, but in most instances it is the woman that is targeted.

I was at a restaurant one night, and two young girls came in. A few men sitting at the bar stared and made inappropriate comments, and a boy next to me suggested that the girls should wear signs that stated they were underage. He didn’t mean this to be rude, but it made me upset to think that sometimes that’s what it takes for a man to look away. No girl should have to worry about labeling themself to be protected from men.
Especially in instances where you don’t know the person you are speaking to, you should never make comments about the way they look, what they’re wearing, or anything that could make them uncomfortable. It is important for women to feel safe, but often times they don’t. Most girls have experienced verbal or sexual assault at some point, and it’s humiliating and degrading. Most times men aren’t criticized, which encourages to do it again.

So the answer is no. It is never okay to make inappropriate comments or degrading stares. Words can hurt, and women especially are targeted with so much hate for doing things that make them happy. Nobody, men either, should feel vulnerable or scared by going outside or coming in contact with others. Keep your hands, words, and thoughts to yourself instead of tearing others down.