At the boutique, Ajla conducts fashion-forward photo shoots each week. We love to walk up and down Phillips Avenue to explore what downtown Sioux Falls has to offer to the artist's eye. With the store being located on Phillips, there's an extra sense of 'home' that lives here for us. We just love it down here. During our photoshoots, it is a time where we not only showcase our store but we also adore the time with our models and the confidence that they exude. There are few things more breathtaking than a stunningly confident woman.
Let's consider that adjective for a moment: breathtaking.
Breathtaking: Astonishing or awe-inspiring in quality, so as to take one's breath away.
So, like, no offense (just kidding - a lot of offense) but what makes a person think that it is okay to suddenly interject with a catcall.
Do you know what the actual definition of catcall is?
Catcall: Make a whistle, shout, or comment of a sexual nature to a woman passing by.
Does that definition seem a bit shocking to you? That's because it really is. Catcalling is a form of sexual harassment and it is overlooked far too often.
One too many times, we've been super uncomfortable because someone decided to make a sound or a comment (or at times, an inappropriate conversation) in the middle of our photoshoot. We've even had men try to take photos of us when we weren't looking. On one of the first nice days of the year, almost each and every time we stepped out to take photos, we were halted by some form of a catcall. One man decided he was going to stop, look us up and down, and tell us repeatedly how gorgeous he thinks we are. While it's not offensive to tell a women she is gorgeous, it is incredibly uncomfortable when the comments are not welcome. Some men think they're flattering us and we like it, but we DON'T. Let me say that again, WE'RE NOT INTO YOU.
When uncomfortable moments like that have occured, we've often done nothing about it. It's no surprise though, because far too often we think to ourselves, "oh, i'll just ignore him, and he'll go away" or we just don't know what to say because we're uncomfortable, intimated, or caught off guard. Sometimes it can even be pretty scary. Every time we encounter a catcall and we stay quiet, we talk amongst ourselves later and say "Why didn't we say something?! Now this person will think that kind of behavior is okay, when it's definitely NOT."
Recently we decided to make a pact, and we made a promise to stand up for ourselves as strong women. No longer will we stay silent when someone interferes with our personal space and makes us feel uncomfortable. As women, every time we stand up for ourselves, we also stand up for all women in showing that people can't just say or do whatever they feel like to us.
Join us in the pact to end catcalling! If you feel safe and comfortable standing up for yourself but you're not sure what to say, here are some possible responses. Commit one or two of these to memory for when you're caught off guard and need something quick to say. Of course this list is not all inclusive, so feel free to get creative with your own responses (;
- "Don't talk to me that way. It's not respectful."
- "I don't know you, and you're making me uncomfortable."
- "Please don't talk to me like that."
- "No one likes that."
- "You must be in a bad place to speak to women like that. I hope life gets better for you."
- "I'm busy, please leave me alone."
- "Nope." and walk away
If you don't feel like saying something, you could also make a weird, funny face at them to throw them off.
Will YOU join in our #stopcatcalling pact and help us to stand up against the men who think catcalling is okay? Share this post with a friend, or two, together we can rise up against catcalling and show them that it's NOT okay and that we won't be silent anymore!