A few month ago, a video of a woman recording all the men who catcalled her went viral, sparking a conversation about catcalling as sexual harassment. Participating in this conversation for me often felt exhausting to continuously explain to men why catcalling is not alright. It often felt exhausting, and nearly hopeless to explain to many of my males friends that there are better ways to interact with women.
I, like a lot of women often wonder if men will ever understand what we are saying, and unlearn what they were taught about interacting with women, about giving respect, about letting go of the hunter-and-prey mentality, about body autonomy, about sexism. How do we say it in a way that you can understand that we can do better?
But then I saw this video and I was elated. I just thought “Oh My Goodness! These men get it”!
These are the conversations I wish men would have. These guys, these guys get it. And I’m hopeful when I watch this video. They touch on everything from catcalling, to sexual assault, to casual sexism, to checking your boys when they are being sexist.
The only thing I wished for in this video is the possibility that in the future there could be an episode of conversations with women as well. I believe that a lot of critical conversations are often done amongst ourselves, and candid talks like these are done enough with each other. We would all benefit from hearing each other speak about how we want to be treated and hope for the other to really listen and take responsibility for mistakes they might have done in the past.
Isabelle Masado writes about body compassion on her blog "The Dear Body Project". She knows all too well that the personal is the political, is the community. As such, there is no discussing body compassion without talking about the assault on black bodies, trans women, and people with disabilities. Her mantra is, "How can I live in a way that makes room for you too"? She writes to examine, to heal, to redeem.