To the harassers I say: I know you're only trying to make the world a better place with your unsolicited and often grossly inappropriate comments to passersby. I know that, but a lot of people don't seem to get it. The world is changing and so must your strategy.
Whether at school or in public spaces, many LGBT youth don't feel safe and continue to face disgraceful levels of discrimination (and some don't feel safe at home, either). But when they enter the workforce, disadvantages persist.
How does one go about defending a statement that someone else has identified as harassment? How does a man read about women feeling threatened by certain comments and then want to defend the people who made them just because they also happen to have a penis?
Victim-blaming, sl*t-shaming, skepticism, deflection and insults, this perpetual "Not my problem!" mentality... it's all of a piece and it's all part of why some men harass, sexually assault, beat, rape, and kill women.
I really believe that if we stressed to girls that health is more important than beauty, that self-esteem more valuable than sexiness, we could save women from the kind of self-destructive thinking that consumed me growing up.
Because fat girls aren't supposed to take pleasure in our bodies or even consider showing other people what they look like, there is a lot of sh*t that can hit the fan. Mostly caused by other people not knowing how to handle someone as sexy as me owning it.
Catcalling isn't about flattery, the men aren't doing it to make you feel beautiful or special. They're doing it because of a sense of entitlement. Because to them, every woman is fair game regardless of what time of day it is or where you are or what the woman is doing.