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COLUMN: Keep your whistles to yourself

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By Shannon Brock

We’ve all seen and heard it before — a fairly attractive woman walking down the street trying not to pay attention to the whistles, inappropriate phrases and cat calls being rained upon her for whatever reason.

Unfortunately, my friends and I have been victims of these cat-callers more than once. Yes, dear readers, even here in Lawrenceburg.

Just the other day, I walked out in front of our office on Main Street to meet a friend for lunch. I had no sooner walked out our front door in my dress and heels, when someone whistled in my direction.

You might be thinking “maybe this person wasn’t whistling in your direction.” Well, maybe not. But when you are being cat-called, you can usually tell. It’s like a sixth sense.

I’ve had creepy old men in Wal-Mart remind me that “big things come in small packages,” and I’ve had things (as random as “mustard and mayonnaise” to things we won’t print in a community paper) yelled at me as I walked across UK’s campus. Much like the whistle, no matter what is being said, you can tell in the inflection of the person’s voice that their thoughts aren’t exactly pure.

Now, I’m not saying I’m anything special to look at, all I’m saying is that if it can (and does) happen to my friends and me, it can happen to anyone.

And it shouldn’t happen at all.

I almost feel like I’ve written this column before. I don’t think I’ve written these exact words, but I remember expressing my opinion in some way on this subject matter. I looked through a bunch of back issues, and didn’t find anything. Even if it has been done before, I believe it’s important enough to be said again.

In theory, a man who whistles or yells a comment at a woman is trying to pay her a compliment. He obviously finds her attractive or sees something he likes. But isn’t there a better way to tell her that?

Through school and my job, I’ve met a lot of women, and not one of them has ever said she met her significant other after he whistled at her while speeding past in his car.

I just don’t understand the logic behind it. Are these men honestly thinking, “Wow, she’s pretty. Maybe if I yell or whistle at her, she’ll instantly fall in love with me.”

News flash, boys. It ain’t gonna happen.

No woman I know enjoys being called out in such a manner, so rather than turn someone on to you, you’re more likely to turn them off.

Honestly, the other day when the random passer-by whistled at me, I immediately felt insecure.

I knew someone was watching me. I knew I’d gotten someone’s attention by simply walking outside. I couldn’t see this person and I had no idea from which direction the whistle came. Was I walking his way? Was he following me? In broad daylight, I felt like a victim because of one whistle.

I hope that’s not the reaction he wanted.

I would say maybe I’m the only one who feels this way. Maybe I’m too paranoid. Maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing. But I know I’m not.

My friends and I have had this conversation numerous times, and I guarantee a good number of women reading this right now are nodding in agreement.

So, here’s a piece of advice for you cat-callers: Your whistles and yells will get you nowhere. If you think a girl looks nice, check for a ring on her finger, then just tell her so. Stop being a chicken, and treat her with respect.

E-mail Shannon Mason Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.