Is wolf-whistling a compliment?

There was an article in the local rag (Yes Kent Online, I’m looking at you) about a woman who had complained to a train company about workmen who had wolf-whistled at her.  Now.  Let’s set the scene. Said woman was alone on a (fairly remote) train station platform following an awards ceremony in London. She was waiting for a connecting train. She was dressed up.  It was late at night. She was wolf-whistled at by several workmen that were working for the train company nearby. She felt vulnerable. I can understand that.  I have walked home from the pub slightly inebriated (shitfaced) on countless occasions and yes I felt vulnerable (and pissed).  Head down.  Walk fast.  Hope no one jumps out of the bushes. To be honest they’d probably jump right back in once they got a good look at me but that’s beside the point.  Anyway.  I digress. What really got me wasn’t the article itself but the response from the public on its Facebook page.  Good God! The woman was torn to shreds. Apparently she was lucky the workmen took an interest in her, she’s a state, asking for it dressed like that blah blah.  And any woman that argued that being objectified in this day and age was uncalled for was shot down for being a *shock horror* feminist. And this was from…women

Fucking hell girls.  Way to go. Bravo.  One woman who said she didn’t like being objectified was told “you obviously  need a good old fashioned seeing to.  Blow those cobwebs away!” Now, ladies and gents, I’m no prude.  My sense of humour is more the Frankie Boyle end of the spectrum and I can see the funny side of most things but come on!

Those who know me in real life know I have huge boobs.  I’ve had all sorts shouted at me over the years (less so lately and if they did I’d assume they were taking the piss to be honest) mostly from lorries and vans.  Not that I’m stereotyping is just how it is.  Apparently teenage girls like that sort of thing and should be flattered when some neanderthal shouts “JUGS” at you from a passing car.  Actually that poor fucker got more than he bargained for when the traffic lights went red and my mum walked over to the car and practically dragged him out though the window (thanks Mum. Love you!). I was in my mid to late teens at that point. I’m in my late thirties now.  I can handle myself (if you pardon the pun) a little better. If some wanker shouts “show us yer tits” I reply with “if you’ve got the dick and the balls to match” funnily enough no one has taken me up on that…Shame, there’s still time.  But when I was in my late teens / early twenties my tits were the bane of my life.  I wasn’t confident.  I hated them. Men assume you’re “easy” when you have big boobs. Actually, so do a lot of women.  I even went to the Dr to ask for reduction surgery and was sent for counselling instead to “get my head around” my big boobs one can only assume.

My point is that shouting at someone you don’t know in the street or on a train station platform or wherever is unnecessary.  Even if the perpetrator has the best intentions you don’t know how your “victim” will take your for want of a better word “advances”.  It might be a bit of fun to you but it might feel like harassment to them. And, ladies.  You might like the attention and that’s fine.  Just because you like to be whistled at doesn’t mean we all do.  If it takes a dirty old man whistling at me to make my day  then it’s a sad state of affairs. Almost as sad as feminism being a dirty word.

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