I'm talking men catcalling women on social media.
Now, I'm not saying that ALL men catcall because I know they do not, but I'm addressing the men who do not understand what the problem is. I also know that women do the same sort of thing, but, as a woman, I can't relate to what men really endure, so I don't feel qualified to speak in that regard.
I'm referring to is the people write lewd comments on someone's social media, especially when the post has nothing to do with. And that doesn’t only mean comments that are vulgar and suggestive. (I have received a message that just said, “ya wanna be dirty xx.” Not ok.) It also means any comment that is addressed to the person’s looks. ESPECIALLY when the person has already requested for the comments to stop.
For example, I have a page on Facebook for my blog. But when I was first promoting it, along with the caption I wrote talking about my blog, I used a photo of myself. In hindsight, I should have known what might happen; that I would receive the sort of response I am referring to.
...I quickly saw the repercussions of doing so. It’s sad when you have to consider this as an inevitable turnout. That it’s bound to happen. But it's also sad to be completely positive that I wouldn't have received the sort of engagement that I have, had I not used the photo.
Besides the fact that I’ve mostly received 'likes' and 'follows' from men on my page, I also received my first message shortly after posting the ad from a man who started off by asking me what I write about. I explained that it was mostly about my experiences with mental health, which he would have known had he decided to read the caption in the first place. This is totally fine and even ENCOURAGED because it addresses the actual content.
But the very next thing he said was, "you must be a good writer [because] all beautiful women are great writers."
I replied, "thank you, but looks have nothing to do with me as a writer or my blog." I was just trying to be polite by accepting the compliment, understanding that he wasn't being lewd in comparison to what some men do, but still trying to get him to focus on the real reason I made the page. He apologized and said he wasn't trying to come on to me.
But quickly followed up by asking for a photo of me because he wanted to "see what I looked like."...First...what? He saw my ad... He was already talking about the way I looked... And second, THIS is what I'm referring to in this post...and it's not okay.
I already told him it has NOTHING do with my blog. A blog primarily dedicated to mental health! A blog I've chosen to be completely open and vulnerable in writing. And nothing to do with how I look.
Some might say I just need to ignore it. But this is completely missing the point.
I fully understand that stereotyping is not the way to assess who someone really is, and I want to believe the best in people, no matter who you are, what you have done or what you have been through. Despite how you might come off to others, I BELIEVE you are good in some way underneath it all. But when you do things that are the very reason why the stereotype is made, no matter how you sugarcoat it, it makes it difficult to contradict....
I briefly considered making my blog and my Facebook page private because of this. However, I do believe that there are those of whom I am helping. Those who actually read my blog. Which, again, is the reason I am doing this. And for that reason, I am choosing to keep it public.
If you have found yourself in a situation where you've been cat-called or felt uncomfortable with someone on social media like this, I encourage you to do what I finally did, and block them. Ban them from your pages. And don't allow them to discourage you anymore.
I am a single mom of one, a student, and a blogger. My blog is called Kat’s Corner, which you can find here. Writing is the easiest way for me to express how I'm feeling, and it is integral to my mental health and self-care. I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder inattentive type, Major Depressive Disorder and Binge Eating Disorder. But, now that I am in remission, I feel comfortable writing about my mental health. I want to help end the stigma attached to it, and I want to help those who feel different and misunderstood so that they feel less alone.