Culture

What's Wrong with Steven Crowder's 'Catcalling' Video

First off: I’m a longtime fan of Crowder, for what it’s worth.

But sometimes we conservatives are a little too eager to be “Not Progressives™,” and his new “catcalling” video — made in response to the real one everyone’s talking about — is an example of this phenomenon.

Second, just to preempt any, well, shouting by strange men in the comments:

I am 50 years old and have probably been genuinely catcalled about six times in my life.

I’ve been more apt to be called ugly and/or a lesbian, or — because I have “bitchy resting face” — ordered to “Smile!!!”

The last time a strange man shouted something complimentary to me was about 18 months ago, when a construction worker (no less!) said, “I like your shirt.”

I was wearing my red “It’s Not Racist If It’s True” tee — on the streets of downtown Toronto in broad daylight, I’ll have you know.

He made my week.

But that wasn’t catcalling.

And neither are the actions Crowder portrayed in his video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwdoXbxFwuY

Catcalling involves strange men uttering unsolicited, unwelcome comments to strange women on the street, in an attempt to attract and engage them sexually.

This activity annoys many, many women because — believe it or not — some of us are trying to think.

Or, at the very least, to feel:

Maybe we’re worried about a sick child or parent, or enjoying a little fantasy about a real or imaginary beau (who isn’t you), or re-playing a favorite song in our heads, or rehearsing what we’re going to tell our boss when we get back to the office.

Whatever we’re doing, catcalling men are presuming to interrupt and derail all that, rudely, crudely and selfishly.

Catcalling is like telemarketing, except in the street without a phone.

Meanwhile, Steven Crowder’s video shows him doing the exact opposite of catcalling:

He approaches women who are being paid to be approached in their retail associate jobs.

In a normal tone of voice, Crowder (who is also going about his business, not idling shiftlessly on a corner) compliments non-sexual aspects of their appearance, without adding anything like, “When do you get off work?” or “Sit on my face!”

The original “catcalling video” came out around Halloween, which amused me, because in quite a few famous rape-revenge/woman-centered horror movies that aired throughout October — all of them made many years ago — being catcalled drives the lead female character insane.

Criminally insane, actually.

Dear conservative men:

For one thing, catcalling is an argument against concealed carry, m’kay?

More importantly, being reflexively anti-“feminist” is just plain silly.

You wouldn’t yell even the mildest, most sincere compliments at another man you didn’t know who was just minding his own business.

So don’t do it to women — or “gaslight” us when we complain about it.