Catcall Or Compliment? – Josh Journal
As someone who isn’t prone to nor supportive of passing comments on strangers, I am not exactly the most qualified to speak on this subject. I should also mention that I would be heavily biased.
So, what constitutes a catcall? And what constitutes a compliment?
Think about it properly. What differentiates both?
A catcall is defined as a shout, whistle, or comment of a sexual nature, usually made toward a passing woman.
A compliment meanwhile is defined as an expression of praise, congratulation, or respect. It is the use of complimentary language, courtesy, and flattery.
Society has evolved and is still evolving to recognize the right of women especially to dress how they deem fit.
This is applaudable and is welcomed by those who have seized the opportunity to experiment, express, and enjoy themselves while at it.
There is an age-long debate on why women dress the way they do. Some posit that women dress primarily to please, attract, and impress men.
Others insist women dress to one-up other women. They want to compete with, dominate, and prove that they are more beautiful than others.
Most women meanwhile, if asked, will argue that they dress first and foremost for themselves.
They dress up or dress down depending on their mode. It is all done to make themselves feel beautiful and comfortable.
Whatever reason a woman gives, she isn’t wrong and she isn’t lying. You can’t prove otherwise.
Her dressing would have other unintended consequences. You can’t claim those consequences were actually her desire because you have no access to her thoughts.
To my next point, what is the right protocol to adopt when a woman is beautifully dressed?
For me, if she is my wife, there might be a delay before she proceeds to leave the house. What happens during the delay is not the subject of this post.
If it were a friend, I won’t hesitate before paying her a compliment. I don’t know if her hubby did that at home, but that’s his own business.
Styling a dress and putting together an ensemble is a tough task. I can’t reward her with cash, so the least I can do is say, “you look beautiful”.
If the person was a stranger, I have learned to mind my business.
The number of times I have seen a compliment taken for a catcall or escalated to something negative, unhealthy, and unwelcomed, I don’t ever want to be involved in that.
If within a short period of meeting her though, we get to relate, then I’ll go on to pay her the same compliment.
And if we only get to relate another time, if the original incident wasn’t in the distant past, I would remind her and compliment her.
By the way, whether I compliment her or not, that doesn’t mean I won’t look at and admire her. The most I would do is try not to stare.
There is no way I would see a beautiful and well-dressed woman and just look at her once and take my eyes off.
Anything and anyone aesthetically pleasing are meant to be admired. Not to an uncomfortable level, but reasonably.
God didn’t create beautiful people for us to just ignore their existence. If admiring a work of art pays homage to the artist, then admiring a beautiful creation of God would count as what?
I had to write this after I saw a video of a beautiful lady well-dressed walk through New York City. She had a camera crew with her, so this wasn’t a social experiment.
As she walked, all sorts of people paid her compliment. Male, female, white, black, old, and young. Her beauty was stunning and it was impossible not to notice.
I also couldn’t help noticing that some of the compliments given would normally have counted as catcalls. Like the exact words used.
I’m not saying there aren’t words that are straight-up catcalls and offensive. But then a lot of times, the line between compliment and catcall is nonexistent. Context becomes the dividing factor.
You could be giving the most beautiful compliment, but because of the context and manner in which you gave it, it is judged to be a catcall.
From what I heard, if it makes the recipient uncomfortable, it is also a catcall. But then how do I know her threshold for what is acceptable or not? I don’t mean the societal standard, I mean her personal one.
Look back at your secondary and university days. The same thing one boy told a girl that got her upset, another boy would tell her and she would be blushing. What is the difference between both guys?
She fancies one, she doesn’t fancy the other.
Many lists for tips on how to make the world better includes the line “compliment a stranger”. How are you to compliment someone without getting offensive?
I’ll advise you, keep it minimal. “You look beautiful.” “That dress looks nice on you.” “Color blue does wonder on your skin.”
Don’t go overboard and start talking about body parts, or how you would love to get her out of those clothes.
You can also leave out the exclamations and onomatopoeia. And keep it to a minimum.
There is no need to follow them or draw attention to them. They most likely won’t find that complimentary.
What you say and how you say it is often the difference between a compliment and a catcall. It is often the difference between all the ladies looking forward to seeing you in the morning or running away as soon as they see you.
In the end, it is up to you to be either a complimenter or a creep.