Twitt Twoo To You

The other day a man wolf whistled at me! He was up on a roof, I assume fixing it when he let out a quick ‘twitt twoo’ as I trotted past. Of course, I am not so pig headed that I immediately thought ‘yep that’s for me’, I slyly scoured the area behind my sunglasses and unless he had a delectation for old men walking their Cavapoo’s then it was definitely for me and guess what… I actually couldn’t stop myself from saying “aww thank you”!

I noticed Joanna Lumley made headlines a few weeks back for declaring that wolf whistling was a compliment and women are becoming “very offended by everything” and I couldn’t agree MORE.

joanna-lumley

As women have we become so self righteous that we are unable to receive a harmless compliment on our appearance? Personally, I view the wolf whistle as a sort of musical expression of appreciation for another and feel it should be greeted by a humble grin rather than an angry grimace.

Perhaps we are losing sight that a man cheekily singing a quick song in your direction isn’t an invasion of your personal space or him attempting to besmirch your rights as a modern woman. It might just be that he admires the swagger in your walk.

In July the Nottinghamshire Police stated that wolf whistling might be considered a hate crime in the future. How sad that we are lucky enough to enjoy such empowerment and freedom as females in this country yet we have become so priggish that we cannot differentiate between someone offering gentle praise to someone hurling vicious offences.

As a mother of two beautiful girls I intend to raise them as wonderfully self assured women who can handle themselves. I’d like to think that they will be able to control any situation to their benefit and will take praise modestly without it ballooning their ego’s but also not to be so highly strung that they can’t laugh at themselves.

I feel that over reacting on issues such as wolf whistling can lessen the disgust we should harbour for the true predatory b*stards that exist in the world.

We tend to our hair and pay good money for flattering clothing so should someone, be it a male or a female, offer a little tune in your direction then don’t be ashamed to giggle girlishly. There are worse things that can happen in your day.

Twitt Twoo x

 

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. Kathryn says:

    I completely agree … Great article CHLOE, don’t get any ( wolf whistles ) these days unfortunately but got a ‘reasonable’ amount in my twenties and I ALWAYS smiled and said thank you. Show me someone who doesn’t like a little ego boost now and then and I’ll show you a liar. Quite honestly the world has gone mad !!!

  2. Miriam says:

    Hey Chloe! So I thought I’d jot down a few thoughts on the matter, apologies if I sound a little melodramatic but it really is something I feel quite strongly about.

    It’s true, wolf-whistling is often nothing more than an innocent compliment, and many women will take it as such. But my worry is not so much around the wolf whistle itself, but what this behaviour in turn lends itself to as part of a wider issue of respect. Like all women, I’ve been wolf-whistled and cat called from the age of about 14, on a regular basis. I’ve also been followed home, asked to get into peoples’ cars, and had sexually aggressive comments shouted at me in broad daylight. I can see that not all of those are the same thing, but it is easy for one to become the other. If we teach our boys and men that it’s flattering and complimentary to wolf-whistle at women, how can we expect them to know basic boundaries of respect? If a wolf-whistle is complimentary, then why not tell the woman she has a “nice arse” or “great tits”, or better yet give her a little squeeze as she walks past to let her know how great she looks today? It’s these grey areas that worry me, and how easy it is for a man to justify his actions as complimentary even if they can be received as predatory and aggressive. I know many will read my above comments and think I am hugely over-reacting, that of course groping or verbal aggression is wrong. But if we don’t start with the small stuff, we can never expect to educate men on how to ensure that women feel safe and respected wherever they go.

    I also don’t think it’s right that we tar all experiences with the same brush, or tell women how they should feel in these situations. Sure, a little wolf-whistle in broad daylight while you’re walking through your home town isn’t an issue and I’m not saying we should respond with aggression and disgust. But imagine you are a woman who has deep social anxiety, or worse has been a victim of sexual harassment or abuse? Imagine you weren’t in your home town but in fact down a dark alleyway, or in a foreign town, or lost somewhere alien and scary? Would a wolf-whistle really sound so complimentary and lighthearted then? I can honestly say that every wolf-whistle, cat-call or comment that I’ve received anywhere, at any age, has made me feel nothing but uncomfortable, awkward, and often just annoyed. I can also say that hand on heart any effort I put into my hair and makeup that day is purely for my own pleasure, and never with the hope of catching a stranger’s eye on the street. I’ve often wondered as well at the wolf-whistler’s intent, are they all just letting you know you look nice, or is there a more predatory undertone?

    This is not to say that all men that wolf-whistle are sleazy pervs, but it’s also true that of all the wonderful, kind, funny and decent men that I know, not a single one would dream of wolf-whistling a stranger on the street. And that does make me wonder about the general attitude and opinions of these men.

    I will always remember a time when my friend and I were travelling, and we were on a beach in Thailand. We were going through a phase of being particularly pissed off with a lot of the male species that we encountered on a daily basis, and feeling like objects that were constantly ogled and commented on. (This is not a comment on us, I know that all women travellers regularly experience this). It was lunchtime, and we were walking along the beach when a British guy walking towards us, stopped us from walking past, towered over us, looked us up and down and leered “I’d love a go on you two.” I can remember wanting to tell him to fuck off. We came back to our friends that we had been travelling with for a few days, and told them about what we’d just experienced. One of the guys just looked at us in complete surprise and said, “god girls, you really need to just take it as a compliment.” That really stuck with me. That you can reduce such a disgusting invasion of someone’s personal space, one that assumes that as women we want to know just how sexy and desirable we are, to a compliment – I couldn’t and still can’t understand it.

    It’s for this reason that I hope you can see where I’m coming from on this. If I escalate it further still, and think about victims of sexual abuse and rape, we know from statistics that most women feel too scared or ashamed to come forward. We tell our girls and women: “Don’t wear that, don’t go there late at night, don’t walk home on your own.” But when do we tell our young boys, teenagers and men “Don’t treat a woman like that, don’t make a woman feel objectified, a woman is more than just a thing for you to admire.” That’s why I believe that even with the most trivial of things like wolf-whistling, we need to set an example of respect that tells men that women are so much more than their pretty outer shell, that they are strong, brilliant, funny and intelligent, and often don’t want to feel objectified or gawped at while they pop to the shops for a pint of milk.

    Wow – I’ve written quite an essay here, sorry! But I really can’t express enough how much change I feel needs to be made for us to one day live in a world when men and women mutually respect and support one another.

    I want to end quickly by just saying – none of my comments are a reflection on you at all. I think you’re a fantastic mother and woman, and from what I know about you from the times we have met I am sure you’ll raise Scarlet and Georgia to be sparkling, witty, self-assured women who won’t bat an eyelid or get flustered by a causal wolf-whistle. But as girls becoming women in a difficult society and a conflicted world, I’m sure you’ll agree when I say, I hope they continue to fight for an equal world where women don’t take shit from any man! (and vice versa of course..)

    Thanks for listening 🙂

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