5 Epic Tips on How to Deal with Catcalls


Sometimes all a gal really wants is to walk down the street without being whistled at, hollered at, or told to “smile more,” amirite?

Catcalling is the (obnoxious) practice of whistling, blowing air kisses, lip smacks, or sharing choice words to women walking down the street.

In the United States we call it street harassment, and it’s a big problem in places like New York City. In Buenos Aires, it’s thought of as harmless flattery.

This cultural practice is common in many countries where machismo reigns supreme and is generally harmless. But that doesn’t make it any less jarring when it happens to you.

So what’s the deal with Catcalling? And how do you handle it when you experience it?

Here are some tips on how to deal with catcalls.

How to deal with catcalls

1) Try to avoid eye contact

However frustrating, eye contact can sometimes give a person the idea that you want to be spoken to. It sucks to feel like you have to always keep your head down to thwart off attention from men, but that’s the general idea here.

Keep your head slightly down and pretend there’s a barrier between you and the outside world.

2) Keep your wrinkled nose hidden

I know, it’s hard to walk through a group of smelly men who are simply drooling as you approach them, but if you look extra annoyed about it, they might feed off of your reaction and bother you more.

Part of how to deal with catcalls is figuring out your boundaries, both emotional and physical. Sometimes the best way to deal is just to keep your head down and keep moving on!

After all, you’re a busy lady with places to be and things to do. Don’t give these jerks the pleasure of a reaction.

3) Keep things in perspective

Understand that things are simply different in different parts of the world, and nothing you do is causing that. You can try your best to blend in with the clothes you wear, and that might not also make any difference.

It isn’t you, it’s them.

4) Know how to retaliate

I know I just told you to keep walking, but when it comes to how to deal with catcalls sometimes you need to say something. In general, I allow each man one comment without any retaliation.

However, if they persist and simply will not leave me alone, I have a few scathing comments I like to whip out for the especially pushy men who need to be put in their place. For Spanish-speaking countries, try “no me toques” (don’t touch me) or “no me molestas,” (don’t bother me).

5) Be careful

If it’s late at night, dark and deserted, don’t take chances with offering a retort or even with engaging with the catcallers. Just speed walk past them and don’t say a word. Swallowing your pride is a small price to pay to keep yourself safe.

What is your advice for how to deal with catcalls? Have any crazy stories of encounters you’ve had with men abroad? Do share!

5 tips on how to deal with catcalls while traveling

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  2. After spending a semester in Florence, I got so used to the catcalls that I missed them when I returned. I felt suddenly unappreciated and ignored. Talk about ironic!

    The best thing you can do is maintain your perspective (yup, its different in Argentina than the US) and ignore.

    • Haha, I don’t think I could miss it at all. For about a week I had a guy visiting so I never got yelled at. The first time I walked outside my place without him I got catcalled 4 times in 5 blocks.

  3. I remember in Mexico seeing a cab driver make loud kissing sounds to a girl he passed on the street — kind of funny, yet pathetic at the same time!

  4. Having almost been in Latin America a year now it doesn’t even phase me anymore, some catcalls are nice and call you beautiful and others are hissing. I ignore both.

    The important thing to remember is that while they may hiss or whistle, it’s extremely rare that they’d ever try to touch you.

    • Bhatnagar provides the fwonloilg quote from the Ramayana: “Rama was born on the Navami tithi of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra masa (9th day of the increasing phase of the moon in the lunar month of Chaitra). At that time, the nakshatra was Punarvasu, and Sun, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus were in Aries, Capricorn, Libra, Cancer and Pisces respectively. Lagna was Cancer and Jupiter & Moon were shining together. — Ramayana 1.18.8,9The conditions can be summarized as follows, according to Bhatnagar:1. Sun in Aries2. Saturn in Libra3. Jupiter in Cancer4. Venus in Pisces5. Mars in Capricorn6. Lunar month of Chaitra7. 9th day after New Moon (Navami Tithi, Shukla Paksh)8. Moon near Punarvasu Nakshatra (Pollux star in Gemini constellation)9. Cancer as Lagna (Cancer constellation rising in the east)10. Jupiter above the horizonAccording to the Planetarium software, it provides the fwonloilg date: Sri Rama Navami 10th January 5114 BCE Birth Day of Rama, Observation at 12.30 p.m.Bhatnagar continues: “By using a powerful planetarium software, I found that the planetary positions mentioned in Ramayana for the date of birth of Lord Ram had occurred in the sky at around 12.30 p.m. of 10th January 5114 BC. It was the ninth day of the Shukla Paksh of Chaitra month too. Moving forward, after 25 years of the birth of Lord Ram, the position of planets in the sky tallies with their description in Ramayana. Again, on the amavasya (new moon) of the 10th month of the 13th year of exile the solar eclipse had indeed occurred and the particular arrangement of planets in the sky was visible. ( Date comes to 7th October, 5077 BC). Even the occurrence of subsequent two eclipses also tally with the respective description in Valmiki Ramayana. (Date of Hanuman’s meeting Sita at Lanka was 12th September, 5076 BC). In this manner the entire sequence of the planetary positions gets verified and all the dates can be precisely determined.”

  5. In Vietnam, kissing noises mean “come here”. It feels very strange to be out drinking with a bunch of Vietnamese people, many of whom are coupled up, and suddenly someone starts making loud kiss-suck noises at the waitress. I always used to think “geez I’d belt someone who did that to me”.

    • Whatever you have written is too deep for me to grasp anyihtng I can say-Nice research You should send this hypothysis to some religious -knowledable ppl Let them evaluate-I m not qualified to say any thing.

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  7. Posted on Your are not worthless. You mean the world to soenome. You just need to find out who. And don’t ever try to take your life ever you are loved by more people than you think.

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