Hana Shafi Is That Supposed to Make Me Swoon?

Three strange men tried to flirt with my friends and me by telling us they could perform an exorcism. Once it became apparent that our interest was waining and we were trying to get away, one of the guys comes out with an ultra creepy “you can run, but you can’t hide.” Sound ridiculous? Well, this bizarre pick-up attempt is actually just part of a long list of totally fucking absurd attempts at “flirtation,” most of which can basically be summed up by sexual harassment on the street and drive-by catcalling.

Dear creepy guys zooming by in a car, the shit you yell out the window isn't flattering. It’s gross, and also pretty scary. When I’m walking home late at night and some guy sticks his head out the window and tells me that I’ve got a great ass, my first instinct isn’t to swoon and giggle and blush: it’s to either flip em’ the bird or remember to aim for the groin first. It may sound paranoid to you, but I have a lot of lady friends who’d agree with me.

I once had an argument with a guy who insisted to me that I must’ve felt flattered by those comments. I had to explain to him that those badly timed so-called compliments really have nothing to do with me looking particularly hot. Here’s the proof, and I know plenty of gals who can vouch for this: I’ve been catcalled in a tight dress, short shorts and a tank top; but I’ve also been catcalled in sweatpants brandishing a greasy curry stain, a parka WITH the hood up, and sweating buckets while my hair frizzes out of control. It’s not so much a “that chick is hot, I’d like to tell her that she looks great tonight,” so much as it’s a “hey look, that girl is alone and we’re in a car. Let’s yell something nasty and then drive away!!!!”

Word of advice to anyone who’s ever done that or thinks it’d be fun: it’s rude, and often times feels threatening. So many of my friends and I have had experiences where we’ve hesitated to just say “fuck off” because of the fear that the drunken asshole shouting about our sweet tits may suddenly get hostile. In fact, I’ve made the decision to just ignore it, and suddenly I’m being cussed out for not gushing with joy at their crappy “compliments.”

Maybe you’re not a total asshole; maybe you genuinely believe that the lady walking by has the sweetest ass that you’ve ever laid eyes upon. Here’s a tip for you, though: whistling, honking, or shouting out the window does not come off as seduction so much as it feels like harassment. Believe me, there’s no such thing as pervert-chic. 



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