Cat-calling is not without gradient, and not all uninvited attention from a strange man is threatening or really even obnoxious. For example, the besuited senior citizen who once shouted “God Bless America” at me from his milk crate throne was perfectly charming—namely because he wasn’t vulgar, didn’t expect a response, and made no move to follow me. On the other end of the spectrum you have guys who trail behind you as you walk, pester you for acknowledgement, become enraged at your evasion, or just plain disgust you with graphic harassment. Yesterday I had some rando yell at me, “What that mouth for?” and while I always hope I would be quick enough to yell “for biting off dicks!” in such a situation, I was thrown by the sudden shock of being screamed at by a stranger, and I didn’t gain my composure quickly enough for a decent riposte.
So how is one to avoid cat-calling? Comedian Jessica Delfino tried wearing a garbage bag, and it kind of worked! I have to say though, I see a few fatal flaws to her experiment’s conditions. One, this does not look like a trash bag. I mean kudos on the draping and everything, but that is a very fashion-forward interpretation of the medium—even without the figure-flattering benefit of the patented cinch sack! Two, she’s obviously traveling with a cameraman, and despite her attempts to be discreet, you’re way less likely to get cat-called when you’re with a friend, especially a male friend with a camera. Finally, I feel like there has got to be a dude out there with a trash bag fetish for whom this would only be a serious turn-on.
Still, her initial results are compelling, and further trials are encouraged. Personally I’d like to explore the repellent properties of a pregnancy prosthetic—again, you’d get some fetishists, but you can’t avoid every perv.