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A Piece About Catcalling from a Man’s Perspective

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“Why’d you let that ripe piece of ass get away?” There were 20 of them. Big fuckers. No like BIG fuckers. And they were drunk too. They were standing on the corner of Broadway and Columbus, outside the pizza place, with boxes of that greasy stuff. They were commenting on me putting my good friend Lauryn in a cab and sending her home. I was waiting for a cab myself.

I’m usually very quick with the bounce and roll and have something clever to say to pretty much everything. But I was stoned and drunk. Not that it matters.

I said, “She’s my friend.” The cacophony of “Why didn’t you fuck her?” continued.

I was exhausted and heading home, but I could’ve lied and boasted and played their game saying things like, “Shit, I hit that all the time.” or “I’m off to fuck another hot piece of ass” or “I’m heading to a threesome.” But I didn’t want to be complicit in their verbal assaults or the terrorism that women have to deal with on a daily basis.

I wanted to say, “I just needed to get her home safely away from people like you.” Which is weird since these guys probably weren’t rapists, they just postured like rapists when they’re in front of other dudes.

But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t say, “All 20 of you monstrous motherfuckers have moms or sisters or wives or girlfriends. All 20 of you have loved a woman before. All 20 of you have women in your life who you worry will come across men acting just like you are right now. How can you let each other say these things and act this way?” But I didn’t want to get to beaten to death by 20 big, drunk fuckers with pizza grease running down their faces. I knew that’s exactly what would’ve happened if I had.

Just then a pretty girl walked by and crossed the street while the chorus of creeps started hollering shit like “Not even a smile?” and “Not even one look this way?” I thought about darting out to her and saying “I’m sorry. We’re not all like this,” and walking her across the street away from them. But I couldn’t, it would’ve made it far worse for both of us.

So I just nodded and waited for a cab, occasionally deflecting their taunts of “Why didn’t you fuck her?” with vague responses like, “I’m not too worried about that.” Vague is good. It makes you see more clever than you are.

Then I ate the pizza they offered me, I was stoned and drunk after all, and got in a cab and went home.


This story isn’t for all the women who are reading it, it’s for all the men. Teach your boys what it means to love women. Teach them to respect their moms. Teach them to hug their sisters. Teach them that it’s not ok to harass women or intimidate them under the guise of “just trying to holler at them”. When you do this, women find you fucking terrifying.

Talking back to these 20 belligerent men, telling them that their mothers/sisters/wives/daughters are scared of guys who act just as they were, would not have been brave. It would have been stupid. Brave would’ve been a guy in their group saying, “Hey, this isn’t OK. I have a sister too. I love my mother. I don’t want my daughter to be scared to walk alone.”

Do you love the women in your life? Then be brave, stick up for them when it can actually make a difference. Then maybe your friends will do the same thing too.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.

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