The Instigator
Amphia
Con (against)
The Contender
roguerogue
Pro (for)

Is It O.K. for Men and Boys to Comment on Women and Girls on the Street?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2018 Category: People
Updated: 1 week ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 147 times Debate No: 107905
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

Amphia

Con

This idea for a debate came to me after reading an article by the NYT about it. I encourage you to read the article.
https://learning.blogs.nytimes.com...

I am against cat-calling. I feel that such comments are not taken as compliments by most women. Here is a an excerpt of a comment (posted on the article) that I agree with:

"...Girls do like being called beautiful. Really what person doesn"t? But to most of us what matters more is who is saying it, or hows it being said, or when. If it is some random guy on the street then it doesn"t mean much. If it was your boyfriend or husband just at home or when your out on a date then it would mean a lot more..."

Those who cat-call are strangers and thus are basing their opinion on the women's looks and physicality or "sexual appeal". By commenting on women on the street, you are reducing them to sexual objects. Many women do not feel pleased or flattered by such comments. Instead they feel scared, uncomfortable, or disgusted. People tell stories of being commented on at the age of 10 or 12 by older men. What does this teach them? That beauty is skin-deep? That it is okay for strangers to yell inappropriate things at you?

"According to researchers with anti-harrassment group iHollaback and Cornell University, 84 percent (!) of females have been catcalled by the time they reach age 17. Scarier still? 13 percent of women are exposed to it by age 10.

Personally, I'm lucky" I've only ever had to deal with lewd words and noises, but as it turns out, I'm in the minority. Of the roughly 16,000 women across 22 countries that the researchers surveyed, more than half of them had been groped or fondled in public."

http://www.elle.com...

Okay one, most women have been catcalled before the age of 17? GLOBALLY I MIGHT ADD. This is not just a U.S problem, this is a world problem. How is that even okay or acceptable? And then over half have been fondled or groped in public? Women are not here to please or gratify sexually frustrated men. Cat-calling is unacceptable.
roguerogue

Pro

I do not think this argument was simply about cat calling, because I have seen the full extent of these kinds of ideologies. I have been insulted for even commenting on a woman's attractiveness at all. "I am not some object to be rated. You don't take me seriously because I'm a woman." To center the argument on cat calling is to go with the most logically valid issue, which does a disservice to the more extreme view points. But let us continue.

I will not comment on the actual article because I get the gist, but instead I will focus on your points. You say that those who cat call are strangers, and thus they are basing their opinions of the women's looks on sexual appeal. For one, there is nothing wrong with a stranger showing admiration. In fact, it is one of the biggest driving forces of society. Who really has the right to say that I'm a stranger, so my admiration isn't valid? Do women only dress up for the ones they hold dearly? This implies an odd relationship with their coworkers! (Just a joke)

Now, onto your point about reducing them to sexual objects. You are conflating sexual attraction with sexual objection. Sexual attraction is a biological component of every single animal that has ever existed. You should not feel guilty for feeling this. The expression of this sexual admiration does not make you a rapist. It is stating an opinion that will exist, regardless of whether it is said or not. Many women feel scared by compliments? I would definitely beg to differ. By what basis do you make this claim? What research tells you that strangers are so stuck up, that even praise is an insult to them? If so, then they have been warped by society. I personally love compliments. I appreciate that anyone would take time out of their day to notice something I'm doing well. Women deserve this too.

People tell stories of being complimented by older men. Are the comments creepy? Ten to twelve years old? That's a little bit intellectually dishonest. Obviously it is extremely inappropriate for an older man to call a young girl sexy, or something along those lines. That's not an issue of compliments. That's an issue of predatory behavior. And you're asking me what this teaches them. Why are we so worried about other people teaching things to our children? Why do we think that children are so dumb, that they just randomly learn things that are extremely unrealistic, and will never learn otherwise? I think you are placing too much importance on a compliment.

And also too much importance on censorship. Let me explain. I think we take the issue of children far too seriously. Everyone is so worried about the children, but at what point does this stop? At what point will we just censor our very existence because we think it is harmful to children? They're growing up in the real world. Back when jazz music was "bad for the children" because it was made by African Americans, at what point did that start to seem ridiculous?

Okay so the next point is about how lucky you were to only have to deal with certain things, so I'll leave that to your personal experience. These statistics. They seem like scare tactics. Allow me to ask you something. How many people do you think are in those 22 countries? What constitutes "roughly"? Does groping and fondling have anything to do with comments? That's rape, and should be left out here. The 84 percent of females who have been catcalled by 17 were LITERALLY reported by an "anti harassment group"? Does that not imply bias? What was their operational definition for "catcalling"? Under what circumstances does it become normal to catcall a damn (strong language, because this is a serious issue) a damn 8 year old? What women were even exposed? This study isn't about "women". It's about a group of women. And even YOUR experience goes against this. Is sexual harassment of underage girls okay? God no. But that wasn't the topic.

I just addressed this, and so did you, so no need to restate the point. Though I see why you would address it twice. As I said, it's a strong issue but that DEFINITELY lends to the political bias of the website. Google their leanings. We know that women are not here to please sexually frustrated men, unless they consent to do so. But at what point does cat calling become pleasing? At what point are the men just drunk, and the women are out in skimpy clothing? It feels as if this is all an issue of exaggeration. We're creating such a boogeyman out of comments. And I tend to lean on the side of logic.
Debate Round No. 1
Amphia

Con

"I do not think this argument was simply about cat calling, because I have seen the full extent of these kinds of ideologies. I have been insulted for even commenting on a woman's attractiveness at all. "I am not some object to be rated. You don't take me seriously because I'm a woman." To center the argument on cat calling is to go with the most logically valid issue, which does a disservice to the more extreme view points. But let us continue." This argument is solely about cat-calling but I am interested to hear what your views on the "more extreme view points" are. Could you elaborate on that?

You say that those who cat call are strangers, and thus they are basing their opinions of the women's looks on sexual appeal. For one, there is nothing wrong with a stranger showing admiration. In fact, it is one of the biggest driving forces of society. Who really has the right to say that I'm a stranger, so my admiration isn't valid?" YOUR admiration might be well-founded and innocent but many men's "admiration" is not AND you are a stranger from the side of the street. I don't know you, I don't know what you mean, what your purpose is when you say "You are beautiful" or "hey baby". I hear your words and I can take it a number of ways. Are you a creep? Are you trying to get into my pants? I am certainly not thinking "wow that guy is so nice for calling me sexy". I am sorry if you have "complimented" women and received negative feedback but you don't understand what it is like to be on the receiving end. It makes people uncomfortable, disgusted, objectified.

"Now, onto your point about reducing them to sexual objects. You are conflating sexual attraction with sexual objection. Sexual attraction is a biological component of every single animal that has ever existed. You should not feel guilty for feeling this. The expression of this sexual admiration does not make you a rapist. It is stating an opinion that will exist, regardless of whether it is said or not. Many women feel scared by compliments? I would definitely beg to differ. By what basis do you make this claim?" I am not saying anyone is a rapist. being honest, a lot of men cat-call and think they are complimenting a woman. What I am saying is that I do not think this is okay and they need to be taught to stop this behavior. As I said before, imagine me trying to get to work and some dude on the street is calling me beautiful or sexy or baby. I DON'T know you. You seem to not understand that unfamiliarity is very scary. If I go on a date, and I have gotten to know the guy and he says I am beautiful, I take that as a compliment because there is a sense of familiarity. You say you beg to differ but how would YOU know? You don't know how women feel when a stranger starts saying things to them on the street.

"What research tells you that strangers are so stuck up, that even praise is an insult to them? If so, then they have been warped by society." It is not about being stuck-up. Are you implying that if a woman doesn't accept your compliment (you being a stranger) she is "stuck-up"?

"I personally love compliments. I appreciate that anyone would take time out of their day to notice something I'm doing well. Women deserve this too." How can a stranger know what I do well in my day? They can't compliment me on anything other than what they see. They don't know what I do in my work, or my house, etc. and thus can't give me compliments that matter. Women deserve to be complimented not catcalled.

"People tell stories of being complimented by older men. Are the comments creepy? Ten to twelve years old? That's a little bit intellectually dishonest. Obviously it is extremely inappropriate for an older man to call a young girl sexy, or something along those lines. That's not an issue of compliments. That's an issue of predatory behavior." I see what you mean here. I am just saying that society has gotten so tolerant of this behavior that men feel comfortable extending it to children. It's disgusting.

"And you're asking me what this teaches them. Why are we so worried about other people teaching things to our children? Why do we think that children are so dumb, that they just randomly learn things that are extremely unrealistic, and will never learn otherwise? I think you are placing too much importance on a compliment." I think you are not placing enough importance on the sponge-like qualities of a child's mind. They learn things indirectly.

"And also too much importance on censorship. Let me explain. I think we take the issue of children far too seriously. Everyone is so worried about the children, but at what point does this stop? At what point will we just censor our very existence because we think it is harmful to children? They're growing up in the real world. Back when jazz music was "bad for the children" because it was made by African Americans, at what point did that start to seem ridiculous?" For one, why is there such a negative stigma associated with censorship? We don't let our kids watch porn. That is censorship. We don't let them watch rated R movies. That is censorship too. We do this because they are too young for this kind of information. Because they should not be exposed to it. While we don't want to overdo censorship (like with the jazz thing), I do not think that working to stop cat-calling is bad at all.

"Okay so the next point is about how lucky you were to only have to deal with certain things, so I'll leave that to your personal experience. These statistics. They seem like scare tactics. Allow me to ask you something. How many people do you think are in those 22 countries? What constitutes "roughly"? Does groping and fondling have anything to do with comments? That's rape, and should be left out here. The 84 percent of females who have been catcalled by 17 were LITERALLY reported by an "anti harassment group"? Does that not imply bias? What was their operational definition for "catcalling"? Under what circumstances does it become normal to catcall a damn (strong language, because this is a serious issue) a damn 8 year old? What women were even exposed? This study isn't about "women". It's about a group of women. And even YOUR experience goes against this. Is sexual harassment of underage girls okay? God no. But that wasn't the topic."

Just want so you know, it wasn't MY experience, that was part of the article excerpt (it was the author's experience). I see what you mean when you refute the statistics but you might as well apply that to every statistic on Earth right? Polls on elections, statistics about crime rates, or abortion rates, approval ratings, polls about beliefs etc. We can't interview every person on Earth, so we try to talk to as many as possible. I would say 16,000 people is a lot. And I implore you think about this: isn't interesting that they choose a random 16,000 women (for the global study) and 84% of them have been catcalled before the age of 17? And here is another statistic for you: Over 99 percent of American women say they"ve been a victim of street harassment. The study talked to 811 women. Don't you find it interesting that 99% of them have been harassed? I think that while no statistic (none) are 100% perfect, they are the best reflection of our society. What other way do you propose?

(http://www.stopstreetharassment.org...)

And regarding them being a "biased" organization. Would you say that CDC who advocates against smoking is somehow "biased" and thus should not be trusted regarding statistics?

"We know that women are not here to please sexually frustrated men, unless they consent to do so. But at what point does cat calling become pleasing?
You mentioned consent which is interesting because when have women ever consented to cat-calling? When have women ever gone out and said "Please catcall me." Most women do NOT appreciate cat-calling because they are not compliments, they are not welcome.

"At what point are the men just drunk, and the women are out in skimpy clothing?" I don't know what you are trying to say by this and I choose not to assume anything. Please explain.

"It feels as if this is all an issue of exaggeration. We're creating such a boogeyman out of comments. And I tend to lean on the side of logic." I have not exaggerated anything here. Women are complaining about this. Search "cat-calling experiences", watch videos of women who just walk out on the street and get harassed. Women don't like this. And clearly you do not lean on the side of logic, you seem to think catcalling is acceptable.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Arclite 1 week ago
Arclite
In addition, one also has to consider that this study was not at random, given people were given a chance to apply for an openly admitted topic. Logically, this dictates that in all likelihood the majority of participants were people who had been sexually harassed. This is in essence like taking a non-random sample group of 100 people, of which 83 are rape victims who are willing to come forward, and concluding that 83% of the represented population has been raped. What should have been done was an at random study of 16,000 people who had no knowledge of the topic prior to the study. This ensures an at random representation of both people who have been a victim and who have not. If this had been the case, I would be the first to wager the stats would have been very different, broad conclusions aside.

Source [2] " SSH study, which is a non-profit organization. This is much the same issue as the first. This group again took a sample size far less than the general US population [0.00006 approx.] and synthesized broad claims of public sexual misconduct and harassment.
In general, neither of these were comprehensive studies.

- Arclite <3
Posted by Arclite 1 week ago
Arclite
First off, the topic of this debate was misleading in a sense. The premise stated in both the header and context of the discourse was to discuss the morality and legality of sexual harassment. Given this, this discussion was created around an axiom. As indicated by law and public consensus, sexual harassment is unacceptable. A better suited topic pertaining to this broad idea would have been to argue the definition of sexual harassment, which is clearly a contested idea. I, as another woman, would disagree with your [Con] concept of the crime. However, the debate descended into a blasphemous and unfounded speech on an apparent pandemic of sexual harassment.
I took the liberty of looking at Con"s sources, and I found numerous discrepancies. In short, these studies and articles are misleading and disingenuous at best.
Source [1] - This article was from Elle, a feminine blog and discussion forum. The article was a poor interpretation of poorly done study, where apparently 84% of women, age 17, have been sexually harassed already. First off, this kind of vague statement is a predatory tactic. Any uninformed and uneducated reader [Exactly the people these kinds of articles and studies are preying on] would read this an infer exactly what Con has. I, as a critical mind, thought "84% of women where?". Globally, or in Liechtenstein? To be honest, I am not exactly sure where the article got this value. From reading the study, a sample group of 16k women were taken to analyze the rates of sexual harassment around the world. The problem here is one of proportionality, given 16,000 constitutes far less than 1% of the global female population [0.000004 approx.]. From here, the study makes vague claims, such as "66% of German women have been groped or fondled in public", which in actuality is 66% of their study group, which could have been no more than a couple thousand given the study was conducted across 22 countries. See the problem here?

[More in additional comment]
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