“Catcaller Zero”

We are always thrilled to see other DC blogs write about street harassment and were very happy to see this post yesterday on Urban Bohemian. We often wonder ourselves who started the rumor that street harassment is a great way to pick up women, find a wife, and settle down. Who is this “catcaller zero” as Urban Bohemian and Shaw Girl have named him? We did once read in the Express under wedding announcements that a man “hollered” at his now wife in order to meet her. But from most of our experience it does not work, yet a few of our male commentators debate otherwise and claim it is all part of evolution.

Cross posted from Urban Bohemian

After walking around the city and enjoying the amazing weather, James and I were headed back to the metro through Thomas Circle. It was just past 5pm and even though it was nice outside, the impending sunset* on a school night is the signal for me to head home.

We’d just made it past the first “spoke” preparing to cross M Street. There was a woman, by herself, talking on her cell phone also waiting to cross. While waiting for the light to cross, a van–maintenance or delivery, I can’t recall–pulled into the crosswalk and rolled down the driver-side window.

The driver was grinning madly at the woman and we’d just gotten close enough to hear the exchange:

Him: You’re so pretty, you made me stop.

Her: In the middle of the crosswalk?! (We had the light by this time)
So the three of us walked around behind the van and kept on going. And I know there’s still the issue of a lack of respect and that street harassment is a big problem, but it was impossible not to laugh. The woman was laughing too when she related what the guy said to James, finishing with “I tell you, it’s hard for a straight girl out here!”

Shaw Girl and I were discussing this over brunch one day. We need to locate… for lack of a better term, Catcaller Zero. We need to find that guy that started randomly hollerin’ at/talking to women on the street and was either so successful, or told people that he was successful that it snowballed this mess we got nowadays. I think he’s just an urban legend, but it might help if he’d come clean because everything I’ve seen indicates a zero success rate for randomly shouting at women on the street or from within traffic.**

Even so, what did that guy in the van–or any of these other men–think was going to happen? She would be so smitten by his blocking pedestrian traffic just to say hello that she’d hand over her number? Hop into the van? What? And I don’t accept that this guy was hollerin’ just to holla as he was clearly waiting for a response. Gotta think out that next move, man. Just sayin’! :roll:

Location: M Street NW