What Men Should Do Instead Of Catcalling Us

Even though we all love to be told we’re beautiful, there’s a time and a place for those types of compliments. Hearing a stranger yell about our looks on an empty street can be much more terrifying than it is flattering. If any men want to trade in their titles as sleazeballs to become actual gentlemen, there are a few things that they can do instead of catcalling us.

  1. Say “hello” to us. Forget whistling at us. Forget demeaning us. While we’re at it, forget all of those cheesy pickup lines about falling from heaven. Instead, walk up to us and say, “Hello.” That’s literally all a man needs to do to get our attention.
  2. Give us a real compliment. Even though men think that staring at a woman’s ass and telling her how big it looks is flattering, it’s not. A real compliment involves telling us we have a lovely smile or sparkling eyes. Mention our genes, not our jeans.
  3. Buy us a drink. Or even better, buy us an ice cream cone. Or offer to pay for our burrito at Chipotle. Whatever works. Just don’t expect us to have sex with you because you shelled out five bucks.
  4. Smile at us. No, a smile probably won’t get you laid, but it will get you a smile in return. Hey, that’s more than catcalling would ever get you.
  5. Ask us questions. If a man really wants to approach a woman, he should do so with respect. Walk up to us and politely ask us how to get to a certain town or where the nearest bus stop is. If we act friendly, then you can try to continue the conversation.
  6. Make eye contact with us. Eyes are the windows into the soul. If we look worried when we glance back at you, we probably think you’re going to hurt us. However, if we meet your eyes and give you a flirty little look, then that’s your cue to approach.
  7. Be blunt with us. If you really want to ask us out, walk up to us, introduce yourself, and ask us if we’re available. The key to this is to treat us with respect during the entire conversation. If you come across as creepy, we’ll run the other way.
  8. Use the Internet. No, you shouldn’t jot down our license plate numbers to stalk us. But if it’s meant to be, you might stumble across our profile on Tinder. Or if you want to tempt fate, you can put out a “missed connections” bulletin on Craigslist.
  9. Comment to your friends. It’s creepy when total strangers tell us how hot we are. That’s why you should keep some opinions to yourselves. If you really need to voice your opinion, you can tell your buddy about how pretty we are instead of creeping us out by telling us directly.
  10. Nothing. No man has ever landed a date by catcalling. So if you choose to say nothing to a woman instead of verbally harassing her, you’ll get the same result—except now we’ll feel safer on the streets.
Holly Riordan is a writer from Long Island, New York who has authored several science fiction and horror books. A graduate of Stony Brook University, she has spent nearly a decade writing for publications including Thought Catalog, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, and more. You can find her on Instagram @hollyrio and Twitter @hollyyrio.