Monday, October 29, 2012

class and catcalling

This video about catcalling is both funny and a fine illustration of the ineffectiveness of Social Justice Warriors:

The advice? Men should talk to their friends about how women hate catcalling. The ineffectiveness? Catcalling has an enormous class component. The men who will talk to their friends about catcalling are not the problem, and neither are their friends. They're usually in a social class that doesn't catcall.

The problem is recognized in Catcalling and Connections to Class at Sustained Enthusiasm. The writer doesn't have room to explore the connection, maybe because exploring it calls for exploring US capitalism, bad schools, and the lives of men who don't have work. Some of those men catcall in the way poor people buy lottery tickets, knowing it won't work but, for a moment, being able to dream that it will. Others catcall because, for one brief moment, they're more powerful than someone else.

A proper study of catcalling would explore the class dynamics. Do poor women and middle-class women respond the same way to catcalling? Do they get the same kinds of catcalls? Do they get them from the same kinds of men?

I'll keep looking for answers. But right now, I'm glad I was able to find someone who saw the problem clearly enough to acknowledge that this is yet another issue with an enormous, rarely acknowledged class component.