A lot of guys have quietly lamented to me “Well, I’m a feminist and I hate cat-calling but how do I get a date without looking creepy?” Hopefully this helps. If you find yourself doing the things on this list, just stop doing them. Please stop doing them.
1. The Slow Roll Cat-Call
This is when you’re trying to cross the street and a car slows down apparently to let you cross. Anticipating a stop you might even smile a thank you at the driver, except they don’t actually stop. They just keep slow rolling by you in order to get a look. Especially scary at night on a deserted street but I’ve had this happen at 7am on my way to work.
2. The Hand Grabber
In my opinion this is one of the worst offenders because it’s an actual assault on the body. You’re walking down the street and someone cat-calls. Usually with something sexy and charming like “Yo!” “Eh!! BABEH!!”. You ignore them because that’s not your name and you DGAF. The perpetrator thinks “oh clearly she’s deaf or can’t hear me” and proceeds to actually grab your hand to get your attention.
3. The Slide into the DMs Cat- Caller
I actually had this happen to me on Chess with Friends ©. Supposedly there’s a lot of shit talking in the online chess world and usually its pretty harmless/fun. This time I was challenged by a man who had decided that while my profile picture was pretty, it would be a lot nicer if I smiled.
4. The Subway Creeper
You walk into an empty subway car and have your pick of seats, Yay! This perpetrator will have his pick of seats as well – and it’s right next to you.
5. The Man Spreader
If you are really unlucky he might start out like the Subway Creeper and then escalate to manspreading as a way to creep into your space as if you won’t notice him slowly inching towards you.
6. The Hisser
Sometimes he creeps up behind you. Sometimes he does it sitting across you on the train. Regardless of how he approaches you it will send chills down your spine.
7. The Lip Licker
It’s not even sexy on LL Cool J!
8. The Dick Rubber
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. What’s sad is that the gross majority of women who shared their experiences, listed this as one of them.
9. The Bro who keeps talking despite your headphones
At best he’s forcing you to be rude. At worst he’ll take his wrath out on you. Most times your best bet is to keep him talking because who knows what pissing him off might get you considering that the first ‘no’ wasn’t respected
10. The Aggressive/Angry Complimenter
He gives (usually that means yells) a compliment at you and if you don’t thank him for it, he’ll yell out an equally loud insult.
11. The Hit and Run
A variation on the angry complimenter except he can do this from the safety of his car and run off when you try to talk back or run you over if he decides to escalate the situation
12. The Honker
I hate this one. Makes me jump every time someone gets too close
13. The Lurker
This one is like a scary version of that game you played as a kid where your sibling would point their finger near you and say repeatedly “I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you.” He follows closely behind you for blocks hiding behind his plausible deniability.
14. The Negotiator
He sees the child and a wedding ring, (that you thought might protect you) but what you really want is him. He might open with “Your husband is a lucky man….”
15. The Interrogator
This one is another version of the negotiator. If you’re walking alone he starts off by judging your relationship and suggesting that your partner is clearly failing you by not currently accompanying you on whatever task you are currently engaged in (picking up laundry, changing a tire, carrying bags). He promises that if he were your man he’d never let you (open a door, carry bag, lift a finger, vote, speak out of turn, live….)
16. The Whisperer
No this isn’t one of the bad guys from "The Walking Dead." He’s more of the Ying Yang Twins variety…There’s a reason that song was more creepy than sexy to me…
17. The Bait and Switcher
They start off with a seemingly legit question usually appearing lost. It probably started off as someone’s harmless idea of an icebreaker but usually it leaves me feeling lied to and scammed from the start. Not a great way to start a conversation.
18. The Flat Tire
He purposely stops short in front of you so that you bump into him, prompting you for an apology.
19. The Long Game
He’s often someone in your neighborhood, that you have no idea has been keeping tabs on you. I used to walk to the train every day with my husband. On a day that he wasn’t with me this guy came up to me and asked if he could talk to me. He said he’d seen me walking for weeks and that he’d take the opportunity to talk to me while my husband wasn’t here to check if we were married – because being in a relationship and not married was somehow fair game.
And for the win!!
20. The Smile on Demand
This is the worst and most common and least understood by men. On an average day if I leave my house I’ll encounter this one to five times a day. What’s most pervasive about this, is the assumption that a woman’s face/body exists solely for the pleasure of the public and if we don’t smile we are somehow letting them down.
Diane is an Artist/Photographer photographer who is born in Queens but Reps Brooklyn. She's also co-founder of the Brooklyn Temple of Epistemological Practice. When she's not taking pictures she talks shit and yells at people on the internet.