"The first time I got catcalled I was twelve. I was probably wearing a t-shirt and a pair of my brother’s old basketball shorts. The man was probably at least thirty and driving by in a truck. The next time I got catcalled, I was wearing sweatpants and a huge sweatshirt, walking hand in hand with my boyfriend. This time I was seventeen and they were around twenty. The most recent time I got catcalled was this past summer. I worked outdoors with pesticides, so I was in long sleeves, a baggy t-shirt over the long sleeve, and cargo pants. And still, some forty something guy was calling out to me about the way my butt looked.
My point here is not to be depressing. My point is that in all of these times it didn’t matter what I had on, it didn’t matter how old I was, and it especially didn’t matter to the legal age men that they were sexually harassing a minor.
The point is that sexual harassment and sexual assault is never about what someone is wearing or doing, it is about making someone feel afraid and put down. I can attest in all of these occasions I felt disgusted, sometimes with myself. There is no reason that I should have felt that way because being harassed like that shouldn’t be my shame, it should be theirs. There should be no victim blaming, no ‘what were you wearing’, because at the end of the day that isn’t remotely close to why people get harassed and assaulted."
-Katie, UW Chapter Member