Several years ago I was walking to my office building when I noticed a man talking to a woman in a way that felt off. I could tell she was uncomfortable and based on their body language, they didn't appear to know each other. Women will understand when I say she was doing that thing where she stares straight ahead so hard, one would think she finally spotted water in miles of dry desert. People like to say men aren't taking the hint in these scenarios, but I firmly believe they're ignoring it.
This interaction is more about exerting control and attempting to assert dominance versus actually wanting to speak to a person whom you found attractive. I quickly walked up to the other side of this woman and said, "I can't believe I'm running into you! How are you?" then steered her away. I was right about this situation. That's why I really like what one woman on TikTok is doing to curb this uncomfortable behavior from men. She calls herself a villain life coach, and I'm ready to learn.
Next time you get catcalled, do this.
Kitti, who goes by @caffinatedkitti on TikTok, was trying to enjoying the first stroll of fall when she was stopped by a man in his car. Honestly who has this kind of time? If I'm in my vehicle I'm clearly going somewhere, and can't imaging pulling over for anything other than my destination.
Knowing exactly what this guy is doing, Kitti plays dumb which is a classic maneuver. "What do you want," she asks. Forcing catcallers to repeat themselves sometimes gets them to think about their actions. Sadly, not enough men do this.
The catcaller asks Kitti if she has a boyfriend. I know this should be a good thing because in theory if she says no, he'll keep moving. However, I'm of the mind that being in a relationship or not being in a relationship is irrelevant because you shouldn't be shouting at a woman in the street to begin with. Why are we centering a potential boyfriend when you should understand that women just want to go for a walk in peace?
Kitti knows how to handle this question and takes things to a delightfully dark place. "Not one that's alive anymore," she replies. My initial thought was, Kitti is going to attempt to tug on whatever heartstrings this dude may have by making him feel sad about her deceased love. What she was actually implying is much better.
Here's what's more annoying. Instead of just apologizing and driving away, this man asks if she's OK. Once again, an outsider might view this as being kind but I disagree. Have you ever tweeted something sad only to have a dude slide into your DMs feigning concern in order to hit on you? That's what this is, but in real life.
Still pretending to care about this stranger's emotional well-being, the catcaller asks what happened. That's legitimately wild. I wouldn't ask my best friend what happened because I know people need to share in their own way and on their own time. Kitti spins it straight into true crime territory by saying she can't legally say because "there is still an investigation." Hello Dateline? This one's for you!
Don't worry, this guy didn't want their exchange to actually go anywhere. You see, he just wanted to say hi and let Kitti know she looks very nice today. To which she says, "I know." Guess who doesn't like it when a woman knows her worth? Men catcalling them in the street. He seemed pretty annoyed by her lack of exuberant appreciation for his unwanted comments.
You too can learn how to respond to catcallers!
Kitti has a ton of helpful TikToks teaching women how to handle catcallers. As of the time of this writing, there are 81 videos in a playlist she called #traumatizemen(tality) and each one is more thrilling than the last. It's there that she keeps some of her more upsetting encounters with men. She also calls out very bad behavior.
In a followup TikTok to the dead boyfriend video, Kitti goes into detail about how others can "clap back" as the kids say. "I've gotten a lot of people saying they wish they could do what I do, but they just don't think they're clever enough" she says. "I'm here to tell you, you do not need to be clever in order to do what I do."
According to Kitti you just have to decide on a script and go with it. Trust yourself and your own internal monologue will take care of the rest. "Commit to your bit and have a few extra details," she suggests. What ends up happening is the catcaller can't maintain control of the situation and hopefully will lose interest. Men hate being confused which is weird because that's their normal resting state.