It's sad how common street harassment has become in our culture. Sometimes it seems like I can't leave the house without hearing an unwanted comment from a stranger, and while it's not always safe to do so, it can be pretty cathartic and fun to respond with one of these hilarious comebacks to being street harassed.
I have experienced street harassment in all kinds of situations – going to work, driving, while pregnant, in my front yard, with my kids, outside of my kids' school, while running in a marathon, and so many other times when I was just minding my own business and trying to make it through the day. That's not OK. Women and non-cisgender people deserve to be able to walk down the street without being harassed. It's never a compliment, it needs to stop, and I, for one, am done letting it slide.
So, what can you do? I fight back with humor. It makes me feel strong, let's me break tension with laughter, and hopefully let's me send the message that I am not on this planet to look a certain way for the male gaze. Men aren't entitled to my body. I don't like unsolicited advice or comments, generally, and especially not when they are shouted by strange men and boys on the street. Also? I'm freaking tired of feeling scared.
From now on, when I feel safe doing so, I am going to respond, and I hope others will, too. Who knows? Maybe we can change the world, or at least have a few laughs at their expense.
"Can I Call Your Mother And Tell Her What You Just Said?"
It's amazing how scared even the most confident-seeming men will get when you bring up their mothers. Suddenly, they don't seem so sure of themselves. This also works great for online harassment and unsolicited dick pics.
"Has That Line Ever Worked?"
Seriously? I would like to know. If not, why do you keep trying? That seems rather foolish.
See also: "That was about a four, I have heard way better catcalls from other random strangers. Try harder next time."
"You Would Be So Much Cuter If You Smiled"
Because smiling for a perfect stranger should be your number one goal in life. I totally know more about your emotional state and personal life than you do, making me the best person to decide how you should feel right now. What? I'm not? You have a good reason not to smile? Imagine that.
"What's Your Name? I'm Recording This To Post Online"
I have found that people are a lot more willing to be rude or mean or simply jerks, when they think they won't be held accountable for what they say or do. It's amazing how different they become when they think you are recording them.
"I Know, Right?"
Guys hate this one and I, honestly, do not understand why. It's OK for you to tell me how you think I look, but not for me to agree with you?
"I Don't Understand What You Mean. Can You Please Explain?"
Seriously, explain why you are saying those things to a stranger? Don't worry, I'll wait.
Repeating Song Lyrics
My milk shake brings all the boys to the yard,
And there like, Its better than yours,
Damn right its better than yours,
I can teach you,
But I have to charge
I am not sure why, but when I do this street harassers tend to cross the street and walk fast in the other direction.
"Daddy, Is That You?"
Why are you running away? Again, you are brave enough to catcall me, but apparently this scares you.
"Will You Be My Baby's Daddy?"
This one works best if you are pregnant or with children. It's so fun to see them squirm.
"What's Wrong With You?"
Of course, there's always the simple, straightforward question, paired with an angry look because seriously. WTAF? Don't mess with me, stranger who clearly has no idea how to treat other human beings with decency and respect.
"You Have So Much Confidence! Good For You!"
See, I can be nice. I complimented you. What's wrong? You didn't like my compliment? Jeez. I was just being nice.