*whistle* oi oi !!!
It’s a summers day, your walking down the road in a dress or maybe a pair of short shorts. A gentleman in a van gives you a beep beep, a whistle or maybe an oi oi !!! How do you feel? Does it give you a bit of a boost? Put a spring in your step? Or do you feel humiliated? Degraded? Harassed? This is something I have been thinking about since watching a feature on this morning the other day and also after digging my shorts out of habitation to make the most of the sun and heat.
In Nottingham their police force will now be recording misogyny incidents such as wolf whistling as hate crimes.
Now im going to be honest, I always take it as a complement. I am slim and leggy so in the summer months it’s quiet normal for me to get beeped and whistled at if I’m in shorts or a skirt, and I always take it in fun and as complement. The day I walk down the road in a pair of shorts and don’t at least get a beep will be – for me – a sad one. I understand that not everyone feels the same as me but a hate crime? This seems a bit much to me personally. But I understand that it can be embarrassing, I’ve been called a MILF by a van driver in front of my children and had to try and explain what a MILF is to my then 10yr old daughter – ‘mum in a lovely frock’ was my answer (my eldest just laughed and my other daughter pointed out that I wasn’t wearing a frock!) but it never even crossed my mind to go home and report this incident to police. I can see why people might feel harassed by this, but to call it a hate crime seems more than a little harsh. It also seems like a massive waste of the polices time and resources – both of which are already at a premium. If I had rung up the police after the ‘MILF’ incident, the description would have been something like this. “It was a transit type van might have been silver, might have been white, it was driven by a man” – it’s not a lot for them to go on to be fair!
The definition of a hate crime is
‘a crime motivated by racial, sexual, or other prejudice, typically one involving violence.’
I’m not sure anyone can honestly say that whistling at someone as they walk passed a building site is a hate crime, can it be embarrassing? yes. Can it be harassing? Possibly. Is it a hate crime? In my opinion, no.I understand it can be seen as objectifying women, but have you never seen a fit guy and given him a phwoar? In the grand scheme of things it’s such a small quickly forgotten thing and we should just take the complement and run rather than involving the police, but maybe that’s just me.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on being wolf whistled.