Jessica Valenti s article in today's guardian re being relieved at not being whistled at as she was when younger got me thinking. I have recently undergone an epiphany of self confidence after 8 years of having none precisely because I was approached with a friend but in a respectful fashion. I haven't been whistled at since I was about 25 & don't miss it. My fairly stunning 21 year old daughter has regularly been catcalled to use an American expression and says she hates it. I believe her. My son who is a handsome young man sadly with self confidence issues does not face these issues directly however I believe he is respectful enough not to make predatory approaches to women. So isn't the issue that everyone needs to be appreciated hopefully not just for looks but it must be done in the right way and the right environment. Over to you and please see my boost to confidence thread re Irish men for some context
I used to get chatted up sometimes, never been wolf whistled at as just not pretty enough, though I think I would have found it embarressing as I'm a big introvert. Now I'm 31, and personally looking a bit on the old and haggard side of things, it's been about 6 years since a guy even noticed me. They just like all the young, pretty fresh looking girls. I do miss being chatted up, because to be honest it helped with my chronic lack of self esteem (I've been laughed at and called ugly by men on several occasions when not wearing my make up, who were eyeing up my much prettier friends, and a friend once told me my husband was way out of my league because I assume he's very handsome and I'm mannish and ugly). Its not PC at all, but yes, I miss the tiny scraps of attention I was given Wolf whistling might have been a bit much though.
I think there's a big difference between a friend/acquaintance or colleague (or even a stranger who's caught your eye in the pub) approaching you and chatting you up, and some random coming up to you in the street and going "You look hot, fancy a shag?" and then belching beer fumes in your face.
The Last Time I Was "Chatted Up" In The Street by Pocketsaviour, age 42 and 1/4 and a size 26
Random: Hey girl Me: [silence] Random: Hey girl, you know what most guys won't admit about a big girl like you? Me: [piercing glare] No, and I'm not the slightest bit interested. [Walks away] Random: [Makes a noise that's kind of a cross between a dog's whine and a sad, deflating balloon]