Look at the facial expression on the woman in the middle of the above picture. That is the face of how women feel about catcalling. Specifically, that is Amanda Seales completely natural reaction to a man explaining how catcalling is a complimentary act. I make that exact same face anytime I hear someone trying to frame street harassment as some sort of gracious gift from men who are innocently trying to validate women they don’t know by telling them they’re attractive. Women don’t like it, they don’t want it, and it’s pretty ridiculous that this even needs to be explained to people. Yet here we are, still getting mansplained about our own feelings, despite relentless accounts of women articulating and demonstrating otherwise.
This photo is a still image from a CNN interview hosted by Fredricka Whitfield, which featured two guests of opposing views on the topic of catcalling in reference to this viral video of a woman walking through New York City getting a slew of unprovoked attention. Comedian and New York resident, Amanda Seales, offered her stance on the issue based on her real life experience, and considering that most of those experiences occurred in the same city where the video took place, I’d say that makes her a pretty reliable source on the subject. While she probably would have done just as well explaining the problem of catcalling on her own, CNN insisted on acting as a debate platform for social equality, so there had to be a counter arguer. When choosing this guest, CNN stayed neatly tucked within their box of predictable media tricks; representing a contrary position on a women’s issue was none other than… you guessed it, a man.
Meet Steve Santagati. He’s an author, presumably of some idiotic buffoon manifesto, and a self-proclaimed “dating expert,” which appears to be code for “unlovable middle aged narcissist.” If Bethenny Frankel has to vehemently shut down his claim of having sex with her to an audience on her own show, I think it’s safe to say this guy’s forte in life is being shamelessly clueless about women. Getting denied by someone who describes herself as “coming from a place of yes,” is a feat indicative of a man we should all avoid. In addition to being obnoxious, the act of unwarranted commentary from men toward women (who dare to exist in public) is intrusive and emotionally taxing. So what does Steve think? Well, for starters, he wants you to know that he is only able to speak for men, but he prefaces that sensible notion with a declaration to Amanda about his superior expertise on the topic of catcalling. So, basically, he knows more about a woman’s feelings than she does, because he is a man, and he knows how men think, so he can tell women how they really think.
According to Santagati, women love it, and are just playing a cat & mouse game about the whole ordeal (because saying no to men is so cute and fun). Women, as it seems, are just characters in the role playing game that Steve constructed in his mind as a coping mechanism in response to a lifetime of female rejection. For guys like this, women are quite simple creatures whose only joys in life are pleasing men and getting infinite recognition for their beauty. The female gender is one of fickle facades, which playfully disguises their innate desire to want whatever men think they should want. These are the ideas of rape culture enthusiasts, many of whom also claim to be “dating experts” like Santagati. Steve proceeds to make a fool of himself with a level of delusion that incites winces even from the host of the show. Amanda ends up cackling at one point, as if she just realized that this man is such a mess, he must be a hired troll sent in to prank her (which unfortunately is not the case). He actually transforms into the grand wizard of misogyny toward the end, right before he suggests that women who don’t like catcalls should “GET A GUN.” For all it’s folly, the video is worth watching if only for Amanda’s hilarious bewilderment turned witty rebuttal in the face of Sir Dates-A-Lot, noble king of No-Means-Yes.