A dreaded experience for women

2014-11-24 00:00

THE viral video of a woman being cat-called in New York was redone by The Witness on KZN streets and results were shocking.

A walk through town on a shopping trip or a casual stroll is a harrowing experience for any woman.

Whether women are dressed in jeans and a jersey or a shorts and a tank top, they are plagued endlessly by crude gestures and comments.

Pietermaritzburg local Melanie dos Santos said she didn’t walk around town often but when she did, she was bombarded with ­cat-calls.

“Some are innocent but some are extremely rude and persistent. It makes me feel cheap and like a piece of meat.”

Walking down Church Street in Pietermaritzburg is a dreaded trip for many women, especially for those who work in stores in town.

Jet store cashier Thabi Mtolo said she hates the sounds and names men call her.

“It makes us all feel bad. It happens so often but I just ignore it,” said Mtolo.

In the Durban central business district (CBD) things are just as bad.

Anwen Middleton, who works in the CBD, said she faces all sorts of unwanted comments from men. “It’s generally worse when there is a crowd of people together.

“Just two weeks ago, a man called and then began to follow me and I put my head down and walked faster,” she said.

Middleton said the way men treated women was not fair and every time someone made a comment, she felt irritated and dirty.

“I don’t think men have a right to be rude to women because they’re walking alone,” she said.

Philippa Florous is an IT specialist who often gets cat-called when road running.

“Men hoot and whistle when I run and it’s not like I’m putting myself out there for them to make these comments. I suspect it’s an ego thing from their side.”

She said these comments are never ­compliments.

“No one wants to feel cheap. These men are classless and tacky,” she said.

In Durban:

In Pietermaritzburg:

Cat-calls are a regular occurrence on the streets of Durban.

PHOTO: Matthew Middleton

Durban reporter Rumana Akoob took to the streets for 45 minutes to find out if she too would be subjected to harassment.

“Just as I waited to cross the street, a male driver rubbernecked and stared but that was the first of countless belittling gestures and comments I received from men, both young and old,” she said.

Throughout the walk in the Durban CBD, eight men made direct comments on her ­appearance or tried to talk to her, she reported.

As Pietermaritzburg reporter Chelsea Pieterse climbed out of her car in Church Street, she was greeted by three men saying, “Hello ­mlungu.”

As she walked down the street, she was faced with comments such as “Hey honey, I love you,” as well as, “Hey! You!”

A man even followed her for a few metres, asking if she was still in school, stating that she “looked cute,” and he “cared” about her.

The reporter eventually had to duck into a store to get away from the man.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.