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‘If you like being catcalled by men in the street, you’re part of the problem – like me’ – Lizzie Cernik

For an elderly millennial who grew up in the midst of the FHM era, skating was not just expected, it was a rite of passage.

I never objected to the occasional ridicule from a stranger, but in recent years I’ve realized that my acceptance is part of the problem.

According to Priti Patel’s strategy for making the streets safer for women, and the whistle of the wolf, and the cry may soon be banned

At first I had my doubts, but now I hope this law can be a much needed tool for educating young men and promoting respect for women.

How do you feel about being whistled or shouted in the street? Let us know in the comments below



Lizzie Cernik admits that her previous acceptance of street harassment was part of the problem.
Lizzie Cernik admits that her previous acceptance of street harassment was part of the problem.

I was in my late teens the first time a man yelled after me in the street, and I admit it was exciting. After spending my high school years making fun of my skinny chicken legs and a halo of curls that no BaByliss straightener could touch, I was finally noticed.

Every time a man yelled “good tits” from the back of his white van, I would give him a reproachful glance, silently rejoicing that my tits were up to society’s beauty standards.

But as we move away from the period when women were hypersexual, it began to seem rude and outdated.

When the #MeToo movement hit the front pages in 2017, it has shed an unpleasant light over the past two decades.

As you know, the 2000s were a bad time for feminism. Magazines gorged on celebrity dramas, especially when they belittled and humiliated women. Political activism was in the past, and pouting lips were more popular than protests.

The wet-t-shirt competition was not reserved for dirty bars in Ayia Napa that sold five-to-one shots, they were a standard Friday night event at top universities.



Women grew up in the 1990s when they were hypersexual, but the #MeToo movement has shed new light on misogyny.
Women grew up in the 1990s when they were hypersexual, but the #MeToo movement has shed new light on misogyny.

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Should a wolf whistle be considered a crime?


Fashion tended to be “narrow and short,” and my belt could cover more of my body than any other piece of clothing. In a world obsessed with bringing women to their looks, it’s no surprise that I hailed them as the norm.

In the months following the Harvey Weinstein story, stories of sexual harassment have spread around the world, highlighting the challenges women face every day.

This spring Sarah Everard’s murder sparked a new wave of anger over male violence and safety on the streets, with many women expressing their concerns about walking alone at night.

At first, I worried that equating the nickname with sexual assault might diminish survivors’ worries and divert attention from the horrific tragedy.

But amid the hype on social media, women expressed grave concerns about street harassment, which forced me to reconsider where we should draw the line.



Priti Patel's plans to outlaw public sexual harassment include criminalizing wolf whistling and cat screaming.
Priti Patel’s plans to outlaw public sexual harassment include criminalizing wolf whistling and cat screaming.

Nicknames and sexual assault should not be confused, but I believe we need to see cultural changes in men’s attitudes towards women.

What was normal for my generation should not be accepted by young women, otherwise we will never see progress.

Rather than being objectified, I would like men to value us for our personal and professional qualities, treating us as equals, not toys for their own entertainment.

If this means passing laws that foster respect for women, then this is the right way forward.

This could be an important step in the fight against misogyny, helping us build a more inclusive culture in the future.

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