My belief in why society needs feminism has only been re-affirmed by what happened to me today. For some bizarre reason, a man at least 40-50 years my senior felt it was ok to whistle and make an incredibly vulgar comment about my body while I was walking up the street to my class. I wish I could have had the guts to respond, but I was too shocked. That shock wore off, and became anger. In what society is it acceptable for someone to say something like that to a 15-year old girl? Apparently in our society. Because in our society, men are told that their opinion and need to express themselves so publicly is more important than offending others. We tell women that they should be grateful for that attention. I’m certainly not grateful- I’m so mad I’m shaking. I did nothing wrong, yet I feel disgusting, like I need to take a couple showers before I feel clean again. Catcalling is not, and will never be, a compliment. It is objectification of women, pure and simple. It has become normalized in our society: 87% of American women between the ages of 18-64 have been catcalled at some point in their lives. EIGHTY SEVEN! And that doesn’t include the girls under the age of 18 who get catcalled, because in our society it’s ok to sexualize someone who is 15 or 16 years old, sometimes even younger. By sending the message that verbal harassment is ok, we are opening the door to physical harassment. Catcalling is sexual harassment. It is not a compliment. It is not “empowerment,” as one New York Post writer claimed. It is the degradation and objectification of women and should not be accepted as “normal” in society.