Kiwis share 'unsettling' and 'disgusting' cat-calling horror stories

Several Kiwis have shared their horror stories of being cat-called in public.
Several Kiwis have shared their horror stories of being cat-called in public. Photo credit: Getty Images/Reddit

Several Kiwis have come together to share stories of being cat-called while out in public, and the lasting impact it's had on them.

Reddit was flooded with posts of people across New Zealand over the past few days, agreeing it happened "way too much" and had become a "traumatic experience" for many victims. 

One woman said while going out for a run, an unknown man stopped in front of her in his truck and asked if she wanted to go for a drink. 

"He didn't even tell me his name or ask for mine, I felt very strange and scared," one woman said. "He followed me [for] almost two blocks and when I rejected him he asked me if I had a partner and just left very quickly." 

"I'm sorry that you now have to feel unsafe while exercising. These freaks are everywhere," one person replied. 

Another woman said she'd been cat-called "more times than I can count simply existing". 

"Each time it's deeply upsetting, and you always think you'll react differently but generally just freeze because you feel so unsafe," she said. "Last week I went for a walk in [my] neighborhood and was cat-called three separate times by three separate men." 

She admitted she was "too focused on getting away" to take down details of the vehicles.  

"I was very upset by this for several days. It happens and it's happening all the time," she stressed. 

Others agreed, with many saying it was "very unsettling" with how often it's happening. 

"This has happened to me before in a central suburb street in Auckland in broad daylight and I hated it," one woman said. "[It] made me feel very unsafe and I had the exact same feelings. It's very unsettling." 

Others said it depended on their age on how often they were called upon, with several saying it often happened when they were a teenager. 

"It starts when you're a young girl wearing a school uniform. It's gross," one person said. 

"Even when you don't wear a uniform," one woman responded. "Started for me at 11. I'll never know if I dress in baggy clothing because I like it, or because I hate having my body being scrutinised." 

"My earliest memory of being cat-called was when I was 12 and a group of men yelled things at me as they drove past. Can't imagine why people would do that. I still think about it occasionally," another said. 

"The whole Catholic schoolgirl thing is really creepy and scary when you're 15 and just trying to walk home from school," one woman added. 

"Personally at 12-15 was when I was experiencing this a lot and honestly [I] didn't even know what was going on most of the time since I was pretty naive," one woman said. "Looking back, it's just such a bizarre thing to have happened whenever you went out at that age." 

One mother said her 15-year-old daughter was visiting her for lunch in Auckland's CBD and was cat-called four times. "One guy went on about her 'rack' etc, and she was so scared she is afraid to get the bus into the city by herself again," she added. 

"I think cat-calling is simply disgusting," one woman said. "Men should be taught better by family, schools - the do's and don'ts of what to do. I know this isn't just a problem in New Zealand." 

"I can't comprehend being so poisoned by it that I'd scream obscenities at strangers and children with the express purpose of making them feel unsafe," another agreed. 

Some people said it was "sad" to notice children and teenagers were often the target, with many agreeing once they had "noticeably" become an adult, they would get cat-called a lot less often. 

"I got cat-called more in my school uniform than I have across my entire 20s," one woman said. 

"I found once I was 18-20 and started to look like an adult, I got a lot less cat-calling," another added. 

"As an adult I realised I wore long coats for 20 years after the creepy comments from old men started at 12," a third added.