Say What You Mean, New York Post

The Post has come out boldly in favor of catcalling. Some of the essay’s core points, adjusted for clarity:

I realize most women with healthy self-confidence don’t court unwanted male [THREATS AND VERBAL ASSAULT]. In fact, most women seem to hate it. It’s not brain science — when a total stranger [DEMEANS AND INTIMIDATES] you, it’s validating. Enjoying male [VIOLENCE] doesn’t make you a traitor to your gender.

The saddest thing about these unimaginatively provocative stories — the DON’T HATE ME FOR MY PRIVILEGE essays, the CALM DOWN, PEOPLE! rants — is that the best-case outcome is the education of one person: The writer-subject, who will become either permanently entrenched or emotionally broken as a result of the ensuing backlash. Otherwise, the ripples don’t even make it to the edge of the pond. Some readers nod their heads and turn the page; others click, think “oh [hell] no,” and generate some angry social media. It’s first and foremost a human sacrifice intended to insert a small thrill into the paper: the private thrill of reading your horrible opinion expressed in public at no personal cost (there but for the grace of god!), or the more public thrill of identifying something utterly and completely wrong.