But What Was She Wearing? One Tumblr’s Call To Stop The Catcall

by Samantha Albala

The worst time [at the theme park] was when a forty something man introduced himself, and shook my hand…But he wouldn’t let go, he rubbed it, and said, “What’s your name, baby? You’re the prettiest girl here. I can’t have a bad day if I get to see you. Can I have your number?”… He finally walked away, but not before saying, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Katy Heng runs Tumblr blog called But What Was She Wearing: Stop The Cat Call, to document how what a person is wearing has nothing to do with the grotesque comments and actions spewed at them on the street. She is asking Tumblr users and those who are sick of hearing, “yeah, but what were you wearing?” from friends, to share and submit photos and stories about being catcalled to [email protected] or via Tumblr. The blog showcases these stories, some of which are excerpted here to shows you that what we all experience is a part of a disgusting culture that needs to end ASAP.  


This is what I was wearing when I was walking my dog two blocks from my house in my quiet, tiny town. It was 8 p.m. on a Monday. A group of men came out of a house and started yelling and whistling at me. The most noticeable remark was, “damn girl, why you wearing a sweater that covers dat ass?…”

Catcalling affects everyone — it is obvious to see here that it doesn’t discriminate against city or suburbs, short skirt, or baggy sweaters. It isn’t okay, it shouldn’t be normal, and it should be confronted and stopped. Your stories can help.

Heng would like more people to start contributing to this blog. While there are currently a lot of interesting stories shared so far, there is always room for more.


A man asked me “how much I cost” while I was alone on a street corner in downtown Des Moines on a Sunday morning waiting for some friends to pick me up. I was wearing jeans and my boyfriend’s frumpy sweater.

More friends and family should be aware of the types of comments and the types of actions that are presented. Evidence shows catcalling has nothing to do with what you are wearing. No one should have to deal with harassment even if they are wearing a bikini. Seriously, there is no excuse for crude and rude no matter the clothing. Let’s tell these jerks to be a human beings and stop invading mental and physical comfort! 

I was on my way to my first half marathon. It was 6 a.m. on a Sunday and I was the only one on the street. I heard someone say “excuse me,”… I looked over to see a guy following me on a bike. “May I touch your pussy?” He followed me for three blocks quietly repeating the same phrase and laughing to himself at how obviously uncomfortable I was.

Please share your stories because they are so important to educating against catcalling. 

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