*Warning: I’m about to go on a little, bit necessary rant about being a solo female traveler and a female in general*
One thing that has become very obvious and annoying while on this trip, has been the numerous times a day I have been whistled at, hisses at, catcalled, stared at, and even touched without consent. Being catcalled is something no one wants. It is not flattering and if anything, is one of the most annoying things women have to deal with.
I really started to notice the catcalling on Ecuador. I never really dealt with it in the first three countries and felt amazingly safe there, but Ecuador was bad. EVERY man on the street, EVERY taxi, EVERY person trying to get my attention, would whistle, hiss, or even say “Hey Beautiful!” I never felt safe walking around the streets of Quito, even with a few other girls or a guy!
Recently, I’ve been really excited to go home. After dealing with a good amount of this harassment I’ve thought, “Wow, I’m so excited to be somewhere where I feel safe at night, dressed how I want, and enjoying myself.” Back home I can’t think of times I’ve dealt with people being obnoxiously sexist like those here. I understand, it’s a different culture and lifestyle, but still, it’s emotionally and mentally draining.
Seeing news about the shooting in the yoga studio recently really shook me. The fact that this is not one of the few times an angry male took his anger out on women made me realize, maybe I’m not safe at home. Maybe nowhere is truly safe for women to be themselves, dress how they want, and enjoy their surroundings.
Talking with a girl from Belgium, she said how even walking around her own city at night, she doesn’t feel safe due to men catcalling at her. The fact that this is not only happening in developing countries but also some of the most developed nations in the world, shows the daily struggle of women everywhere. It shouldn’t be that hard. All we ask for is some respect. Some decency to let us be who we are, enjoying our lives, and not wanting attention from strangers on the side of the street.
I hope for a day where all this harassment stops. I wish for a time where all women can feel safe everywhere and not have to worry about men being crude.