Monday, June 27, 2005

To Prove A Point

a conversation jay and i had while in nashville.

side note: we're on our way out the door to go play in the woods for a week.
don't expect anything from me til then.



Anonymous said...

Wow, cool! I´m a guy, so girls out there listening, DON´T cat call me, please. I don´t do that to girls. But I will check you out. And if your blind or like disaters, you´ll check me out. Peace ;-).

Markus Sandy said...

Cat calls? People always make duck sounds when I walk by. What the hell does that mean?

Matthew Clayfield said...

This is by far my favourite of all your vlog entries, Ryanne.

Mark said...

haha, I like the scene its very candid and it gives us a peek into the female mind. Who wouldn't like that?

A.O. Flores said...

Ryan -what a chick.
Jay -what a man.


Anonymous said...

Strange that all the comments made on this post so far are from guys. Don't the girls have something to add on this topic? Although i generally full-on ignore them, I see cat calls as threatening. They are uncomfortable because, to a woman, it feels like you're being 'put in your place' as a sexual object, while the man steps into his role as sexual predator. This point is clarified by the fact that, accompanied by a boyfriend or male friend, this kind of attention drops dramatically.

If girls were to start cat-calling back it wouldn't be the same dynamic, because society doesnt script girls as sexual predators, or threats. Take as an idea, especially for any straight guys who think that "you're making this into a bigger deal than it is"... imagine if guys were to start cat-calling straight guys every couple of blocks. Maybe they even grab your butt, or suggest you let them suck your cock. that might come a little closer to the discomfort women feel at unwanted sexual attention?

Anonymous said...


I've watched your vlog for so long now, I feel like I know you. With that in mind I feel comfortable saying:

Hey Ryanne, nice rack...

Yo yo yo, wassup wich-you baby.

Verdi said...

Good point Serra. I think you're right on.

Great video ya'll!

raster said...

Wow, a great video from the Dynamic Duo of videoblogging!

Quirk said...

There's a big difference between cat-calling and checking a girl out.
Like you said, girls just have nice bodies. You shouldn't take offense if I look at your boobs. Boobs are great!

As for cat-calling, yeah, it's a really wierd leftover from a simpler, more atavistic time. I'm sure it sucks. I don't do it.

That being said, sometimes I have to laugh at it. Especially when the dude yelling "Hey baby, come over here and gimme some sugar" or whatever is some toothless guy that hasn't bathed. They may get 1,000 No's, but maybe there's that one girl out there that wants to screw a smelly toothless idiot in the middle of the street.

Ian Dunn said...

I completely agree that guys who stare at women or say stupid things as you walk by are jerks. But, I think it's kind of hypocritical to say that it's impossible not to look at someone's butt if they're wearing tight jeans but then say that a guy who looks at a woman's breasts is being rude or objectifying her. If a woman is wearing a tight shirt (like you were in that video), it's just as hard not to glance at her breasts as it is to not look at someone's butt. Just like with butts, looking is natural on a biological level and it takes a second before your brain realizes you shouldn't be looking on a moral/societal level.

Nurse2B said...

Great post guys. The thing that bugs me about agressive cat callers is that it acually has very little to do with what you look like. As Serra said, it is more about "putting you in your place".

As far as guys looking at boobs, that seems kind of reflexive and sometimes kind of amusing. If someone is really overdoing it in an irritating way, I usually look down at my boobs and make like I am looking for the piece of dirt that must be stuck to my shirt. If I really feel nasty I "innocently" try to brush it off. That usually shuts things down. Girls definitely have an advantage over guys that when there is a guy butt that you want to admire, the owner is almost certainly looking in another direction, thus facilitating covert inspection. Sorry, guys, I guess I can be a bit of a neanderthal about that sometimes.

Clark ov Saturn said...

Nice one! Maybe you can use this as an opportunity for some reaction experimentation? How do the catcallers react when you reply with:

-the finger
-the finger and a big smile
-a big smile and wave
-smile, wave, and say: I have herpes. Spare some change for some Valtrex?
-Thanks smelly! Meet me at 9 at 14th and 7th! Take a shower!
-(smile) Hey, do you want my phone number? (walk away)
-Hey! show me your cock!
-(point to the sky in surprise and fear) Look out!
-absolutely nothing at all, as if not heard nor seen

-m-e-l-i-s-s-a- said...

Hey..Take a look at HEAVEN by Tracey Moffatt. You might be able to view it at a DIA in the cafe or the bookstore. She essentially approaches surfer guys camera in hand while they're taking off and putting on those incredibly tight wet suits with intermittent bits of flesh. While definitely involving a bit of eye candy, it also addresses voyeurism in general and is socially pretty interesting...especially when you see the guys reactions!
..and as far as how girls look at guys (and yes they definitely do) and whether we're talk'n butts, hands, mouths, etc..! let's just say women's approach is generally a bit more sophisticated!!! This...said I think everyone appreciates a bit of sophistication when someone decides to pay a bit of personal aesthetic attention!! ..besides everyone knows that anyone catcalling or rudely taking us in....evaporates completely from any remote last chance in hell they might have had !!! best in nashville

ro said...

well actually i know how the women feel since i too have had the opportunity to be cat-called and butt-pinched

i am a beautiful man and am constantly touched by strangers and passers-by, so much that in the last 3 years i have resorted to wearing very unpretty clothing and being generally unkempt

it has stopped the smouldering harts of many but there still exist a hard core segment of the populace that must be seen by me and have the opportunity to grope

i have to start accepting the fact

Anonymous said...

Great video - years ago I was at the mall and when I got back to my car there was a note on my windshield that said "hey baby you look hot" and he left his number. Oh yeah, just made me all tingly. Oh, and Adam, those guys are almost always toothless and haven't bathed.

Tim McFarlane said...

Great post. I've always thought that cat calling was disrespectful to women. I find it immensely amusing that the guys doing think they'd have a chance in hell of getting the attention they seek. Then, for a lot of men, it's something of a sport to see what, if any reaction they can get from women. Then, again, I've seen some women respond favorably to that kind of attention or at least seem to.

I agree with the comments about sophistication in regards to checking out women. I think a lot of guys could stand to learn a bit of discretion. On the other hand, I've done my best to not be that obvious. If I see a woman I know on the street and I'm approaching her, I'll take in all the visuals I can before getting close enough to talk. Once in conversations space, I focus all of my attention on her face, mainly her eyes, since I want to stay engaged in what she's saying and I want her to know I'm paying attention.

It's only natural to want to look at and appreciate someone you find attractive. However, there are ways of doing it that don't have to contribute to them feeling uncomfortable.

Carl Weaver said...

It's all about being respectful. So many guys out there are dogs and jerks and look at women as objects before getting to know them as people. Sure, it's part of our biology, but as humans we have some control over our desires and drives.

That being said, I love looking at women's bodies. Sometimes I can't help but notice and look. However, I also try to reign myself in and show some respect to my fellow human beings.

Good going, Ryanne. This points out something that a lot of guys apparently don't know - that the attention they show women is not always desired and is often not respectful. It's often just hurtful or controlling.

Mark said...

I subscribe to your feed ryanne!

Faux Press said...

Successful strategy: drop my eyes quickly to nipple level and continue the conversation. This move tends to increase awareness, for sure. :)

Women are by nature physically vulnerable to the stronger male and so verbal sexual statements can feel extremely threatening to us vis a vis rape.

Don't like cat calls but will say there was a time when - after a year or two of not having been cat-called - I realized I'd gone through some sort of passage and there was a moment of - what? - sadness?

Men are visual animals; they love breasts and can't help themselves without a lot of intellectual work.

I have forgiven men this instinct, but not given up supporting the intellectual work that could take them to another level of community with women.


Anonymous said...

A couple of women I went to school with made an interactive technology project about the catcall phenomenon called Holler. They were thinking about a lot of the same stuff you are discussing in this post. They also came up with a strategy for dealing with catcallers, but I don't know if it's on their site. They could probably point you in the right direction if you email them.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should learn ventriloquism and talk to people THROUGH your boobs.
"Hi nice to meet you, I'm Ryanne's tits. And what is your name. Mr. Ballsly?"

Anonymous said...

Not all the important issues have been raised. First, not all chaps are into big tits, I like small brested women. Second, there are women who dress and act exactly like they want power over men, people genereally and women from superficial externals. I purposely avoid looking at them at all. Third, I am a big Ryanne fan, not because I like her rack, but because I just like her in-your-face courage, her mental process, her art and her "balls". That piece Ryanne did on the misery of her period absolutely floored me with the power of her poetry and her courage. I've been married for 42 years and know something of women, but the power of that piece absolutely pounded my brain.

erin said...

i was taught once that the perfect retort to a "cat caller" is to pick your nose and spit..burp if you can. this confuses whomever is objectifying you as "walking sex" and reminds the dude that you are a human. isn't it sad that some men have to be reminded of this?

Michael Meiser said...

Wow, That was kick-ass... the post and the comments.

I'm going to start refering to Jay and Ryanne as the Dynamic Duo from now on.

A simple walk to the grocery store turns into a kick-ass debate on cat-calling and on the street interpersonal interactions, not to mention the enjoyable scenery.

Just joking! Sorry, I couldn't resist the opportunity for humor. I'm talking about the nice little tour of a New York neighborhood there in the background. That was quite interesting. Where is that in NY?

But seriously. I'm 6'5 dude and while I did once have a female tourist take a picture of me as I was stopped at the street light in downtown chicago sitting in a ruff and tumble looking Trooper with a safari roof rack. (It was more about the car and contrast I'm sure.) I don't generally get cat called and have only had a woman grab my ass once and that was in a club, so it's really nice to here a woman's perspective.

Drawing on my own experiences (EMPATHY!) I find it funny how people generally will not approach me or will aproach me depending upon how I'm dressed or my day-to-day appearance. I once had a simple padlock in my hand and started flipping it around my pointer finger as I walked down State Street one busy lunch day and found it fascinating how the ocean of foot traffic seemed to part. Meanwhile I've long been aware that my 3rd or 4th generation Asian friend who's 5'5" gets no respect ever on the street. It's to the point it sort of pisses me off. It's very interesting that the cat-calling stops when a woman is around a man. But even when I'm walking down the side walk talkign to my friend I've been partial to some downright racial remarks toward my friend. They don't stop. And the dudes 4th generation and from Oklahoma. He's more american than Apple pie. Pardon my language, but it's fucking amazing.

Meanwhile just cause I'm an ugly 6'5" dude I also find it's put off a few muggers to. And as an avid cyclists I'm very aware of such interpersonall issues on the street, but you can never, never know to much or have to many perspectives. Particularly with the bicycle thing. On a bicycle NOONE in a car treats you with any respect and it doesn't matter how big you are, although looking mean really does help. I'd like to point out I'm not some lycra wearing weenie, I do consider myself a little mean looking when I ride, and that's a purposeful thing. It wasn't untill I got pulled over by the cops while biking in the affluent Chicago suburb of Oak Park that I realized just how bigoted cops can be about that end of the spectrum though. The excuse, I had "something in my hand while riding". That something was my digital camera and I wasn't riding. I was stopped and taking a picture down chicago ave. of the sun rising over the downtown chicago skyline

I think this has a lot to do with the Harley Davidson "tough guy" aesthetic. The attitude really is a matter of personal saftey.

BTW, That video HEAVEN by Tracey Moffatt that was mentioned looks very interesting. That should be online not just in a museum somewhere where only local area citizens can see it.

I'd give money to see it, but I can't travel to NY just to see a video.

Come on DIA, let's get with the program! This is what new media is all about. Sure videos look great in your trendy museum, but there's little difference in experience in people watching it there vs. in their homes on their computer. The real difference is that instead of a few hundred thousand people being able to see it potentially tens of millions can see it.

Anyway, this is all I could find, but I think it illistrates the idea of it.

WilmaJean said...

You know, men really don't realize how rude and insulting they can be. Like we should be flattered. I just look them dead in the eye then continue on to whatever I am doing. Without a verbal response -or even a smile- from the "intended victim" all they can do is feel stupid. Then shut up and walk away.

jason talbot (jjfever5k) said...

wilma...can we at least recognize that's it's not ALL men who are like this? is that too much to ask? yeah some men are dogs, but give others of us credit. don't lump us all into one category the way these certain men are lumping all women into one sex-object category. ok? thanks a bunch.


this is reality video! I like simple..straight to the music....and the camera even if its showing up and didnt make me dizzy!

Straight to the point! This is what video blogging is.... :-)

Annie said...

i'm loving the comments on this great video. way to go. i especially love clark's reaction suggestions. i'm so using that herpes line next time.

it'd be really great to give jerks a taste of their own medicine. "woo boy that's a nice penis you got there!" (but they'd probably love it) whatever.

we're like, instinctively built to check out potential mates. i check out guys (and girls) allll the time. but gawking and catcalling... god it makes me feel disgusting.

WilmaJean said... are right- not all men are idiots. But an awful lot of them act that way in public. I'm just sayin'.

jason talbot (jjfever5k) said...

and an awful lot of them don't. i'm just sayin.

Chuck Olsen said...

how the hell did i miss this video?
this is the best video. this one.

do you remember when i was drunk and i said i wanted to crawl into bed with both of you? well now i'm sober.

Anonymous said...

Great post - great perspectives. I'm in the research phase of a short documentary about this issue. I know these comments are six months old but if anyone reads this, I'm in search of a few subjects for the film. Especially men who are open about how much they love to cat call and women who are open about liking it. If you fit this description and participating in a documentary sounds interesting to you please email me at

B said...

I know I'm commenting on this months later, but am I the only one who thought it was actually sort of defeating the entire purpose when Jay would move the camera down? I think I'm kind of put off by this, but I know I'm in the minority here. I wish that so many peoplen (men, primarily - if not totally?) didn't feel free to comment about how hot Ryanne is. Isn't the whole point that you shouldn't be doing that? I mean, besides the fact that it should be common sense, I think, to be respectful. But then it's also part of the video... I've watched this a couple of times now, and I'm still just as confused. Sometimes I don't have a sense of humor about things I think are a social problem, but I just don't get it. :/

Anonymous said...

We remixed some of this footage into a piece in response to the sexism brouhaha. Here's a link: