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  1. How to Combat Catcalls when you're a Woman Travelling Alone

    posted by Rachel Sales | 4 Comments

    How to Combat Catcalls when you're a Woman Travelling Alone

    Aug122014

    Rachel Sales is the editor of Pink Pangea, the community for women travellers.

    If you're a woman travelling the world, chances are you’ve been the target of a few creepy comments, stares, kissing sounds, or outright marriage proposals.

    No matter where you go, catcalls are a part of a woman’s reality – and sometimes it can feel like you get even more unwanted attention when it’s clear you're not a local.

    Don’t let it get you down. Follow these tips and catcalls will fade into the background of your trip…

    1. Ignore

    “Ciao bella!” “Que linda!”

    Often men will tell you how beautiful they think you are: you may be flattered, or totally creeped out. Either way, don’t react or they’ll think you’re interested. Just keep your eyes facing forward and continue moving. It may take a while for them to get the hint, but eventually, they will probably go away.

    2. Just say no

    Unfortunately, even acting like the offenders don’t exist sometimes doesn’t stop the most persistent types. At these times, it’s best to be up front and let them know you’re not interested.

    Just say No 

    Try to learn the appropriate words in your destination’s language. Use a firm tone and be sure not to crack a smile - if you don’t look 100% serious, they won’t take you seriously. They may respond with a few crude words. Don’t let it get to you. They were rude to begin with.

    3. Leave

    If the situation isn’t getting better after you’ve made it clear you’re not interested, it probably won’t. Get out of that location as soon as possible whether that means exiting through the door or turning down another street. Don’t feel defeated – your safety always comes first.

    4. Find refuge in a nearby location

    Dipping into a store, church or another building along the way can provide a safe escape from the cat-caller and buy you time until he finds someone else to bother.

    Take a few minutes to breathe and feel calm in the presence of others .It’s unlikely he’ll follow you where there are other people. When you feel ready, check to see if the guy is gone and get back to exploring!

    5. Get help from local women

     Get help

    Surround yourself with the strong women in your destination. They are most likely experts at deflecting local male attention. Explain the situation as best as you can so that they understand what’s wrong. There’s a good chance they’ll be just as angry as you are.

    Ask them to show you their method for deflecting cat-calls, and remember how they do it. Maybe you’ll be the one helping another woman in the future!

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  2. 4 Comments so far.

    Natalie said on 28/08/2014 at 3:05pm

    Great to see this topic being discussed! All women have to face this, and it can be worse when traveling. I personally found the "romantic" southern France to be plagued by the most men who would not take a hint.

    Kristina said on 28/08/2014 at 12:28pm

    Thanks for the article. Catcalling and harassment are always part of my travels and it is outraging. Although I think the article provides some good ideas, the attention should be focused on men. Write blogs to tell guys they have to stop the harassment or how other guys can call out harassment fellow males. We always tell women not to get harassed and raped, why not tell the perpetrators not to harass/rape?

    Heather said on 15/08/2014 at 4:04pm

    The fact that women travellers have to think about things like finding refuge from male harassers is enraging. And though it can be worse in certain regions, it's not limited to certain cultures -- harassment and men not taking "no" for an answer is experienced worldwide, from the streets of New York to the souks to Marrakesh to the beaches of Portugal. Good luck, ladies! and lads -- stop harassing!

    leanora vero said on 14/08/2014 at 12:03pm

    Your article was really good, we find here in Fes a lot of women are so off put by the constant cat calling and harrassment and its such a threat to the tourism. Here at Riad Verus we are a hostel run by English management and I myself as a female know how my female guests may feel on arrival. We offer a chaperon on arrival to help with orientation and once the locals know you are staying here and then they dont give you hassle. so if you are booking in Fes be sure to come and check out my place Riad Verus. Good luck

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