#428 – white winter catcall

New York is a city that never shuts down, and the lechers are no exception. In my time away from the city I'd forgotten just how persistent they are, even in the coldest weather. Those brave souls.

114 thoughts on “#428 – white winter catcall

  1. Check dat bus schedule… maaaaan, they're reachin'.

  2. i cant understand catcallers/wolfwhistlers/horn honkers and the like. what is the girl gonna do, drop what shes doing and have sex with you?!!

    1. Pretty simple: they're getting off on humiliating women.

      1. concisely put, sir.

    2. I've always thought of it as the equivalent of "pulling the hair of a girl you like" in a quasi verbal form.

      Unable to articulate anything other than an offensive, grunted encouragement, occasinally accompanied by a surprisingly skillful and equally offensive mime, I'm not so much surprised that this sort of thing still goes on, as I am that the people who do it have managed to stay in the genepool.

      Whatever the answer, it always intrigues me to hear that the breeding call of the hooting moron still exists.

    3. Well, if this was The Witcher universe….

      1. Did'ya Witch&#0

        So many Poles around Prospect and Greenpoint it practically is.

    4. nothing more than an assertion of male dominance and the persistence of the patriarchy… keep women in their place… etc. etc.

  3. Happens occassionally in Boston, but I know the type. They're just dudes who think that they're funny/being fresh. However, I can't explain the middle-aged ones..

    1. As a former Bostonian and current New Yorker, I have to say I have never been catcalled or creepily hit on in NYC (yet anyway). Boston however, the catcalling is one of the things I certainly don't miss about Boston ::shudders at the memories:: It was way worse up north. Waaaaay worse.

      Also people always talk about the crazies in the NYC subway…none of the weird shit I've seen here comes close to some of the crap that regularly went on on the T.

      1. I'm a former bostonian and current new yorker too, actually, and I've had the opposite results. We must be living in different areas of town.

      2. I've lived and worked in various areas of NYC and I cannot count the amount of times I've been hit on since I hit puberty. It's awful.

    2. I remember jogging around Boston Common with a female friend of mine — it was as if the men there had never seen a woman before (the whistles, cat calls, the multiple calls of "hey babe")! Then again, she was wearing dolphin shorts at the time. The next time we jogged, she was in sweat pants, sweat shirt — didn't matter — same amount of cat calls.

    3. I'm a former Bostonian who went to New York quite a bit (and now lives on the other side of the world)… and I never got catcalled. Not once, not never. Maybe I just… looked too much like a LITTLE girl to be considered womanly?

      1. I often get mistaken for being 15 or so, so I wonder if that's actually the reason why.

    4. I'm a former New Yorker now living in Boston and I got hit on wayyyy worse in NYC than here in Boston. I had someone say to me while walking to the subway train in NYC: "Hey gorgeous. You're short, I'm short, let's make short babies."

      1. Hahahaha. That's so ridiculously brusque that I can't help but think that the sentence he spoke to you was the longest one he's ever spoken to anyone. XD

        1. Quick note: by "longest" I meant most complex, not highest word count. Just clarifying 🙂

    5. Current Bostoner who used to frequent NYC- NY is way worse and much more creative with their catcalls. For the non-believers: http://www.ihollaback.org

  4. In my head, all of these dudes are the same one guy making slight costume changes and following Eve around.

    1. I can agree with that. He kind of looks like the same greasy guy reinventing creepy in each panel.

    2. OMG yes! When I was reading it I double checked halfway through to see if it was!

  5. haha this comic is hilarious, "aww yeah read dat book."

    1. ….that line's most excellent and is gonna light up the rest of my day.

  6. lol how creepy to say stuff like that to someone who's standing just over there. Do some people really enjoy awkward situations?

  7. This is hilarious but also very frustrating because it's true.

    I always come up with earth shattering retorts about penis sizes and such but by then, the catcaller/s are long gone. Curses.

    1. Aw Yeah, write that comment!

    2. L'esprit de l'escalier!

      1. Ghost on the stairs?

        1. If I recall correctly, that phrase describes that feeling of remembering what you wanted to say once you've left the situation and are on your way home. As soon as you head down the stairs it hits you. Or I could be completely wrong and then I'll feel like a moron.

        2. it means that you come up with a really good comeback after the conversation is already over. like when you're already up the stairs…

  8. BSNYC/RTMS reader

    Calling Eve out on the salmoning in panel 4.

    1. Ha, I had the same thought, but isn't she actually in a bike lane?

  9. Aww yeah, girl, draw that comic! Check out them alt-texts!

  10. This is the rude way of doing it… you gotta fall on a pit, trip over something or drive your car on the sidewalk because of the sudden apearence of a beautiful sight. You can't help it, sometimes.

  11. Long time reader, first time commenter. Just wanted to say I love this whole comic and today's especially with the Fleet Foxes ref in the title just made my day!

  12. Panel 2 is totally Aaron Diaz.

  13. I read the comic through thinking it was the same guy in different times of the year. I guess there is always snow though.

    Have no idea why you would ever do that kind of thing.

  14. Yet another proof that OGLAF does not have a monopoly on the fine art of the sex farce. (my first proof today was on Johnny Wander)

  15. There always seems to be a common theme here where someone insults another while that other person has a weapon in their hand.

  16. You do know why this is, right? It must be from personal experience, miss artist :).

  17. I'm a guy, and something similar happened to me once in the rural town I grew up in. A car full of girls about my age drove up, slowed down long enough for someone to yell out something that ended in "cute stuff," and then drove off again. Kind of flattering for an awkward teen, but I can see getting sick of it pretty quickly. I can't imagine having to put up with it on a regular basis, esp. if people acted like you should be thankful for their "compliments"… blegh.

    I'm curious: for those of you who live in cities, how often does this happen? And does it go beyond what's in the comic? I've heard horror stories of creeps turning belligerent – even threatening – but I'm hoping that's a freak occurrence.

    1. Visit the site linked in glaneuse's comment (above yours) for answers to all your questions!

      1. Thanks for the tip! I swear that comment wasn't there when I posted…

        Oh, and thanks to everyone else for all the informative comments. It's kind of hard to wrap my brain around all this stuff sometimes, so getting to hear other people's experiences helps me with perspective.

    2. I moved to New York this week from the UK and haven't quite had this happen to me yet. In the UK I got bipped (horn-honking as they drive past) now and again but here in the USA guys have tended to just make quite sincere compliments and then go about their day. Since I'm not very good at taking compliments it flusters me a little but it makes both of us smile and I do thank them.

      In light of this comic and the hollaback website someone linked to above is that wrong do you think?

      1. I live in DC and it happens all the time, no matter the season, what you're wearing, whether you're with another man, etc. And, yes, I have had guys get aggressive when I ignored them or politely asked them to leave me be. I've been cussed and yelled at, grabbed, insulted, threatened, and followed on more than one occasion. I don't like going out anymore, but it's not like I can sit at home all day. It sucks for the guy who actually gives a nice compliment because by the time you get to him, you've been harassed about 3 or 4 times that day and shoot him down. I've actually apologized to people when that happens. The bad ones just mess it up for the good ones.

        And some may think that it's the way someone's dressed or whatever, but like in the comic, in the winter, the women are bundled messes just like the men. Even when it's warmer, it's common to be harassed even when wearing baggy jeans, a huge t-shirt, and old tennis shoes with no make up on. There doesn't seem to be a way out of it sometimes.

        1. Well, there IS one way out of it, and it's to look as surly as possible all the time. It works for me! (Then again, having a build like a linebacker is a pretty good deterrent anyway, so maybe it's the combination of being miserable and looking too much like somebody's that works for me.)

        2. Looking surly does not help at all. I used to dress like a poster child for the Man-hating Bull-dyke Militia when going grocery shopping to try and deter the harassment. Didn't help at all. I'm pretty sure this isn't a real organization, but I have short hair, am not what most people would consider attractive, and I played up the stereotype as much as humanely possible with flannel, wife beaters, combat boots, etc. when running errands because I got sick of the drive-by catcalling. My attempts at looking like I was capable of castrating the first guy who dared annoy me did not deter anything.

        3. Really?! Geez. Then I guess the only way out is to look too much like somebody's brother (which is what I meant to write that first time but apparently never typed out).

        4. i've been the good guy who got shot down after the bad ones outside the main event arena for the last two college fests. haha .. now i can laugh it up.

          back then it was so embarassing and totally crushing to be spoken to that way when i actually said something positive and meaningful. But now i understand. haha totally funny

      2. depends, i guess! do the compliments make you uncomfortable in any way, or do you thank them for the compliment only because you feel obligated to be kind? if the answer for either of those is 'yes', then it may be worth re-evaluating how you treat these guys. if you really like the compliments, then go ahead and take 'em! nothing wrong so long as you actually like what you hear.

    3. This is constant in LA, too. Koreatown is especially wolf-whistle/pucker-up/cat-cally. When you're on a bike, though, the cat calls are way more creative than "ride that bike." It's more like, "Blanca, you can hop off that bike and ride me ANYWHERE."

    4. On average, a couple of times a month, but it really depends. Sometimes it's excessive, sometimes it's sporadic.

  18. As a guy, I've witnessed (but never participated in) the opposite reaction: when the trolls moan about how ugly or fat some anonymous girl is, how "there ought to be a law," etc. I don't like catcalling, but at least it's a back-handed compliment.

    1. Agreed. Both are rude and shows a douchebag-level of entitlement, but at least one is slightly positive.

    2. I think maybe I've gotten the creepy nice things 5 times in my life and the creepy insults 40 times 😛 I didn't look terribly different either so I guess it's a matter of taste? I've lost weight now and get neither.

  19. Read dat book… I'mma use that one!

  20. Well, reading books IS hot, c'mon.

    1. Better still: Reading is FREAKING AMAZING.
      http://www.octopuspie.com/2007-11-30/078-its-cool… (panel 2)

  21. Bursted out laughing at this page. Man, this comic series makes me super homesick. Even though this page shows something I hated about NYC! Hh

  22. at least in Atlanta you'll get actual money offers. I've had guys chase me on bicycles shouting, "My uncle needs a date! I'll give you $25!"

  23. "Check dat bus schedule" is so full of LOL! XD

  24. Is it just me, or is the lettering different?

    1. How observant! I would have never noticed THAT.

      In other comics, the letters are … "neater". Here they are rather scribbled.

      This gives the comic a different feel.

      Was that intentional?

      1. Handlettering rules, fonts drool!

        1. I was about to comment on the new lettering! I really love it, it adds a lot of personality to the strip. Are you handlettering now, Mer?

  25. Love the text in the fourth panel 😀

  26. (I am not supporting shouting dumb comments, just explaining why guys do that)

    It's similar to why you tap on fish tanks, or yell at the zoo pandas. You know it makes them hate you but they are pretty and you want attention.

  27. P.S. it also indicates that you have a real problem with respecting pandas

    1. Lol dude. I mean, LOL!

      This was the funniest comment so far.

    2. Pandas don't deserve respect…they're stupid vicious animals.

  28. I dont even live in a city and i cant get through a day at work with out being winked at or hit on multiple times a day D:

    I feel Eve's pain.

  29. lol I LOVE how in panel 7, she can already sense his presence. and her face says "go on, say something, I dare you…"

  30. Secretly, I love the cat-callers… It's almost like a bragging right. "Guys, it took me ten minutes to walk her and I had twelve guys holla at me on the way here. I'm THAT hot."

    1. That's fine for you – problem is some people think if it's true for you, it's true for all women, which it's absolutely not.

  31. Just turn to them, smile, and say, "I have herpes."

    1. And do it slowly and enthusiastically.

  32. Kinda curious if the name of this particular comic is a reference to the Fleet Foxes song "White Winter Hymnal".

  33. I am delighted to report that, even stuffed full of a six-month-old fetus as I am, the good gents of New York have yet to give up the good fight of extolling my virtues/blatantly propositioning me as I waddle on down the street. Take heart, ladies!

  34. I'll read your entrails for my fortune after I've ripped them up out of your throat, budday >:O

  35. Oh Man. This is EXACTLY my life right now. Thanks a lot New York. Love ya anyway.

  36. I'd have answered with "yep, except the part of me that has a penis".

  37. This happened a lot in Mexico to my sister, mostly because of the whole light-skinned people thing.

  38. When I was in my early teens I lived on one of the many islands that make up the jersey shore (not seaside where the guidos reside). My friend and I rode are bikes everywhere and would always get honked at. At that age we always loled at this but now I just think how creepy. Those guys must have realized how young we looked. We also had guys "race" us in thier cars. At one point in time two middle aged guys on bikes challenged us to a race (not joking), yes we realized that was creepy and sped away from them as quickly as we could.

  39. whoa.. i never thought a city like new york had this kind of shit too. the scumbags assholes and all the dirt is there too?!! never thought the 'big great' city of new york had all this.

    there's lots of this shit in delhi, india too..

    girls get harassed in buses, metros, sidewalks, lonely empty colony alleyways.

    the assholes are everywhere.no matter what cloth they were wearing or what color their skin.

  40. Yeah, she's askin for it with a double overhand grip on a snow shovel. That's a winter equivalent of a miniskirt and tube top combo.

  41. I just noticed something. Is her progressive bundling up an attempt to battle the temperature, the harassers, or both?

  42. Hey baybeh, nice comic ya got here.

  43. Usually my catcalls would subside once I donned thicker layers, though they never fully went away.

    The first warm day of 2007 though, the first day no one even wore a sweater or light jacket, I was walking down to a bodega across from my store in Brooklyn to get something; my outfit was simple, a t-shirt, and some jeans, and Chuck Taylors. A guy leaned over to me and said, "You make my dick do a dance" which was, okay, sort of amazing AND horrible. Newcomers to NYC will see this happen once it gets warm again; half the city will go into heat like nothing you've ever seen.

  44. I can totally relate to panel 4! Once I my bike, a guy honked at me, which totally freaked me out, but he just waved excitedly at me, trying to get my attention. Not only are cat-calls to bikers rude, but they're also dangerous! You should only honk at bikers to avoid accidents.

    1. I have had men honk at me while on a horse that easily spooked. I'm lucky I didn't get bucked off and break my neck – I wanted to kill them for scaring my horse, though.

  45. NOOOOOOO! I can't have binged the whole archive already! *started reading like 2 days ago* I am sadface now.

  46. I want to move to NY and be the worlds most polite cat-caller…




  47. LoL, I used to work in Philadelphia, and this happened to me all the time… most of the time I was wearing a very covering colonial costume. XD

  48. On behalf of nice guys everywhere, I apologize for the boors among us. Personally, I delight to see fetching ladies out and about, but i only give a friendly nod if I happen to catch their eye. And I hold the door for them. The obscene rowdies only discoruage them from going out in the decorative plumage they profess to enjoy.

  49. How many hats does she own?

  50. Saying "it could be worse" does not excuse this behavior, but at least the guy in his car didn't call her fat, curse at her, or just make unintelligible hooting sounds.

    Because that's how people play this game in my hometown. 🙁

  51. Hahahah, I can't even tell you how many times I've expressed my wonder at The Winter Lecher. They can't even tell what you look like under that parka, they just know you might be female… and they LIKE it.

  52. This comic is hilarious, but every time I read it I can't help but wonder what the guy in the last panel was planning on doing if it wasn't a lady under there…

  53. I don't live in NYC (I'm from Jersey), but I only get hit on when I'm in the city. I've even been touched. So unsettling. 😛

  54. in Chicago you can be a 95 year-old blind vietnamese woman and you will be hollered or honked at on the sidewalk. and there's no standing on street corners to wait for your ride to pull-up without some dirty van sidling up and givin you the old questioning eyebrow waggle and cheek-tongue poke. i took my suburban boyfriend for a stroll through the city once and he answered all the catcalls and whistles with 'thank yous' and 'youre too kinds'

  55. Why hello there delicate…

  56. needs moar rule34 of her

  57. why hasn't anyone noted that Eve is wearing her Hanukkah gift from Marigold? it's so sweet!

  58. Hunter, I'm in the same boat! I think I might be addicted…

    I'm from a relatively small town compared to NYC/Boston/Chicago/etc., and I can barely handle being oogled at and hit on HERE…And I plan on moving to Chicago soon. Maybe I should look into some self-defense classes….or filling my wardrobe with ill-fitting mumus and ponchos……..

  59. I'm a guy so I don't suffer from being sexually harrassed on the street, but it is pretty offensive, it always makes me angry to see guys doing this like it makes them cool or something. I can't fathom why certain lowlife people have this need to proudly prove what amazing assholes they are to complete strangers, it's not funny at all. This is in Toronto, by the way, and I used to imagine every big city was probably the same.

    Anyway 10 years ago I moved to Auckland (New Zealand), another big crowded city with lots of traffic, and I walk around downtown every bit as much as back in Toronto. But I've noticed drivers are dramatically less inclined to honk and hell stuff at girls. I don't find Auckland drivers any more polite in any other way, they still drive drunk, cut you off, tailgate, rev stupidly loud endines, boom stereos, throw trash and butts out the window, and every other antisocial traffic thing — but for some reason they don't seem to honk or harrass pretty girls on the sidewalk nearly as much as in Toronto. I've often wondered why this is so, culturally, but it is a good thing.

  60. Actually nevermind that last post, I just talked to my wife about my perception and she says it's because downtown Auckland is all office towers and college campuses. She works in an industrial area by the Auckland airport and says harrassment from men in cars is just as bad as when she lived in L.A. She wonders therefore if it's just a typical class thing, blue collar vs white collar and it's all the same everywhere. So I'm not sure anymore if kiwis are actually more polite or not.

  61. I'm a dood, and I find that shit pretty abhorrent. To be honest, I wasn't even aware that this crap went on much anymore. My wife and I have apparently lived in fairly civilized cities — I'm 100% sure she would tell me about crap like this, and anyway, we're usually out together anyway. What the hell is the matter with people??

  62. Try reading the alt-text out loud, hilarious!

  63. My knee-jerk reaction to those sort of actions is to knee the jerk in the nuts… or throw rocks at the car. And then I breathe and convince myself that it must have been meant for some other girl that I can't see and then walk away, pitying the poor girl.

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