So today I got up about 5 hours ago more or less.
After eating some quick snack and getting ready for another day in Mexico City…
I decided to walk outside and get going with some small things to take care of.
Grocery shopping, laundry, haircut basically.
Still need to do grocery shopping actually…
Anyway, I walked into this barber shop and asked if they can cut my hair.
Price was about 120 Mexican pesos or roughly 6 bucks more or less.
They were pretty busy though so I had to wait a bit for my turn to get my hair cut.
Which is perhaps a good sign that businesses are starting to get more clients nowadays despite the Covid lockdowns we’ve had down here.
Well, as I was waiting sitting in a chair, I was looking out past the door to the building as I didn’t have anything else to do.
No phone on me or anything.
So basically people watching until my turn is up.
As I’m sitting down people watching anyway, I see this random homeless dude standing by this lingerie building next to the barber shop.
He was standing next to another guy who appeared homeless and they took turns basically begging random people walking by for money.
While doing so, I noticed also that they were harassing in particular any woman who was walking by also.
And literally any woman really.
Usually with just random comments thrown out loudly like “nice ass” or whatever.
None of them said anything back.
And occasionally they were getting rather aggressive too beyond just throwing out comments.
With one woman I remember in particular – a rather young looking chick in her 20s if I had to guess wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and a white shirt with a backpack on.
She was walking by and one of the guys in question decided to follow her while yelling out more aggressive comments.
Stuff like “nice ass” or “I’d like to fuck your pussy” and whatever else really.
Anyway, the chick in question seemed quite intimidated and started walking faster until that turned into a mini jog of sorts.
To which then the guy decided he wasn’t going to run after her and walk back to his friend who was laughing about it.
They even threw a few comments by the door at one of the employees at the barber shop I was at.
“Look at that ass” being the comment.
Anyway, this isn’t the first time I have seen cat calling in Latin America.
From my memory, I remember seeing it a few times in Mexico City, Colombia, Brazil and also the Dominican Republic.
Of course, cat calling happens all over the world.
Not just Latin America.
Though, for me, it’s much more noticeable down here in Latin America as I have literally never noticed it in the US ever in my life up there.
Granted, there might be reasons for that.
For one, most of my life has been in small towns in the US.
While I’m sure there are dudes who cat call in small towns, I feel it is less common relative to big cities.
In big cities, you simply have more people in general and arguably more anonymity.
To which if you did cat call someone, I feel it would be less likely that you would get your ass kicked by someone she knows.
Granted, that’s just a theory as to why I feel small towns probably have less cat calling in general.
To which also why I have perhaps never seen cat calling up there either.
On top of that, I somewhat suspect that people in certain Latin countries (like Colombia for example) might simply feel more empowered to cat call so to speak.
Maybe empowered isn’t the right word but where they have a stronger feeling that they won’t get any push back.
Of course, I say again that I feel that is only specific to some Latin countries and arguably only really some specific cities in said countries.
In Colombia, I’d be willing to bet more catcalling happens in Barranquilla or Cali versus Pasto or some place more conservative perhaps.
Granted, that’s just another theory again in general. I’m not entirely sure that is accurate.
But I have noticed in general more catcalling in places like Colombia or the DR than in other parts of Latin America.
Despite only having a limited time in the DR up to this writing, I actually did see it a few times there also.
Here’s some more examples.
While living in Barranquilla, Colombia, I was sitting down in a restaurant in a more dangerous neighborhood of the city.
I happened to be there because my girlfriend at the time lived in that area so I stopped by whenever.
Anyway, we are sitting down eating some salchipapa.
For those who don't know, salchipapa is basically a mix of sausages and french fries with other things thrown in like ketchup, mustard, etc.
While eating late at night (probably around midnight or so), we happen to hear some minor commotion.
There was this skinny ass dude who was whistling and saying some shit to this chick about how good looking she is.
Anyway, this chick, if I remember right, was also wearing some high heels.
As the dude kept yelling and walking after her…
She walked faster.
Until the point where, somehow in high heels, she managed to put in a little jog as the guy was walking up faster on her…
And she basically got the attention of the first taxi she could and jogged her way in.
The dude basically threw up his hands, turned around with a little smile on his face and walked off.
While walking around Mexico City headed towards a restaurant during the afternoon…
I remember seeing some random chick waiting for an opportunity to cross the street alone.
As she is waiting for all of the cars to pass by…
One of them is a truck full of young dudes sitting in the back who look like they are off to do construction work or something physical.
Anyway, as they pass by, they all begin shouting and whistling at the random chick who was waiting for her chance to cross the street.
After whistling and throwing some comments her way, they laugh it off as they keep driving off.
I don’t remember well what they said outside of “que hermosa eres!”
Well, she didn’t appreciate the comments so much and got really upset about it.
Like it ruined her whole day.
She immediately looked flustered or something and started walking back and towards the direction of where the truck went off.
Before stopping after 10 steps or so and stomps back mumbling something under her breath in a very angry way.
Something like “fucking men! They’re all the same! Pigs!” etc. or whatever it was anyway.
“Bad hombres?” I guess…
“Like Hamburgers? How About Dis Dick?”
Sitting down at an Applebees in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic….
I was sitting down having some weird type of hamburger that was like a mix between a hamburger and a quesadilla.
The idea of it was weird when I saw it on the menu but it actually turned out to be pretty tasty.
Anyway, while sitting down, there happened to be various young men pressing their faces against the glass wall separating the customers inside from these random dudes outside.
As I wrote here, these men had a strategy apparently where they would press their faces against the wall to see who had the money to eat at this Applebees…
To which then they will see whoever is leaving and heading for the exit…
To then walk over by one of the exits in hopes that they picked the right one that the customer is walking out of to harass them for money.
Anyway, while waiting to see who is paying their check and getting ready to leave…
One of them happened to be horny or something I suppose…
This fairly young looking guy is a black shirt that had some holes in it and looked fairly dirty…
He happened to have a few local chicks sitting at the table that was right in front of him.
And he started tapping on the glass wall.
They ignored him.
I thought the dude just wanted to ask for money like “yo, can you stop eating, walk out of the restaurant, hand me money and then go back to your meal?”
But instead I guess he wanted to give them a meal?
To which while they were eating their hamburgers…
He tapped more aggressively with a wide smile on his face…
And the more aggressive tapping managed to get their attention.
To which then he decided to this thing with his fingers with one going finger going in and out of a circle he made with the other hand.
One of his buddies – another guy standing next to him – started laughing along with him.
Of course, there wasn’t much they could do about it I guess.
Maybe call the cops for harassment though I doubt the cops would do anything since I figured staring at customers and waiting to harass them when they walk outside would also constitute harassment, no?
So I figured they didn’t call the cops to kick these dudes out of the area since nothing seems to be stopping them anyway from harassing people in general for money.
“Hey, Hey….Got a Boyfriend?!”
Finally, there was one case in Brazil that I remember.
Or a case that I assume was catcalling but can’t be 100% positive.
When I was in the Brazilian city of São Paulo, I was walking around to different stores looking for a wooden bird to buy.
In those days when I was traveling around South America, I often would buy one wooden bird per country I was in.
Mostly because my mom liked wooden birds so I figured I might as well take a small effort in buying one in any South American country I was in.
But keep in mind that while I speak Spanish…
My Portuguese is fairly shit.
So I’m inside this store that has small wooden carvings of various animals…
But no birds!
And though I can’t do what normal gringos do when they don’t speak the language in Latin America…
You know, add an O to the end of every word.
Bird-O? Tienes un Bird-O?
Because, as you know, they speak Portuguese in Brazil…
And that trick only works in the Spanish language!
Or so I heard…
So I started imitating what a bird is flapping my arms into the air hoping that this very old lady who runs the store would get what I was asking for.
She looked at me like I was retarded and seemed quite confused.
So I pissed off looking for a wooden bird elsewhere.
Anyway, as I walked outside of the store, I happen to see this chick walking outside across the street from me.
Similar to the chick I saw in Mexico City, she is waiting for her chance to cross the street.
To which the same thing happens…
Some car passes by in this case and some dudes in the backseat started yelling and laughing at her as they drive by.
She flipped them off.
So I assume whatever they said wasn’t nice.
Granted, I assume they were catcalling but I can’t be sure as I don’t speak Portuguese well…
“Got a boyfriend?!?”
Or maybe they asked her for directions to the nearest bar.
I could double the size of this article and literally bring up at least 4 more examples I could think of.
Almost entirely in Colombia or the DR.
But I wanted to give just one example per country that I’ve seen it in.
One other theory as to perhaps why I have seen more catcalling down here than up in the US…
Is the whole “machismo” factor.
Here’s a video explaining what “machismo” is apparently.
Admittingly, I'm not that much of an expert on "machismo" since I never looked into it much but I assume the video is on point given the comments.
Maybe it has some importance for this topic but I don’t know.
Just a guess as it was one last thing that came to mind.
Anyway, if you got any examples yourself of catcalling in Latin America…
Drop them below in the comment section.
Same if you happen to just have any comments or questions also.
Enjoy this video here also of catcalling in Latin America…
It actually took me a minute to find a video on this since I never learned the word for catcalling in Spanish.
I assumed "catcalling" would work since young Latinos sometimes use English words in their sentences down here.
But "acoso callejero" seems to work.
Anyway, follow my Twitter here.
I was sat on a bench in the old town of Cadiz one night a few years ago and walking past was this buff dude in a tight t-shirt with a Johnny Bravo style hair cut and next to him – his novia – pretty in heels and make up typically dressed of the girls of that part of Spain – she was nice, and on the bench next to me were these two old guys who were relaxing and they were coming out with their lifetime of ‘piropos’ to this young lady who burst out laughing and the young fella was laughing as well at these two cheesy old guys with their daft compliments on some girl young enough to be their granddaughter.
In the UK, the girl would probably scream abuse and the boyfriend would probably smack the cloth caps off the old mens heads – one thing that wouldn’t happen there would be any kind of pleasant interaction along those lines and if there were to be any interaction at all – it would probably have ended badly for the old men – people have been killed for less.
It is a cultural phenomenon that is peculiar to the Spanish speaking world (maybe it happens in Italy and Greece, I don’t know…) even happened to me once – in Buenos Aires – it was some middle aged dude telling me how handsome I was – which sums up my luck in this life.