Culture

‘Tat-Calling:’ Commenting on a Girl’s Tattoos Is Now Considered Harassment

It's a very serious problem.

There’s a new form of harassment out there, according to the Feminist Internet: “tat-calling,” which is basically when a man comments on a woman’s tattoos.

“I was frustrated and uncomfortable that I couldn’t just go for a simple walk without being left alone, so over the course of 40 minutes, I tweeted (using the hashtag #tatcalling) . . . every tattoo-related catcall I received – just to prove a point about what a day in the life of a tattooed woman out in public in a patriarchal society feels like,” Melissa A. Fabello writes in a piece titled “My Tattoos Aren’t an Invitation for Harassment — So Please Stop ‘Tatcalling’ Me” for the blog Everyday Feminism.

“One guy even literally stopped to show me his tattoos,” she continues. (The horror!)

And this is apparently a huge deal. Because, according to Fabello, if you’re a man on the street and you comment on a woman’s tattoos, you’re not just commenting on that woman’s tattoos — you’re “asserting your dominance by way of reminding her that she can’t simply exist without having to entertain the whims of men.”

“Even if you think you’re just paying her a compliment . . . you’re actually reminding her that men, on the whole, feel entitled to her space, time, and especially her body,” she continues. “Because you’re invading all three when you comment on her appearance.”

Fabello explains that she didn’t get her tattoos because she thought they would look good to other people, but because “they feel like love letters written to the parts of my body I grew up hating.”

#related#Not wanting to give the impression that she’s being ridiculous or anything, Fabello does clarify that if someone “politely excuses themselves for being interruptive and asks me if I’d be comfortable answering a few questions about my tattoos because they’re thinking of getting one and are curious, I always (very kindly) oblige.”

She does have a lot of rules for that situation, though. For example: No asking if it hurt, no asking how much it cost, and this:

“Just for the record, everyone, ‘What do they mean?’ isn’t a conversation starter either,” she clarifies. “It’s generally a conversation shut-down-er. Because that’s an incredibly personal question. Don’t ask strangers that. Like, ever.”

Like, ever, guys. Okay?

Most Popular

White House

For Democrats, the Party’s Over

If the Democrats are really tempted by impeachment, bring it on. Since the day after the 2016 election they have been threatening this, placing their chips on the Russian-collusion fantasy and then on the phantasmagoric charade of obstruction of justice. The attorney general accurately gave the ingredients of the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Worst Cover-Up of All Time

President Donald Trump may be guilty of many things, but a cover-up in the Mueller probe isn’t one of them. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, attempting to appease forces in the Democratic party eager for impeachment, is accusing him of one, with all the familiar Watergate connotations. The charge is strange, ... Read More
PC Culture

TV Before PC

Affixing one’s glance to the rear-view mirror is usually as ill-advised as staring at one’s own reflection. Still, what a delight it was on Wednesday to see a fresh rendition of “Those Were the Days,” from All in the Family, a show I haven’t watched for nearly 40 years. This time it was Woody Harrelson ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Democrats’ Other Class War

There is a class war going on inside the Democratic party. Consider these two cris de couer: Writing in the New York Times under the headline “America’s Cities Are Unlivable — Blame Wealthy Liberals,” Farhad Manjoo argues that rich progressives have, through their political domination of cities such as ... Read More
Culture

The Deepfake of Nancy Pelosi

You’ve almost made it to a three-day weekend! Making the click-through worthwhile: A quick note about how National Review needs your help, concerns about “deepfakes” of Nancy Pelosi, one of the most cringe-inducing radio interviews of all time, some news about where to find me and the book in the near ... Read More