Redheads get catcalled more frequently. This is what I have learned since Saturday, when I got my hair done. I mean, honestly, it happens to most women. And as an independent type, who spends a lot of time walking her happy ass around Oakland, it might happen to me more than some. Just a few weeks ago, an old, dirty, drunk man was making kissy faces and noises at my formerly blonde self in a Tahoe casino.
Now, this is not the first time I’ve had red hair. I’ve had just about every color hair that you can imagine, from black to blonde, pink and purple. But I don’t really recall having this happen before. The closest I can relate is when I was walking down the street with my flamingo pink highlights, and some enlightened soul yelled “FREAK” at me from out of their car window as they drove by.
So, on Sunday, when a man whose car was stopped at the crosswalk I was utilizing leaned out his window and hollered, “Nice hair color!” somewhat effeminately, I was startled. I replied with a “Thank you,” and I continued on my happy way. That didn’t seem too threatening, and more than anything, I was just startled.
Last night, again in a cross walk, a man in a delivery van seemed to be trying to get my attention. I had my headphones on, so I didn’t quite catch what he was saying, and I assumed that he was trying to ask directions, or something. It took me a second to realize what was going on. That was a little more disturbing, and I wish that I’d heard what he was saying, and that if it had been anything resembling “Hey Red!” I could have responded appropriately . . . by flipping him off.
So, I think I’m going to try to pay attention to what’s going on around me, and make notes when this happens. If I’m really on the ball, maybe I’ll whip out my phone and snap some photos to submit to Holla Back SF.
‘Cause, you know, just because I’m walking down the street with red hair, that does not mean that it’s in any way appropriate for strangers to yell things at me. Even if you think you’re being complimentary, it’s still rude. If you respect me as a human being, and you think I’m pretty, you’ll find a better way to communicate that. Missed connections on Craig’s List, maybe.