For young women living in a city, being the victim of street harassment is an unfortunate, undeniable part of daily life. Yes, these situations can be scary, and no, it’s not always clear what to do, but sometimes, people come up with the absolute perfect response. To be clear, this is not one of those times, but that makes sense, because it can be easy to get flustered by that kind of thing.
Cue 28-year-old Alexa Janson, who tweeted this totally acceptable but not mind-blowing response after she was catcalled:
Could this be the takedown of the century? Nope. Not even close, really. But it’s not bad, especially when you consider that Alexa was probably trying to get to work on time, navigating a busy street, scrambling to keep track of her belongings—any type of loud noise would be flustering, let alone a vaguely audible offensive comment directed at her.
Really, that she got herself together enough to respond to him in any kind of coherent way was already very impressive!
Could she have looked at him in that moment and absolutely destroyed him by saying “The only phone number I’m giving you is 911, asshole”? Would it have been a victory for women everywhere if she had just shut him down with a confident “I only give my phone number to people who can count past nine”? Definitely. But it’s not like she had 30 minutes to draft a comeback that cutting, so her response will have to do.
Bottom line: Today, Alexa did something amazing. And thanks to her, maybe, just maybe, one more woman will respond to a catcaller in a way that makes us think “Cool, yeah, that was fine.”