Healthy Soul/My Life/Teen Life/Witness and Evangelization I Am More: A Note to the Man Who Catcalled Me by Christina Mead To the man who catcalled me while I was running with my dog the other night… I have some words for you. I am more. You looked at me and all you saw was a thing — an object for your viewing pleasure. In your mind I was a set of body parts and nothing more. Which, honestly, makes me feel bad for you. I wish that when you looked at me, or at any other woman, you could see that we are complex, intricate, complicated beings. And not just in a “girls-be-cray” and “no-one-can-understand-women-and-their-emotions” kind of way. Here’s the thing… I am someone’s daughter. I am someone’s sister. And aunt. And godmother. I am a writer. I am an artist. I am tragically allergic to avocados. I love mornings and loathe Fridays. I cry during movies, and over songs, and inspiring stories. I hate dreaming at night, but I have big dreams for my life. I am passionately in love with God. I am learning daily how to be the best version of myself. I am funny, and creative, and constantly craving chocolate. You may think I’m “sexy”… but more so, I am beautiful. Can you take all that into account next time you see me? Next time you see any woman? We are real. I think in this world saturated with porn, my gender has suffered a crushing blow and it’s not fair. I am not the same as the untouchable, unfeeling, woman safe behind your computer screen. To you, she has no needs and only exists for your enjoyment. But we have worth… My value is as a whole person, and not isolated to any attractive feature of mine. My God tells me I am beloved because I am His. So, no I wasn’t ignoring your words, I was listening once again to my God tell me all the reasons that I am more. Sadly, this isn’t only about me, or only about this one man. This is a universal problem that affects you, too. The hard truth is that if you’re not helping to fix the problem, you’re a part of the problem. If you want to be a good, Christian man you need to stop being afraid of speaking up and being different. Heroic virtue requires you to stand your ground when the cultural tide is trying to sweep you up. Sure, all the guys are talking about girls and who’s hot, and what the rumors are… but that doesn’t have to be you. You can walk away. You can change the subject. You can remind your brothers that there’s more to love about a woman than her body. You owe it to your sisters. You owe it to me. I need your help. Please. Please see me and all my sisters as the complex, beautiful crown of creation we are. You see, sometimes we don’t even see ourselves this way and we need you to remind us that our exterior isn’t the most important asset we have. Isn’t that right girls? We are so much more than our physical appearance but it’s so easy to use our appearance to validate ourselves on those days that you’re just not feeling good enough. It ceases to feel like we’re being degraded because we’ve settled and even begun to rely on this objectification for the sake of our self-worth. You were made for more than objectification because you are the object of the Father’s undying love. He wants you to be seen and treated as He sees and treats you — as a whole, beloved person. Be the kind of person who loves others as God loves you and you will attract that same kind of person. Ultimately, this is the only solution in a world where people aren’t seen as people anymore. Authentic love in action is the most powerful antidote to the lack of respect and disregard of our dignity. How I wish I could go back in time and say that to the man who catcalled me. I’m praying for you.