Shedding clothes during the summer season is something which every one of us looks forward to – however, if you are tattooed women, baring more skin may be a double-edged sword. A lot of people are usually not going to be able to run errands without being stopped by someone curious or wanting to complement the tattoo of someone. This is called tat-calling, and it is considered the new form of street harassment, which nowadays becomes a huge problem. It is basically when a man comments on a woman’s tattoos.
It is incredible that a lot of people believe that they are entitled to your body. They will not think twice about the things they say or the way they behave. Women with tattoos have a lot of people reaching out to grab their arms and outline their ink on their skin with their fingers without even asking for permission.
You probably heard a lot of people make backhanded compliments or interrogating others about what each piece means and why they chose it. There are also those who would make jokes about the placements of some tattoos of other people.
- Tat-calling experiences.
In 2015, Melissa Fabello of Everyday Feminism wrote an article about her experience with tat-calling. She told her story about one day, when she was at an airport Starbuck, a man come next to her, tapped her on the shoulder and asked her if he can get a better look at her leg tattoos, which was an entirely inappropriate way to behave, particularly because the person was a stranger to her.
While tat-calling may seem like an innocent and honest compliment, sometimes it may employ all of the same dynamics of catcalling. However, that is not to say that every single time someone compliments your tattoos, he or she is being oppressive – not at all. But, that also is not to say that sometimes people are not just genuine and nice. Nor we are saying that this is something which just men do to women or something which you necessarily have to get riled up about.
However, Melissa says that her experiences with being catcalled are incredibly similar to her experiences being tat-called – and numerous other tattooed women have expressed to her that they feel similarly awkward about it.
Emily McCombs, who is the Deputy Editor of HuffPost Personal, also penned an op-ed piece about her experiences being tat-called. She said that never mind if women are just riding the train home or standing in line at the grocery store – they are still on display and their bodies still up for discussion and commentary.
She continued, saying that it may feel mentally jarring to be minding your own business, maybe daydreaming or reading some books, and have your whole attention drawn over and over to the reality of your thighs or your bare shoulders. The question about compliment itself usually feels like a ruse, a thin excuse for men to gleefully exert that access to women’s bodies, to get away with something in public.
- Genuine tattoo compliments vs. tat-calling.
Genuine tattoo compliments are quite fine. Sure, it may get old talking about your tattoos over and over again – think of celebrities having to deal with the same questions numerous times – but most people do not even mind if it is a nice conversation.
Seriously said, genuine compliments are completely fantastic. And, having the ability to proudly tell others who did some of your work is exciting as you get to help out your talented artist. Being tat-called, on the other hand, is honestly very similar to being catcalled in that there is a power structure is established.
A lot of times, you experienced someone yelling something at you from across the street or also across the crowded store or park. This is actually a way of asserting your dominance by way of reminding her that she cannot simply exist without having to entertain the whims of men. Otherwise, you would let her walk in peace, according to the article by Melissa.
- You get your tattoos for yourself and not for others.
A lot of people usually argue that getting a tattoo means that you are asking for unwanted attention. That argument is the same problematic nonsense which women hear when they complain about harassment.
Remember that you do not get your tattoos for other people, but you get them for yourself. People decide to get tattoos for a lot of reasons. They may want to have something beautiful and permanently etched into their skin. They may also want to commemorate an important and loved person from their life, or they may want to celebrate something they really love.
So, what you can do in order to be a better person when you see someone that has tattoos? You can be polite and say that you like his or her tattoos, and when the person responds politely and opens up a conversation about them, you should keep it polite and don’t pry. Or, when he or she just say thanks and continue with their day, you should not react poorly. It is really that’s simple and easy.