21st century men

The whistles, the stares (yes, both curious & drooling), the blunt hello & how do you do, the 100 meanings smile - all that any normal man instinctly do & that every woman receives more than once in any given public place. It feels good when your howler is decent & cute but definitely annoying & at times terrifying from aspiring Casanovas. What's the deal with men today?

I've had some howlers & I must say that every one of them made me uncomfortable & terrified - and they are normally not even cute. I just don't think it's the proper channel & that men doesn't even have the slightest clue on how to howl. But is it really bad to howl & at the same time feel good about being howled sometimes? What's with men & howling anyway?

I had the little things you normally don't even notice while walking in Canebiére - the bonjours, greetings like "ni hao ma!" & men who actually try to strike up a conversation & leave when I say I don't speak french - this does not bother me at all. Well, my persistent teenage neighbor & my video club's friend did.

My persistent teenage neighbor & I ran into each other in the train. He stares a lot, tries to speak to me & follows me in the train. Imagine my shock when he went down the same stop as mine. I was terrified because the encounter lasted for almost a week & worried french fry. But he eventually stopped & sometimes we run across each other in the village, still the complete strangers as we are.

My video club's friend just happened last weekend. I was appalled & equally offended. I normally speak a little with my video club's owner & last saturday, on my way out his friend came in & the owner just started a conversation on - of all things, martial arts - heck, what do I know about martial arts?! The friend was no other guy I've ever met - a real aspiring Casanova with a definite "téte du con (jerk)." He actually asked me in english - of course all aspiring Casanovas in France would like to speak english - if I want to go to bed with him. I thought "ça va pas?!" - I just laughed & I actually don't know why I did instead of thinking out loud. He asked for my phone number & I showed him my wedding ring. This did not stop Casanova, "Tu es fidèle (are you faithful)?" And he started boasting about how many women he has & as a matter of factly said he prefers to be single. I just bluntly said that his being single is probably not by choice, "Parce que t'es pas correct (because you are ill-mannered)." The thing with aspiring Casanovas is that they believe that persistence & arrogance is the trick - and what's worse, he actually believed that I will give him my number - duh?! And for those who want to know, he's not at all good looking - at times, it is another sign for an aspiring Casanova.

When I got home & thought about it again, I felt such a weakling. Why can't I assert myself at the moment? Why can't my being offended manifest at the moment needed? I have always believed that arrogant men can be aggressive & to respond to them in the same way can really cause more trouble. My french fry says it's because I'm Asian - too polite to assert myself. It is true that as offended as I can be with strangers, I still have that pearly white teeth smile & complain about it when the coast is clear.

When the Casanovas & howlers in the men's world is not universal, there is a big difference between Filipino & French men as purely based on my experiences - of well, being howled at. I have met very few arrogant & at the same time persistent Casanova Filipino men. But this does not mean they don't exist. I still find some Filipino howlers subtle that it's a mix of offensive, flattering & harmless howls. As with French men, it is direct & serious - no holds barred kind of howl - and it's leaning more on the offensive side. Even way before I got married, I've never liked howlers & Casanovas. There is still a gentleman way to howl - the one women feel good about - there's always a pleasant & polite way to meet someone. Kind of makes you really wonder the kind of relationships one culture has.


From Manila to Paris, then to Marseille & to the Côte d'Azur, now in Singapore, clinging to a map of three worlds, where everything becomes all relative.


  1. Everything you've said is darn true! Had also the experience of being howled at & exactly the same lieu the famous suburb "Canebiére". Take precautionary measures when you go there...better yet wag ka na lang pumunta. (selon mon Mari)

    I hate men who has this "Macho Attitude" it does not impress me but it irritates me!!!

    Alex was totally right, because we're Asian...but that doesn't give them the right to anything!!!!

    CASANOVA a promiscuous, a philanderer like Giovanni Jacopo Italian adventurer who after his expulsion from a seminary wandered Europe, meeting luminaries, working in a variety of occupations, and establishing a legendary reputation as a lover. His memoirs chronicle his adventures, so there it was originated !

  2. Freaking Casanovas everywhere! At least when some jerk in Manila starts calling at you "Miss, miss! Tingin naman, miss!" and you turn to look at them they slink away. If you did the same thing in France they'd pounce on you! If they were half as gorgeous as Brad Pitt maybe I'd be flattered, but they aren't, raté!


  3. hi makis! I've never liked howlers myself, and guys who stare a lot. nakakairita sila sa totoo lang.

    grabe ang lalaki na 'yon, ang sarap niyang sapukin sa mukha!

  4. Haze :It's true that we really have to be careful in some places like not walking alone in a small alley when it's already dark, etc. And sometimes I need to go to Canebière :)

    Kala :I really noticed that aspiring Casanovas are butt ugly - hahaha!

    Ligaya :Hay naku, kung pwede lang talaga! Sana nga the government can fine howlers & Casanovas for "casual harrassment," o diba???

  5. Makis,

    I have yet to meet american howlers, maybe they don't exist? Usually the starers are the mexicans (some pinays from other states say they do catcalls too) and the small talkers are the blacks, but the latter doesn't even border on the offensive.

    Natawa ako sa "ni hao ma?", at least they know a little bit of chinese, I doubt it a "man on the street" here knows what that is.

  6. Hi, Makis... Just like what Ger said, I have not really noticed howlers here in Chicago (maybe they just don't howl at me heheheh). I do notice a little of that at some construction sites but not to a point of being offensive. I suffered those more back in the Philippines during my teenage years. My brother almost got in the fight trying to defend my "honor". Cat calls were never flattering to me at all. Good day...