Thursday 8 December 2016

‘I was called a b**** and told I was full of myself’ – Kathryn Thomas on reaction when she confronted catcaller

Published 22/10/2015 | 09:28

Pictured Presenter Kathryn Thomas
Pictured Presenter Kathryn Thomas

Kathryn Thomas has revealed she was subjected to verbal abuse when she confronted a catcaller on the street.

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The Voice of Ireland presenter spoke about the incident in the wake of Jenny Stanley's recent interview with the Irish Independent in which she detailed abuse she had experienced in Dublin.

Jenny had been walking down Camden Street to Eden Quay on a Saturday night earlier this month when she experienced jeers and comments on her physical appearance from groups of young men which left her feeling degrated, objectified, fearful and angry.

"It is not okay and it is not right.  But we put up with it.  Why?" writes Kathryn in her Irish Daily Star column.

Kathryn Thomas at The Shelbourne Hotel to launch Centra Walk The World in aid of the Irish Cancer Society Action Breast Cancer campaign
Kathryn Thomas at The Shelbourne Hotel to launch Centra Walk The World in aid of the Irish Cancer Society Action Breast Cancer campaign

"Because society says it's only a bit of harmless fun and boys will be boys after all.

"The unwanted attention generally happens when women are on their own and men are in packs, making us feel even more vulnerable."

Kathryn (36) revealed she has, like most women, experienced this but only had the "nerve" to confront catcallers on one occasion.

"A pack of men were shouting sexual obscenities and I walked up to the main player, right to his face and asked him he thought his behaviour was acceptable. If he had a daughter would he like her to be subjected to that sort of abuse?" she writes.

"I was laughed at, told to relax and take a compliment when it was given."

However, as she walked away the abuse turned nasty.

"I was called a 'bitch', told I was 'full of myself', and that he 'wouldn't touch me with a 10 foot barge pole.'"

Rather than the abuse itself Kathryn revealed the most upsetting aspect of the incident was her helpelessness as there was nothing more she could do.

She adds, "If we can impose fines for dog poo on the streets, surely we can do the same for this sort of s***!".

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