7NEWS.com, Australia – Former Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil has opened up on a recent catcalling experience when three men “howled” at her “like a dog” as she walked through a Melbourne carpark.
Thattil, who was crowned Miss Universe Australia in 2020, said the experience was “terrifying” and made her feel unsafe.
In a video posted to her Instragram stories, the 29-year-old said she was already feeling a bit on edge because she had to park her car in an isolated carpark when she noticed the men hanging around nearby.
As soon as she left her car and began walking, the harassment began.
The men began “howling” at her and yelling out, “why you so fine?”, she said in the video, captioned “Another day, another incident.”
“I literally just turned around and I’m like, ‘I just want to let you know I don’t appreciate being catcalled because it literally doesn’t make me feel safe’.
“And you know what? They actually apoologised. They were like, ‘you know what, no, actually we’re sorry’.”
But in a follow-up video she said apologising didn’t make up for the crass behaviour in the first place.
“It’s great that they apologised because they could have turned around and been super-aggressive,” she said.
“It could have gone any which way.
“But I’m not gonna applaud, like, mediocre, basic behaviour.
“I just think we see enough, we hear enough women and people talk about it enough, that I think you have enough access to information to know cat calling isn’t f***ing cool, and it makes people feel unsafe.
“So don’t do it.
“It shouldn’t take someone verbalising their discomfort for people in this day and age to know catcalling is a form of street harassment that isn’t cool.”
In another Instagram story, Thattil followed up with more thoughts on the incident, saying it wasn’t necessarily always the best or safest option to confront catcallers …