As The Daily Twenties’ fourth most trusted investigative journalist, it is my job to occasionally infiltrate some of America’s seediest undergrounds. I was intrigued by the viral video “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman” in which a woman endured countless disrespectful catcalls while walking on the sidewalk, and I was determined to get to the bottom of this phenomenon. It was time to go undercover. “It’s a risky operation,” I informed the editor of The Daily Twenties, “if my cover is blown, I could face a barrage of insults.”

“Uh, yeah man. Go for it I guess,” he said, clearly concerned for my wellbeing.

“Please don’t beg for me to stay. It’s just something I have to do.” I hung up before he could try to convince me to abandon my plans.

I traveled to New York City, the hotbed of catcalling as depicted in the video, uncertain of what I would find. I was on the corner of Madison Avenue and E 106th Street for three minutes before I heard what I had come for: “DAMN GIRL, YOU SHIT WITH THAT ASS?!” I couldn’t be sure, but I had a feeling I had just witnessed a catcalling. I approached the gentleman to inquire what he hoped to accomplish with his yelling.

“You really want to know?” His voice became hushed and he leaned in with an air of secrecy. “I don’t do this for my benefit. My actions are purely for their wellbeing.”

“Wait. What?”

The man, Marcus Johnson, continued. “Today’s society is complex. It has changed in the last few decades. Magazines and reality shows bombard women with unreachable physical beauty standards that most cannot hope to attain.”

He must have sensed my incredulity when I asked what the fuck he was talking about.

“It is our duty–the catcallers of the nation–to inform women that despite what Cosmopolitan tells them, we do, in fact, appreciate that ass” he said while biting his bottom lip and staring at a passing woman.

“Well why don’t you just initiate a polite conversation with a woman you’re interested in? Why the inappropriate yelling instead of just walking up and talking with her?”

“It’s not the 50’s any more. Today’s woman has places to be. Jobs to go to, meetings to attend, Tinder dates to be disappointed by. They simply don’t have the time to be stopped on the street and–sorry, pardon me for a second,” he said, gazing past me to an attractive young woman walking by in business attire, “EY GIRL NICE HIPS WANNA SIT ON THIS DICK?!” She shot him a disgusted look and quickened her pace. Marcus sighed. “If she wasn’t in such a hurry I could’ve complimented her enchanting eyes.”

“So you’re saying that every man who catcalls is in on this?” I asked, dumbfounded.

“Yes. Our society goes deeper than you can imagine. Why else do you think we would do this? Do you really think we expect a woman to approach us simply because we shouted innuendos at them?”

“I… I don’t know. I guess I just assumed you were all being dumb assholes.”

“Oh, my sweet naive child,” he smiled warmly. “We are persecuted but will continue fighting the good fight. Because we are the heroes America deserves, but not the ones it needs right now. So they’ll hunt us, because we can take it.”

“…did you just quote the Dark Knight?”

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He hesitated before running off and disappearing into the crowd. In the distance a faint “LET ME GET THEM DIGITS GIIIIIRL” could be heard before being swallowed by the noise of passing cars and honked horns.

God speed, Marcus. A silent guardian. A watchful protector. Still kind of a dick.

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