A whistling woman and a crowing hen are neither fit for God nor men

Posted on: 16/04/2009

A whistling woman and a crowing hen are neither fit for God nor men

After coming back from Mexico, speaking mostly Spanish and feeling the Mexican way of life for a year, I needed to reintroduce myself into European thinking and re-translate my culture code.

Or, rather, I thought I’d have to, but then I re-realised we can always count on the males. Some aspects of their behaviour are wonderfully universal.

Let’s take street-whistling (macho men favourite sport) as an example.

Men shout and whistle at women both  in Mexico,  in Poland, although the way they do it differs slightly. The Mexicans normally do not say things openly;  they let you pass by, and only then, they whisper: Adiós; I love you; Güerita (a tender way to call you paleface), etc.

In Poland (as far as I have experienced) this kind of behavior is, if not restricted to, more popular for construction workers. They whistle and shout, and compliment you in their idiosyncratic way – far more openly then in Mexico, and mentioning specific parts of your body.

(A curious thing, there are even some forums on the internet on why construction workers whistle at women. Some answers I’ve found include “it’s a trademark of what construction workers do and are”, although there are women who have also noticed “a lot of whistling gardeners”).

There are also some youtube movies that teach you how to chiflar (whistle) properly:

On the other hand, one of further education UK colleges had to protect construction builders from wolf-whistling girls, doing this “in a reversal of traditional gender stereotypes” (

And you, dear male-readers, have you ever been wolf-whistled?

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