Trish Downes was yelled at on the street. Picture: Facebook
Trish Downes was yelled at on the street. Picture: Facebook

Tradie’s great defence of catcalled woman

MELBOURNE woman Trish Downes was going about her business and just walking to work as most people do of a morning when a man felt the need to scream at her.

Taking to Facebook, Ms Downes explained the tone of the man driving past.

"He leant out of his car window to holler at me, not in a vaguely complimentary way but in a 'I wanna f**k you!' type of way," she wrote.

"Before I could respond, a middle aged tradie leapt out from behind me, hurled his iced coffee at the dude's van and yelled, 'YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER.'"

Floored by the tradie's response, Ms Downes turned to him and congratulated him on his throw and possibly thanked him for hurling a coffee that no doubt would've cost him close to $10.

"After I complimented the tradie's aim, he said 'I used to be that guy. We gotta change.' Then he wandered off eating a sausage roll. That was pretty f***in' rad," she wrote.


Trish Downes was yelled at on the street. Picture: Facebook
Trish Downes was yelled at on the street. Picture: Facebook

Ms Downes' heartwarming post has gone viral, garnering more than 14,000 likes in less than two days and close to 5000 shares.

The Melbourne make-up artist later thanked everyone for the support but also revealed she'd received a bunch of nasty messages claiming the story was made up.

"After commenting on the amount of awful messages I was receiving from some quite pathetic people, I just want to say thank you to all the lovely messages of support I've received," Ms Downes wrote.

"I forget sometimes that really misogynistic toads exist as I'm lucky to be surrounded by some incredible, compassionate men - I'm glad to be reminded that the good outweighs the bad in society."

Ms Downes' story comes a month after SBS released a documentary askingIs Australia Sexist?

Hosted by radio host Yumi Stynes and in partnership with Macquarie University, the documentary also conducted the largest ever survey on attitudes of gender discrimination and sexism.

One particularly damning statistic from the survey was 40 per cent of women aged 18 to 25 admitted they'd experienced some form of sexual harassment on the street in the past 12 months.

Tyler, a 22-year-old from Perth, put that statistic to the test in the documentary by secretly filming her interaction with males around the city.


Tyler was harassed more than Nathan. Picture: SBS
Tyler was harassed more than Nathan. Picture: SBS

In one experiment, Tyler headed to a beachside street in the West Australian capital that she said was notorious for street harassment.

Just down the road was Nathan, a male, who was also taking part in the experiment.

Both holding their phones and pretending to take a selfie, Nathan and Tyler filmed what happened to them while they stood on the roadside.

In the short experiment, Nathan had little to no interaction with people driving past him, except for one car which revved its engine as they passed.

"That might be something," he said.

Tyler however, had a very different experience.

Holding her phone, Tyler was beeped and yelled at by one motorist each minute she stood next to the road.

The 22-year-old even filmed one motorist yelling out "tits out for the boys".

"I don't know why they felt the need to shout that out the window at me. I don't get what the point of it is," she said.

"It's never when there are females in the car, they're not doing it in front of their sisters or mother. It makes me a feel a bit anxious that people are shouting at me, it can be intimidating when you're by yourself."

In a separate car, two older men beeped at Tyler.

"That was two 50-year-old men, tooting at a 22-year-old. They're older than my dad and they're tooting at me," she said.