By George Newton, Contributor
As a self-described feminist, Mark Burns knew that he couldn’t step aside when he heard a catcaller target an unknown woman. At least not until he had a chance to hit on her himself in a heroic act that left bystanders stunned and brought tears to his own eyes.
He told the cat caller that women are too often judged on their appearance and that it probably happened to this woman constantly because she was so so so hot. He was also quoted as saying that just because someone has “sugar jugs” as the catcaller noted, one need not comment on how sugary the jugs are—even if they’d likely give you Type II Diabetes, as Burns observed. He later told the woman that she was lucky she had run into such a good guy and that maybe she shouldn’t dress so provocatively while existing in public.
Burns forced his number into the young woman’s hand, an act he reasoned was possible due to her disorientation post-harassment. As they parted, he told her to smile, demonstrating solidarity with women who encounter oppression daily. He said he couldn’t even fathom life as a woman. “Just going through the day without playing with my breasts would be a struggle. As well as not understanding sports. And dealing with sexism,” he elaborated. (In a follow up conversation, he said that he has learned to apologize for pictures of his penis that are sent to those who didn’t request them. This reporter then received many apologies.)
Burns credited a Facebook article he had recently skimmed on his sister’s cousin’s friend’s account for his newfound understanding. (The sister, cousin and friend as well as the entire Burns family refused to comment for this article.) He said he didn’t need any reward for his actions because money and acclaim are less important than pointing out others’ shortcomings. He also mentioned that he was single and looking for “someone in good physical shape who appreciates a man that holds doors open for women and buys them meals.” (Appreciates was accompanied by air quotes and obscene gestures referencing impossible physical contortions).
As of press time, Burns was surprised that the woman hadn’t called him. He hoped she wasn’t “one of those girls who wants to be your friend” and that if so, it was her loss. He knew this because he is “not a virgin” and has been told he is great at sex. None of the Canadian women who supposedly made this claim could be located. He thought it was important to come forward with this story because “in this time of great suffering in America, it’s important to remember what white males can do.”
Minor injuries were reported at the scene after Burns tried to high five himself. In lieu of flowers, he asked that pictures of him be shared across social media with the hashtag #notallheroeswearcapes. Nudes would also be appreciated, but not reciprocated.
George Newton is the head writer and director of Boston-based sketch group Voices In Our Heads, which has appeared at ImprovBoston and The Riot Theatre. He still believes that people are laughing with him.