Oh man, I completely disagree. I HATE catcalling! It isn't random men's place to comment on my appearance. I don't want adoration from strangers; I find it intrusive and creepy. I'm usually just trying to get someplace and would rather be left alone.
When guys hoot and holler, I don't feel flattered by the attention; I feel like a piece of meat. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable, and to me, suggests sexist attitudes towards women.
The thing is, too, that I had a terrible experience once with a stranger getting in my space. He didn't take no for an answer and he ended up assaulting me.
Unfortunately, there are stories of men doing worse things than that to women who they harassed: https://www.blackburncenter.org/post/2019/12/04/catcalling-isn-t-and-never-was-harmless
I'm not saying all men who catcall have that bad of intentions. But when dudes have catcalled me and I've responded in anything less than an enthusiastic way, I sometimes hear them mutter something like "bitch" or "fuck you" as I walk by.
So, no, I don’t think they’re giving us the attention to be nice. I think they’re doing it out of a sense of entitlement, because they think they have a right to do it. They don’t care how it makes us feel. And that’s why it feels so disrespectful to me.