Monday, May 15, 2006

scary men

I am tired of getting cat-called.

If I wrote that a month ago, I might have been lying a little bit. Really, it can be a bit thrilling walking down a street and having someone throw out a whistle. But now, post-India and after working downtown for over six months, I am really and truly tired of it.

Being tall and not dark, I got a lot of attention in India. Examples: people on the street took pictures of/with me. A wife led me to the dance floor and handed me off to her husband (which was so creepy that I feel I must have misinterpreted it). Young men in the train station stared so blatantly at me that K. moved in front of me to block their view. The men just moved so that they could once again view me, sweating in a grimy t-shirt reading Real Simple.

I bought a new dress last week, and realized I did not want to wear it to work because of any attention I might draw on the walk to work and from work/metro. Examples of attention? Well, once on my way home a man leered at me and then grabbed his crotch.

I wore my dress this morning and put a trench coat on over, to deflect attention, and happily, to deflect rain.

An hour ago, I slipped out and walked the block and a half to CVS for some ibuprofen. Without the trench coat. A black man sitting on the pavement told me very loudly that I was a tall girl he wanted to have sex with, and then proceeded to expand on that theme.

It's not just a race thing. A few weeks ago I was waiting for the light to change and a group of middle-aged corporate men hung out a black SUV and voiced appreciation vociferously.

I know I'm not the only one to have this kind of constant and disruptive attention, although I do think that any girl who walks a great deal or takes public transportation tends to get more, especially in an urban area.

I'm writing this trying to figure out what disturbs me so much. After all, I've been to Italy, and the Italian men are very forward. But there's a certain...ah, she's a woman, how beautiful, that doesn't come across from the American yeah-baby-I'd-do-you. The aggression, the anger, scares me in a way that the man-turning-to-watch-my-butt doesn't.

Why are all these men so angry?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Any man that actually feels he might have an opportunity to "make it" with a good looking girl is highly unlikely to behave in this manner. (I'm disregarding the random good-looking jack-ass males that treat women like meat, both in and out of bed.)

If a male appreciates a woman's physique, and has an optimistic thought that he might get a closer look, he will not do anything so inane as to blow his chances with a derogatory/offensive holler.

These men are angry at the pretty women in general, and you specifically, because from the moment they lay eyes on you, you have rejected them. It's a trip they take in their self-esteem deficient minds, and it happens so quickly that you have no hope of preventing it with any action/reaction.

Sucks that it's this way.
Keep your trench coat on until you're on the farm.