Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Enough.


To the men I encountered on my way to and from work today:


I assume you think you are complimenting me when you share your opinions about my hair, clothes, legs, etc.; I assure you that you are only succeeding in making me angry. Twice today, men not only referred to me as “delicious” as I walked by, but they followed me for a few steps. How is that supposed to make me feel anything other than objectified, unsafe, and more than a little creeped out?  Gentlemen, I PROMISE you that the approach you seem to be so fond of will NEVER result in my saying, “and that’s how I met your father.” 

If you heard a man speaking this way toward your wife, girlfriend, sister, mother, niece, or daughter, you would want to take action, right? This is my action, my response to your disrespecting me and all the women in your life with your catcalls, leering,muttering and following. It’s not even WHAT you are saying at this point, it is HOW. The power is in the tone you use when you speak to me—at me—as I walk by.  When you use that tone to say I look "delicious," I am no longer a woman; I am a thing.

You know what would be better (and by better I mean, more respectful)? If you acknowledged me as a person, and not as an object, by smiling or nodding in my direction, then I would reply in kind.  If you feel compelled to speak to me, then try wishing me a good morning, good afternoon, or good evening.  Again, I will respond in kind. I don’t find it amusing, charming, or endearing when you say and do the things you said and did today. You like my haircut? I don’t care. You think I have nice legs? Keep it to yourself. You think I should smile? You don’t know me, you don’t know what kind of day I’m having, but you should know that your encouragement is not going to turn my frown upside down.


Let’s review:

1.     You don’t know me.

2.     Your behavior is not going to create a situation in which you get to know me.

3.     Next time you are tempted to engage me, think of the women in your life  

4.     Stop it.

5.     These are the most words you are ever going to receive in response to your behavior toward me.

5 comments:

Patrick Comerford said...

On behalf of the women and men in my life who are cat-called daily and treated as an object, rather than the complicated, multifaceted human beings that they are, thank you for writing this. Powerful.

Rebecca Garcia said...

For some reason I feel super empowered now just by reading your words. Thank you my friend.

erin said...

Boo to them is my response. Booooo.

Cassandra said...

Nicely done, lady!

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