I’m not an object. Neither is she.
Disclaimer: This is off topic of my blog. This is more of a rant, but something that needs to be said. To all the wonderful men out there, thank you and this doesn’t apply to you.
I would call you a man, but frankly, you aren’t. I like to believe that a man is someone who treats people properly. I’m not just saying women, I’m saying all human beings. Themselves included. But you, you’re a different species. There are so many of you.
Do you realize that you are making a woman uncomfortable by trying to flirt in the way you do? Is it even considered flirting? I know your agenda is for me to be some weak woman who you could get to sleep with you. I’m not an idiot. You prey on any woman who breathes; no standards, no preferences.
Do you care that I just want to lay at the beach? That I want to hang out with my friend – alone -without being bothered? Or what about when I walk down the street in a dress, do you think I’m asking to be whistled or catcalled to? I’m not dressing like this for you. I’m dressing for myself. I don’t need your approval. Get back in your car and drive away.
How about next time you plan to make a comment to anyone, especially a woman, think about your words before you speak. Think about how you would feel if those words were said to you. Would you want someone to interrupt your day with a crude comment and then stalk you? Sorry, let me take that back, you probably would. But please, I’ll ask you nicely: walk away.
I’m not an object. Neither is she.
This isn’t new information. I can vouch for almost every woman that they’ve been disrespected by a stranger, usually a man, in some way, shape, or form. They weren’t asking for it. It wasn’t called for. It isn’t cute. They won’t succeed.
In the past two days, I’ve been increasingly uncomfortable in public. It started with a public brawl between three men outside of a park I bring the children I babysit to. These guys weren’t aware I was there, they were too invested in themselves (good and bad), but I felt uncomfortable. Despite the cursing, punching, and reckless driving that was happening before me, I knew that if they caught me staring, my own life would be in danger; not just the person they were fighting. I couldn’t bring the kids to the car because I would be crossing their path. I couldn’t ask them to stop because then I, most likely, wouldn’t be here to write this. Before I had a chance to call the cops, someone joined us at the park and broke it up. It left me shaken as the children I watched were oblivious to the entire thing…thankfully.
However, that experience made my radar skyrocket. I should have left. But those people left so why make the kids go home when this is a place for them? Then this middle age man came, leaned against his car and just stared at the park. I had convinced myself he was waiting for us to leave. I was convinced that he was going to follow our car to the house and hurt us. I had an exit plan ready for when I got to the car if he followed us, but again, I couldn’t leave, he was standing right next to my car.
While this man was standing there, a single father placed his child in the swing next to the little boy I was watching. Instantly, he struck up a conversation. He was very friendly, but all my guards were up. He started asking questions about me and the children I watched. However, his first statement was, “These aren’t your children right? You look too young and beautiful to have children this old.” Compliment? Yes. Yes sir, I am not ready to have a six year old and three year old. But watch it. There’s a moment where a compliment like that can be misconstrued. I want to believe he was an innocent Dad, just trying to make conversation. But after the previous two experiences all happening within an hour time period, I was suspicious, especially since the middle aged man was still there.
Luckily, I stayed too long, and everyone left. I was alone with the kids. But I wasn’t comfortable. Neither was I today.
A day at the beach, writing and getting school work done with my friend, innocent right? Especially because we aren’t in bathing suits? Not like that should matter. Well, it wasn’t. As soon as we got out of the car, two guys made comments to us. I instantly put my guard up. We decided to go down a different path, a more secluded place by the water. I had just finished telling my friend about the experiences the day before. What happened? The guys got into their car, drove behind us as we walked and followed us into the park. Luckily, they got distracted by two other girls, (I’m sorry girls, I really am). And we were able to be in peace. But this shouldn’t be the case.
For anyone who thinks this is an extreme response to any of these interactions. I’m sorry to judge you, but you’re probably a man who hasn’t dealt with scenarios like these. As women, we are born and raised to fear people; to fear men. We aren’t necessarily raised by our parents this way, it is what society tells us. We shouldn’t wear something specific, we shouldn’t go somewhere alone, we shouldn’t do this or that. Well, no. Fuck you, Society. Instead of us (women) changing, it’s time to teach males, young and old, to respect women.