The other day I walked my dog. We came to a path that was filled with Tradie’s (Labourer) men working on it.
My next decision took a lot of my mental energy, as most women know that more often than not walking past a group of men in their working uniforms can sometimes turn them into savages.
8/10 times you will cop a whistle, a derogatory comment, or at least really long boob stare.
It’s generally really awkward and uncomfortable.
Then this happened.
I walked around them silently and smiled, I got all the way past them without hearing a single remark or wolf whistle.
They looked at me and smiled, I got a nod and friendly Hello.
I then silently congratulated them for being respectful and breathed a sigh of relief. Wonderful, well done.
But….What the fuck, is the world at a stage where if a man doesn’t make a unwanted remark about your appearance that they deserve a well done?
That’s fucked up.
It is at that stage…
The other day I’m walking with one of my Best friends forever, when a man drives his car across the almost empty car park to us and sleazily said “Hello there”.
We stare at him awkwardly with ‘what the fuck faces’ and he continues on his way…What? Why?
A few days later I was walking with my kids with another one of my Best friends forever when from behind us the typical sound of a wolf whistle from a nearby car reaches our ears. What is this? The early 90s?
Bff and I discuss it:
“What about that makes him think we liked that?”
“What part of them doing that makes them think its ok to do that and that we would appreciate it??”
Creeper Guys, take note: We don’t fucking like it, well most of us don’t like it.
I especially don’t like it when I’m walking with my children.
I dare you to do it next time when I’m out with my husband.
If you stopped your car, ran over to me and said politely:
“Hi my name is Harold, I just wanted to let you know that I think you’re really lovely/beautiful or that top really bring out your eyes” that would actually be a lot more acceptable.
I did have a man say to me once in the shopping center “That top looks so great on you” .
I thanked him and we went on our merry ways. THAT my friend’s is a gentleman.
But promise you that there is no part of you whistling at me/us while walking with friends or alone that makes me happy and appreciative, nope, not even remotely, it does not make me feel sexy, nor attractive. It just disappoints me.
When you rev your car as you drive past? That’s Gross. That is so gross. I always assume you have a teeny tiny man penis. Stop acting like a teeny tiny man penis.
I am in no way impressed or delighted that you pushed your foot down on the accelerator a few times in a row to express to me how attractive you find me. Yuck. Just yuck.
The shit part is that I am actually used to it. We women are used to it, I’ve copped it since I was barely a teen and I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now.
Did you know, it’s actually sexual harassment? If you did that at work, you would be in a lot of trouble? You may even lose your job?
It’s gotten to the point now that I already have a full blown speech ready and planned in my mind to say right to your face next time. And if that time comes, I will make you feel like the slab of meat that you make me feel like I am.
Because honestly, I’m just walking, you know… minding my own business, and yes, you may like how I look, you may want me to know about it but I’m not by any chance wanting you to beep, slur, whistle or yell out at me.
I don’t care if you like what you see.
Keep your hand off that horn, foot off the accelerator and keep that mouth shut.
You see, I am someone’s wife, a daughter, a mother. I am a person, just like you, just like your own daughter, mother or sister, if you wouldn’t do it to them, don’t do it to us.
By all means admire my body like the goddess temple it is but keep your comments and whistles to yourself.
This takes me back to the men from earlier. The men I felt like I should congratulate for not being creepers, I felt bad that I put this stereotype of Tradie man on them, but men for many years and many life times have treated women this way, we/I have gotten used to thinking most men are this way, it’s sad because I have so many men in my life that are not at all this way. I know an abundance of beautiful respectable men, who find women attractive but keep it on the inside.
I am sorry to these respectful men that day that looked up at me, smiled and said “Hello” as I walked by. I judged you harshly but it’s is not my fault.
Thank you for not making me feel like a stack of ham and cheese sammiches you long to devour.
Because I; someone who has been sexualised from such a young age really appreciates it.
Next time you want to be a creeper, do it like I do: from afar, respectfully and silently.