seriously? I’m all for women’s social rights and not letting our body dictate how others see us. But for goodness sake this is overboard. I take a catcall as a compliment, not because I see myself as a “piece of meat” but because I know that they are attracted to my looks. People normally like feeling pretty, it doesn’t mean that’s all I am. But I still enjoy it.
You basically want us to stop enjoying being told we are pretty because that somehow degrades us. But I don’t see us stopping on our talks about how hot certain guys and actors are. Get rid of the unfair wage issues, the war on women, and the unfairness in domestic violence cases, but stop scaring guys into never hitting on us ever again. Rant over.
Receiving comments from strangers concerning my body or my personal appearance, especially if they’re positive, makes me feel very uncomfortable. I fully understand that this isn’t “normal”, but that shouldn’t invalidate me or my feelings.
My response to a cat call is a middle finger, because I am not being complimented. I am being objectified.
I enjoy being complemented. I like to be noticed - I frequently dye my hair bright blue or purple, most of my wardrobe is varying degrees of provocative and/or eccentric, I take up hobbies that give me an excuse to make a spectacle of myself in public. In my personal experience, that’s not when I experience most of the street harassment that comes my way - bright blue hair and heavy eyeshadow, steampunk corsets and bustles and stockings, or renfair-esque sashes and low-cut tops get me double takes, casual complements, and admiring comments from small children. When I want to be noticed, the world can tell because in addition to looking good I also act approachable, and the world can tell I’m enjoying the attention because I smile, and thank people, and answer questions of “where did you get those socks, they look great” (80% of the time it’s sockdreams.com, btw) and generally engage and disengage with the people around me as I’m comfortable.
I don’t need to be grateful for being noticed when I’m not setting out to be noticed.
I don’t need to be grateful when someone I don’t know shouts at me from across a crowded public space because I find that knee-length skirts and calf-high boots do better at keeping my feet and ankles dry in rainy weather than sneakers that leak and jeans that get soggy around the cuff, and all they see is a little more of a curve of leg than the might have been expecting under the circumstances, and somehow that makes it not only his business but the business of everyone else in the area.
I don’t need to be grateful when a guy yells and whistles at me as he drives past, creating a situation where I have no control and no opportunity to gain any control, because he’s gone before I can adequately process the fact that I am startled, leaving me in full-blown fight-or-flight mode with nothing left to react to.
I don’t need to be grateful when I’m walking home a little before sunset, dressed in shapeless jeans and a baggy sweatshirt, and a man pulls up and offers me $500 to get in his truck - he just wants to “talk,” he assures me, just wants to “drive around” for a while.
Those situations aren’t complements. Those situations aren’t even insults. Those situations are threats.
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