The perils of being a woman
“I know you said you didn’t want a drink but this is Black Label. It’s the best whiskey ever and a women like you deserves only the best.” This stranger in a bar proceeded to wink at me and rub my arm in front of my boyfriend while I did everything in my power to not roll my eyes all the way back in my skull. Just a few minutes prior I rejected his advances while a Maker’s Mark swished in my glass and my usual entourage of male friends surrounded me like bodyguards. Yet, this man has the audacity and feels entitled enough to bypass the four of them me just to make a pathetic and farfetched advanced with me.
This pathetic attempt at wooing me is just one of the many advances I receive. Almost every day, I encounter a man who invades my privacy, personal space, and preference for him to piss off. The harssassment I face on a daily basis has become a norm and these are the perils of being a woman.
Given the history of overrepresented heterosexual culture's gender roles: males have been assigned to have the job as the initiator. Which can be respectful in a case but with that power dynamic there is easily a misguided shift to a sense of entitlement. Basically, the harassment toward women is a scary norm and these preceding factors have caused them to be trained to be sexually aggressive, sometimes to a fault.
This isn’t an excuse, it’s a sad truth.
The main issue with street harassment is that these men feel they are so entitled to women’s time, women’s space and women’s bodies that they think it’s oppression if you refuse to give them access to your time, your space and your body.
When I say men, I don't have the intent that every man has this form of pursuit, I'm using men in a general sense of whoever this behavior applies to. I'm not a misandrist, just a realist with personal experience that has discovered among a multitude of women this behavior is frighteningly common.
And when it's common enough to have men ages 18-58 pursue with the assumption that I am already theirs comes in the form of text messages, songs, poetry and any form of communication that allows them to linguistically convey their desires. What happened to a respectful pursuit? Instead I have Danny texting me after only a single cup of coffee "I found you a pair of shorts" with an attached image of shorts reading "Danny's ass," then there's your protypical whiner who changes from "I want to spend more time with you" to a few weeks later "I want to be a priority in your life."
These are laughable, 100% accurate and undeniably experienced in various forms by women beside me.
Look, these entitled men aren't entirely at fault, they've just abided by the gender roles taught and media that portrays aggressive pressure toward a woman as domineering and arousing. Hence "50 Shades of Grey" has become increasingly popular among millions but what the viewers have trouble realizing is they are watching a man, albeit he is rich and powerful, burden himself on a women and portray it as sexy.
Sexual harassment isn’t a risk-taking, devil-may-care, lust-for-life behavior. Sexual harassment is a burden to who you are pursuing and that happens far too often and is usually derived from a false sense of entitlement.
Walking down the street on my usual commute home I'd pass many different types of people as I walked. Strangely enough men are the only group that feel entitled enough to make a comment on my body. "Sweet tits," "With an ass like that I'd marry you," "Make those big lips smile for me, baby" are just a few of the vulgar comments I've been told. However I can't fail to mention the token experience on 3rd Street Promenade while I walked with a friend Clint, a fellow passerby had the audacity to whisper "Sexy" to me. He did this, while I was with another man. Clint, one who's never endured my norms, had to take a few minutes to comprehend and realize how stupid his own gender can be.
Harassment isn't a compliment. (Do I really need to say this? This should be common knowledge.)
I refuse to take street harassment as a compliment regardless of what you say positive or negative. Men shouldn't feel they are entitled enough to analyze, discuss, appraise, and comment on my appearance. The purpose for my existence isn't to please anyone visually.
I believe critical thinking is essential to problem-solving and once harassers and entitled finance bros, fuckboys, and your seemingly regular Johns are able to leave their selfish domain of thoughts, they'll be able to realize their actions are unwanted women are not there for them.
In my personal experience, men get incredibly offended when you tell them to leave you alone. They take the word “No” as a personal offense. Maybe we should send those back to grade school and teach them that "No" is just indicating the opposite of what they've displayed. Let's put it this way, if my 5lb Bichon Frise-Poodle with a brain the size of an apricot can understand the concepts of personal space and "no" then men should be able to as well.