If I Was a Man

Last night I was at a restaurant/bar, just enjoying the NCAA national championship game with some friends. Everything was going just swimmingly. We found a large booth, got our beers and deep fried cheese curds (yes, they’re as amazing as they sound) and started watching the game.

Not long after I had finished my first beer, my friend next to me gives me a nudge and says that there’s an old guy (probably 55 or so) that keeps staring at me.

I turn to my right, and, sure as shit, there he is just-ah staring away. I quickly look away, hoping that since we made eye contact, he would stop looking at me.

He didn’t.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “C, he’s just looking at you. Don’t be so sensitive!”

I was thinking that too, however, he started looking at me kind of like how starving cartoons look at their cartoon friends and turn them into burgers. All smirky, like they have all the power to pounce on them at any given minute.

I’ll pause so you can finish shuddering, because just the thought of him looking at me like that makes my skin crawl.

After a few more attempts and icy glares towards him, some given while even making eye contact with him, he still didn’t get it.

As if that weren’t bad enough, when I stood up to let my friend out of the booth to go to the bathroom, my other friend at the table said she watched him look me up and down.

I’ll pause again for the shudder…

SERIOUSLY?!?! Why, why, why can’t men take the hint?! If a woman is giving you all the signs to leave her the hell alone, you do it. No questions asked and no ifs, ands or buts.

Not only do I hate this guy for objectifying me and successfully giving me the heebie jeebies, I also hate him because he made me feel uncomfortable and made me, in the 45 minutes that this was happening, not want to be a woman.

I mean, how ridiculous is that?! I can understand if you don’t want to be a woman in certain situations when you’re swimsuit shopping or when you’re on your period, but to not want to be a woman because of the way a man makes you feel, it’s just the most horrible feeling. When I got home last night, I was feeling at the lowest of lows.

I hated that I kept thinking that if I was a man, I could have just sat there drinking beer and enjoying the game with my friends. However, because I’m a woman, and our patriarchal society tells men that they can look at, creep on and treat women any way they want, I sat there wishing I wasn’t one.

A friend said that his type of male gaze was all “just because I was too pretty.” To which I replied that I could give a shit less if he thought I was pretty. Just because you find someone attractive, you don’t have any right to ogle and objectify them, making them feel so uncomfortable to the point where they have to yell at you to leave them alone.

For any person saying that we already have gender equality, I argue that if the power were equal between the sexes, I wouldn’t have sat in that booth last night, wishing I was male, all so that I wouldn’t be made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

Until next time,

C. Brooks

10 thoughts on “If I Was a Man

  1. Rebecca Meyer says:

    Oh man, I can relate to this! I hate how so many men do this. It’s annoying. I’m used to it and I usually try to ignore it the best I can, but sometimes it just gets to me. I know how you feel how you can’t go to a bar to hang out with friends without guys looking at you or coming up to you. Last weekend I was able to go out with friends and we didn’t get bothered at all, for the first time in a long time. It felt nice to not have any creepy people staring at us or trying to start conversations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • C. Brooks says:

      Yes! This is exactly what I’m saying! I also hate how I think it’s normal for guys to do this. Like, no, it’s not normal and we shouldn’t have to get used to it or ignore it because it shouldn’t be happening in the first place.
      Thanks for the comment! It’s good to know I’m not the only one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rebecca Meyer says:

        You’re welcome! I’m glad I’m not the only one either. I completely agree that it’s not normal or okay for guys to do this. Before going out, I have to decide if I’m mentally and emotionally up for the possibility of guys creeping on me. Last weekend it felt so nice when no one approached us. We were able to just relax and hang out. It’d be nice to have that happen more often.

        Liked by 1 person

      • C. Brooks says:

        Yes!! You always want to dress the way you want to that makes you feel beautiful and sexy going out with your friends, but you always have to think in the back of your mind, “How many guys will grab my ass in this skirt?” So I can definitely relate about having to be mentally/emotionally ready to handle whatever drunk d-bags decide to do or say to me. In a perfect world, guys would have to experience first-hand what a woman has to go through when she goes out. Then maybe we’d finally get some respect!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rebecca Meyer says:

        I completely agree! It’s so frustrating because we want to look pretty and feel confident, but just because we feel pretty doesn’t mean that’s an invitation for creeps to talk to us or gawk at us.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Cari says:

    I’m so sorry you had to experience that; the objectification of either sex is so infuriating to me. Leering at another human being like they were put on this earth simply for your viewing (or more) pleasure is disgusting, and frankly, I’m fed up with it. So much so that my family and I have boycotted companies and chain restaurants that feel the only way to sell something is with provocation or sexy commercials. I think that if enough strong women AND men stand up to this type of behavior, maybe we can start to sway media, and finally society as a whole from acting like complete douchebags. (Check out Miss Representation) Kudos for not letting his behavior force you to leave, but don’t ever feel like you wish you were a man because of a creep like that. If all else fails, throw your finger in your nose and give him a nice big exuberant wave. Works every time! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • C. Brooks says:

      I love Miss Representation! Have you seen the documentary? I think it might still be on Netflix and I know they have a Facebook page they report on too.
      Thanks for the words of support, though! It makes me feel a bit better about the situation knowing that I was in the right to feel totally violated by this d-bag. And thanks for the tip about the finger in the nose; I’m definitely trying that one next time!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cari says:

        I have only seen bits and pieces of Miss Representation. I really need to sit down and watch the whole thing. The message resonates oh so well for me, being in a male predominate career field. I struggled for so long and like you, at times, wished I was someone I wasn’t. I do follow Miss Rep’s Facebook page & take part in the #notbuying campaign on Twitter which has moved mountains, in my opinion! Baby steps!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Bubbles and Booyah says:

    Oh my lordddd don’t even get me started C! Like it’s MY/YOUR problem that some creeper can’t get pull his jaw off the damn floor because he finds you attractive?! Grosssssss!!! Men need to get their sh*t together. Plus, when did it become okay for someone to tell you it’s “because you’re too pretty?” As in it’s your fault – that is so condescending and patronizing! That sounds more like a “them” problem than a “you” problem – get that shiz outta here. It is not your fault that others can’t act civilized when they encounter a living, breathing member of the opposite sex! I like Cari’s response above – finger up the nose for sure! Amen, sister. Preach!

    Also, this: http://www.bustle.com/articles/70515-broad-city-girls-have-the-perfect-response-when-a-stranger-asks-them-to-smile-video

    And, not to add fuel to fire, but I just read this today and this post reminded me of it, as a similar theme: http://jezebel.com/cleaning-nail-clippings-cutting-the-cake-your-soft-se-1696010639

    You just keep doing you, C. And f*** ’em if they can’t handle it – never let that diminish your gorgeous sparkle!

    UGH – I’m sorry you had to deal with this, but stories like this one is why we need to keep fighting for gender equality. Thanks for sharing your story that is so resonant with all of us women.

    Liked by 1 person

    • C. Brooks says:

      It’s definitely a “them” problem! All our lives we are brought up to think that we need to do certain things to make ourselves less susceptible to being ogled, sexually harassed or raped. And, honestly, when I felt like I needed to cover up my v-neck tee, I was just proving their point. “Maybe if I just change what I’m doing/how I’m acting/what I’m wearing, he’ll stop looking or paying attention to me.” It’s absolutely horrible!
      All of that aside, I really appreciate your support and those links, L! Although, I had to skip some of the Jezebel article and come back to it because I was getting so frustrated with the soft sexism stories, but I eventually finished it and thought it was really eye-opening in that I’ve never really thought or heard about soft sexism. I definitely will be looking at situations with a different lens for sure.
      Oh, and I’m totally giving the men a nice one finger salute the next time I get told, “You’re so pretty! You should smile more!” That’s honestly the most annoying thing anyone can say to a woman–but I had a good chuckle at the video clip. 🙂

      Like

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