I often wonder if society views these phrases as epiphanies that women are tired of being objectified.
With all the precautions we take and the constant effort to wear loose fitted clothes, no makeup, and avoid any and all contact there’s still a wall we’re hitting where some men just don’t get the message. I couldn’t sleep last night. I’m trying to take advantage of our nations new found freedom while I can so I’m back to scheduling play dates with moms I’ve met in the neighborhood. Last night my mind was running. I hate going to the park alone. I hate being with my child alone without my partner. I feel uneasy. To be perfectly honest, I’m even sure how to assemble or put away a stroller because I’ve always had my partners helping hand.
I’m realizing that my personal space has been violated before by the opposite sex, I try constantly to fight my anxiety and walk alone with my head held high. I’m hyper cautious of my surrounding at all times. I’m always on guard. Always ready. If there’s one thing I can pride myself on it’s reading people and there energy. It doesn’t take long and I’m always spot on.
So today, post 8am play date in my neighborhood that I feel relatively safe in a man walking on the opposite side of the park started gawking at me. I could feel his eyes and so I naturally kept looking straight, hand gripped on what I felt I would need to use to protect myself, and prayed to god that he didn’t speak to me. He did. He tried from yards away. “Hello. Good morning. Mmm excuse me,good morning.”
Why? Why when I’m walking with my child. Not looking at you at 8 in the morning do men still feel invited and entitled into my space? Why demand I say something back?
But I knew what to do. Even though people in uncomfortable situations say to do opposite I went with my gut and forced my quivering body to quietly acknowledge him. Because if I didn’t it’s a tale tell story. He’d become more aggressive. More assertive. Force himself more onto me because god forbid in 2021 a women bruise your ego by ignoring you, men can still not let that slide. I felt disgusting as he tried to continue to turn around and continue the conversation. Thankfully my little one must have felt my uncomfortableness and begin to scream. Frantically! Other park goers began to rush to my rescue and he ran away.
It doesn’t just happen because I live in the city. It happens at the store. The gas station. The park. Shopping center. It’s an ongoing occurrence that makes me cringe. I guess I’m writing this because it helps me deal with my anxiety. I hate that as strong as women can be , we’re still forced to be put in uncomfortable situations for the sake of staying safe. I hate that for the longest time women have had to continuously be objectified and preyed upon. The “Just world Phenomenon “ is something that’s been studied through social psychology for quite some time and it never fails. Even as I share these uncomfortable situations SOME BONEHEADED INDIVIDUAL will still say “Well what were you wearing?” Nothing tight or revealing. “Well why did you say something.” Because statistically it was the best I could do without me or my child being harmed. It’s textbook. “It’s because you’re attractive. He was just giving you a compliment.” And that’s where my mind is blown. That after countless years of the same ongoing war of women’s body’s and verbal and sexual assault, people STILL WANT TO HAVE A DEBATE ABOUT GENERAL DECENCY TO WOMEN.
That’s all. No solution or real clear ending. Just a firm advocate on women being able to walk home safely. Stay safe my friends.