Has it ever actually worked?

I’m going to preface this point with one simply stated fact. I am not a beautiful person. I’m not trying to be self-deprecating here. I’m just saying that I would be comfortable giving myself a five on a scale of one to ten.

So why, WHY, is it that I can’t go through my fitness routine without having to hear cat calls and lurid statements and questions? Why do I have to be subjected to delcery trucks slowing down, creepy whistles and men poking their heads out the windows of their crappy cars? And why the hell did someone BARK at me last night?

That’s right. I was out taking my nightly walk around the George Mason University Fairfax Campus loop at about 10:30 last night when a delivery truck slowed down, the driver thrust his head out the window and barked three times. Classy, huh?

I agree with some people who may say it was probably what I was wearing that caught his attention. I was rocking my favorite pair of workout shorts, blue cotton with the word CHEER written on my butt and a white spaghetti strap tank top. But before we get into the whole “you’re asking for it if you wear revealing clothing” thing — which I disagree with — let me point out that even though it was late at night, it was still more than 90 degrees out and humid as hell. And sure, this might not provide me with much cover, but I was still sweating bullets, and my hair looked less than attractive in a sweaty, messy heap at the top of my head.

So yes, we can say it was probably the fact that I was showing some skin that provoked this man. But that’s no excuse. Since when does that make it okay for a grown man — he had to be at least 40, in other words, old enough to be my father — to bark at an innocent woman just trying to burn off the burrito she chowed down with her friends a couple hours before? And what’s more, I was wearing clothes from high school. High school! For all this man knew, I was 16 years old. This just isn’t right.

So what was I supposed to do? I had two options: I could ignore him and keep walking, or think of a quick retort. I chose the first option, since the last thing I wanted was to piss of a big, burly delivery man while I was about a mile away from home and too exhausted to start a good cantor by that point in my routine. So I just kept walking, as if I didn’t even hear him.

That’s what all the sitcom moms always told their kids to do when there was a bully picking on them in school. The dads would then say their sons or daughters were wimps and needed to learn to defend themselves, ultimately getting in trouble with the school principal for beating the crap out of the local lunch money thief, or even getting pulverized themselves. The fable would end with the father admitting to the mother that he should have told their child to ignore the bully in the first place. Because if you ignore the bully, you are canceling out their assertion of power.

Oh. So that’s what they’re doing. The lonely men who have been making feel about a centimeter tall all summer long have been asserting their power. That’s just swell. I love being made to feel like a brainless piece of flesh so someone can feel better about himself when he gets home to his empty apartment. This type of behavior is completely ludicrous, and I would absolutely love the opportunity to go face to face with a catcaller when I am in a less compromising position, and have the ability to tell them what is really on my mind.

I refuse to work out in a turtleneck and sweatpants when it is 100 degrees outside, especially since most the male joggers I pass are not wearing shirts, and they are fine. And I also refuse to believe that the type of clothing I wear while exercising makes it okay for these men to shout obscene comments to me: I’ve had it happen while I was wearing a sweater and dress pants before. What can we do in that case, blame it on my high heels?

This world needs to start taking things like cat calls a little more seriously. It’s not a joke. Women are not laughing. We are blushing, hiding our embarrassment and our outrage only because it’s the only thing we are in a position to do most of the time. Catcalling is infringing upon my life at this point — I don’t feel safe walking around my campus! I second guess whether it’s a good idea to exercise when I get home from work. Call me crazy, but I think George Washington would have had a major problem with that… Or well, at least Martha Washington.

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One Response

  1. […] She’s tired of guys oogling her goodies. – I understand because I am sick of it too, I can’t even go take out the trash without some man staring me down like a hungry dog. [Milk & Cheerios] […]

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