I’m walking to work yesterday morning, it’s cold and rainy (I shouldn’t complain; it is winter, after all), and I’m all bundled up, umbrella overhead, and doing the “Manhattan Walk” – Look straight ahead, don’t make eye contact and stride with purpose — no B.S.
Note: I don’t care if someone from the male persuasion is offended about the content in the paragraphs below. If you’re offended, you’re not a true gentleman, and if you have a grandmother, mother, sister, aunt, niece, or daughter, I don’t and won’t understand where you’re coming from. Anyway, this is my space – I’ll do what I want, so here goes:
When you get to a certain age as a female, you refuse to put up with nonsense. Even when you’re feeling like you’re a supermodel and “workin’ it”, covered in a down coat in winter or rockin’ your jeans, heels and a boho-chic top in the middle of the summer, the last thing you want is a man making lewd, crude, inappropriate, or obnoxious comments. I’ve been embarrassed enough times in front of strangers, co-workers, including superiors, industry colleagues — and yes, this irritates and infuriates me to no end — in front of people of a different race (mortifying). I sigh, shake my head and/or roll my eyes and think, “Oh God, really? Really?”
So, yesterday, a young man (sorry, I’m not looking to babysit or be someone’s mother), looking like he needed to mind his own business and do what he was doing, which was working (he was making deliveries), passed me on the busy sidewalk and decides to let me know and whoever was around, obviously, that I was the object of his affection for which I should be eternally grateful – and what made me snap was the word ‘baby’. My response was quick, New York-style. I probably spewed a response out so fast it gave him whiplash.
Pissed. Me. Off.
Gentlemen, let’s get this straight: I am NOT your ‘baby’, and just so you know, there’s a time, place and tone for everything. I may feel like a hot chica occasionally (yes, occasionally — we all can’t be fabulous in mind, body and spirit every minute of every day), and I may appear approachable in your confused mind, but don’t get things twisted. I am not your “’round-the-way girl”. I left high school a long time ago, and even then, I didn’t appreciate such comments.
Is it just me, ladies, do these comments rub you the wrong way too? I’m not trying to wave the Flag of Feminism, but there’s a line when it is complete disrespect.
And gentlemen, when is it acceptable behavior to be so expressive to women on the street — especially women who you can clearly tell (I don’t know how you can’t tell) wouldn’t be the least bit interested in you or your behavior? It isn’t flattering (at least to me), and frankly, didn’t your mother raise you better than that?
P.S. I am also not your ‘sista’ or ‘Mami’ — unless you’re Ricky Martin, the sweet and cheeky old salesman at the Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side or a close friend, you are not allowed to call me that either.
P.P.S. Obviously, I’m not the only female out there that is completely offended by slimy cat-calling. Adventures of the Mischief Machine doesn’t like it either, and neither does Equal Writes and Are We Feminists?