mercredi, mai 17, 2006

Eye Candy

I'm riding the el with Tim and I look up. A creep-ass guy is leering at a girl inside the train. She is properly clad (as in "prim & proper") in a knee-length green skirt with a cute eyelet print and a denim white jacket. Her makeup is subtle, her hair pulled back in a curly bun, and she is reading a book. The reason I describe her is that, she was doing nothing to attract attention to her, in any way, especially a sexual one. I watched the man stare at the side of her face, eyes move down her neck and to her barely showing kneecaps. She is completely unaware of the fact that this man is "checking her out."

From this point on, I will use the term "objectifying" in replace of "checking out"

Unfortunately, the creep-ass gets on the train. He goes right for the chair across from Tim and I. Darts his head to the side, nose but an inch from her hair and breathes in. The sniff wasn't too dramatic, there was no eye closing or gasps for breath - there was no poetry. The sniff was rather like that of a dog detecting shit in his yard. His territory. His domain.

Snapped from my analysis he looked at me. I was jolted from my safety seat directly into traffic. The creep-ass was now objectifying me. I closed me eyes, "Oh, God. Please make it stop. The blood-shot eyes slowly undressing me must be off the train when I re-open my eyes." I opened my eyes and matched his. Quickly looking away. I felt ashamed as soon as I looked away. He was winning. A battle was on - no other passenger on the train was aware of the show-down, not even my boyfriend snuggled into my arm.

To no avail I silently prayed that this man might even smile - show some sign of humanity. Some recognition that says, "I know you're human. I see you as more than an object, or a piece of meat."

I contemplated telling him to, "Fuck off." But then he would win even more. Then he'd have a voice to go with the fantasy slowly rolling in his sick mind.

Maybe he wasn't in the middle of a sick fantasy, but the part that disgusts me is that it was possible - that there was NOTHING I could do about it.

Instead of telling him off, I decided to collect all of my strength and better knowledge and confront him mentally. I would look him in the eyes, one last time and tell him exactly what I thought - that I was strong, and smart, and human. That he couldn't rape me. I wouldn't be victimized. He couldn't see me as something sexual.

But I lost. As I always do, as I always will.


My friend Shannon and I were having a discussion yesterday about this type of situation. The daily run-in we have with men. Men who objectify us in a glance. It is as if we are raped everyday. And the worst part isn't the actual rape, it is the simple truth that we are absolutly helpless. Completely dehumanized. And practically no one knows its happening.


Anonymous Anonyme said...

hi from puerto rico! it's about g-d time you wrote something. oh yea and this reminded me of the other day when i literally got in an old-fashioned STARING CONTEST with this disgusting person that was staring at me on the train. and when he realized that i was staring at him back, he was really confused and then he started getting mad because then i started laughing so hard because i realized that we were in well you know, a staring contest. so i start laughing really loud, so hard that i'm clapping and throwing my head back and rob is really confused and laura can kinda tell what is going on. (actually, the lady who was sitting next to him was kinda half-smiling because i think she realized what i was doing too and i think she was quietly appreciating it too) and then he stared me down all mad for the rest of the time. but i'd rather have his angry attention than his sexual attention. and for just a little while, i felt a small victory.

2:06 AM  

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