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 adn 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 detected shit in his yard. His territory. His domain.

Snapped from my analysis he looked at me. I jolted from my safety seat directly into oncoming 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.


Anonymous tim said...

I have read this several times, and each time I am sickened that I didn't even notice the situation - I had NO clue.

It really just goes to show you how different our minds operate - you've been made aware to these things because theyve happened repeatedly throughout your life. And me, I have no fucking idea how it feels. Makes me sick...

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonyme said...

There should be a law against people looking at people!

9:12 AM  

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