Every day I walk to work on a dirt path between a vacant lot and a busy commuter street. I keep my eyes down thanks to my tendency to trip over absolutely everything between me and my destination. Is anyone else like this? I regularly fall UP stairs, gravity be damned.
Sometimes on my daily trek, a car will drive by and decide that it wants my attention. I never look up in time to see the face that’s hooting or shouting, “Nice ass,” “hey sexy,” or some other valuation of my physical appearance. Some might take it as a compliment, but I’m not particularly interested in being objectified by dudes. I never asked for their opinion. The worst is when it comes from state/government vehicles – good to know that my tax dollars are being well spent on my own sexual harassment. Yep, I have seriously been catcalled from a trash truck. Why in the world would that ever BOOST my confidence?!
These momentary interactions perplex me on many levels. I’m not a particularly bodacious individual in the T&A category and my fashion sense leaves me looking like a cross between a first grade girl and all the cool Korean grandpas in my neighborhood. (Those guys have great taste in footwear.) And if the intended effect is to elicit my attention, these gentlemen are doing a very poor job. To score a nice girl from the driver’s seat, you’re going to have to get a handle on your male gaze and get MUCH more creative.
Maybe something like, “AY GIRL, I DIG YOUR ELEGANT, FUCSHIA SWAN SWEATER! DOESN’T THAT PARTICULAR WATERFOWL REMIND YOU OF ZEUS & GANYMEDE?” Appealing to my statement sweaters and knowledge of mythology? A+, sir!
Or if you must pass a judgement on my physical appearance, think outside of the box: “YOU LOOK LIKE YOU BAKE FROM SCRATCH. I’M INTO THAT.” By all means, pay a compliment if that’s your game, but some referential humor never hurt. “GIRRRL YOUR HAIR’S GOT SO MUCH VOLUME, IT’S TURNED UP TO 11. WHAT BRAND OF DRY SHAMPOO DO YOU USE?” You know, for all the magazine advertisements I’ve seen promising ‘more volume,’ I’ve never once had a man comment on that aspect of my hair. But wouldn’t that be nice?
Another great way to flatter a woman is to explain the ways that you could bring her pleasure: “I WANNA TAKE YOU BACK TO MY PLACE AND SHOW YOU MY COLLECTION OF PERIOD PIECES FEATURING A STRONG FEMALE LEAD.” Or you could bring up activities to enjoy as a couple: “I COULD STAY UP ALL NIGHT TALKING ABOUT WALTER WHITE’S CHARACTER ARC WITH YOU.” But when all else fails, you can just go with a classic: call out her best/largest feature. “DAAAAAANG LADY – I CAN TELL YOU’VE GOT A REAL BIG BOOKCASE BACK HOME!“
Until these gentlemen (too generous?) start developing a more well-rounded approach to their hollering, its probably best to continue ignoring them on your merry way. Besides, you never know when a rogue pebble could jump out of nowhere and trip you.