Barbarism


Aggressors Everywhere
July 15, 2010, 3:54 pm
Filed under: REBECCA | Tags: , , ,

Relatively confident, friendly and unhurried young women (not me; I’m not in this category) are deflecting the attentions of creepy old men and scarily energetic young whippersnappers everywhere. The aggressors have jaggy teeth and bloodshot eyes; uncertain of their strength. They are whistling, shambling, shuffling, salivating, balding, bug-eyed, one-track munchkins and big, craggy, half-dead, too-loud monsters. Casual harassment is off-putting; it makes every movement a battle: walking around the corner (are my hips swinging too much?), running down the street (do I pump my arms with enough hassling-discouraging force, and am I wearing loose shorts?), crossing in front of traffic at a busy intersection (do I have secured whatever I’m carrying in case I’m honked at and lose balance?). I see other women walk around with much greater female/human ostentation/comfort and I wonder how they’ve managed to stay smiley and free-seeming. It seems rational that if I’m singularly parceled out as the number one plaything of the sleaziest street males, it must be more than bad luck; it must be because they’ve all been officially summoned by you-know-who to surprise and demoralize me on every street, to remind me that I am watched, trapped, not alone. It makes sense. For a while I thought they just wanted my sex, like George Michael said they did. I figured if they couldn’t be bothered to impress me by the power of their charm, to conduct themselves with appealing modesty and longing made eons much alluring by the pains they took to bridle it, they were merely dispiriting, incompetent Lotharios, unqualifiedly attempting to woo me but failing deeply by reason of over-reliance on the worst, sadistic sexual instinct. And they were incredibly bad-looking. But then one day it hit me! It had nothing to do with utilitarian sex-getting. They weren’t pathetically trying to make a woman out of me. They didn’t expect to win. It was just bullying! They just wanted to shame me, and stone me and yell out BOOO when I least expected it, tripping my ankles, making me fall, spilling my groceries all over the sidewalk, my eggs cracking on the pavement and seeping down the sewers, my vegetables strewn all over the curbside; people stop and stare. The nose pads of my glasses lurch into the irises of my eyes, blinding me on impact; my appendages are trapped under the soles of the offenders so now I’m going to get raped. They’re doubled over with laughter, hoping I cry.

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