This summer, I have learned a lot about myself and the world around me.
Everyday I learn something new. For the past couple of weeks I have found out what it's really like to be a woman in modern day society. I know that might sound a little vague so let me further explain.
When I was a little girl, I never really paid much attention to how I look or dress. I never really cared or thought about whether or not I was pretty. I found boys to be cute but I never thought about me and how I look. I never really cared or thought about it until the eighth grade when I met someone who had low self-esteem issues. When she started talking about how ugly she felt, I looked in the mirror and realized that I didn't like what I saw either. Circumstances and people around me brought up how "unpretty" I looked because I wasn't "girly" and overweight. I took pride in my tom-boy status and being "one of the guys."
I thought it was cool until I felt uncool and ugly.
So imagine my surprise, after years of self-esteem issues and no boyfriends, when the summer after my first year of college, men left and right want me. It doesn't make me feel good, and it doesn't make me feel desirable. Not at all. I never thought that something like this would happen to me. It never crossed my mind. But honestly, I don't really like the way I'm being approached and I'm sure other women feel the same.
What usually happens in my day now is that I go outside, wait for the bus, and about 2 or 3 drivers will honk their horns at me and whistle or say something. One guy, random, drove up to me and offered me a ride. Other men approach me when I'm at McDonald's using their free WiFi. They tell me how beautiful I am, they stare at me, or try to use really terrible pick up lines. It makes me feel odd. And I understand why some women are so mean about it.
When men approach me, I always think to myself, "Are you serious? Do you really think a girl like me would date a guy like you?" I don't ever say that, I just tell them to leave me alone. It's always older men too. They wanna hug me, kiss me, be "my friend" and I just want them to get far, far away from me.
I always heard about these kinds of incidents online. My mom and my godmother and would tell me about these incidents happening to them but I never thought that this would happen to me. I thought this only happened to the really pretty girls or the really sexy girls. And here I am minding my business while a whole cluster of older men fawn over me. I don't know how to feel about this. I don't know how to handle these situations except to just walk away or tell them to leave me alone.
I don't want to say that I feel like I'm being objectified but I'm pretty sure that I am. One look at my ass and suddenly all these men want to be my best friend. It's a strange and weird feeling and it leaves me annoyed when men catcall at me. When I talk to other women about it, they say that it's typical. Which, honestly, really sucks.
When I look online, I see that this is a major issue in America. As a woman, I shouldn't feel uncomfortable to leave the house or stand alone outside. I shouldn't be seen as provocative for wearing a tank top or shorts in 100 degree weather. It's different if you come at me correct by introducing yourself and getting to know me and showing me interest. But when you just shout random sexual compliments and honk your cars at me and stare, that is problematic and I don't like it.