No doubt you’ve heard about the video that attempted to make a point about women being harassed by men while they go about their own business. It showed an attractive woman walking down several New York streets for some 10 hours as she receives approving looks, catcalls, appreciative comments and followers – on foot, not online.
The last type were the scary ones, as the last thing any woman wants is to have a strange man follow her home – or know where she lives. When I was younger, I would frequently walk home from music lessons or some other activity. Invariably, some person of the opposite sex would lean out his car window, throw me an appreciative glance and go “pssst”.
Now I knew better than to talk to strangers, so I can’t imagine why I would even acknowledge someone who clearly didn’t know my name, and who couldn’t be bothered to come up with something more original than the sound of air escaping from a tyre. I had to wonder whether that tactic actually worked for him and what he did if a female ever held up her hand and gave him a wave.
Since my potential suitors never even tipped the brakes when they took their eyes off the road to throw me an approving glance and make that oh-so-appealing sound, I don’t think they were really looking to make a long term commitment. Sightseeing was probably a pleasant distraction for them on an otherwise ordinary day. Some of them took being ignored in stride. Others couldn’t seem to understand why I didn’t just smile sweetly and give them the time of day.
As if all attention is good attention.
Years later, I got my license to drive and no longer walked as much, but the “admirers” were present inside (and outside) of the places that I visited – and I couldn’t believe that after all those years they hadn’t gotten any more creative. Surely after seeing a bit more of the world through their TV screens you would think they would realize that they needed to do a little more than pass some air through their teeth to show their interest.
That’s the height of laziness if you ask me.
Mind you, this doesn’t mean that I want them to loudly describe my assets or assess me like they would the latest mobile phone. Trust me, I know how I look and am quite aware of my virtues – I don’t need them to tell me. However they’ll probably take that the wrong way and say that they’re just paying me a compliment and wonder what I’m “getting on with”. But if I’m honest, I know that some of them are trying to make more of an effort to better express themselves.
But have you heard some of those lines? Makes me long for the days when all they could manage was “pssst”.