So I came across this little video on the Independent website and was almost instantly incandescent! With good reason!
- The comments “let men be men” and “men are going to be that way, what can you do?” have sickened me down to my core. Firstly the majority of men that I know don’t see catcalling as an inherent part of their “man-ness”. They don’t see shouting unsolicited comments at random strangers solely based on their appearance as at all associated with the fact that they have a penis. Secondly, “men are going to be that way, what can you do?” this sounds like something some twat who works for Nuts magazine would say about a rape case. If we as a society start to adopt this attitude to unwanted attention it will have an extremely detrimental effect on where we draw the lines of consent, sexism and ultimately gender equality. Men are not just “going to be that way”, no man is born a chauvinistic pillock, they learn these specific behaviours through growing up in a society willing to take harassment as par for the course of being a woman!
- I am all for dressing to impress, if I have a big meeting I make sure I’m dressed nicely, I put my makeup on and do my hair – I want to make a good impression. That impression is not “you should do business with me because I look sexy” it’s “you should do business with me because you can take me seriously”. Yes I want to look good, but that has nothing to do with looking sexually attractive. So when this hideous excuse for a man says that when he gets dressed in the morning he wants to look in a certain way that is “appealing” to people, all I have to say is FAIL (unless a fake-tanned-over-sized-baby-in-a-suit looking man is appealing – each to their own I suppose). Even if he was a handsome Adonis of a man I would be pushed to find anything appealing about him because I would be too focused on the fact that he’s a complete wanker. Call me crazy but I like to hold standards for people based on their thoughts, opinions and actions, not on the cut or brand of their suit.
- If someone were to clap me down the street I wouldn’t be smiling, or feel complimented, I would be intimidated and frankly a wee bit confused.
- I almost feel sorry for these women because they’re confusing two very different things. Should someone you know say, “you look nice today” – that’s a compliment, if someone you don’t know shouts “nice arse” at you while you cross the road – that’s harassment. I am confident enough in myself not to yearn for a stranger to find me physically attractive. If these ladies are so deprived of genuine compliments that they have to quaff and Botox themselves to within an inch of their lives and revel in the objectification of their efforts by random men then they need therapy, not a TV show. The other day I was in Boots, wearing my most favourite of all my Marple-style suits and the lady serving me said, “that is a great suit” – that’s a complement! It is a truly great suit! That’s why I bought it! Not because it shows my legs or bottom or booby bits (which incidentally it doesn’t – Marple would never behave in such a way) because it’s frikin awesome! Now if she had said “your bottom looks good in that skirt, I would so love to touch it” I would have been tempted to say, “I have not invited you to comment on my physicality in any way and would thank you kindly not to ever again” because I know the difference between a COMPLIMENT and an OBJECTIFICATION.
- The saddest thing about this whole sorry video is that these people are allowed to voice their damaging and ridiculous opinions on a national scale, on a mainstream stage, in the largest country in the world. It’s so important to make sure that we mark this as what it is – just wrong and that we strive to teach the boys and girls of the generation coming after ours that self esteem is not something that is shouted at you across the street, that self respect is not glowing upon the objectification of a crass and rude person, that what you look like does not make you who you are and that it is not okay to shout hideous things at people you don’t know!
Thats not so much my 10 cents as my 100 dollars worth. I don’t like sitting on the fence – long thin planks of wood are not a comfortable thing to place my un-objectified bottom on thank you very much.