Powerless and Angry
One of the most frustrating things about living in a big city is the feeling that I can’t walk outside without being harassed on the street at least once a day. When I first started experiencing this I found it annoying, but as the years pass I become increasingly furious. Not a day goes by that I don’t experience one or more of the following: cat-calling, whistling, kissing noises, intensely seductive stares, or pointed glances up and down my body. Contrary to what many men think, this attention is not appreciated and not flattering, and I’m sure most women agree with me. This kind of attention is not like being given a complement …it’s not like being told, “you are beautiful.” It actually feels horrible; it makes me feel degraded and violated, but most of all, it makes me feel utterly powerless. I feel as if my body doesn’t belong to me, and this infuriates me more than anything I’ve ever experienced.
This happens to me frequently too, and every time it does I feel like crying. It makes me feel disgusting, and I wonder if I’m doing something to attract this completely unsolicited attention. I even wear a big coat over my breezy sundresses on hot days, in the hopes that it will discourage unwanted glares or remarks. It really doesn’t matter, because the behavior has nothing to do with sex. I’m guessing the perpetrators are counting on the fact that they’re making me feel like shit, because in some pathetic way that makes them feel dominant. I know the only thing I can change is my attitude, because these pricks aren’t going anywhere. Still, it’s incredibly frustrating. I hate being made to regret my gender on a daily basis.