Children’s thoughts are influenced by the magical fairy-tales of young love. Girls are fed beautiful stories of what “love” looks like and how women should be treated by their partner. However, it’s an illusion to the true reality many women experience when searching for love. Love in entertainment media doesn’t account for the long list of unwanted attention women receive from men.
Although love in movies, books, shows, and many other forms of entertainment set a standard for women’s love life, the reality is most women don’t have these “fairy-tale” experiences. Instead, a universal experience among women is dealing with unwanted attention from men.
Unfortunately, this begins at a young age. It starts with mom and dad telling you to cover up around relatives. Next, the boys at the playground point out your gut next to your skinnier friends. Then, the waiter can’t seem to take his eyes off your chest while taking your order. Sexual assault statistics for 2023 show that approximately 12.3% of women report their first experience of sexual victimization at age 10 or younger. This percentage increases to 30% between ages 11 and 17. This is only the beginning. Women spend a lifetime dealing with non-touch sexual attention from men. This includes eye contact, body scanning, name calling, cat-calling and verbal invitations for intimacy or sex.
unwanted attention poems
I’m tired of feeling like a piece of meat
A beautiful dish on display
But I do not wish to be eaten
Yet my stomach caves when our eyes meet
It’s not just their hungry eyes
It’s the way they lick their lips
Take a few steps closer
Back me up against the wall
And look down on me like I’m dinner
But I’m not dinner
I’m not someone you can pick and pry at
I don’t want you to tear me apart
Can’t you just appreciate me for what I am?
Not what I can offer
Not for how I can please you
I’m so much more than a piece of meat on a silver platter
Everyday I feel their eyes
As I present myself on a silver platter
Like a doll still in the box
My seal untouched
I dress up for my own good
It’s like a mask I refuse to take off
But they assume I’d like to be devoured
It’s far from that
I’d like flowers, maybe a rose
And two glasses of wine, with a seaside view
But all he wants is me
And my clothes on the floor
And an obedient little girl
MEN’S FIXATION ON WOMEN’S APPEARANCE
Research shows that men tend to focus on the person in front of them based on their appearance, without always questioning whether they’re actually compatible.(Fellizar, 2018).
Isn’t it crazy? Women base feelings of love on many factors besides physical attraction. On a date with a guy, you’re usually taking note of his actions, did he hold the door open for me? Did he pick me up on time? Is his body language respectful? Is he being too touchy? As well as, what he’s saying: Is he only talking about himself? Is he asking me questions? Is he saying anything to suggest he’s a creep or an aggressive person? Meanwhile, the only thing he really cares about is how you look. Not your beliefs, where you’re from, or your job, just if you’re beautiful or not.
As women, it’s important to understand the psychology of men. Not just to have the upper hand on a date, but also to protect ourselves in everyday life.
Everyday, our bodies are put under a magnifying glass. Nothing makes this double standard okay. This is why it’s crucial as a community to bring these experiences to light so that one day we can live in a world where both, men and women, judge each other based off several factors and not just our appearances.
As women, non-touch sexual sexual attention may have made you feel uncomfortable, gross, sad and or angry. It’s perfectly okay and normal to feel this way. You are not alone.
If the sexual attention ever goes to far and you need someone to talk to: The National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-4673) is available 24/7.