As a young woman fresh in her twenties there is a subdued topic rolling around the red lips of girls walking down the street, and constant concern of anxiety that rolls in our bodies. Catcalling. My experience with walking down the street to class fully clothed has caused horns to honk, cars to turn around or even stop. But this is not me bragging about my physical appearance, no, this is me calling out the men who have made me uncomfortable simply walking to class.
Long jeans, okay. That’s fine
Is this tank too short? Are my boobs showing too much?
What time am I getting home? Past 7? Do I need to drive home today?
Okay let me bring this jacket so I can cover myself.
If I don’t look anyone in the eye they won’t notice me.
I’ll just pretend I didn’t hear him say that.
Yzzy just look straight and walk.
Act confident. Walk. Its 6:15 it’s getting late.
Why is his car turning around? Walk faster.
A can of pepper spray attached to my keys that I clutch in my hands can only provide so much false safety. The keys that I clutch in my knuckles with their tips pointing outwards representing wolverine can only be so threatening. The tank I wear, and my tight jeans can only be so appealing.
Women everyday such as I, are placed in situations by men who constantly think that degrading us using the tactic of ‘complimenting’ is okay. That it’s simply just that. A compliment. The fear of that compliment turning into more, the fear of them pursuing us is a running thought that stretches further.
The privilege of being a man to not have a constant worry such as this in the back of their head sparks jealousy within me. Their born privilege of being respected because of their gender causes more envy to erupt.
However, I still wear my leggings and my tight jeans, I still wear my tank or my workout clothes. Albeit my clothes are not full going out wear but now I never subdue my clothes nor the fashion that makes my head stream happy hormones of serotonin.
Because my clothes that fit onto the shape of my body should not be an enticing sign to come ‘get me.’ Nor should the watered down version of my garments be the cause for me to tempt the vilest of males.
I am a woman and my clothes nor my body is not a plaything or a playground. It is not yours it is mine.