An Open Letter to Men

Dear Men,

I want you to put yourselves in someone else’s shoes. Specifically, I want you to put yourself in a woman’s shoes. Now picture yourself walking through campus. As you are walking by other students (particularly the guys) you notice that some of them look at you and some of them don’t. Then you start to think. You adjust how you’re walking, your hair, and maybe look down to make sure your outfit looks good. After all, you want to make sure you look perfect for your performance.

Wait a second…performance? I know what you’re thinking--she told me to imagine myself as a woman walking through campus, how did this turn into a performance?

There you go, now you are starting to think like a woman. So, where were we? Oh yes, you just fixed any imperfections and are continuing to walk through campus. Once again, you notice some guys look, but hold on, some don’t.

Why aren’t they looking at me? I thought I looked good today? I did my makeup, my hair, and wore a cute, yet slightly uncomfortable outfit instead of the sweats I really wanted to throw on. What’s going on? Why don’t they like me? What’s wrong with me?

Now, let’s fast forward to the next day. You wake up and decide that today you are going to skip out on the makeup and the cute outfit, and just be comfortable. You look in the mirror and think you look okay, but for a quick second have a moment of self-consciousness. Whatever, it’s one of those days. Who needs makeup, anyway? I have the right to look comfy; there is more to me than just how I look.

Then you start to walk to class and realize that not as many guys are looking at you today. Suddenly, that self-conscious feeling starts to come back.

Then you get angry, why do I need the stare of a man to validate my appearance? As you’re thinking this, you notice a guy check out a girl in leggings and a tank top. Then it hits you, what do a tank top and leggings accentuate? *Light bulb*

Okay, you can stop imagining now. Are you starting to understand the whole performance thing? Sometimes it seems like every day you are on stage, that you have to work in order to get that applause.

There are a few important things to take away from this:

First of all, I am not trying to say that this is how all women feel everyday of their lives. I am also definitely not trying to say that women feel like we need men to check us out to feel good about ourselves.

The second thing is, I am not attacking men. I know not all men are guilty of objectifying women and I also understand that it is a natural thing to find others attractive and to show it. 

What I am trying to get across here is that, whether women want to admit it or not, they notice who is looking at them. More importantly, they notice what you’re looking at. So, the next time you’re on campus or out and about, try to keep a few things in mind...

  • Women are made up of more than just boobs and a butt; try looking at us as a whole instead of pieces
  • We don’t mind when you look, but it would be nice if you could do it without staring or making gross comments under your breath
  • And finally, make-up or no make-up, sweat pants or stunning runway outfit, messy bun or freshly curled hair, every woman is beautiful and we don’t need any validation

 

Photos: 1, 2, 3