Note: I am not a man hater and this is not generalisable to all men. However, from first hand experiences, this is to the majority of men. You may not realise what you are doing but it’s hard for us to ignore.
This is my outfit today.
Nothing special. I wore it because it was goddamn hot. If I could of walked round naked, I would of. However, I still felt exposed. Since not having a car, I’ve walked everywhere recently and I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with what I’ve noticed.
I’m 23 years old and I am learning to love my body and myself. Yet, I still got changed 5 times before leaving the house today because it was so hot and I didn’t want to wear too revealing clothes.
Every day that I have walked home, 9/10 men stared at me whilst driving. It didn’t matter what colour, age, height, weight. Most of the men looked at me. Many of them had their partners in the car as well as their children.
Whilst it doesn’t hurt to look, I suddenly found myself pulling my shorts down and my top up to make sure I was covered. Some might say I should be taking all these stares as compliments but actually, I found it quite intimidating. I just wanted to hurry home.
What was interesting was that 1/10 women looked at me.
I think what makes me uncomfortable is that I don’t want to be a great pair of legs or boobs. I mean yeah that’s great but I’m also intelligent, ambitious, funny, kind and so many other things. I am not just my body.
I want to love my body but not because people stare it. Because I am confident with myself. How am I supposed to feel confident when men stare at me like I’m just another pair of tits and ass.
What makes me sad is that I know I am not the only female who feels like this. What makes me even sadder is that when I was younger, I felt I had to cover up because I didn’t want to be a ‘slut’ or a victim of any sort of sexual abuse or exploitation. That’s just awful and we still continue to teach our young girls to cover up because we don’t want to be a victim. Doesn’t that suggest that if something was to happen when we were dressed in little clothing that it would be our fault?
I know not all guys are like this and it’s harmless looking but actually, it’s uncomfortable. I spent years covering up my boobs because they were big because I didn’t just want men to stare at them. I would always ask “Mum does this make me look like a slut?” before I went out because I was so paranoid of being just that. I wish I had listened to my mum. She used to say “there’s only a small window where you can get away with wearing that, do it!”.
I wish that I had the confidence to wear what I wanted when I was younger and I wish I embraced my figure because that’s all it is. My figure. A shell. It’s not who I am inside. I have pretty good boobs and I have long legs and I’m going to wear what I want to show them off because I like those features. But that’s because I am confident now. However, I’ve had to ignore many catcalls and unnecessary stares, many ass grabbings and boob stares and I’ve actually had enough. Do you know I’ve started walking on the left side of the road so I don’t have to see people coming towards me? Does this mean I should cover up a bit more to feel less of an object and less insecure and paranoid? Or should men not just so obviously stare directly at us or beep their horn or whistle?
I actually find it unattractive when you stare or catcall. It’s more attractive to look at my face and talk to me. Or compliment how we look. Get to know me. And if you’re lucky. Then I’ll let you stare and admire my body. Until then, just stop. Or at least try to make it sly! Jesus!