The Unwelcomed, “Hey Baby!”
I agree that men and women both face an inequality when it comes to many different issues. I believe that both men and women have growing room when it comes to who they are and how they identify themselves. It’s easy to argue this. And it’s easy to point fingers and blame the destruction on societies problems based on how a girl dresses, or the “natural” tendencies of a man.
However, it’s a different situation when a woman feels unsafe, just because of the fact that she is…..well a she.
Lately there has been a lot of circling around about street harassment. Whether or not it is a valid form of harassment, and the allowance that falls under freedom of speech, and to just ignore them because it’s just words.
But what about when cars will pace your car to get your attention? Or calling you “baby” to make themselves feel a certain amount of dominion over you?
You’re willing to break the law and speed up, praying to God that they don’t follow you. Or you can box yourself in between cars so they don’t get a good enough look at your face.
“Hey, baby. Look over here and smile. Just a smile for me. Come on baby”
There wasn’t a feeling of objectification or being sexualized. It was fear. Fear that if I acted out in anger, that they would retaliate by following me or pulling a gun on me. Or fear if I obliged that they would get the wrong impression, follow me and try something different. It’s fear.
When I rolled past them at a red light in the farthest lane possible, I hope they saw me in tears. Knowing that those words that they said, hurt a deeper core than they could ever realize. That there was pure fear in what just happened.
You tell me if that’s ok?
I got to thinking how the situation would be different if I had a guy in my car. If a male presence in the seat next to me would have muted their comments? It’s a little twisted that the comments would only be muted because of the fear that the man in the seat next to me could put in the men in the car the next lane over if they said something to offend.
I wasn’t asking for it. I was wearing a grey long sleeve shirt and jeans. I only had mascara on. And my hair was down because I actually had time to style it that day and it makes me feel good. I had my windows down because it was a beautiful Arizona evening and the air conditioning in my car wouldn’t cut it. I blasted my music because that’s how I like to sing along when I drive. But even the hum drum of guitar chords couldn’t mute out the objectifying and fear inducing comments.
Do I look like a piece of meat?
Something that you can bite into and taste for the pure satisfaction of your enjoyment, just so you can toss me aside once your done? I am not yours. I belong to the one and only.