Thursday, 26 June 2014

Growing Up Female

Yesterday I went to see the Jays and Yankees play. I've never been to a baseball game and I can't say  really saw much of it.

I've hesitate to put this into words for a number of reasons, namely: a) the internet can be a cruel place b) whatever you say someone will always find you wrong, or wanting c) once you hit "send" it's out there forever.

I have become more and more aware of how badly I interact with men, and how much I abhor male attention. It has gotten to the point where if I'm walking down the street and a man so much as looks at me I feel violated. I feel like those eyes are hands and no amount of "No" will make them stop.

What frustrates me the most is that I don't know how to formulate a good response to these attentions. I frown, I make comments under my breath, I sometimes call the perps out right then and there but how is this helping me, or helping other women? I just get so frustrated, so outraged and so angered that I let myself get carried away. But are these emotions justified? Even if I were to be hit on by a charming, attractive guy I would still freeze up and feel threatened.

I am beginning to view every man as a threat, as someone who will disregard my own wishes to fulfill their own. Is this fair? No. But I've been in too many situations where simple friendliness is taken as interest, where I have to belong to someone else to no longer be on someone's radar, where I have absolutely no autonomy of my own.

The reasons for this sort of reaction don't exactly add up. I think what is is that I feel devalued and that I believe men perceive my value or worth as correlative to my sexual easiness. I suppose I feel as though I need to constantly justify myself by playing the prude, which is, in a way, exactly what society has raised me to do. Boys don't like girls who are easy, right?  But you see I don't believe that sexual exploits dictate someone's worth as I am inherently against the entire concept of "slut," so why should this colour my perception? I would hate for anyone to speak of me in these terms, or as if I were some sort of conquest, but maybe it's not up to me to hold anyone accountable.

I know this feeling...this unease is tainted by years of harassment - the special sort you get in the hospitality industry - but I so wish to be able to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I long to feel free of this resentment which my anxiety has been making a constant.

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