One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

July 20, 2011

Gifts

Walking home from work today, I passed a couple of girls on the street. I recognized them from my son’s class. And at the same time that I recognized them, a dude drove by in a car and hollered at them.

I wanted to weep. Or run and put my arms around them. Or shake my fist at that asshat and tell him off. Those girls are twelve. Maybe thirteen. And I’ve been those girls, on a daily basis when I was their age. I know that he wasn’t shouting because he actually expected to get anywhere with them. He was shouting because he could. Because he’s the dominant white male on the block and his appreciative gaze and rowdy announcement of it is his fan-fucking-tastic gift to the pre-pubescent girls of the world.

Before I had processed the event, I had a moment of deep relief that the dude whizzing by in a car wasn’t yelling at me and I remembered being a teenager, having a man pass me on the street, visibly and deliberately appraise my worth and proclaim “nice” as I walked by. And how I complained about this on a BBS forum where I was active at the time, and a group of older women piled on in taking me to task. “Don’t be so arrogant,” I was admonished, “one day you’ll pine for a few whistles as you walk down the street and you’ll regret that you didn’t appreciate the attention when you were young and pretty enough to get it.”

Well. Ew.

And also, now that I’m old enough that it’s not a given that I’ll be ogled on the street – you are wrong, older ladies of my teen years. I am grateful to be increasingly invisible to the entitled men of the neighbourhood. And I would gladly live a lifetime without the gift of the loudly-announced-male-gaze, especially if that meant that all twelve-year-old girls could, likewise, go about the business of being twelve-year-old girls in public and in peace.

For Fuck’s sake.

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  1. judith

     /  2011-07-21

    You ruling the world can’t come too soon.

    Reply

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