Monday, April 22, 2013

UNM Hotties and Messages from the Car

The sunny day has brought out students and shorts and skin.  Although winter here is nothing like winter in New England, our response to spring ubiquitously sings our joy at tunneling out from darkness under protective coverings.  And maybe it also brings out some strange behavior.

While stopped at a street light at the intersection of Central and Cornell, two young students crossed, their blond hair reflecting the sun as much as their gait spoke of celebration.

"Woooooo!"  I hear.

And "Yeee-aaaah, cut those jeans a little more!"

"You must be sweethearts going to UNM!"

Three young men in the car next to mine are whooping it up, feeding off the support each of them receives hearing his friend's cat call.

I'm surprised that I'm surprised.  How can someone not know at this point how blatant that objectification is?  And how inappropriate?!  And knowing what I know, seeing what I've seen, how can I not expect this?  I sit there for a moment, in the relative safety of my own vehicle, shocked into that silence that comes from our training to hide and get really small when we feel threatened.

It's a testament to the fact that I'm working on not hiding, that I slid down my window and called out of it "You know, that's really gross to overhear". 

"What's really gross?  Your hair?" one of them calls back, but by then the light has turned and I'm saved the discomfort of ignoring a request for an exchange by my utilization of the clutch and the gas pedal.  As I slow for the next light, they zoom past yelling "Sorry, I thought you were a dude!" which is laughably ridiculous.  It was clearly fine with them to make all those loud comments in a way those students could hear, and the idea that saying it only around other men is fine misses a huge portion of the point.  For those of you keeping track, that portion is about how the ways we usually define and appreciate women (for their sexual attributes only) are not okay no matter with whom you are doing so.

On hindsight, I hope next time I say "that's a really gross way to talk about women" or "that's a really disrespectful way to talk about women".  It makes the issue about their action and not about my distress.  All in good time.

No comments:

Post a Comment