I Don’t Mean It As A Compliment

10 Jan

A few days ago I went to a holiday party and so I left the house with slightly more make up than usual.  I was wearing a long coat and moccasins so I didn’t feel particularly showy.  I didn’t leave the house until well after noon and yet on my hour long commute (subway ride and walk through, admittedly, not the greatest neighborhood in New York) I counted about 9 catcalls, honks, intentional brushes, whispered comments, and shouts from men.  All in the one hour from leaving my house to arriving at my destination.  That’s approximately one every 7 minutes.

Before I had to venture out again I was telling a guy friend about this and like most men he asked “Why don’t you just feel complimented?”  

This is one of the most frustrating questions in my world because it is asked so frequently, it is so incredibly wrong and I can’t figure out what to say in response to it.

This PSA is supposed to be about prostitution but I find it hits sort of the right note.

2 Responses to “I Don’t Mean It As A Compliment”

  1. Izzy January 10, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Why is this hard? How is the idea of someone deciding that what they want is more important than your comfort, your personal space or your dignity complimentary? It’s denigrating and often intimidating.

  2. Alex January 11, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    Ugh, I hate it that guys do that. I don’t understand why they think its okay. I’m a man and myself and none of my friends would ever have the presumption that we have a right to harass another human being. But theres a whole group of guys that somehow think its okay. Its just sexism, they think they have a right to harass you because you’re not a real person to them, you’re an object. When are human beings going to start treating their fellows with respect for our shared humanity? Thats really all there is to life.

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