I had a weird experience tonight, and it was just one weird interaction on top of a collection of weird interactions I’ve had with men. And by “weird,” I mean anything ranging from being the target of rude, offensive comments to outright sexism and misogyny. I will say up front that I don’t automatically assume that every negative interaction with a man is sexist or offensive – of course not. But at the same time, maybe listen to a woman when she tells you her experiences.
I’ve mentioned on this blog before that I usually try to edit my potty mouth before I post, but you’re getting the unfiltered version of me tonight.
Ah, where to begin? A sample platter of weird ass interactions – I still remember when I worked at a garden shop the summer after high school, and my coworker David* told me that I looked like I had AIDS. What the fuck, David? Or Chad**, a grown man in his forties telling an eighteen-year-old to smile after being a dick with her. SO BRAVE OF YOU, CHAD. SPEAK YOUR TRUTH. YOU’RE A REAL MAN. Or the creepy men hitting on me while I worked the cash register. I was barely eighteen. I look at pictures of myself then, and I didn’t look eighteen. I LOOKED YOUNGER.
Or Mark, a client who started staring at me while I was conducting work on his property, who then told me that if my hips got any smaller, I’d have to shop in the children’s section. WHAT IN THE ACTUAL SHIT, MARK? My boss at the time told me afterward that his behavior couldn’t be considered sexual harassment because he wasn’t my superior.
So yeah. This is just the TIP OF THE ICEBERG, FRIENDS. Ask any woman and she will tell you the same. But I have to say, the frequency of PRETTY WEIRD interactions have increased since I moved to Indiana.
Tonight Husband and I went to dinner, and since it was casual, I wore a cute wrap dress I bought in Amsterdam. I’ve been a little self-conscious about an aspect of my body lately, which I won’t delve into because diet culture is bullshit and no one needs to hear me dissect my body in a public space. I generally feel good about my body, but I’m human and I sometimes have insecurities about it. Whenever I feel insecure about it, I just tell myself things like, “YAY MY BODY IS STRONG” or whatever (except my back, which I’ve had issues with since I was a teen and is threatening to pull again. DO BETTER, BACK).
But hey, you know what makes you feel better about your insecurities?
HAVING SOMEONE CONGRATULATE YOU ON YOUR NONEXISTENT PREGNANCY.
THAT SHIT ACTUALLY HAPPENED TONIGHT.
And I’ll be honest, it took me a LONG TIME to comprehend why this man was congratulating me. There’s no way he could have known that I won two awards at work in a 2-week span and that I just found out about my second award today, right?*** Did something exciting happen with Husband at work and he didn’t tell me yet? It took a long time for that comment to sink in. I just looked helplessly at this asshole, waiting for him to elaborate on why he was congratulating me –
I have to say, any damage to my self-esteem was bolstered by watching this dipshit’s soul completely leave his body as he realized that I am not pregnant and that he was just being a massive dumbass. He left the area quickly just as I was understanding what he was congratulating me for, and I didn’t even see him around after dinner.
I hate that I even have to say this, because this is some fourth-grade level bullshit, but here we go-
STOP COMMENTING ON WOMEN’S BODIES.
DON’T CONGRATULATE A WOMAN FOR A PREGNANCY UNLESS SHE TELLS YOU SHE IS PREGNANT.
OH MY FUCKING GOD.
THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.
I have to say, as enraging as this experience (clearly) is, there is some great satisfaction that comes with how awkward this moment was. It was Curb Your Enthusiasm-level of awkward. It was like when Larry David gets that look where he’s about to say something dumb or offensive, and you’re like, “NO LARRY, DON’T” as you hide your face and your body curls inward with cringe, because you just know it’s going to be AWKWARD AS FUCK. AND IT WAS.
That’s my story for tonight.
But there’s more. There’s always more.
*This may be his real name, because it was twenty years ago and it’s a common name and who gives a fuck.
**His name was probably not Chad.
***I did. This is kind of a humble brag, but I’m also working my ass off. Work is kind of nuts right now. That is clearly not the point of this post.
Categories: Weird Shit