I don’t recall the details, but I remember reading about a contractor who bid a different rate for the first 5 floors or so for building a high-rise story building in a big city. The reason? Because the workers were distracted by women walking by on the street for the first 5 floors. Just sayin’, I know there’s a lot of catharsis going on in talking about men being publicly rude to women. Had an example of it pointed out to me just a couple days ago. I remember walking down the street with a Norwegian girl when I first moved to New Mexico, “it’s just because of the blonde hair” she reassured me, when I got all pissed off, like I used to a lot when I was young and not really in control of my temperament. (That’s the only thing positive I’ve found about getting older: I’m not as easy to make mad as I used to be.)
Motown Mutt A very striking woman of Swedish descent was driving, I was passenger, and I noticed the way the guy on the motorcycle pulled up alongside to check her out. It was probably the first time I realised that women deal with a different reality as far as being the “object of desire” of men, if you’ll pardon the phrase. Couple years later, I was out at an event, (first time I’d ever met online folks in real life). I’d braided up my hair after the shower, and then took the braids out when I went out. I had more hair back then, I guess, ‘cuz on the drive home, some dudes pulled up, hangin’ out the passenger window “Oh, we thought you were a chick.” I remember being furious, and chasing them down the freeway in a bit of an irrational rage. Nothing happened, other than I got home earlier than I would’ve otherwise, but, well, yeah. I was pissed about some boneheads pulling up alongside of me thinking there was anything cool about it.
Listen, I’m not going to talk about the gay guys that have approached me, other than to say, I’ve had some seriously unkind reactions to that kind of thing.
So, while I may seem insensitive on the subject, it’s mostly because of the people who want to change other people’s behaviours. I generally don’t like people trying to control others. I think we should raise boys to be gentlemen, and girls to be ladies, but who doesn’t like a girl who is a little bit of a tomboy? I don’t think there should be any hard and fast rules, but treating people with respect is obviously something we should all aspire to raise our kids to. It used to be called ‘chivalry’, but now-a-days, it seems the least crass way the activists can put it is “teach boys not to rape”. Well, if you want to emphasize the most extreme negative thing in what you teach, that’s your approach.
One final thing, then I’m off this subject that keeps popping up in my timeline lately. My own failings? Well, when I see attractive women out jogging in their neon tops and skintight pants, it’s usually the highlight of my commute. You’re darn right when I see a bouncing ponytail and a splash of neon, it gets my attention. I don’t beep the horn, or whistle out the window, or anything, but hey, here’s TMI: I get a thrill out of seeing that on an otherwise boring commute. I don’t try to strike up a relationship, or anything, it’s just a passing joy. Here’s another thing I do. I smile at pretty women. I do it because they make me happy to see them. If they don’t smile back, I just go on about my business. (Actually, sometimes I make up guitar rhythms later while I’m thinking about “why won’t that girl smile back?”, but that’s a different story.
Finally: I was attacked when I was a kid. You can do whatever you want to to try to change human nature, but teaching your kids what to do, how to react, how to avoid situations in the first place, to me, are all more important. There are always going to be predators, and people who cross lines. The most important advice I would give a kid is learn how to identify, develop an instinct for people and situations, and fight like hell if you’re ever caught in one.