A male passenger in a white van stuck his head out of the window and yelled.
I couldn’t hear the words exactly but I could hear the sound. Like when someone speaks in a foreign language and even though you don’t know what they’re saying, you know what they’re saying. Know what I’m saying?
Something in that tone, that leering face, jolted me. He made that certain kind of sound you will sometimes hear certain groups of certain kinds of men make at certain establishments when they have reached a certain level of a certain thing I shall call “jerk-ness”.
I stopped. I turned around, flung my arms in the air, in that Tom Hanks I’m-acting-like-I-can’t-believe-you-just-did-that fashion (which I always thought was kind of unrealistic until I found myself doing it) and watched the van continue on its way.
Come back, I thought, come back and have a conversationwith me. Get out of the car, look me in the eye, and repeat what you said.
Watch what a day walking the streets of New York City is like for a woman. (Post continues after video.)
He didn’t. Of course. Even though I knew they could see me, standing there all Tom-Hanks-esque and angry. No, of course they didn’t come back…
This happens from time to time. Most of the time. Because, to some men, when women walk down the street they are not people. Not fellow human beings. We are objects to be objectified. Of course. Yell, whistle, beep the horn.
It is not flattering. It is not funny. It is not harmless.
It is intimidating and pathetic. It is vile.
These are not sincere, heartfelt compliments given from one human to another. These men don’t look you in the eye. They couldn’t.