Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ladies, let's start catcalling the men


I have made an observation within my relationship that I would like to generalize to the rest of humanity as a social experiment: what if we lived in a world where men didn't catcall women (wait for it....) and the women catcalled the men?!??

I know, I know.  Say wha?!?  That's too crazy!  I can't even conceive of it!  But seriously guys, I'm kind of serious.

Not to "get revenge" or "show them what it's like" but because, actually, men don't get to feel desirable all that often, whereas most women are kind of done with being treated constantly as sexual beings and would rather maybe be able to go through life without their level of attractiveness being commented on everywhere they go.

(I know, I know, boo hoo, poor men don't feel desirable!  Maybe if they spent less time dolling out sexual harassment we would have an incentive to display our desire for them!  Exactly, my friend.  Exactly.)

I have observed this in the microcosm of my own relationship, and then had it confirmed by something someone said on a podcast, so I figure it must be universally true.

The personal observation that I'm using to generalize to the world is as follows: my boyfriend would often comment on my body when we were doing completely everyday things.  I would open the fridge or brush my teeth or exist on the couch, and he would give me the old once over with his eyes say something about my body.

Listen, I'm not saying that I don't want my boyfriend to like my body.  Obviously, that's a good thing, but also, enough is enough and I was ready to shout, "I am just trying to find the leftover veggies!  Can't I do ONE THING without my body being commented on????  I am not on DISPLAY!!!"

Then we finally talked about it, because communication is key, and I realized that he was saying these things to me because (shocker) he wants me to say them to him.  He was trying to make me feel desirable in the way that he wanted to feel desirable.

Well, for pete's sake.  Is that all it is?  Okay!  So then we made a deal that he would significantly reduce the things he was saying to me, and I would do my best to start verbalizing all the times I noticed his excellent tush.

Done and done.  All world problems solved.

But seriously, I'm not saying that all guys who catcall are just hoping someone will tell them they are pretty, because power dynamics are a thing, but it's a gimme that a society that prioritizes the gaze of the straight man is going to overly sexualize women and desexualize men.  I mean, heaven forbid a straight man recognize the attractiveness of other straight men, am I right?  (Except for Jemaine, of course, when he tells Brett he's got it going on.)

The result?  Women get overrun with the feeling that their bodies are on display, and men rarely get to be taken seriously as anything but bumbling jokes or sexual predators.

Listen, everyone wants to feel attractive, right?  We all want to know that our biological imperative to procreate could be met with success, even if we're not sure that we ever want kids, and if we do, at the very least we should invest in our careers and do more travelling first.

So I offer a social experiment.  We don't have to commit to it for life, but how about for a few months?  Let's spend the summer switching the catcaller/catcallee dynamic, see what happens, and have a little circle debrief and see how we feel after.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So I am picturing turning on my heel and studying the random guy who just told me I have nice tits, evaluating his appearance, and then answering something like "Hmm, you have a decent waistline" and walking on.