Tuesday, June 7, 2016

IS THIS HOW I SHOULD LOOK?????

IS THIS HOW I SHOULD LOOK????
AT LEAST I'D BE WEARING LIPSTICK, RIGHT????

You know how sometimes someone will say something to you and you don't quite process it until it echoes back to you in your head a few seconds later?

Yesterday I was walking to a meeting, and passed by (what I think was) a family in their front yard.

It was a beautiful, sunny day that had tipped from "really hot" to "pleasantly hot", and I was in a good mood because I was going to meet up with some friends in a park to hold their baby and relax in the shade a bit before heading to a meeting.

As I passed, I realized that the man was calling out to me.  I had headphones in, so I missed the first part of what he said, but I could tell his voice was friendly, so I turned to hear him say, "You look good!  Just like you should!"

I smiled, called out to "have a good evening!" and kept walking.

I replied in a friendly way because, as far as unwelcome street commentary goes, it was about as good as it gets.  He wasn't lewd.  He didn't chase after me, get mean, or try to stop me from where I was going to engage in further conversation.  He had a friendly voice and seemed like he genuinely just wanted to share some positivity.  I would have felt better if he said something about the good looking day, but whatever.

Then I got the echo: "You look good!  Just like you should!"

Just like I should?  I should?

OH SHOULD I????

So obviously, if I ever have free time again in my life, I'm going to do myself up just looking as terrible as possible and hang out in front of his patio saying things like "ohhhh noooo, I don't look good!  What should I do?  Is this okay?  It's not okay, is it?  Is this how I should look?  I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do!"

Ha.  Take that, sexism.

HOW ABOUT THIS LOOK?????
IS THIS GOOD?????

PS: Before someone scoffs that I just need to "relax" and "he didn't mean anything by it", let me clarify: I know he didn't mean anything by it, that's kind of the point.  The more easily someone says something, the less harm they mean by it, the more that shows it as the norm.  If he was trying to be a jerk and meant to remind me that I'm supposed to put an extra hour into my appearance every day to be a "proper" woman and that when I don't look good I'm doing something wrong, then he'd just be mean.  Instead, he made a comment that "doesn't mean anything" because it reflects values as pervasive and normal as if he had observed the nice weather.  Little comments like these, given out offhand as casual compliments, actually add up to something harmful.

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