I get raped every day, or at least it feels like it. At least once a day, I see a man staring at me with a lecherous look on his face. Before you think I’m conceited, let me explain.
I know I’m an attractive. I don’t think I’m gorgeous or God’s gift to men. But I do workout to maintain a trim figure and make an effort to wear clothes that flatter me. The thing is that I do this for me. Looking nice (not slutty) is a confidence booster. Please don’t misunderstand me. I know all guys look at women. My husband, my dad, my friends. Whether they’ll admit it or not, they do. And honestly, I don’t care as long as it’s done discreetly. If I catch you, divert your eyes and pretend you were just looking around. That’s cool. Women do it to other women and pretend that we don’t.
My problem is the perverted assholes. The one that stared at me HARD in his side mirror and licked his lips today while stopped at a red light. (And I had a male passenger in the front seat.) Or the guy that hung out of his Jeep as he drove past me while I was running with my 50lb dog. And the guy who tried to film me walking by when I was on my first date with Chris. (Chris noticed too, yelled at them, and flicked his cigarette towards them.) Those guys are assholes. They make me feel uncomfortable and violated. How exactly do they expect me to respond? What confident woman would want that attention or the person giving it?
I recently decided I was going to start fighting back. Chris asked me what the point was, and I told him that I wanted my power back because those men make me feel powerless. Then it hit me – just like rape, this is about power. Please don’t be offended – I know rape is a million times worse and a horrific, traumatizing experience. When these perverts look at me, I feel sick to my stomach. I feel angry, powerless, and violated. But be warned, I will acknowledge what you are doing, yell at you, flip you off, make revolted faces at you in response. Maybe you’ll get a rise out of that, but I don’t care. It’s not about you anymore; it’s about me. If I feel like I’m in charge of myself, that’s all that matters.