A woman: a strong and powerful creature that is resilient, intelligent, and whatever the hell else they wanna be. But in the eyes of a few less gracious creatures, women are a sign of sex, submission, and objects. Today was a reminder for me that women are still far behind in reaching equality alongside males.
While watching the Olympics, anyone can hear the objectivism formed behind the announcers word choice. Female Olympic athletes’ success is given to their boyfriends, husbands, or coaches, instead of given directly to the amazing athlete who beat out majority of the world with their impeccable skills. Meanwhile, male athletes are given all of the praise for their hard work towards their skills and barely an ounce of praise is given to their coaches.
While walking on the streets this morning I was an object in the eyes of male gaze. Because of the heat advisory, this morning I decided to wear shorts… yuh know, the pants that attract male attention because of how they cover a female butt and yet reveal our legs (those obscenely sexy things that connect to a females’ naked body. Oh the horror). Okay, in all seriousness, it is expected to reach 100 degrees today and I didn’t feel like sweating it out in jeans and an oversized tee shirt.
As soon as I walked out of my apartment and saw myself in the reflection of a window, I was bombarded with an overwhelming feeling of regret. ‘I should have worn something different. There will be too much attention drawn towards me because of my washed out, high waisted shorts.’ Then I realized I was objectifying myself. I looked at my body and thought that too much of it was showing. ‘Maybe my shorts are too short and reveal too much of my jiggly thighs. Maybe my cropped shirt will blow in the wind and my navel will show. Maybe the black combat boots I’m wearing are too counterintuitive to the rest of my outfit that it will lead passerbyers to stare at me.’
I was appalled by very own reaction to what I was wearing. Just because I have decided to step out of my comfort zone and wear shorts does not mean I am breaking some figurative rule that will suddenly subject me to harassment on the street. But it did.
As I walked through the city, instantly I was facing catcalls and obscene remarks. As men drove by in their cars they honked, called out, or whistled. When I entered a cafe for breakfast, a man approached me and apologized for staring, all because I was wearing shorts. When I wore jeans and a tee shirt I experienced limited calls; however, this morning I put myself in a position that allowed men to view me as a object. A position that should not even exist. A position too many women are placed into just because they have a body and wear whatever the F…. they want.
It saddened me to know I almost reentered my apartment to change after noticing my reflection. The way someone dresses does not limit their value, and yet, while walking along the street my value diminishes to where it’s almost non-existent.