It’s Like a Place You Can Visit

I seethe. Ache, really, an old wound. It’s the unfairness of it, is all. It’s seeing how small bricks and a little bit of mortar can build a cultural edifice. To wit: coffee, an outdoor terrace, a friend. A young man walks by and I comment to my friend about this gent’s scrawny sexy physique. My companion, also male, remarks, “You’re bi; why don’t you ever comment on women the same way?”

I didn’t have to think very long for the answer, because this has been a thing near the forefront of my mind for a long while now. Like a ball tossed: “Because they hear it all the time. It’s an invasion to do that.”

“What? How the hell do you mean?”

I sipped my coffee. “Do you like it when women come up to you, don’t talk directly to you, and comment on your physical appearance?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I do.”

“Do people do that while you’re at work?”

“What? No.”

“How about in class?”

“No. That’d just be weird.”

“You’re right, it would be weird. It is weird, and there isn’t a single place where most women aren’t subjected to those kind of comments. For you, it’s an ego boost. It’s a place you can visit, but your ‘real world’ has different rules. For us, we can’t leave it.”

He leaned back, crossed his arms over his chest. “You know, it’s not very feminist to make objectifying comments about anyone.”

“You’re right. And you’d know best, wouldn’t you?” I jabbed out my cigarette.

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