Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hey Baby

Heat and mating season make New Yorkers let it all hang out. I am pro sex yet have always had mixed feelings about street harassment. A woman whose weight fluctuates from average to a little extra, a globe trekker approaching 30, I’ve developed an international view on the issue.

Growing up in Philly after I lost my baby fat and had a growth spurt I got a lot of attention on the block. I chuckled, flinched sometimes. After a few years, I took “White is right!” “Can I get a ride? and “Pssst, snowflake” for granted. Yet I was always self-conscious, wearing overalls over my miniskirt to waitress one summer.

In France, I starved myself more to almost French size, sticking out only to my matronly host who said I was a little plump. Still, I was the victim of both friendly Bonjours and a teenage ass grabber.

I moved to Japan and gained 20 pounds. My teenaged students shouted “I love you,” and girls grabbed my breasts in clubs. I was the victim of chikan-subway molestation. A crime so common authorities told me to carry hatpins.

I moved to New York five years ago. In the big city, women and men, cultivate the blank, sidewalk face, which I wear more often than I’d like. Sometimes, a “God bless you, beautiful” is a relief.



Anonymous said...

it's true it's such a strange thing because sometimes the holla's you get on the street are really sweet, but sometimes you can tell it's meant to make you feel less than human.

Anonymous said...

some dude once threw a lollipop at me