but because a woman had the NERVE to self-identify as beautiful.
Right now, the whole world is pissed at you for al the wrong reasons. It’s not because you spoke out about a problem that affects ALL women. It’s because you publicly called yourself pretty, and everyone is spouting hateful shit about how you’re not. Please don’t take it personally. The whole world would be determined to prove how ugly you are whether you looked like me:
Don’t believe me? Turn on the radio. (Or Spotify… whatever you kids are listening to these days.)
"You're insecure, Don't know what for
You're turning heads when you walk through the door."
“I know, I know, When I compliment her she won’t believe me
And it’s so, it’s so, Sad that she don’t see what I see
But every time she asks me, ‘Do I look okay?’ I say…
You’re amazing (amazing)
Just the way you are (are).”
And heeeeeere’s… John Legend!
“You fix your makeup just so
Guess you don’t now you’re beautiful
Try on every dress you own
You were fine in my eyes a half hour ago
If the mirror won’t make it clearer, I’ll be the one to let you know. “
So, okay, John Legend. You want to be the one to let her know? And when you do, she doesn’t believe you, right? And that’s why she’s so beautiful in your eyes?
But what if you let her know… and then she accepted the compliment?
Let's revisit a story I shared in a previous post.
So. Bateman decided to try something different. Whenever guys messaged her online to tell her she was beautiful, she decided to simply accept the compliment. Here’s how the men responded:
Just like you, Felicia!
Likewise, I’m sorry that so many women are so jealous of and/or threatened by you. It’s almost sort of not their fault. They’re just mindless, insecure members of a society that hates women with self-esteem. They’re dull, complacent people who are happy to spend time binge-watching Netflix and posting nasty comments on the Internet, rather than questioning negative aspects of the society they grew up in – and especially negative aspects of their own personalities.
The world needs more women like you. Ones who know they’re smart and know their ideas are worth sharing and know that they’re a total catch.
That said, I wanted talk about your ideas. Your post was an interesting read, and it's sparked a lot of debate... but I’m not sure you fully understand the nature of street harassment.
Like you, Felicia, I’m a beautiful woman. But I rarely experience street harassment. Here’s why:
Catcallers prey on the "weak." Remember: it’s all about power and control. They want to go after easy targets. Just as muggers target people who look more distracted or vulnerable… so do street harassers single out women they think they can rattle. A point you made in your post when you wrote, "By not responding to this behavior, I'm discouraging these people from doing it again to someone else."
Except – not to blame you at all, but you said a few other things in your post that make me think you do respond... or, at least, that you don’t exactly exude confidence in public. For example:
"Imagine how it feels to have heads turn and all eyes on you when you are simply trying to get to where you need to be. It doesn't make me feel beautiful or sexy. It makes me feel like there's something wrong with me."
“The immediate thoughts of whether my skirt is too short or my shirt is too low cause me to doubt the professional outfit that I put on in the morning. I wonder if there's something stuck to my shoe, if I forgot to put on some item of clothing, anything that could be wrong with me that would cause people to stare.”
Meanwhile, I rarely get catcalled. Probably because I have no fear. I have roamed many of the “murder capitals of the world” alone, at night, without much of a thought. When I hear women lament about how scary it is to go places at night, I have a hard time relating. I’ve never had that experience before.
Part of that is because I’m quite aware of the statistics. As I wrote in You Won'y Believe What This Cop Did After Disarming a Robber, or How To Be Better At Everything, and again in 3 Things I Wish All Girls (And Women) Knew:
If I get raped, it’s not going to be by a stranger on the street. It’s going to be by a friend, classmate, coworker, family member, boss or other non-stranger. Which isn’t any better than being attacked by a stranger – in fact, in pretty much every way, it’s worse. But it does mean that a lot of the discomfort you feel walking around alone is statistically unnecessary.
Part of it is because I have more of an “I dare you to fuck with me – no, seriously, I DARE you” attitude than an “I wonder what’s wrong with me, is there something stuck to my shoe” attitude. And, because people are experts at reading your emotions… I think it shows.
Although you ARE pretty, you are not street harassed BECAUSE you’re pretty.
Although you ARE pretty, the pathetic creeps of the world are going to hate you for saying so. I hope you won’t let it stop you.
Although you ARE pretty, it’s clear that there’s a lot more to you. Keep writing! I expect great things!