Once upon a time, I lived in Portland, Oregon, land of the ported and docked penis. There, in the young progressive capitol of America, men are too modern to leer and the mood is aloofness. Libidos are stifled further by the unrelenting greyness that looms overhead everyday, causing people to drink hand-crafted beers, which can often ignite a dulled libido, but can hinder satisfying one, too.
In other words, it’s hard for a lady to get a compliment on her ass in Portland.
That is why when I moved to New York, I welcomed the long gazes and “hey mamas, yous lookin’ good” I received on my walks to the train. After three-years of practicing and participating in inoffensiveness, it was refreshing to be some place where it’s acknowledged that we humans are indeed shameless sexual beings.
Don’t mistake my thank-you smirks and blushing cheeks for disillusionment, however; a “hey mami” is by no means an indicator that I’m a beauty queen or shoo-in for a J-Lo body double. Nor do I think that I’m unique; I know that four girls after me will get hollars in the next ten minutes, too. But it’s a compliment nonetheless, a showing of appreciation that yeah, I try. I went to the gym today and I thought this skirt looked cute on me. Thanks for noticing.
That said, the charm of catcalls tends to wear off faster in the summer. When I’m all bundled up and some dude turns his head muttering “mmm mmm,” he’s working harder to imagine what I’m strutting under my poufy coat. In the summer, however, when its nearing 100 degrees outside and you’re wearing the shortest, lightest things you own so not to drown in your own sweat, the stares are a little too piercing. I get it; it’s nice to see skin again (guys with tats!) and you want to take it all in before its concealed in four months. But there’s a bit too much hunger in men-of-the-streets’ eyes during a NY summer, like they were all just pardoned from Rikers and forgot that there’s this thing called the internet where you can look at naked chicks all day, all year long.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I want it both ways - notice me, but don’t creep me out, dudes. Which is the same as saying, yeah, I’m a woman.