Some of my friends might argue that this is not a risk for me. I’m known as being pretty sassy, some of them have even seen me stand up to drunk d-bags in Wrigleyville after a Cubs game. But truthfully, I’ve only had the courage to be sassy in situations where I am dealing with drunk dudes who can’t stand or when I am with other people. When I’m alone in everyday life, I’m a chicken.
Today on the bus I looked up from my reading as I neared my stop and noticed a guy sitting towards the front who was staring, unabashedly, at a woman’s butt. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit Coo-Coo for Coco Puffs when it comes to this kind of thing. I can’t help it. I must stand up for myself and say that while I hate the ogling, I accept and am completely okay with noticing. Noticing attractive people is natural. Staring sucks.
Some men fight me on this one, saying it’s a compliment and that I/women should be flattered. The bitter truth is that men tend to think it’s a compliment, while women tend to feel less than human. I say this with full knowledge that every person is a little different and that not all men are starers, not all women hate the attention. I’m speaking from what I have seen and heard.
Either way, I knew that my stop was coming up and I felt grossed out by this guy. I watched him a little longer and saw that he paid attention to any woman that looked under 40. So whether or not he found me attractive, I got the impression that my age was enough for him. I considered exiting through the rear doors in order to avoid the oh so obvious ogling (and I’m not saying he casually looked. There was full on stare happening; we’re talking like 5 minutes worth). But then I thought, “Screw this.” I was not going to let some creep push me to the back of the bus.
So I got up and walked to the front, leaned my back against the solid area behind the bus driver and turned to the man. Sure enough he was looking and I stared him straight in the eye. Funny thing was, he stared me straight in the eye back. It was like we were arm wrestling, trying to psych the other person out, see who could crack first. I eventually determined that he wasn’t worth my time and just shook my head and went to get off the bus.
Damn if I didn’t turn around and see him looking at me again. So I threw my hands up and said, “What?!” And he turned away! The d-bag looked to the back of the bus. Bam asshole! Take that! I just slammed your fist down Over The Top style.
While I’m getting better at not jumping into everyone else’s business when that kind of thing happens, I’m starting to get more courage to stand up for how I feel. And frankly I don’t want some creepy old dude staring at my boobies and licking his lips. Gross.