Sunday, October 12, 2008

Blame Feminism

I am grateful to the feminist movement for paving the way for women in the workforce. If I couldn't go out of the home and work I'd be bored, angry and probably alone. I don't think anyone would want to be around me. My mind is just too active to be content at home. Feminism has benefited the treatment of women overall. Yet there is one area of the feminist movement that's a big pet peeve of mine.

This may sound shallow but I am an attractive woman. I am pretty, insightful, funny, and intelligent. I like to dress up without overdoing it. Nobody of the male sex ever tells me I look nice or have a cute top on or my necklace is pretty. At least, not unless I fish for the compliment and I don't do that because it's immature. People tend to laugh at my jokes (the less obscure ones). People seem to like me. So, that's all okay. When I am out in public I attract quite a few looks and some catcalls or comments from gross-looking alpha males -- and not gross-looking ones -- who I don't even know. This gets old. Really. Fast. On the one hand I am mildly flattered that they noticed I'm good looking. On the other I would prefer some respect. This may not sound like much of a dilemma, but hear me out.

It seems that in this crazy, mixed-up world it's okay for a man to make a gross sexual comment to an attractive woman. However, it is not okay for him to tell a female friend that she looks nice today or something more benign. This frustrates me to no end. I mean, not that I don't get enough compliments from Craig and not that my self-esteem depends entirely on my looks. But, you know, if I have to hear the offensive comments it would be nice to have them balanced with the thoughts of nice guys. I blame 1990s feminism for this problem. It was then that compliments became sexual harassment. Someone should have climbed up on a soapbox 15 years ago and reminded the world that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. The same goes for compliments.


tully said...

You're purdy, Esther!

At least going by the very small profile picture (:

Esther said...

Thank you, Tully. I feel much better. I'll have to think of something else to rant about now.

tully said...

For The Good's Sake, just don't turn your attention to politics. I assure you, the question of complements and sexual harassment is far more relevant to the human pursuit of understanding than any political issue.

Arellanova said...

Dudette....that is THE reason I don't bother with makeup. Now that I am engaged, I probably should try more, but I don't. I know I look great when I try, but I stick a headset on my head each day. Why bother?

Tracy said...

I tend to read the room. If I talk to someone long enough I can usually gauge how a compliment would be received. There are some that I never ever extend anything personable...compliment or otherwise.

For you I'll give it a shot.

"You're attractive for a smart, nerdy girl."


Esther said...

Thanks Tracy. I'm not sure that felt exactly like a compliment, but I accept it.