In case the Faithful Reader has managed to not notice, yours truly has been travelling a lot lately. Apart from the exciting wonderful food and places there have also been several people that I have met, behavioural patterns about which I have generalised, self-realisations I have come to and men who have lecherously stared at me.
In Mexico it wasn’t so bad, because there would be the occasional wizened old man who would grin and wish me morning, or the guy cleaning the car who would ask me where I am from, but I never really caught anyone staring. Of course all that voluptuous white Argentine flesh was definitely a factor, but still.
Travelling all over Safe Secure South India I have noticed that I have moved on from being flustered by the staring to extreme irritation. I wonder if it is a result of Having Lived in Phoren and Having Possessed Liberty or just thinking that it’s about time Indian men stopped staring at a woman if she doesn’t install a forcefield that will electrocute them for looking. When a guy is staring endlessly I just fix him with a basilisk glare and stare right back, which is perfectly safe in SSSIndia since they won’t see it as a come on unlike Barbaric North India. The result is usually a start, and shake and a modest avoidance of looking at me until courage has reasserted itself.
Now, here’s the thing. As I have stated before, I have no objection to the appreciation of someone’s attractiveness. But seriously. I admit I was wearing a skirt and a bandanna and travelling with a gaggle of guys, but that latter factor, if anything, should have been a deterrent. It certainly enabled me to outstare the three men instead of retreating into my book. I would also never have done it without my *ahem* bodyguard. It is just incredibly irritating to constantly have to be worrying about something as ridiculous as some strange man’s libido! I sometimes want to turn around and snap, GET OVER IT! GET A COMPUTER AND LEARN ABOUT PORN!
This book I was reading, about a USAmerican housewife in Cuba, has a bit where she is being cooed at by Cuban boys and she wants to turn around and scream, what are you trying to do, what are you trying to prove????* Sometimes I want to do just that.
* “… you wish you felt safe enough to be able to turn around and ask them, Are you doing this because you think I am attractive, because you think I am ugly and need the attention, or just because…?” p194