When K and I made last week’s comic, we already had a plan to include a Part 2 that featured some of the reactions my more feminine appearance elicited from men. I’d like to start this out by saying: Of course not all men are like this/do this/say these things, etc. K and I are surrounded by awesome men in our lives daily, which I think is what made this experience even more jarring for me. I know men can act like decent, respectable human beings — but for some reason when I appear more feminine of center it seems to invite a certain type of somewhat invasive attention that I don’t ordinarily experience.
I usually appear masculine, if not just downright surly and I’m used to being respected. That’s a sentence I just had to type. I’m used to being respected for appearing more like a dude. That’s the unfortunate rub of it and the experience of being treated in any other way is just a sobering feeling. I’d also like to make a point that other than the wig, no, nothing was different from my usual appearance or carriage, yet as soon as I popped it on and tied it out of my face (I’m still not used to hair in my eyes) it was like turning into a different person in society’s eyes. I was a glowing beacon, apparently saying “Come bother me! And by all means, interrupt whatever I’m doing!”
What’s most odd about the experience was that a lot men seemed to feel entitled to my time, appearance and even my groceries. I didn’t detail everything that happened in the days since I’ve had the wig, but there were plenty of times where men would go out of their way to demand something of me — hell, even just being told to “smile”? Really? Should I have curtsied when our conversation was at an end and thanked him for his polite instruction on the way I held my face?
We keep teaching boys it’s okay to behave this way. “Boys will be boys” is not a motto that belongs in any society. At best, it’s disrespectful to others and at worst, it’s a poisonous concept that creates dangerous situations and a lack of boundaries.
All in all, it was an eye-opening few days. Sorry for those of you disappointed in the lack of punchline in this comic, but once we sat down and compiled some events that fit the theme, it just didn’t strike us as that funny either.