A Modern Woman on the Move

in hot pursuit of the great green light…

On talking to women… Or, really, just anybody!

with 3 comments

So common of an experience, very well written about in this article… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yashar-hedayat/a-message-to-women-from-a_1_b_958859.html

It happens so often to women in this way because of the way we are socialized and marginalized, but it’s also just something that abusive people tend to do, to attempt to debase your feelings or reactions to their behavior as a way to escape being accountable for their behavior.

Be a confident person, assert yourself and your boundaries. When someone does this to you, call them on it. Let them know that is is hurtful and unhelpful.

Of course, there will be resistance, but mature people, interested in growth, will be able to accept that they have hurt you and will work to be better able to communicate with you in a healthy way that makes you comfortable.

Also, taking this opportunity to say, if you want to compliment a women, try doing it without sexualizing her, it gets you a lot further.

http://skeptopia.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/how-to-compliment-a-woman-without-sexualising-her
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-bloom/how-to-talk-to-little-gir_b_882510.html

I started to write a whole post about recent experiences that I have personally had where I was giving superficial, sexualizing compliments by people I hardly know and how it made me uncomfortable each time…. But the post got entirely too long. And I was just writing about incidents that have happened in the last week. I think that, because I am out as queer, open about being polyamorous, and try to be sex-positive, people (mostly males, but some females do it to0) tend to think that it’s okay for them to sexualize me. No, it’s just uncomfortable. If I don’t know you that well, don’t assume I want to be clued into the fact that you sexually desire me.

Maybe get to know me, the projects I work on, where I volunteer, etc. Then compliment the real me, not the way I look or how it pleases you, which is fleeting and temporary.

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Written by lovemotionstory

December 2, 2011 at 7:15 pm

3 Responses

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  1. A lot of times when you first meet a person, you don’t know their ideals, accomplishments or interests well enough yet to compliment them. So you are stuck with looks. This isn’t always as shallow as it seems; there is a wide range of levels between “nice tits, lady” to “nice XKCD shirt.” A lot of our physical outer appearance (pretty much anything aside from height, weight, color and organ size) is reflective of our inner appearance. The patches on our bags are physical advertisements to the world of stuff we find important, or at least find interesting. Clothes, haircuts, tattoos, all are physical (and in many cases, sexualized) images we craft with intent for public observation.

    Until we all start wearing mood rings (that actually work) and have our IQ tattooed on our foreheads, first-impression compliments are pretty much always going to be based on physical appearance. It can be done in a horribly tacky way, or it can be an honest attempt to find common ground through shared symbols. My 2 cents.

    Dave

    December 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    • But, Dave, you spell it out yourself. There are ways to find common ground or offer compliments, without being blatantly sexual and objectifying, ways that show you recognize that the person is a person, not just a thing to be drooled over and cat-called.

      lovemotionstory

      December 12, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      • Yeah, basically I meant that more as a call for common dress as often as possible, and understanding that when you wear other clothes, your physical looks are all anyone can really go on until after they start talking. Thus, the decision to talk to someone (being it hitting on them, starting a nonsexual conversation, whatever) is going to be based on physical appearance and not personality.

        Work clothes, “dressing up,” clubwear, beachwear and so forth are what most people spend the majority of their time in, especially the majority of their time where they interact with strangers. Portland is a lot more laid-back about this than the rest of the country (most people I know wear normal clothes when they go to bars and clubs, and many wear them to work as well), but for a lot of people this is a pretty big issue. College is pretty much the only period of most people’s lives where they have no dress code and spend most of their time interacting with people.

        I’m not trying to excuse the phenomenon of people objectifying each other based solely on looks, but I am trying to put context on it. When people wear what is essentially a disguise, the only thing that shines through is their physical attractiveness, leaving people with the alternatives of either ignoring each other or taking a leap of faith that there may be a compatible personality behind that physically attractive shell.

        Dave

        December 16, 2011 at 9:58 am


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