20 April 2012

when i say, 'it's okay.'

i should be outlining a paper on attitudes toward motherhood in anna karenina, but there is something i need to get off my chest.

i have a really bad habit of flirting with pretty much any girl with whom i become good friends. it's been this way since junior high. 8th grade, to be precise, when i started becoming honest with myself about my sexual orientation. i've always seen it as harmless banter between friends. among my straight, bi and lesbian girl friends alike, there was flirting, joking about being 'lovers,' and so on. occasionally, there was cuddling during movies, hand-holding and the like, but there have only been a few instances where anything has escalated past that point.

now, i do not have an assertive, dominant personality, by any means. but, if the atmosphere is safe and playful enough, i can engage in reciprocal witticisms and euphemisms. i can play the tease, on occasion.

but i digress.

i, like most human beings, enjoy attention. however, i do not enjoy all attention.  i scare easily. any attention from men i do not know generally comes across as being potentially hostile. this is a defense mechanism i have acquired from years of receiving unwanted attention from people who have threatened to, or have, hurt me. now, i've had guy friends who have complained to me about how women cry "sexual harassment" anytime they please, and the guy is defenseless against the accusations. i recognize that this does happen.

nevertheless.

sexual harassment is a serious issue. i, being the scaredy-cat that i am, have never formally reported any harassment that i've received. but it happens. ALL THE TIME. and it isn't okay. it isn't flattering to have people make obscene gestures in my direction, or bump into me and get handsy, or call me names. seeing me flirt with a coworker does not give you license to join in, or make comments. wearing v-neck tees isn't an invitation for you to stare down my shirt while i clean tables. (i'm citing work incidents, here, because i don't go many places anymore, and these things happen at work all the time.) i don't stare at your crotch and try to figure out your size. stop staring at my tits and trying to figure out mine. if you want to know so badly, ask me. and i'll either tell you or tell you to fuck off. but that's my prerogative, because it's my body. and attention is great, but on my terms. things are okay when I SAY they're okay. "being a douchebag, asshole, or creeper" appears nowhere on my list of things that are okay. if you're gonna comment, use tact. if you're going to stare, be discreet. and, for the love of all that is good in this world, do not touch me.

not like blogging about it changes the situation at all. but hey. a person needs to vent, sometimes.

bye for now.

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