Am i intimidating to women

24-Sep-2020 04:41

Despite being foreigners and strangers, women often connect with local children, young mothers, and old ladies with an immediacy borne from an innate trust in our gender.We are invited into Indian wedding ceremonies and Thai family kitchens, and given privileges that a male stranger could rarely hope to receive.

In the Colombian coastal city of Santa Marta, I walked back to my hostel with a group of female friends through what can only be described as a gauntlet; men lounging on either side of a narrow street, hands in their pockets while staring, whistling, hissing, and making lewd comments in Spanish at every foreign girl who walked the last few metres to the hostel’s front door.

What I did keep track of, however, was the way it changed me.

Walking along the street and noticing a group of teenage boys ahead, a cluster of old men, even a single male figure leaning against a wall while smoking a cigarette; all would prompt a stiffening of my body, a lengthening of my neck, a slight curl of the fists, and a quickened pace.

Despite meeting numerous men who’ve gone out of their way to treat me with kindness, I’ve also encountered stares and shouts, lusting eyes and flexed hands from car windows and unwelcome heavy steps echoing behind me.

Depending on the country, I’ve averted my eyes and refrained from ‘upsetting’ the perpetrator, or I’ve stared back sternly, raised my voice and made sure the surrounding people are aware of my discomfort.

In the Colombian coastal city of Santa Marta, I walked back to my hostel with a group of female friends through what can only be described as a gauntlet; men lounging on either side of a narrow street, hands in their pockets while staring, whistling, hissing, and making lewd comments in Spanish at every foreign girl who walked the last few metres to the hostel’s front door.

What I did keep track of, however, was the way it changed me.

Walking along the street and noticing a group of teenage boys ahead, a cluster of old men, even a single male figure leaning against a wall while smoking a cigarette; all would prompt a stiffening of my body, a lengthening of my neck, a slight curl of the fists, and a quickened pace.

Despite meeting numerous men who’ve gone out of their way to treat me with kindness, I’ve also encountered stares and shouts, lusting eyes and flexed hands from car windows and unwelcome heavy steps echoing behind me.

Depending on the country, I’ve averted my eyes and refrained from ‘upsetting’ the perpetrator, or I’ve stared back sternly, raised my voice and made sure the surrounding people are aware of my discomfort.

Her head remained upright, her speed never faltered, and she walked straight past them. The only assumption I could make was that she had the same mentality as I did: “Ignore them, ignore them, ignore them…” The way I chose to travel in South America may have had an impact on how much of this attention I received, of course.