Posts tagged: femme
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.
Of all the reactions I expected to get from wearing my new wig, I never anticipated the level of hostility I would face from passing many women in public. At the first couple of dirty glares, I just brushed it off as odd, but once I started noticing less-than-friendly looks from more than half of the women I passed, I had to remark about it to K. Surprisingly (to me), she didn’t seem shocked and instead shrugged it off, “that’s just how it is. Welcome to my day.”
I can’t deny it: women can be freaking terrifying to (those they perceive as) other women. Maybe be nicer to each other, everyone, okay?
They perceive you as a threat. Whatever you do, don’t move. Their vision is based on movement. But seriously, that’s freakin’ nuts. And also kinda scary.
Ok….. SOME women can react to this. Men can too though. Everyone can to anyone they think is attractive. it’s not just a woman thing. Feminine beauty is a double edged sword. People think you owe them something for your looks and others can get upset because they don’t think of themselves as “attractive” as you. Honestly though, its not like… an everyday thing… and i dunno why but this comic kinda made me a little upset. Just a little I think mainly because you make it seem as though women are outwardly hostile towards all women all the time. Though I know you said CAN which is totally true, sometimes people are dicks for no reason, but… I dunno. Maybe I’m just being too sensitive. Or I don’t get perceived as a threat to others (which is true. I’m not really traditionally attractive by any means and usually people forget I’m a lady until they hear me or remember my boobs). Sorry… rambling.
It seems to have rubbed a few people the wrong way, so you’re not the only one. In the comments section of our site, there are literally women saying I look “competitive” or “bitchy” when in my mind I am just looking neutral.
Despite lots of comment speculation, I don’t personally offer any explanation as to why this particular thing happened. I just know how people look at me most days and then noticed the huge difference in shady looks once I popped on the wig for an outing. My wife noticed it. My grandma noticed it. My friends noticed it. So it wasn’t “projection” of any sort, it was just right there in our faces and I made a comic about it, because I’m honestly puzzled.
Others have offered that it could have been: jealousy, gender policing (since I look more masculine), looks of insecurity instead of hostility and several YouTube videos explaining the phenomenon that I’m not even going to click on.
Maybe we live in a particularly appearance-hostile neighborhood or I was near a more shallow demographic of ladies at the time, who knows. By all means, I would never suggest that “ALL WOMEN” do/experience/say this (or anything else), let alone attempt an explanation. I’m sorry if the comic comes across in any way like that. As always, we were just making a literal account of an experience that happened and made me very confused and upset.
So it seems everyone who likes me, in a crush or romantic way, always prefers me in jeans-and-a-tee rather than dresses or girly things. And some part of me feels rebellious about this. A couple days ago someone told them they only flirt with girls dressed in pants, so of course yesterday when I went shopping every single article of clothing that caught my eye was silky, lacy, and/or pink. It’s not on purpose. I think it’s because previous boyfriends constantly criticized what I wore, and because I wore actual boys’ clothes in high school, that in the last few years I’ve started dressing pretty. I’ve been doing it even more-so since I got my hair cut really short. I dunno, maybe it’s just because I don’t like tight/restrictive clothing during spring/summer. Maybe some part of me wants to test if they’ll still find me attractive in different clothes?