At Least I’m Pretty

I’ve got a lot of men catcalling and making advances at me on the streets these days.
I warn you all – this is not poetry. It’s a rant. An angry, feminist-cunt rant. It contains some harsh language. I’m not sorry.

First of all, you stray men who gather around me like a flock of horny bulls, do not think I’m angry. Do not think I do not understand where you’re coming from. I am aware of the fact that I am an easy victim.

Woman. Below 25. Attractive, or so they would have me believe. I look in the mirror and I get you. There’s no denying it – I have nice tits. A quite appealing face, at least with makeup applied. I’ve got a slim figure and a rather shapely back-end as well.

But most of all, I’m an easy victim because I stand out from the crowd. My black and emerald hair attracts gazes from a long distance. I wear heavy eye makeup and black clothing. I even have the guts to wear a skirt when it’s hot outside. My appearance is practically screaming out:

“Hey, I like to be harassed by unknown men on the street! I’m so sad and insecure and I need your affirming hints and shouts to fill my shallow, girly confidence!”

I don’t come with warning labels, though. There are no painted signs on me stating: “Watch out, ’cause I’m a writer. Right after this, I will go home to my desk and have my revenge on all of you. Just wait.”
Neither does it mention: “I suffer mental illness and I am self-destructive. I am terrified of the world, terrified of people and their gazes, but I still hold onto my values and will to express myself trough my appearance, which I think is quite brave of me.”

Not that I think these things would matter to you. I’m playing with the thought. If people were like whiteboards, their minds all written out on them in bright red markers, would it make a difference? Would you react any differently knowing there’s a human being in under that powder, eyeliner and rejecting stares? Or would it just assist you in labeling me as a misfitted, rebellious goth-freak who’s probably depressed, possibly suicidal? In other terms, a self-proclaimed target for your perverse fantasies.
Do you dream of pinning me down to a table while you fuck me, ejaculate on my scarred thighs and tell yourself you’re doing me a favor, giving me some appreciation? Or are you one of those men who goes with the almighty-savior-style, telling me of how you and your cock are going to save me from my vicious mind? My illness is seen as a perfect way for you to get laid. You think you can screw me until I forget about my anxiety? And when that doesn’t work out, and I’m still not feeling well, even less so now that I’ve been degraded to someone’s cliché fantasy, you will dismiss me as “cranky” and too hard to handle.
Do you want this, or do you just need to display sexual authority over me to appeal to your need for manliness and your ingrown Oedipus complex?

And when I tell you I’ve had it, and am not interested and don’t care how many times you compliment my hypnotic eyes or my tight ass. I go home and cry. Think about hurting myself. Then, deflect the blow and reapply the makeup to my face before going out, after having a breakdown behind closed doors, ready to face the world again, looking intimidating and tempting and intellectual and irresistible.

So, last of all, thank you. You, slimy guy in the corner. You three, passing my and seeing fit to throw in whistles and humiliating words. You, elderly coot, trying to evoke the interest of a woman young enough to be your grandchild. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your blessed attention and confirmation. Thank you for ignoring my potential talents, thoughts and intellect and instead viewing me as a piece of organic material for your next masturbation round. I might still have to fight my self-destructive nature, my OCD, panic and anxiety, but heck, at least I can rest assured that I am “fuckable” in the eyes of unknown men on the street, should I ever doubt my fortune with the other sex.

Advertisements

54 thoughts on “At Least I’m Pretty

  1. Malicia. I’m speechless. This is visceral as fresh butchered meat. I’ve read it through twice, just to allow the granulated anger to dissolve fully in my stomach acid that your words whipped into a maelstrom within my bowels. Masterful. I know this pain. I have bore witness to it in the women I have been irrevocably drawn to in my checkered past. I feel compelled to answer this beautifully expressed disdain with my own work.

    Liked by 3 people

      • I wrote a response in the form of a blog on my own page, but a close friend and a woman whose opinion matters to me (we go way back) pointed out – quite explicitly – that my words were somewhat hypocritical. So I removed the post from my site, leaving the reblog in place. I’m guilty of sexualising women in my thoughts in the past and it would not have been completely truthful of me to espouse total outrage, when I’ve done it myself.
        I meant every word of my original comment however and I do admire both your fortitude and your talent,

        Like

      • You deleted it? :O Oh my god, no! I do not agree that the post was indecent at all! I read it last night just before bedtime and I got all teared up ’cause I honestly thought it was the most beautiful thing anyone ever written for me. Have you saved it anywhere? Because I would really like to read it again! D: I can’t believe it’s gone, no! I’m almost tearing up again!
        I’m sorry I couldn’t reply yesterday, I was thinking out a good response that would somehow reflect how truly touched that post made me feel, and I hadn’t quite perfected it, hence the delay! D: I was even going to reblog it on my blog… Please don’t tell me it’s gone forever! D: I was going to save it in my happy stash to re-read anytime I was feeling insecure or sad about myself.
        Also, as for sexualisation, I believe it’s something none can truly and fully get away from because it’s hardwired into our nature. And that’s okay. What matters is how we choose to act upon our feelings and I want you to know I took absolutely no offense from your beautiful text. I was just taking my time answering because I wanted it to be thorough and heartfelt and express the way I really felt. I really do hope I can still get a chance to re-read it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I took it off the page, but I’m pretty sure I still have in a folder.
        I’m glad that you liked it. I didn’t realise you’d read it. Your words really got to me. I had to reply. If I still have it you can certainly have the copy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I would really like to have the copy if you still have it! You can send it to my email at henna.sjoblom@hotmail.com
        I don’t want you to think I was offended by your entry. I was just too astonished, having to take my time to find out what to reply. No one’s ever written anything like that to me before, and it moved me to tears.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is fucking fantastic. I’ve gotta do mundane shit right now so don’t have time to formulate a longer response, but saw the reblog on Steve’s blog, read it and felt compelled to comment. I’ll be back!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I had to come back, and I said I would. I’ve been thinking about this blog since I read it, Malicia. I even mentioned it to my daughters, because both of them (and one in particular) knows EXACTLY how this goes. I’ve no doubt that she’s able to handle herself in any situation like this, or otherwise, but she shouldn’t HAVE to and that’s what pulls my chain. I don’t want my girls to have to tolerate this kind of sleazy fuck behaviour…like, ever!

        I used to be fat, no point in sugar coating it, I was huge but…I had a pretty face, or so I got told, copious times. What do you say to that? I mean, do you say “thank you for complimenting me because I’m pretty, even if I am fat”? This reminded me of a post I shared on FB recently which elaborates on that.

        https://www.buzzfeed.com/tanyachen/thanks-i-agree?utm_term=.stkpEVLbe#.klWpl2oVA

        I really didn’t want to write another blog on your blog, which this is, effectively. But I want to tell you a story. I work on a checkout. A regular sleazy fuck came through my till regularly and I treated him as I did everyone else, but that changed the day that he told me that he found me attractive – because “I love bigger girls” – and because I didn’t tell him to fuck off (cos I’m at work) he carried on sleazing all over me whilst he searched in his breast pocket for a magazine that he’d brought with him (in the eventuality that he’d find a fat lass that might be interested?) I was incredulous.

        It’s just not the time or the place dude. You’re about 30 years older than me and you’re suggesting that I should ditch my husband and go to your house for fun, because YOU want to?

        But, I was in tears over that guy, AT MY WORK, because he completely freaked me out. It was unexpected and disgusting.

        I’m quite feisty, so I was able to hold the tears in till he’d shuffled off after I’d reminded him that there was a bit of an age difference. I said it all in a tone that left him in no doubt that “…and fuck off too” was the unspoken ending to that sentence. He’s never tried to show me anything since, thank christ, but I’ve never gotten over it.

        And I’m going to re-blog your blog, if that’s ok with you and if I can work out how the fuck to…(I’m new here) A x

        Liked by 1 person

      • I read your comment several times all trough then just stared in awe ’cause it’s fucking amazing. I have a hard time imagining someone talking about my little wordpress blog on their spare time, and it absolutely blows my mind. I can’t express how flattered I am!

        Your story’s horrifying and I would say I’m sorry you had to go trough that and run into such an ass, but it kind of seems pointless knowing these kind of things happen all the time, every day to women worldwide? There are just not enough sorrys to express it, is how I feel. However thank you for your bravery in sharing this and man, I’ve been there too is all I can say.

        The “funny” thing is you can’t really do right by these guys, if you know what I mean? If you’re considered pretty, you will get jerks hanging after you making unwanted advances. If you’re not considered pretty, you will get picked on by the same guys for that. (I’ve been in both places, so I know what I’m talking about.) If you’re wearing makeup, you’re asking for attention, if you’re not, you’re sloppy. Etc, etc.

        It all just makes me so infuriated. It’s not fair and just leaves me with a helpless feeling. Writing helps, though.

        I’m sorry to hear you’re daughters are going trough this as well, and I wish them all the womanly strength in the world ’cause we need it. Thank you for taking your time writing this, and thanks for the reblog, I’m honored! Oh, and welcome to wordpress! 😀 ❤

        Like

      • Thank YOU lol. – we could go on for days – but I’m glad that you enjoyed my blogdicking comment. You’re right, we can’t do right by these guys and it makes me feel helpless that they’ll never change. I’m too old now to let these things affect me too much. I still regularly see the guy I was writing about, and I’m not rude, but I am dismissive. I know he realises and that pleases me. So it’s not me that I care about but my girls, because although I’ve educated them to watch out for the sleazy fucks of the world, although I’m confident that they can deal with them because they too are brave, like you, I still wish that it didn’t have to be that way. I’m also glad though, that I’ve raised my son to be respectful to women, knowing that he would never wolf whistle or make inappropriate comments or improper suggestions makes me proud of him, and of me. All 3 of my kids sound like you. They all struggle with self confidence, anxieties and depression but they’re good people. I see the same in you, I think…you remind me of them. Probably why you struck such a chord. Look forward to reading more from you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so glad to hear of people raising confident girls and respectful boys, they’re the kind of people our world needs to be set in the right direction! ❤ Thank you for being an awesome parent.
        Also, it would seem that intelligent and good-hearted people are often the ones most plagued by anxiety and other kinds of mental issues. It's the price you have to pay for seeing the world for what it is.
        Also I'm touched you're seeing them in me. Kind of like, really touched. Thank you for your "blogdicking", it really makes my day! 😉

        Like

  3. Whenever I read something like this….it makes me sad, then ashamed, then angry, then furious. I want to say something that doesn’t sound patronizing. I want to say, “Sorry you had to go through that.” But that implies you only had to experience it once. As you say, this is a traumatic thing that occurs on a consistent basis. So I’ll just say thank you for sharing your thoughts and your rage and your courageousness with me. I admire you for taking a stand and I hope one day men can learn to appreciate something beautiful by also keeping their stares, their hands and their tongues to themselves.

    All my best,

    ERIC

    Liked by 2 people

    • Eric, your response makes me feel all warm inside. Thank you for taking your time reading and writing it. Oh, and I also really appreciate a person who actually worries about sounding patronizing in that way, it gives me a vibe that you might be a great guy 🙂 And it is truly sad that most women experience this on an everyday basis, but raising your voice is one step closer to justice. I think you should never remain silent.
      Thank you again, your support makes me feel great, it means a heck lot. All the best to you too!

      Malicia (In real life, Henna)

      Liked by 3 people

      • Pleased to meet you, Henna. Thank you for the kind words. I met your work through Christine @ Braveandrecklessblog. I’ve been a fan of your writing ever since.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s the idea that you OWE them something that bothers me. That, and the sour grapes comments when you don’t immediately stop and acquiesce to their requests for sex and shit.
    I would bet that none of them would be able to comprehend your poetry, or have two thoughts to rub together. That’s what kills me. You’re not a walking magazine ad. You have multiple dimensions and extreme depths worth getting to know. Sure, someone can look at a ‘cover’ and say ‘pretty’, but how about one time opening the goddamned thing and reading what’s inside. Might learn something, yeah?
    You’re virtually a professor inside. Talents and depths and a fantastic writer. That’s what I see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re really touching the core of the problem, the thought of women owing something to men, whether it be beauty, sex or to be at your best all times and represent the entire female population in all you do.
      It’s really true. I’m having exactly these thoughts you so brilliantly put into words as I face these situations. Like, oh, some random dude on town thinks I’m sexy? Who gives a fuck? Compliment something real, like my mind.
      Thank you for your kind words, dear. It’s very encouraging to hear. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • They’re like babies who want to put everything in their mouths, and if they don’t get it they get mad. To compliment your mind or personality, they’d have to get to know you – “ugh, too much work, just service me now.” Plus they make certain assumptions about goth-looking people.

        It’s really dumb, if they thought about it, which they won’t. Do you really want the kind of woman who would be drawn to you because you catcalled her? How long do you think you’d keep a woman like that? She’d be on to the next catcaller, right?

        I usually wait until I know a woman before I call her beautiful. She might be physically attractive, but how do I know how beautiful a person truly is unless I get to know them?

        Liked by 1 person

      • So true. I am a woman, I’m alternative, goth, I have opinions, I have attitude – a nerve-wracking combination to some of these people. I know they’re trying to put me down, degrade me, scare me. And sadly it often works.
        I find a lot of strength in writing. And in meeting people who are not as shallow, and willing to put time and energy on actually getting to know someone. When people compliment on your looks or attractiveness, they compliment a shadow, and it’s never really satisfying. I admire your way of thinking!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. That means a lot. 🙂
        Some men are afraid of a strong woman who thinks and speaks her mind. They feel intimidated, so they react. It’s not an excuse at all, but they do it. And some men don’t know how to treat anyone, much less women specifically, and they practically attack women and blame them for rejection.
        You can see someone is physically attractive, maybe, but unless you get to know them, how could you possibly know if they’re beautiful?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely. A lot of these men are used to dominating, whether sexually, verbally or I don’t know, in a purely societal manner? And I guess their confidence fundamentally is rather low if they feel the need to attack women over rejection.
        To me, actions speak a lot louder than appearance. I have a tendency to fall for men who respect me and treat me as an equal.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, and you should! Every woman deserves to be treated equally, assuming they’re not a jerk, lol.
        I tend to be more attracted to a strong women rather than someone who wants to be taken care of. But some guys are intimidated by it, and think they should be smarter and make more money and generally be in control.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah. It’s kind of a two-way system, affecting both male and female parts. Girls should be pretty. Guys should make money. Etc. I think it can be quite damaging to men and women alike to grow up with these pictures.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. When any of us push aside thought and consideration for the effects of pure instinct, the outcome can be a poor reflection of anybodies true nature. For society as a whole and for these pitiful creatures masquerading as men.

    There is strength in your words and I commend you for revealing it here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, your comment really has me feeling proud of my work. I think it’s important to speak out as many people, I take it, have no idea how this kind of thing actually feels since they’ve never been there.
      Also, I’m not one to speak for the entire female population, but it is my understanding that almost all women go trough this regularly.
      I know that, by far, not all men are like this. But I also know every woman goes trough this kind of sexual assault, which strikes me as highly frustrating. First step is raising your voice and speaking out.
      I’m glad that this reached you and made some sort of impression. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s