Everyone notices. I’m a female. I have a vagina.
That’s all I have.
I’m not wearing a skirt or tight clothing. My hair is a mess and I’ve let my leg hairs grow out a bit. Acne and red splotches have appeared on my face overnight. I’m not trying.
It wasn’t until recently that I had come to realize that men will try anything. No matter your age, your figure, how you are dressed, how clean you keep yourself, being rude or happy; you are a living thing for a shweed (a shit head and a weed) of a man to possibly relieve his pleasures.
After an afternoon of an inappropriate encounter at work, I wondered if I did something wrong. Was I in jeopardy? This guy risked his job and mine because… what? I was a happy employee and somehow it had encouraged him to act as such? I thought hard after that day. What could I do to discourage these men in the workspace? What could I wear, should I be rude?
It doesn’t matter.
I watched one male pull up, and as I said my ‘Hello’ with a smile, his face lit up. My smile dropped to a frown. Is that all it took? A smile? My voice became hard. He later asked for my number. I said no.
Another man about 50 asking, “I’m sure you ain’t into old guys like me, huh?” The question hung between us. Where should I go with this? I faked a laughed and said ‘no’.
Once, a man my mothers’ age told me that “If we keep in touch, I’ll take you with me to,” whatever island it was “and we’ll see if you like it there. ” He wanted someone nice to settle down with and let the woman take care of him. I lost his contact info. And, my parent was with me.
Nowadays, I’m afraid of accepting anything from men. If they give me a candy bar, I don’t want to accept it in fear of having to owe them something in return. Or, I’ll stare at the drink or piece of food, wondering if they drugged it.
When I was eleven, my mother converted diamonds from a necklace into a ring for me. Nestled between the beautiful diamonds is my birthstone, but it’s good enough to look like a wedding ring. I’ve even been asked if I was married because of the special ring my mother made for me. But on most guys, the ring fails to work. I often think it’s scary to have men still trying to make advances when I have the ring on. Little do they know it’s a purity ring.
I feel like an open target. Even with the word “No”. Even with a fake wedding ring. Even in baggy clothing and my hair a mess. Even when I have acne and no make-up on. Even when I’m rude. Even when I’m in the work environment. Even when my parents are near. It never ends.
I’m a female. A target. A living thing that carries a hole that men think they have the right to get to. An object.