bell hooks says that “feminism is for everybody” but could you be doing it wrong? If you wear push-up bras, partake in doggy-style intercourse, or enjoy teen vampire romance novels, then chances are, you’re unwittingly aiding the Patriarchy! Luckily for you, Lena Chen, a self-described “Bad Feminist,” is here to steer you clear of pink consumer products and strippercise classes. In this edition of “Bad Feminist Confessions”, Lena finds that she can’t speak truth to the Patriarchy when the Patriarchy is busy looking at her ass. It’s time for a more creative solution to street harassment, don’t you think?
I forgot how much cat-calling goes on in New York. And then I ended up wearing super tight skinny jeans for my three-day visit in the city and found out pretty quickly. It was supposed to be a one-night trip, but things came up. (And by “things”, I mean multiple personal crises.) 72 hours after donning pants that molded to the shape of my buttocks, I was more than ready to go home and shower off the city grime and and dissuade any further displays of lecherous attention.
Sometimes I do talk back (sometimes, I even kick cars!), but I mostly just walk away. I’ve never felt as if there’s a really effective comeback. I’m not sure what would be the feminist thing to do in this situation. The middle of the street is not the place to be delivering a lecture on objectification and personal boundaries. I’m more than content being the humorless feminist when given a situation in which I might actually be able to make a difference/point. But cat-calling? Is there ever a correct response? (And no, responding meekly “thank you”, as I once did, is not the appropriate response.)
I read somewhere (perhaps on Jezebel?) that one’s woman solution is to yell at her harassers: “Suck my c*$%!” Threatening someone’s masculinity by casting doubt on their sexuality is perhaps the best way to teach them to keep their lascivious thoughts to themselves. It’s not mature, I’ll concede that, but it’s likely to leave a lasting impression, especially if one can manage a simultaneous crotch thrust.
Maybe it’s time for me to start packing a little something extra in those skinny jeans.
What were you wearing when you’ve been cat called? Are you ready and armed with a response? Share your comments below!
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