Can you just give me the ice cream?

I have an unbearable (and wonderful)  addiction to ice cream. I first discovered my favorite kind at this tiny little shop on the corner of my street and I immediately fell in love. I’d go in there whenever I was having a particularly exhausting day and always get one thing: Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream.

Generally, I’m a pretty nice person to be around. I’m always up for chatting and discussion; However, the store owner and his employees started to recognize me. So every time I came in, they became “friendlier” and “friendlier.” Now, I use quotations because every time I’d go into the store, I felt more, and more uncomfortable. If I’m coming in for a pint of ice cream three times a month, I really just want the cake batter goodness. I don’t want to have to think about some random old guy behind the counter hitting on me. But that’s exactly what happened.

About a month later, the man gets the great idea to tell me that I’m “looking really good” and “really cute” on the particular day that I grabbed two pints for my inventory. While I’m holding my containers of ice cream, I feel nothing but awkwardness and annoyance. In fact, the lovely feminist voice of mine starts chirping in my head

In no way have I shown ANY reason that you should start hitting on me. Especially when I’m buying ice cream. I’m not there to flirt – I’m buying your overpriced and high-calorie ice cream, not your attention.

Needless to say, I stopped going there.

What is it that guys don’t understand? It’s like when I walk down the street at 9PM on a Thursday night and end up flipping off a guy who continually honks and wolf whistles at me. Then, he calls me the *b-word* and I’m left to look like this “rude” female walking home from work. Every time some guy starts yelling at me from across the street about my booty or my breasts, I don’t feel good about it. In fact, it makes me angry – AND it makes me scared.

I don’t know this guy; I don’t know his intentions. I’m not feeling very safe, at all. You want to give a woman a good compliment? First of all: try to give some respect by not treating me like an item you see window shopping. Second of all, think about how an unfamiliar and shouting man sounds to a woman when she has nowhere to go.

And finally, try complimenting me on something that doesn’t include my looks. Chances are, if you can’t, you have no idea who I am. So please think again if you feel like you’ll enthrall me with your shallow cat-calls.

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One thought on “Can you just give me the ice cream?

  1. Hmm, this reminds me of another blog post about how women don’t like getting hit on in elevators; the enclosed space tends to make some females feel cornered and threatened. I can’t find that link right now for some reason, but I feel like in a lot of cases (with the exception of whistles and lewd comment on the street; that’s just plain harassment) it’s an issue of people misunderstanding one another. Should men be able to flirt with women? Of course, but in some situations it is threatening or simply putting a woman in a position where she feels uncomfortable saying no (if you say no at the ice-cream place, will you feel comfortable shopping at the store next time? Will you get mean looks?).

    From most men’s perspectives, it is hard to understand why a flirtatious comment could be seen as threatening. Probably most men, if put in the exact same situation, would merely be flattered. And yet many women carry an invisible fear of sexual harassment and violence everywhere they go; its why we fear walking home at night or traveling alone in a foreign country, and consequently it can shape the way we interact in these kind of situations. I think it’s a matter of treating others (women in this case) as *they* wanted to be treated, not the conventional “as you wish to be treated” if you were in their place.

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