You may read or skip this. It’s your choice. I think my Facebook people may misunderstand this so WordPress, Tumblr and wherever… here we go. Let me start off by saying I’m a 5’5″ Filipina (Philippines is from Southeast Asia. Just in case someone asks.) with Chinese features inherited from my grandparents. I’ve never been slim nor shapely. I’m just… me.
Today, I took a break from work (Work at home girl) for the usual bank and grocery routine. As I was walking by the side of the familiar, quiet neighborhood, I passed by a homeless man who didn’t ask for anything. He just quietly gave me a polite nod and turned away. I’m socially awkward so anyone giving me a nod makes me nervous but it was too polite so I returned an awkward smile. I’m not sure if he saw that.
I continued walking, turned around the corner and heard an approaching motorcycle. My first thought was snatchers (robbers/thieves) so I secured my bag though I only had 100 peso (around $2),keys, and phone. When I heard it slowing down, I glanced behind me and saw two, tall, decent looking men in a motorcycle. I suspected they were foreigners from their physical attributes, language, and accent I heard later. They weren’t wearing helmets which is against the law here. I noticed their vehicle slowing down beside me and my heart started thumping loudly. About two feet away from me, I heard an earsplitting catcall. I visibly cringed. Not saying anything, I hurriedly walked away but they kept on following me. Before I turned to a busier street, I heard a laugh and one of them loudly said “It’s the legs! Maybe body. Don’t show, no.” I was wearing this. Showing my face for the first time.
My lazy, oversized Mickey Mouse shirt from my brother, ordinary shorts,and some footwear. Nothing special. I had zero make up on,unkempt hair,and a pair of scar-filled,unshaven legs. There’s nothing special about my appearance
I felt furious. I still do and I did not feel an ounce of flattery. I will wear what I want to wear and when I want to wear it. This is what it takes to be catcalled. You have to be a woman to be disrespected. My body did not ask for it. My clothes did not ask for it. Whatever I do, I did not ask to be disrespected.
Then there’s the irony that scruffy homeless man showed me more respect that those seemingly clean guys. Say I’m overreacting (I don’t care) but try walking alone in my body for a good part of 20 years. I have received catcalls (never good ones) for countless times that I’m getting used to it. I should never get used to being disrespected. You should never settle for disrespect. I know a number of decent men out there but for the rest of you, GROW UP!