Wednesday, 11 July 2007


I'm home!

Drove back to London having spent an hour absolutely stuffing my car with the contents of my student house in Hull. It was full up. I completed the operation under the helpful, watchful gaze of Bob, or should I say Pretrov the Builder (he's probably Polish) who was hard at work in the house opposite mine. This being the same bloke, who, along with 2 others on Saturday, stood in the garden pointing up at the window and giggling like school boys who have just seen their first cleavage; where I could be seen typing away at my housemates desk (fully clothed, I might add), completely unaware of the excitement this was bringing to the resident voyeurs across the way.

When I clocked on to the fact I was being somewhat gawped at by these middle aged muckwrenchers from the garden (see above), they immediately scurried into the porch of the house and hid there still looking up at the window, laughing and joking about the fact they could still see me but I couldn't see them, until a swift middle finger up in their direction told them I could and they shut the door to resume their work / group Nuts or Zoo reading session / male gang bang / Abi Titmuss workout video.

I completely fail to see what makes these men regress back to Aged 14 at the sight of a girl who is not only minding her own business, but in her house and not even looking like she's about to leave it, or indeed that she has left it in any less than 3 days... (ahem). I was embarassed for them. I'll add that I got straight up after this and got the window drape from my room and placed it over the window where I was sitting, but really, why should I have to?

I'm not saying all blokes are like this, but I think they have the capacity to be. From talking to my friends I've reached the general consensus that, more often than not, men gazing on women is more uncomfortable for us than flattering, especially if the gaze is unwelcome and not reciprocated. I know in European countries it's quite normal for the men to stare at women and make comments, but I've always seen that as a culture difference. The other week I went to pick up something from uni and walked past some workmen who whistled at me, when I didn't respond and carried on walking they continued to whistle. It made me feel awkward, it made me cringe, walk faster and on the way back I took a different route in order to avoid them. I shouldn't bloody have to, especially not at uni.

And so, I wonder if it's a reinforcement thing. Like how we learn when we're young that if we cry and stamp our feet a suitable amount of times we'll get the chocolate bar (or in my case, taken out of the boredom that is Marks and Spencers); do blokes whistle and shout at women because if they do it enough times it'll pay off and one day the girl will turn round and go 'Oh, hello sweaty wart-face, would you like my number? Here, I'll just tuck it down your crack. Call me!'.

Bah. I know it'll happen whether I whinge about it or not. Not because I'm anything special to look at, but because that's what men and women are set up to do. At the end of it all, the most I can hope for is a little installation of manners. And hurrah for boyfriends who aren't horrible awfulness such as the above specimins.


Drama Queen said...

I love being leered at in Brussels. They shout things in French. . .I let them persist for a while then turn round and tell them (in English) that I haven't got a fecking clue what they are saying. I then smile sweetly and walk off flicking my hair behind me. . .

They always look defeated to have got no reaction!

Steph said...

In Oz, the construction dudes in the city are not allowed to whistle and carry on. You can stil feel their eyes undressing you as you walk past though. Haaaaaaaha!

James said...

Ouch we are not all bad you know. Do you not ever have a peek at sexy men?

the boy who likes to... said...

After many millions of years evolving, thousands of years in creating civilisation's and politics, the only idea men could think up to get womens attention is to whistle. These are the best ideas we've been able to come up with.
Obvioulsy there are a few men out there that have mastered the car horn, but its hard to take a car horn on to a construction site.
So until the next men meeting and until we can think up a new way of getting your attention, it might be best if you just stick with the ideas we have at the moment.
I mean it could be another few thousand until we come up with some better.

London-Lass said...

I think the persistent whistling, catcalling and general whooping that follows you even after you're well past the building site/parked up works van/huddle of contractors eating their lunch is kind of a competition thingie. Amongst the men. Sort of reconfirming that they are definitely without a shadow of a doubt a heterosexual male with not an ounce of fairy inside them ("I mean, for godsakes, look at me, I am shouting after a woman after all -- do you need any more proof that I am 100% heterosexual?!").


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