Besides the unlucky streaks of minor stupidity and misfortunes my roommate and I deal with on a day-to-day basis, we both agree that our worst encounters have been with men.
We have had our fair share of failed potential relationships. In addition to guys who we thought were worth it, we’ve also had a good amount of car hecklers.
This is something that makes me more upset than anything my roommate and I have encountered. More mad than salads falling on the floor when I’m starving, having to walk up to the sixth floor of the parking garage while carrying the newspaper cart because the elevator wasn’t working, buying nice shoes that turn out to be uncomfortable as hell, getting locked out of a laundromat with our comforters still in the washer, getting a breast ultrasound at eight in the morning by an old man named Dr. Apple and still getting charged $200 with insurance and plenty more.
Every unfortunate adult event that I have encountered since I got on this campus does not compare to getting yelled at by college men from their cars.
To quote the movie “School of Rock”: “You’re tacky and I hate you.”
I bum my way through campus almost every day, so why me? The tree earthed next to me has more aesthetic appeal than I do at the moment. I’m convinced you do it to ruin my day. I don’t think it’s flattering. I don’t think it’s funny. And it makes me think you’re incredibly uneducated.
Early last semester, weeks into the new school year, my roommate and I were walking to our friend’s apartment wearing sweatpants. Suddenly, a guy yells out a car window to say, “Those girls look like they’re on their period!”
What does that even mean?
I laughed so hard because my anger had turned into frustration that led to an overload of confusion about how this man had the audacity to say that.
It also made me think, since when did being on your period also become a look? I can maybe understand how someone could be “acting like they are on their period,” but to look like it? I can’t stand it when women get blamed for being “emotional” because of the possibility that they could be on their period. Guys can get just as emotional, and it’s unfair to think otherwise.
I wanted to shout back, “Your mom thinks you’re ugly!” but couldn’t because I was laughing too hard and shouting to my roommate if she had heard what that guy just said.
Another friend of mine was walking from her apartment when a guy shouted “$500” at her – implying that she was a hooker. When my roommate goes to track practice and runs with the team, she told me that they will often get honked and yelled at.
Over the summer I started reading “Bossypants” by Tina Fey. She talked about how she was at a workshop taught by Rosalind Wiseman when she was in the process of writing “Mean Girls.” The group of women were asked to write down a time when they realized they were a woman. She explained how “it was mostly men just yelling shit from cars.” Fey was 13 when a guy yelled “nice tits” from his car.
Women deal with this all the time.
Obviously, these moments present themselves as circumstantial. Many men are stereotyped by Valentine’s Day Hallmark cards and other aspects of society. Likewise, not all men are representative of what I’m describing.
What makes me upset is when men and women treat each other with disrespect just for the hell of it.
In her speech at the United Nations in 2014, Emma Watson said, “For the record, feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”
So maybe I threw some feminism in your face. But I never realized how angry and strongly I feel about women’s rights, and the annoying encounters of car heckling, until I came to college. That anger has progressively grown, and all I can hope for is that it will turn into strength for my betterment as a woman.
There needs to be a change. Women deserve better.
For comments/questions about this story, email email@example.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.