It occurred to me today that I’ve never heard a man ask another man, who’s concentrating on his job, “are you cranky today?” or “are you having a bad day?” just because everything, including a not insignificant workload, was not dropped to hit them with a beaming smile. (For the record, I said hi, and then went back to the aforementioned not insignificant workload).
How often are men told “you should smile” or the odious version “smile honey!” One of my co-workers, who I adore, has a serious resting bitch face, but no one ever tells him to smile.
In college I was once told, “You’d be pretty if you got contacts.” (For the record, I look the same.) I’m sure the jackass thought he was being “helpful”.
At one of my first jobs my manager would stand there, not working I would like to add, and just watch me work and make comments about my legs and breasts. He also did the “accidental” brush up thing. You know that move, you’ve probably been subjected to that move before. I’m going to guess most men haven’t.
You’re over reacting.
Don’t be so sensitive.
Why are you being such a bitch?
Just ignore it.
You’re going to have to learn to deal with that.
Guess what? No.
No to all of it. No to the double standard that says I have to be merry fucking sunshine all of the time, but men can be serious and focused. No to strangers giving me unsolicited advice about my glasses, my skin, my hair, or the fact that I should wear more feminine clothes and makeup. No to anyone who thinks they have the right to make crude remarks about my body.
I don’t care if you think I’m being overly sensitive. I don’t care if you think I’m being a bitch. If my reaction is upsetting you, then you don’t matter to me. Care about more. Care about the inequality in the world, not that you think I’m cranky because I was doing my job instead of chatting you up. Care about the fact that you can write off seriousness in a woman as a bad thing. Care that women are subjected to standards that men would never put up with.
Because guess what? From now on I’m saying no, and I’m going to keep on saying it until you listen.