A young woman walked down the street on the west side of Manhattan on a warm summer morning. She was a very pretty woman, dressed nicely, apparently going to her job in an office somewhere. She passed a construction site, where a few men in hardhats whistled and made catcalls. They said things like, Looking good, sweetheart. Or Wanna grab a cup a joe? Oh yeah, I’m Joe. She smiled briefly and walked on. She didn’t mind the attention, a little acknowledgement of her beauty. She found the men harmless.
The same woman, several years older, made her way from her apartment. She had music playing loudly in her headphones, the better to ignore the catcalls and whistles she endured each morning. She considered the “compliments” and somewhat lewd suggestions rude and disgusting. Even an unbidden Good morning could ruin her day. She had grown to loath the harassment, wondering how these men would react if they saw their wives or daughters getting the same sexist treatment.
Thirty years on, this very same woman, deep into her fifties now, leaves her building one morning, walks the same route. Her looks have faded with age. With each child, she gained a little more weight she could never shed. Where once she had flawless smooth skin, she now has wrinkles and worry lines. As she walks to the subway, none of the men turn their heads to admire her looks. No one spares a Good morning. For the briefest of moments, she misses the attention the men once gave her.
To be continued…
I haven’t finished this yet and you may wonder where I’m going. I know I’m trying to be provocative.
#middleageddating #lastfirstkiss #love #kissing #sexism #streetharassment