I’m not sure what has changed about me.

Probably nothing, honestly. Sure, I’ve lost some weight due to my recent change in eating habits. But that only dropped me about 2-3 sizes smaller than I was. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a massive change.

So why am I catching more creepy eyes than usual?

I just came home as quickly as I could from the Jazz Festival. It’s steaming hot outside and I lasted only about 30 minutes. I even turned a shade darker from that brief amount of sun! And yea, while it’s hot af outside, I think the real reason I came home immediately was to escape all of the gazes I witnessed.

Y’all. From 9am until now (4pm), I have been getting stared at like crazy! It is driving me nuts. And it hasn’t only been today.

When I got on the bus, I picked a seat in the back so greasy dudes wouldn’t give me creepy looks. But then new dude came on the bus after me, chose the seat in the aisle across from me, and literally stared at me for a good 3 minutes.

And when I went to the Jazz Festival, I got swivel heads all around. One dude was even in the park’s water fountain, caught a millisecond glimpse from my eye, and thought that minuscule micro-moment gave him permission to full-on stare.

I have been getting random “Hello”s  and “Hey, how you doin, cutie”s all week. I even had a guy ask “Hey girl. Just trying to get home?”

Um…yes, guy. And you asking is not making me feel any safer.

Guys, let me tell you. THIS IS NOT A COMPLIMENT.

None of these situations flatter me. To me, all this communicates is that you think I’m making you hot and heavy. Trust me, I was not thinking of your greasy asses when I put on this outfit this morning. All I was thinking about, was the 90+ degrees it was gonna be outside in this hell hole of humidity and wanted to spare myself a heat stroke. Yes, I am hot. LITERALLY. And therefore irritated. Leave me alone.

You know what else I’ve noticed recently? Besides chillaxin’ on the green, I go to the Jazz Festival for the great vendors that are there. It’s usually good food, cute jewelry, and sometimes people will be selling their original music. However, today, when I spotted some earrings I liked and turned to the seller to purchase them, I saw that it was yet another shady dude looking me up and down and getting excited that I was about to talk to him.

I see a trend here with this. A few months back, I bought earrings from a dude on the street because even though I felt annoyed that he was manning an all-jewelry stand that a guy obviously wouldn’t shop at, I liked the earrings enough that I dealt with the brief misogyny. But today? Out of about maybe 10 jewelry stands, only about 3-4 were hosted by women.

I feel like this is some kind of new way for dudes to get women to “come to them willingly,” so to speak. It gave me bad vibes thinking about it. And every single male vendor gave me the same look. Every. Single. One.

Sorry, but from now on I refuse to buy earrings from male vendors ever again. Not sure if you think that’s sexist, but at the same time, why must I deal with your misogyny in order to pay you money for a product?

I know I’m being a bit ranty, but I had to get my feels out there.

Ironically, this morning I read what I thought was a great, self-reflective article. It’s titled “When Do We Admit That We Hate Women?

I thought that the author was doing a great job being self-aware and acknowledged the things that men, he included, do that proves they don’t, in fact, love women. It was simply a moment of introspection on this guy’s part, and I do feel relief to know that at least one dude is doing the first step to some healing work. I wonder what it takes to have a culture of respect for women. Will I be able to see this within my lifetime?

With all of this feminism talk out there, and social justice this and that, I thought we would have improved beyond this by now. It’s crazy how we’re still kind of here, despite it all.

I can’t do anything to stop the looks. It makes me so boiling and raging mad because I just want to go about my day.

I don’t have any solution. We all know it’s not about what women wear. We all know that these dudes are “just looking,” or “just saying hi,” so it shouldn’t be considered dangerous or aggressive, right? And yet it makes me rage so much and I can’t even complain about it or say anything. If I talk to those dudes, I am giving them the attention they crave. Yet, I am tasked to endure this on a daily basis. That’s fucking ridiculous.

I don’t have much to say besides that. I’m just…angry. And jaded. And so, so done.

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