Saturday night on the L train led to this unexpected feminist crisis.

I was on the L at midnight on Saturday going from 6th Ave to 1st Ave. I managed to catch it without waiting, though it appeared everyone else had been waiting 20 minutes or so, which is insane, but not unbelievable in terms of the ways the MTA fucks you with.

In any case, there was a group of teenage girls. I disliked them immediately, especially when they didn’t move all the way into the car, and then that they proceeded to link arms and sing. “Singing” is an overstatement and it wasn’t so much a song as a repeated shriek of this one strand of lyrics. “So call me maybe.” Over and over and over again.

[let’s not discuss the artistic non-merits of this video]

That was enough to send me over the edge. I had chapped lips that were making me irritable, in addition to a general level of stress that gives me heartburn. I could not deal with these happy, pubescent girls.

The train got even more packed at Union Square. Some “old” man got on with a newspaper. By “old” I mean not 90, but probably 35, but “old” in that way that single, weird, men can be. I was standing on one side of the girls, and he was on the other side of them. They kept singing. Then he said to the one, who I can only assume was half Asian, “you’re so pretty, keep singing.” He then put his newspaper under his arm, held onto the pole and stared at her with a gross little grin that implied he was going to have wonderful, wonderful dreams about her.

My face at that moment was full of incredulity. The girl looked stunned. She was also probably mortified and scared and creeped out. I know I fucking was. I looked at the guy, who was balding and short and generally unattractive and now also basically announcing to the entire train that he was a pedophile and then looked at the girl, who was now embarrassed and shamefully hanging her head. In that moment, I instantly forgave the girl for being obnoxious and instead focused all my unhappiness on the strong desire to grind my 3 inch heel into this man’s instep.

I a) hate men who feel that they can say these things to women without invitation and b) hated that I had to watch this happen. It reminded me of the times I’ve been dressed to go somewhere and am walking down the street feeling pretty good about myself, and then some troll sitting on a stoop or passing by makes some little unsolicited comment or disgusting stare down and then I feel self conscious and like I want to go home and put on a bathrobe. Women who like attention are always the first to say, “oh, but it’s harmless!”

I don’t actually think it is. I think it’s sexist. Though, I am totally okay with being oggled if it’s by someone whose oggling I welcome. So, I’m a fair weather feminist. What of it!?

Did you know rule #5 at Milk and Honey is as follows?

Gentlemen will not introduce themselves to ladies.
Ladies, feel free to start a conversation or ask the bartender to introduce you. If a man you don’t know speaks to you, please lift your chin slightly and ignore him.

This is the way the world should work. It’s not working this way. Maybe I need to spend more time drinking in swanky establishments and less time doing everything else.

Poor little half Asian teenager, I only wish you (and I) had the necessary confidence to tell that guy to fuck off. I also wish you had had a Taser and put it to use Lisbeth Salander style.

There’s always the next time, little girl.

The end.


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