Your body is a temple they say. We are supposed to treat it as such. We are supposed to watch what we put into it, make sure that we exercise properly to maintain it, and love it no matter what it looks like. However, other people don’t have the same respect for our bodies.
There was a man in the news not too long ago who filled a police report stating that he was assaulted by two women who danced on him in a convenience store. The response that I saw was split between mocking him for taking offense to two women gyrating on him and support for the trauma he endured. When I saw it, I thought about how many men in my lifetime, that I didn’t know, who had grabbed my butt, grazed my breasts, pressed their genitals against me in the club, and made sexual advances or comments about my body as I walked down the street. If I filed a report every time, I’d be in a courtroom my entire life.
Every week on at least one occasion, one of the guests at my serving job gets drunk and kisses me on the cheek, rubs my leg, touches my waist, or makes a comment about my body. I have to grin and bear it because in the service industry “the guest is always right”. If I complain about their behavior then there goes my tip. Or the offense is brushed off as something to be expected when working around drunk men.
Just the other day my friend was getting up from the bar and gave her male friend a hug and put his hand on her lower back. A man she didn’t know walked by and said, “That’s not how you do it” and slapped her on the butt. Immediately she flipped out on him and the man was surprised at her reaction. He felt it was his place to touch her inappropriately and then walk away unfazed.
It’s expected for women to be the understanding one when men get out of hand. Unwanted touching or comments are to be expected and are met with a “boys will be boys” attitude when addressed. I’m sure there are women out there that objectify men but I haven’t met a man who has experienced that behavior on a weekly or sometimes daily basis.
I’ve endured or seen firsthand men doing it for years. Treating a woman’s body as if it’s there solely for their enjoyment. Having no regard for the women’s feelings or comfort. If a woman wears a revealing outfit men take that as an invitation to treat her like an object. If she’s dancing seductively with her friends, men will just press their bodies against hers without speaking a word to her first. Our bodies are ours and what happens to them should be our decision. As I don’t go around grabbing men’s bodies, or whistling at them when they walk by, I would like the same courtesy from them.
Although women like attention from men, we are looking for respectful attention. There’s a way to compliment a woman without being vulgar. You place your hand on a woman’s back during conversation without your hands sliding south. Everyone’s personal space should be respected. We can decorate them how like, we can move them how we choose, and we can put them on display, but our bodies are not play things. Until you introduce yourself, and earn the right to touch, keep your hands to yourself.