I saw a group of them on Friday morning, standing in front of a warehouse a couple of blocks from my apartment. A mixture of city workers and what looked to be some construction workers. As I got closer I braced myself for what was to come.
They were in the middle of some sort of verbal sparring. "Fuck you, jagoff," said one laughing to a co-worker. "You're the biggest jagoff," the other replied. I was sure that they were both jagoffs--equally so--and if I wasn't in such a hurry to get to work I would have spent some time with them to help sort it all out.
One stopped and looked at me as if, as Scarlett O'Hara would say, he "knew what I looked like without my shimmy."
"Gooooood Morrrrrning," he said, almost purring.
Quick, what would Gloria Steinem do? How would she deal with this guy? Isn't there like a no- objectification-before-8 a.m.-ordinance in Chicago?
Eh, who cares.
Yes I am a feminist (or at least I think I am). But I try to be honest about it. I've always said that I don't want to fight in any wars nor do I want to carry heavy stuff if I can avoid it. And I reserve the right to be flattered (the degree to which is wholly dependent upon the appearance of the ball scratcher) if some guy ogles me. I also reserve the right to be completely revolted if said ball scratcher is brutal.
That's just the way it is. The rules are always subject to change.
This guy was cute, so I had to stifle the urge to let out a coy giggle. I gave him instead, a very stern, very businesslike, "Good morning."
Susan B. Anthony would not be turning over in her grave on my account.