Wednesday, April 17, 2013

M is for Machismo

Being female and white in South America opens you up to a range of what I refer to as "attacks" by overly self confident men. Which, I know, happens everywhere and I know goes both ways. But, being in tradionally male-dominated societies it's much more frequent than anything I have experienced living in different parts of the world (where this kind of attention is generally left for bars and not a norm while walking down the street). Actually, being female is enough, but while comparing with my friends I discovered that being white amplifies the number of "attacks". So, today, I thought I'd share the top 10 "attacks" I have experienced.

#10 (on a facebook photo) "Your sister is more beautiful than you. When (will) you carry me (to) your country?" As you can imagine, that friendship didn't last very long.

#9 (when walking with another white girl) Hey, *insert vulgar Spanish language here* let us welcome you to our country the real way. How creepy is that? I mean, who would accept a proposition like this?

#8 Hey, are you married? How old are you? I very good man. Maybe we marry make baby and we very happy. Or, maybe I keep walking and try to pretend I didn't hear you say that

#7 Marry me, I wanna go to your country. Extra points for not even trying to sugarcoat it.

#6 After being made to wait for an hour in the rain (see my previous post- llegar tarde). Well, you shouldn't have been early, should you? What you don't have brains? Let's get to the good part fast. If I condoned violence, you'd have seen the good part coming in my open hand.

#5 You're so hot. You'd do better to leave your boyfriend and come with me (said in passing while he had another woman on his other arm). I hope the rage in my eyes ate your soul as I tried to protect my boyfriend's pride by not making a scene.

#4 Do you like cooking? No. I need a woman who cleans and cooks for me. okay... (let me stress, just waiting outside my workplace here, replying to this idiot because it's etched into me that ignoring people is rude- thanks mum). Do you clean and stuff? Not for my BOYFRIEND, no. Probably he never gonna marry you- you dont know (how to) be (a) good woman. Imagine the lecture on gender equaliy that launched...

#3 I heard in your country almost everybody is lesbians- for me it's good if you want be with my girlfriend if can I watch. WHAT?!

#2 It's my dream to be with a white woman. Yep. And It's now my dream to go back to a time before I heard anybody say that to me, back when I still thought there was hope for the world...

#1- My personal favourite and not infrequent- Hey, I'm looking for a woman exactly like you- beautiful, intelligent (and- sometimes expressed orally and sometimes simply obvious- foreign). I need you to be my girlfriend OR the MUCH WORSE I choose you as my girlfriend. Really, and why would I want to go out with you? Do you really believe that you are so desirable that you get to choose whoever you want, and this person will just want you?

What's the worst comment you've had directed at you, whether by a man or a woman?


Beth said...

Ah, I think it's just fun flirting...I lived in Puerto Rico for awhile and saw that, too.

Thanks for stopping by my site.


Border-breaking bound said...

You're probably right, still, they make for fun "when I was traveling..." stories when with friends! :)

Maggie Winter said...

I see a different side to this, I'm 48, in the UK I may as well be dead but in Brazil I get flirted with whenever I go out, that's good when the grey hairs start, real good. I remember the days when it would have annoyed me, those days are long

Melanie Schulz said...

That would be hilarious if it didn't actually happen. Kind of reminds me of the photograph by Ruth Orkin: An American Girl in Italy, 1954.