I am writing this to declare that this has become my year of, not a resting bitch face, but a purposefully woke bitch face.
Over the last year or two, there has been a lot going on around the country, which is, of course, an understatement. Many women have come forward to share their #MeToo moments and many women have come forward to also share the annoying and gross ways that they are treated by some men on a daily basis.
I have been thinking more and more about the things that women probably think about as a part of their daily lives, that men may not realize or are oblivious to. I don’t think that all guys are unaware of what we deal with on a daily basis, but I do think a lot of them simply do not know.
I feel the need to change a major part of who I am because of the crap I deal with daily, so I can’t even begin to imagine what women who are not as privileged as I am must go through.
I really began looking into this after I had a string of incidences that probably had happened a lot, but I was unaware of what was really going on.
A few weeks ago I was leaving a live show of the Throwing Shade Podcast (a podcast that ironically discusses creepy men) and ended up in a car with an incredibly creepy Uber driver who would not stop commenting on my appearance and was trying to keep me from leaving his car for several minutes after reaching my destination. I was parked in a large, poorly lit parking lot in downtown Denver and I was absolutely terrified. At the time I thought it was creepy, but after a few days, I realized that it was still sticking in my mind.
This weekend I went out to the bars in my town with some friends to have a ladies night and to celebrate a birthday. The first night I was having fun and dancing like an idiot (as I do) when I noticed a gaggle of creeps staring at me. It was not the type of stare that was admiring my funny dancing or my dorky ways. It was the stare of a lion who is about to attack his prey. I check people out too, that is not the problem. The problem is that this staring continued for a very, very long time and it did not stop even after I stopped dancing. It did not stop even after I told the men who were clearly pointing at me and talking about me to stop. It did not stop at all and no, it was not flattering. It was frustrating because I wanted to have fun with my friends without being gawked at.
The next night that we went out, I was talking in a group with several of my friends when a man came over and tried to grab my hand to take me away from my group. I pulled away and said no to him. He then proceeded to try and grab my boob. I smacked his hand and yelled at him, but that did not stop him from grabbing my friends butt twice. He was touching other women in my group as well and would not stop staring at us. Eventually, I yelled at him to stop staring at me and to leave us alone, but, for some reason, he felt as though it was okay to continue this.
So what was the “major part of who I am” that I feel the need to change from all of this and many other previous situations?
In all of these situations, I gave a friendly smile to the surrounding people before they began being creepy, annoying, disgusting, whatever! I smile at everyone. I am someone who feels fantastic when strangers smile at me, so I make a point to smile at people when I see them, but for some reason, there have been quite a few men who have taken this as an invitation to stare at me for a prolonged period of time, to grab me, to caress me, to do whatever they want… that is not okay!
And because of that, I am dedicating this year to making sure that I do not smile all the time. I am going to look straight ahead and I am going to have the trademarked “bitch face” on most of the time. I am not going to be rude (unless someone does something that calls for me to be rude), but I am not going to smile. Don’t you think there’s something wrong with me having to even think about that?