Hot Piece of Tail on Clarendon Street

Welcome Home, Son was playing on my phone. I’d just crested the killer hill that is part of my walk home from class. I was feeling pretty damn content when this dude walked out of a house and down the sidewalk 20 feet in front of me.

I’m not usually a leg gal. And my ass of choice is no ass. This gentleman had me rethinking my stance on the lower extremities. He was over 6 feet, slender but muscular in tight jeans, work boots, and a SUNY ESF sweatshirt. It didn’t hurt that he was rather pasty with black hair which is my type. A couple houses down the street I noticed an old Ford F150 parked on the other side of the road and I prayed he would cross over to it. Watching him get into that truck would only enhance the fantasy that was playing in my head.

He crossed over and climbed into the truck.

Holy fucking shit, it has been a while since I have been that violently attracted to a stranger.

I like looking at people. As much as I tell T that looks don’t matter I really enjoy looking at beautiful people. Hell, it doesn’t have to be people. Beauty in general makes my life better. Everyday that I walk around I’m checking out those around me, drinking in those who I’m attracted to. I’m guessing that everyone else is doing the exact same thing.

Tonight our friend C was over for dinner and I told him and Z about Mr. F150. I asked what they thought about my blatant objectification of a man when compared to the outrage feminists (including me) express at the objectification of women.

C said he never heard a woman admit to having a fantasy about a stranger. I told him I’d put money on the fact that every women he knows does it.

My hypothesis was that hetero women don’t view the objects of their desire as less than them. And maybe that is the difference. I thought hetero males often consider the objects of their desire to be inferior. C and Z told me that wasn’t fair.

Now both C and Z are excellent humans. Z is one of the most strident feminists I know. C said that there isn’t consideration of the object of desire as less than or more than. Rather she is more of a vessel onto which a fantasy is superimposed. I guess that I agree I was doing the same thing. I didn’t want to know this dude’s name. I didn’t want to talk to him in real life. I am incredibly happily married. I just wanted to think dirty thoughts about him and his legs for a couple of minutes.

Does the problem with objectification begin when that 4th wall is broken? Is it when the catcalling begins? Neither C nor Z has catcalled a woman in their adult lives, which makes me pretty proud. I have been catcalled in my time. Not because I’m any great shakes, but because I’d wager every adult women in America has been. When I lived in Bed-Stuy it was a daily occurrence for every woman who walked those streets. And it did make me feel diminished. Less than. It also made me feel like I belonged in a neighborhood where I was a minority. I was targeted because of my femaleness, not the color of my skin.

So what do you think? Is it cool that I was hard core objectifying a stranger on my walk home? Is it just as bad as catcalling? Should women fess up to their constant thoughts about sex as they walk around in this world? Should we start catcalling men so they know how it makes us feel? I don’t really mean that, but I sort of do.

I think it is harmless to fantasize about each other, to objectify each other in our minds. I think it is human. The problem begins when we act on our thoughts. When we call out to the object of our desire, or lear, or stare it is an act of aggression. It isn’t a compliment. It isn’t harmless. It isn’t ok.

sick c

As soon as I touched this sweet boy after his nap I knew he was rocking a fever. 102.4 isn’t that bad, but he’s going to the doc’s tomorrow to be sure he doesn’t have an ear infection.

faker

T watched me snap a picture of C and asked me to take his as well. Then he carefully arranged himself and the blanket and closed his eyes all ready for his close up.

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17 thoughts on “Hot Piece of Tail on Clarendon Street

  1. Not only am I chronic checker-outer but I also play that “Would I hump them? Yay or nay?” game in my mind. There’s no reason to tack on the “if you were the last on Earth”because about 80% of the time I am a solid “Mmm. Probably.” I suppose I am lucky that I find Beauty in all the Men. And I will admit to a certain level of curiosity, I suppose.

    I hear ya on the objectification. I don’t think I superimpose any rhetoric on these men. Actually, I am more interested in knowing what makes them tick than yanking them on to my Fantasy Roller Coaster. So, yeah. I will see your Overshare. 😉

  2. I have to admit that there are a few strangers who I have thought in my mind were hot and would hook up with them. I don’t think its wrong and I’m sure men do the same thing. I also think its human nature to have thoughts like that. But maybe that’s just. me.

  3. You’re so on point about the 4th wall. That’s the line for me. I appreciate beautiful men all the time, but I wouldn’t tell them so or stare them down – it’s just a brief moment where I subtly enjoy how they were made, and then move on. If that’s all men ever did, you wouldn’t hear women complaining about it – we’d be unaware of the attention most of the time! And even if I did catch a man checking me out, and he just started, gave a slight nod, and looked away respectfully (which is what I’ve done the few times I’ve been caught dude-watching), I think women would generally be fine with that, too.

    Gender politics aside… can we talk about how spectacular a good pair of jeans on a man is?

  4. In a patriarchal world with such significant (if subliminal) power disparities between men and women, I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to compare men’s or women’s street-ogling on a one-to-one basis. Yes, it’s the same action, but the impact is very different. One function of privilege is that those in power are (mostly) blind to it. The description of of a man imposing his fantasy on the “vessel” of a woman is the definition of objectification – woman as empty, waiting readily to be “filled;” lacking context, free will, or any trappings of personification other than having a body. I think men can (and typically) do this without seeing the ramifications it can have because they are ignorant to the privilege that allows them to do it. Without understanding the consequences (or completely misunderstanding them), fantasy can bleed into actions rather quickly – catcalling, commentary, more aggressive sexual advances, etc. In fact, these kinds of activities are so normalized in our culture, they appear constantly on TV, in movies, in stories. On the other hand, a woman ogling a man on the street lacks the same institutional power and imbued normalcy (hence someone thinking that women don’t engage in street-fantasies) that men have. I don’t think an average woman on the street ogling a man can so easily ignore his personhood, free will, or strength; to my thinking (and current pop culture), man-eye-candy isn’t quite the same “empty vessel” as is lady-eye-candy. I don’t think this absolves any woman of actions that aren’t respectful toward another person (cat-calling etc), but I also don’t think feminists need to wring their hands in worry that they are perpetrating the same belittling, dehumanizing behaviors as men by acknowledging the attractiveness of strangers.

    Whoa – sorry for the book! Totally didn’t mean to write that, it just kinda spilled out. I get cat-called and creepily hit on by men fairly often and LOATHE it – but I also want certain strangers (ie potential dates) to demonstrably recognize my attractiveness, so I think about this a lot.

    Also, in the above, I use men and women to mean cis-gendered, heterosexual adults in the most generic of terms.

    Also, hello again from K and E’s wedding-cake-making friend Ele! I’ve become a regular reader, and often think responses to what you write. This once just prompted me to write it out too!

    • I knew who you were immediately!

      And I do agree with most of what you wrote. But I’m not sure I agree that women (and as in the post I’m only discussing hetero interactions right now) necessarily don’t also turn the object of their fantasy into an empty vessel. Because that is what I do. I don’t want to know anything about Mr. F150. I simply do not give a shit about him in any way other than as fuel for a fantasy or direct objectification as you define it. Perhaps this is because I was raised to believe that I was equal to men in every way, which I now understand is a rarity and privilege. But as women do make some headway concerning gender disparity the privilege can cloud their experience as well. For example, in high school I was staunchly against the ERA. I hadn’t experienced gender bias to my knowledge. Probably because I was white, upper middle class, and did well in school. But I wasn’t smart enough to understand that my experience was far from typical. That every woman wasn’t born with the dumb luck that I had. I cringe at who I was then. I’m deeply ashamed of how I could not see outside my experience.

      No feminist hand wringing here. But thinking about an issue is a different story. As I said in the post I think my objectification of men is harmless. Much like I think that C and Z’s objectification of women is harmless. None of us act on it. And in C’s defence in terms of not realizing women fantasize about strangers-women don’t talk about it a lot of the time. We don’t own our sexuality. I mean, the disincentive is high. Historically because we are punished by society or family by doing so. But it is becoming safer for some women to express themselves in certain situations. I had no problem having this discussion with them. Z doesn’t think less of me because I am attracted to other men just like I don’t think less of him for being attracted to other women. Am I lucky to be in that position? Unfortunately, yes. I’m going to take advantage anyway and hope that I am an example to my nieces and the other young girls in my life.

      In pop culture I think that the tide is turning a tiny bit as well-with the popularity of the Twilight Series and the rise of Mommy Porn like 50 Shades of Grey. Is that stuff misogynistic drivel? Totally. (And truly horrible writing, but that is another story) But I read both series. They certainly captured the essence of obsessive love that we are sold as an ideal. And they got a couple of million middle aged ladies turned on. That part is good. Those ladies should be rocking their sexuality. Maybe the crap that is popular now will be a gateway drug to figuring out how to own sexuality while also owning equality. Baby steps for sure, but that is how change happens.

      Thanks for commenting, Ele! I hope you are well. E and K told us you got to have a very quick visit when them a month or so back, so glad you got to see G!

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