My sister’s getting married tomorrow, so I’m in Seattle for the weekend (paying to have hideously expensive internet for the night). I’ll be back for real on Tuesday.
So, first the good points: Ariel came down to see me and we had a fantastic night. We did a dinner theatre thing, which was fun and funny.
My sister’s fiance got set up by his dad to be one of the “victims” of the performers, Kevin Kent, who was dressed up in drag as “Cookie” (I’ll be using female pronouns for Kent/Cookie, as the character was female). So, Cookie decided that she was the “Goddess of the Hunt” and that my sister’s fiance was her prey. She took off his shirt and put him in this fuzzy hat with antlers.
He, of course, hamming it up as he loves to do, got completely into the act. She told him to “die” after she shot an arrow into his heart, and he fell to the ground, after which she added, “…and fall onto my bosom.” To which he got up and face planted into her cleavage obligingly.
For the final part, Cookie told him to give her a kiss. Seeing as most heterosexual men, especially those about to be married, wouldn’t kiss another man (no matter how fetchingly dressed in drag he was), I’m guessing that Cookie intended to involve my sister in it somehow when her fiance inevitably balked.
I, however, knew him better than that. And, lo, he brazenly dashed into her arms and planted a kiss right on her lips. It was a moment that none of us will forget, and I’m betting that’ll include Cookie, who was just as stunned as my sister’s fiance’s family.
Now the bad: Mom, who hasn’t been able to spend the time with me this trip that we both wanted, asked if Ariel and I would walk to the hotel with her instead of taking a cab. Thinking nothing of it, we agreed. It’s a nice night, Seattle is beautiful in the summer, and it’s not like I don’t walk twice the distance in my daily life in Okazaki.
Point 1: When I informed Dad of our intention of walking, he started up with the rape culture stuff. “Are you sure that’s a good idea? It’s late and you’re all painted up… I’m not sure it’s safe. Are you sure you don’t want to get a cab?”
I mean, of course he’s worried about me, especially since he lives in Miami where you can’t walk down the street in broad daylight wearing baggy jeans and a long t-shirt, with your hair all mussy without every single car containing at least one man whistling at you as they drive by. But holy fucking shit, can I not go one day in my damn life without feeling the constant fear of having been born female? Like, seriously?
Which brings me to Point 2: I’m walking with Ariel and my mother, and we pass a group of guys. Inevitably, they start up with the “hey there pretty lady” shit (sorry, Luke, none of us had picture phones available, so we can’t Hollaback). Did I put my money where my mouth was and say something pithy to them? No, of course not. I shot them a dirty look and kept walking.
I could make up a thousand excuses as for why (they wouldn’t have listened to me, we had to get home and it was late, etc etc), but the truth is that I was scared. I was afraid that they’d hurt me, or Ariel, or my mom. I was afraid they would chase us, or continue harassing us, or pull a weapon on us. I was afraid that Dad was right, and it wasn’t safe, and I was an idiot for walking the 10 fucking blocks to my hotel.
And that wasn’t the only harassment we got. This one older white guy in a grey shirt that said “army” on it walked past us and held out his thumb to me like he was trying to hitch-hike. I have no idea what he was trying to say with that one, but it creeped me out.
I feel so demoralized right now. I feel like if, at the end of the day, all my talk doesn’t even help me stand up to the creeps on the street, then how do I expect to help anyone else out on these issues? What’s this all for if we can’t even walk somewhere — dressed up or not — without men feeling it’s their right to “compliment” us by harassing us. I should be able to walk down the fucking street at night dressed however I like without men assuming that I’m doing it for them and that they have the right to threaten me, and give people like my father cause to try to dissuade me from doing something — like walking instead of driving — that gives me personal satisfaction.