I just read a comment on social media wherein a woman expressed horror that she witnessed a man whistle at a woman, in this day and age. This interested me.
When I was young, men whistled, smiled and looked at me as I walked in the world. I felt my own power in this experience. I often enjoyed it and exchanged smiles and laughter with them. I loved to dress to look beautiful; this was pleasurable for me as well as the men who admired me.
When I became pregnant they stopped whistling and I was fascinated by this. I partly enjoyed the anonymity, and partly missed being seen. I think any heterosexual woman who denies enjoying appreciation from men is not being truthful with herself.
After having my babies and I once again walked the streets as a woman rather than a mother, men whistled at me again. Once again I enjoyed it; it made me feel beautiful and alive, and reminded me of my sexual nature and potency. At this time of my life, my life force sexual energy expanded more powerfully than ever and was a source of profound healing and delight.
I just turned 62 years of age and a few weeks ago a man called out and smiled at me as I got in my car. I loved it. I laughed back and it was a moment of lightness in my day.
I am entering a stage of life where a new kind of anonymity will be granted to me. We do not witness, much less admire elders in our modern world. We are not playful with them, and we are quick to forget the lives they have lived. However one of the blessings of emerging elder-hood is that I get to say what I think, and I care less and less whether others agree with me or not.
As I find my own way forward in the process of ageing, I will continue to delight in the moments and memories of flirtation. Sexual admiration and invitation is a way of honouring the differences, the visceral and delicious opposition of the masculine and feminine as they feel, express and dance in the world.
If women want to remove all this from this from their daily lives, I am glad I won’t be around for it, because to me the world will be losing something natural and beautiful.
And, yes, I have known abuse, unwanted attention and coercion as well. I remember walking in Italy as a young woman and having to cover my head because I was foreign and blonde and the attention I generated walking down the street was too much. And there were other, more painful experiences. I have my own history, my own dark stories.
I know imposed and aggressive sexual behaviour is real and must be addressed. But there is nuance, and a range of intention and exploration in every human exchange. I have no desire to live in a world where all this is lost to righteousness. Life is art, and we are meant to paint it with our eyes.Browse Front PageShare Your Idea
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