Wednesday, May 29, 2019

RED LOBSTER

So in my recent times, I was wearing a dress that you might call revealing, because it had a plunge neckline as well as being short for someone of my height. I was sitting outside a mall, using my phone, near a smokers' area, so there were many other people smoking and using their phones. There I was minding my own business, when a security guard came up to me and said "sorry, miss, but there are people looking at you" and from then on, I felt uncomfortable, so I went into the mall and walked around instead. I told this to everyone I knew, and one of them said perhaps the guard was trying to be nice and helping me out. Personally, I would say that could have been his well-meaning intention, but it still made me uncomfortable. I didn't appreciate it for the fact that he told me, because I'd gone from being in my own space and feeling myself, to feeling like I had done something wrong and had to move away. I also thought it curious that he felt it was his business to tell me when I was alone, and as much as I ponder it, I don't think he would have done the same if I had a male companion and other men were still staring at me. This means that as a woman on my own, I would need to be policed and looked after, whereas with a man, the man would have been enough authority that I wouldn't need any other person to save me. When I told this anecdote to multiple people and one of them told me the guard was trying to help, this person also said, so you'd rather if people didn't say anything? So if you were witnessing a rape, you wouldn't have helped? And this triggered very strong emotions in me. I told this person outright, that that was an inane ridiculous parallel to have made. First of all, the guard made the decision to inform me that people were looking at me, meaning that he thought I should be changing my behavior to fit my surroundings. If I witness a rape, I'd be stopping and bashing the rapist, not focusing on the victim at the time of the incident. This person I was talking to completely missed the point that by talking to me about my attire instead of telling off the men whom he thought might have been indecently leering, he was essentially giving off the signal that men own women's bodies, that if I'm dressed skimpily, that they have the right to leer at me, and that they cannot and shouldn't be stopped. On the one hand, I'm cool with it, myself and my big dick energy, I get enough stares regardless of my clothes so I know assholes will be assholes. On the other hand, the guard clearly doesn't think it's okay for the men to be "looking at me", so why did he talk to me about it instead of the other men? Because he's a misogynist who thinks women should only fit themselves into spaces that the men allow them, that's why. Further on in my conversation with said person who made the "rape example", I said this is why I think I belong in LA or NY or anywhere with more liberal values than in Singapore, because my tits could be showing through my clothes and people would be comfortable enough with it to allow me to be me. This person then said, these are different places with different values, of course you can't expect Singaporeans to react the way those places do. Then the person brought up that they had also watched Knock Down The House, and they didn't understand why I'd want to move to the US, where there is constant turmoil and people are still fighting for insurance and gender equality, etc. I figure the person probably meant also the Alabama situation, where they basically overturned abortion and reproductive rights by decades, but by that time, I realized we had very different views and it was a night I didn't wanna spoil by talking politics. As with everything else, it eventually has to resurface though, so here it is. First of all, as I recall, I've only mentioned my desire to move to either the West Coast or the East Coast of the US. Those two states have vastly different state laws than the Midwest and wherever else might be backwards in USA. The USA is a gargantuan mix of lands and people and therefore, politics, but there are federal laws and then there are state laws. I consider myself well-informed enough to know where I would fit in and be happy, and obviously I would not ever choose a red state like Alabama. Also, as compared to Singapore (which has no mininum wage so a retail worker like me is never presented as having as much value and worth to society) New York State's minimum wage is $15USD an hour, which is SGD$20/hour. This means that I could be doing the exact same job that I have right now and I'd be earning more than twice as much. When I was in New York, I was happy because regardless the state of politics, the people there care enough to riot and make a big fuss and fight for people who are being failed by the system. This is the state that voted in AOC to overhaul their previous Congressman with all his money and connections, for fuck's sake. In Singapore, the motto is keep your head low, and to live and let live. I don't know if you've noticed, but I don't live by that motto. This person I had this conversation with, they said I couldn't dress the way I'd be able to dress in LA/NY, because I'm not there and I should mind my place, but then they also said they didn't understand why I'd want to move to the US, because with a grand old paintbrush, they decided to paint a nation of fifty states with one similar stagnant color, the way Singapore has always been. I don't like my own decisions to be undermined, it might have taken ten years longer in my life, but I know where my happiness lies, and this country I was born in ain't it, chief. This ain't it.