Pssst, bring that big ass on over here

Rina Martin

Hey baby. Yeah you, with that ass. Let me talk to you. Where you going, slut, you know you heard me. Who the fuck do you think you are, bitch?

I swear to God it’s happened.

All my friends have been through it. There’s also the slow drive-by when a car full of guys yells vulgar things at defenseless girls. Oh, there was that time my best friend was grabbed in a place where even the sun is too ashamed to shine.

I don’t know why, but some men just think this is an acceptable way to approach a woman. Maybe they believe this special display of aggression will show her that he’s ultra-masculine and will be decisive when picking out restaurants. Or that he is abusive. I can’t quite figure out the message.

Gender issues have confused our society so much that the word “equality” is nearly meaningless. Women are told we are caught in this tug of war between domesticity and the workplace (as if you can’t do both — or neither). This leaves men with a tricky double standard. A gentleman opens doors, but most women are taught they must open doors for themselves — at the restaurant and in life. Where is the line between allowing a woman to take her own place of power at the table and pulling out her chair first?

Beyond all these blurry double standards and awkward moments on the first date, there is a small faction of men who assert their masculinity through constant disrespect. There is a reason that men actually believe they can pick up a woman by approaching her in a car like she’s a prostitute. Music and movies tell them they can. And because sometimes they can.

To all the ladies who listen to some rap songs and say “he’s not talking about me,” I’ve got some sad news. He is talking about you. He’s talking about all of us. I love rap, and I’m guilty of supporting artists who perpetuate the idea that aggressive, trash-talking men eventually get the girl. We all are responsible for creating a confusing and potentially dangerous status quo. Some men who try to pick up women by calling her a slut are clinically unbalanced. The rest do it because at some point it worked.

Oversensitivity to issues like this plagues our society. The P.C. revolution has converted our humor, debates and habits into hyper-aware activities best kept behind closed doors. But both men and women can help stop the sanctioned misogynism that underlies our everyday interactions. Women, stop taking it. Men, stop allowing it. The majority of guys I’ve met have been both sincere and sane in their approach. But, fellas, I must tell you there are a few bad apples out there ruining your game.

It all comes down to respect. Men, if you were alone at night on a sidewalk and a car full of drunken guys started yelling things about your luscious ass, you wouldn’t feel very safe either. Feel free to pull out a chair or two, but watch those hands.

Rina Martin is a Weinberg sophomore. She can be reached at [email protected]