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Dressed to please

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On my way from church on Sunday, i passed two very attractive male tourists who were giving me the eye.I was pleased at their admirable glances but i did my best to disguise my pleasure and i tried to convince myself that i didnt care a hoot if they admired me or not.I should have responded with a smile at their harmless behaviour. What is it about our societies that has conditioned us not to celebrate our sexuality? In Nigeria, a woman who responds too eagerly to a guy's overture is considered as cheap but the guy who admires her in the first place is regarded as cool. Sometimes these 'games' of coyness is taken to the extreme. A female friend of mine who is from the Northern part of Nigeria, informed me that in some core Northern states, female sex workers dress very decently indeed; all covered up from head to toe. When their clients want their services, they move up to them and say words like "come and visit me' or 'come and see inside my room'. They never mention the word sex or refer to it till they get behind closed doors. What a ridiculous situation!

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jap21's picture

Men, men ... men?

I am surprised to know that men are ... men, the same flashy way here in South America than in Nigeria! It must be because our flags are so alike jajajaja....

Seriously now, this is a matter not only of education, but also of Social Constructions. These cunning abstract little things called 'social constructions', are the common ground that leads societies to accept different types of behavior as 'acceptable' or 'rejectable'. In my country we have the master lord of social constructions' creation, our President, Evo Morales. You may have heard of him. He happens to be a bit famous around the world. As it turns out, he has had the talent to change my country's social construction on the amount of violence taken as acceptable. Twenty five years ago, when he started his work, people were peaceful, and they did not scream or throw rocks at each other or hit each other in the streets just because they did not agree on something. Not anymore. The social construction on violence has changed and people now fight with each other in ways that seem astonishing and cruel, sometimes to death, with the police standing still, in a way that never happened before. I take it as an example because it took him twenty five years to change it, but he did it! all by himself! All that he had going for him to accomplish such a big task was his smile, and a very good copy of how a preacher from the Pentecostal Church lead his audiences to listen to the word of God.

Perhaps if us women, or one of us for the sake of the example, took 25 years of our lives to change this terrible social construction that makes men behave like jerks every time they see a beautiful woman by calling her inappropriate words or touching her in rude ways and laughing about it, perhaps, just perhaps, one territory at a time, this would change.

I say this because in my country, Bolivia, men happen to be very, very obnoxious and cheap when approaching girls in the streets. Yet mothers do not tell them they should not behave like that. Mothers also hush and make their daughters feel guilty enough not to tell when they have been treated roughly in the streets. And men keep being... men (as a synonime of being rude and untactful).

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America
www.jap21.wordpress.com

He..o, Efe;

I noticed that you mentioned that the two men who admired you on the street, were "tourists."

Now, I don't know about Nigeria, but I suspect the terminology is used much like we do here in the Caribbean, i.e., as a predominantly BLACK-race nation, when we say "tourists," it is because SOMETHING OBVIOUS about them has caused us to define them as such. Usually - as I suspect is the case with your situation in Nigeria, THEIR CAUCASIAN or ASIAN ETHNICITY is what causes us to - VISUALLY - define them as "not one of us," and therefore 'TOURISTS.'

I have said all of this to find out something: the fact that you obviously felt you had to mention that it was TOURIST/WHITE MEN who cast admiring glances at you in the street, made me wonder if you would have felt driven to submit that SAME story, if the Male Admiring Glances had come from your BLACK NIGERIAN FELLOWS?

I know that here in the Caribbean - and it always makes me feel weary to the Soul to see it being manifested, that some young girls especially, and even older Black Women, tend to "PREEN," and "POSE" whenever they find themselves being "INSPECTED" by a WHITE MAN'S GAZE.

As a DESCENDANT OF A BLACK RACE WHICH WAS FORMERLY CALLOUSLY ENSLAVED BY WHITE MEN, and more specifically as a BLACK WOMAN whose BLACK FEMALE ANCESTORS WERE ONCE RAPED IN-TRANSIT ON SLAVE BOATS, and STRIPPED NAKED upon arrival at Point-of-Sale destinations by WHITE MEN, who INSERTED THEIR FINGERS, HANDS AND EYES INTO ANY AND EVERY EXPOSED-ENTRANCE OF BLACK WOMEN'S BODIES....I - for one, NEVER FIND A RANDOM WHITE MAN'S "APPRECIATIVE" GAZE ATTRACTIVE!

Indeed, WHAT could be "DESIRABLE" in HAVING SOME STRANGE MAN STARE AT YOUR BODY WITH INTEREST? The closest ANALOGY to this, is THE SAME CALCULATING, CLINICALLY APPRAISING MANNER THAT A BUTCHER WOULD STARE AT A PIG HE WAS SOON TO KILL FOR MARKET, AND THEREFORE FINANCIAL GAIN TO HIM.

So that it is not - as you seem to suggest, that WOMEN 'DRESS TO PLEASE" MEN." Or even that Women ARE FAILING TO 'APPRECIATE" MEN FOR STARING ADMIRINGLY AT THEIR BODIES. It is just that - for WOMEN AROUND THE GLOBE, the SEXUAL HARASSMENT, DOMESTIC ABUSE, RAPE, TORTURE & MURDER....OF THEIR WOMEN'S BODIES....always BEGINS WITH MEN "ADMIRINGLY" STARING!

Think about it....

efe's picture

hmm

i am really glad to see that some of my posts stir up so much psycho analyzing. You are right when you say that the tourists are either European or Asian . They looked European but on the other suggestions let me think.... i think i liked the fact that two men would come from thousands of miles and still admire me and the fact that they are exotic makes their admiration more exciting, i mean i am used to being stared at by African men but now you remind me about those days of slavery maybe i should view the next white guy i see, as the descendant of a slave trader who must have evil intentions.

Hi, Efe;

Glad to see you have a sense of humour.

Continue to "dress" for, and enjoy your "admiring" glances, m'dear!

Peace/out.

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