To the Hollow Man on the Street

To the hollow man on the street:

Hi. You might not remember me, but we encountered one another the other day on the street in Denver. I was walking through Five Points on my way to the post office. I was wearing a purple dress. You were wearing black and carrying a back pack. You were walking on the other side of the street until you saw me and crossed over. As we approached one another your eyes narrowed and a wide smile spread on your face. When we passed each other, you stuck your face into my breasts and breathed your sticky breath on my chest.

I jumped and ran across the street while you stared back at me and smiled. In that moment, you won. I was afraid. You were happy. I felt small, insignificant, and objectified. You felt powerful, strong, and manly. My value reduced to the meat on my chest. Your value inherent in your abrasiveness. Now that I have had a couple of days to calm down and reflect I realize that you won in the moment, but the truth is that you are the loser in the long run.

My worth has a breadth and depth that is infinitely larger than any meat on my bones. Yes, I am a beautiful woman with a full bust. I understand that this is attractive to some people and I happen to agree. My body is beautiful. It is evidence of the long line of full-figured women from which I come, it is a testament to my mother, my aunt, my great-grandmother and all of the curvy beauties that preceded me. I am also a beautiful woman because I am smart, fierce, and confident. I do purposeful work and I have a life filled with incredible humans who help me be a better person everyday.

When I reflect on our interaction I realize that you lose. You, somehow, have made it into adulthood believing that female objectification is an acceptable and desirable behavior. It is a reflection on the sad life you have lived. I wonder if you were surrounded by weak men who were unable to confidently embrace and respect strong women, instead resorting to primitive behaviors aligned with terribly outdated cultural norms. Or were the men simply not there at all? I wonder what sorts of women you had to look up to. What happened in your relationship with them that caused you to not see all females as forces of life and creation to be respected and revered? I am sad for you because I know that, while you may be drawn to women, you will never have a truly meaningful, authentic love with a woman because you will never be able to see her.

I do not know your story, but I know it is a sad one. The cultural tide in America and much of the world has been slowly changing. I have shared the story of our interaction with several men in my life. These are men of dignity and strength. They consistently react with a mix of horror and disappointment. They see that, while women are beautiful and physically admirable, this is the least of the traits that makes them worthwhile. I win because I live in a community in which the majority of the men see that objectification is useless. I am valued for my whole self on a daily basis. I imagine that you feel disempowered and lonely a lot. You likely don’t even realize that you have chosen into the situation all by yourself.

What I want you to know is this, you can turn it around. You don’t have to be at arm’s length from genuine interactions with people. You have to choose it though. Nobody else can make you see that your behaviors keep you from truly experiencing the blessings that true love and friendship have to offer. I also want you to know that I forgive you. But, until you figure all of this out, stay on your own side of the street.

Respectfully,

A Confident Woman

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~ by vegucationmama on April 13, 2014.

3 Responses to “To the Hollow Man on the Street”

  1. Rebecca,
    I’m so sorry that happened to you, what a horrific experience. It is obvious from your post that you are a strong woman that will not allow the experience affect you. I would think that it would be very challenging for you to reflect on it and realize that he is the one that lost. Thank you for sharing such a personal story.
    Melissa

  2. Mom here – as you said, another full busted woman. When I was about 17 I was walking on Denver 16th Street (olden days – wasn’t a mall yet) and an attractive young man walking towards me reached out at the last minute and grabbed both my breasts. I was so naive that for a few minutes I thought it was an accident – probably because he looked so normal. That was over 40 years ago! Some things don’t change much – (PS: your Daddy will be more than horrified and disappointed…)

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