So my initial intention here was to rant about the abundance of creepy French men I have noticed during my stay in Bordeaux, but I would rather prefer to avoid any sweeping generalisations of the sexist and racist variety.
I had a rather unfortunate incident last Sunday which made me finally lose any patience I had remaining with the creepy male population of France.
Please note my repetition of the word ‘creepy’. Because it is the ‘creepy’ men in particular I would like to rage against. There are undoubtedly creepy men the world over, but it would seem that it is particularly difficult in France to avoid these such characters.
Especially when the sun comes out.
I do not go out of my way to wear very little clothing, which I feel is both necessary and unnecessary to point out. Necessary because I’d like to preserve a little dignity here, and also unnecessary because really, it’s nobody’s business and I’d like to think that in fact I don’t really care what anybody thinks. Unfortunately the latter is near-impossible, so I am forced to emphasise that actually, my skirts and dresses are not all that short and if I thought that they were for a second I wouldn’t wear them.
Nonetheless, what a girl wears (or doesn’t for that matter) should not be signalled as an open invitation. Malheureusement it often is. Needless to say that when the weather starts to improve dresses and skirts and shorts begin to make an appearance, and the men just get creepier.
It makes me appreciate my man all the more, really.
To return to the purpose of this rant, the fuel which fuelled my anger so to speak, last Sunday I was enjoying a rather lovely pre-summer’s day in Bordeaux as I walked to my tutoring lesson. Although pre-summer in Bordeaux is practically summer. I passed KFC, a delightful restaurant around the corner from where I live. Two men were sat outside, enjoying fried chicken in the sunshine. One of them felt the need to attempt to grab my arm as I walked past; something was said to me but I was too shaken and downright furious to understand the creepy words (in French, of course) coming from this ridiculous human being. So I decided to shout at him. In French.
“Qu’est-ce que vous faites? (I think the ‘vous’ was rather polite on my part to be honest)… followed by “DEGOUTANT” in a very loud, infuriated French voice which exploded from little old me as I power walked angrily away from KFC.
I’m not sure what the man in question’s response was but I hope sincerely that he was genuinely terrified.
From now on I resolve to do more than just shoot disgusted looks at these creepy men who think they have the right to comment as they pass me by. On that same walk on Sunday I passed several other creepy men who felt the need to make some sort of creepy comment towards me. I’m not going to stand for this any more, whether I am in France or chez moi. I must reiterate that it isn’t just a male French thing to do these creepy things, but these occurrences have taken place a lot more here than they have at home. I’m not saying that I’m going to let these creeps provoke me, because I am almost certain that this is the aim of their comments apart from obviously trying to entice me (who are they kidding???), but I am certainly going to make it perfectly clear to them that what they are doing is not normal and it is not acceptable. My year in France has made me a more confident person and I’m not going to let these creepy men get away with ridiculous things like this.
In other news, I’ve been to Paris and Archacon in the past two weeks and had a fabulous time. I do have a tendancy to focus on the slightly more negative issues at hand. Hence, I will soon publish some pictures of the aforementioned visits to lighten the mood of this rather indignant post.