MISS MOOX + road

Catcalls and whistles

One thing I will never get used to about jogging here in New Hampshire is the inordinate amount of attention you gather from passing guys. (I say "you", not "I", because I'm sure any jogging girl attracts exactly the same attention). The route I normally take follows a fairly busy road, and nearly every single jogging session I can count on (usually several) honks, whistles, or remarks. It used to flatter me, although it was a bit startling. Now I just find it disgusting. Today I took a quieter route through a housing development neighbourhood with a nice wild bit of field where houses haven't yet intruded. I thought it would be safer, but ran into a gang of three lawn care workers. I could have made nice money out of charging them for the duration of their looks.

I suppose it's partly the way guys are made, but I personally find it offputting and even a little bit panic-inducing in that small, inside, sinking kind of way. Something about it calls up unpleasant childhood memories of the powerful guy and the totally powerless little girl. I know the men who salute in some way the effect my body has on their lusts are viewing me completely as a piece of meat: assessing legs, buttocks, waist, chest in a chillingly dehumanizing kind of way. Sex appeal is the only investment they have in me; they neither know me as a person nor do they care to. I'm eye candy for their male instincts, a passing diversion in their day. I know where those signals lead, and don't care to find out.

Usually I just ignore them completely. I hope they get the message. I miss the city, where the sheer number of attractive girls meant any guy inclined this way would wear himself out. You are just a number, another passing person whose presence arouses nothing more than a flicker of interest. Remarks are rare. The anonymity of the city is arrestingly reassuring. You're just another face, another body on the sidewalk, another facet in the ever-changing pedestrian kaleidoscope. Oh, how I miss it. . .

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