Some guy oinked at me yesterday.
It’s almost funny because I sort of fantasize about this kind of thing happening to me all the time – you know, a defensive maneuver – but it never does. Until it did.
I was walking west on Madison toward the train station. I’d just started out and was beginning to hit my stride, listening to Margaret Cho’s book, I’m The One That I Want, on CD, and generally feeling quite good. I saw the two boys coming toward me on the sidewalk, and moved to the right a bit, to give them a bit of berth. This is something I almost always do. I like my personal space. Young boys/men make me a little nervous, especially in packs of two or more. And sometimes, I feel like I simply take up too much space, and want to overcompensate by giving the world more room than it really needs. Maybe the latter showed on my face yesterday?
At any rate, I’d begun to forget them when I heard the sound, followed by giggles. Giggles from boys in their twenties.
A couple of things really struck me as ironic about the incident. One being, that here I am walking a mile for daily exercise as recommended by a truckload of studies, governmental mandates, and my own physician – here I am doing the right thing to keep myself healthy, and I get jeered at.
Also, I was quite shocked at my lack of reaction. A year ago I would have been – and was utterly devastated by something like this. I would have cried hot, silent tears as I stalked down the street. Maybe climbed on the next bus to save the rest of the pedestrians from having to see the monstrosity that is my body on the street. Gone home and sunk into an inky black despair.
But yesterday, I kept walking. Just kept walking. Listened to Margaret Cho talk about fighting this exact battle – except with ABC and the world press. Went home and told my husband about it, incredulous but dry-eyed.
And today, while I’m still thinking about it, and processing it, I remain dry and calm. If maybe a little perplexed. A little pissed.
Why? Why me? Why do people think they have the right to form an opinion of my body, and then share that opinion with me? Why do people think they have a right to judge fat people? Why? Why do people care if I eat a lot or go on a diet or live and breathe? Why? Why do people care who is fat and how they became fat? Why does it fucking matter to the world?
I also wonder why that boy chose me at that moment. I wonder what his home life is like, what his environment is like that it would encourage such stupid behavior.
I’m reminded of some boys mooing and calling my friend Sandy and me “cows” senior year. Incidentally, I was a size 11, and this was after we’d rejected them, more or less.
So I wonder if, like them, the oink-boy really wanted to fuck me, and that urge coupled with the fact that I am not “sexy” as measured by “normal” standards led him to act out in the only way he could muster.
Yeah, I think that’s it. I mean, I am so fucking pretty, it’s almost not fair.
But it shouldn’t matter if I am or not. No one deserves cruelty. No pretty, ugly, plain, short, tall, fat, thin, gay, disabled, homeless, wealthy, Muslim, black, Asian, Hispanic, smart, stupid, educated, poor, man, woman, or child deserves to be taunted.
But I forget. It’s okay to taunt The Fat because there’s an “Obesity Epidemic” about.
Hear me now:
I am fat.
I deserve dignity.
All the fucking asshole sexually frustrated oinking bastards in the world cannot take it from me.