So here I was sitting in a crowd, at a party, husband at home, and an attractive man across the domino table. I was kicking ass I have to admit. I was having a ball. Now as things would have it, most of the fun of serious dominoes is talking smack, often of a lewd and/or expletive-heavy nature. Things were good, I was tipsy, I’ll admit that too, and maybe it was the beer goggles but this guy thought, very vocally, that I looked tasty. I probably did, thought I was just there for the cards and the liquor.
So talking smack turned to not so subtle throwing of lines. (I took of my wedding ring to avoid breaking a domino and worse a finger in all the slamming. Which is the another part of playing dominoes.) A friend, maybe thinking they were doing the poor guy a favor, leaned in and informed Mr. Yum that I was in fact a married woman, and that was it.
“You know you cute nuh.” and “Baby girl you want another drink?” turned into “Meh me kip me side see, me na able you man vex.” or “You husband have a gun? Lemme behave ma’ self.” I’m used to it. My male friends and even strange males often stay far, or treat me like one of the homies in deference to or maybe out of respect for my rather imposing significant other. Shrug, not like I was interested in anything other than a six-none under my belt.
Fast forward a few weeks. We are at a public event together, the vibe is nice, and being the social butterfly he is my Pudd’n’ is all over the place. He settles not 20 feet from my location when a female peer walks up to him. She places her hand on his arm, then his chest, then smiles and blushes and strikes up a talk.
She doesn’t stray far from his person the rest of the night, and at one point or another finds an excuse among all that exhaustive blushing, compliment fishing and chatting up, to whip out her phone and offer to swap numbers. All this is happening not 10 feet from where I was standing, no less.
Now most women would expect me to launch into a tirade at this point, about how “doggish” men are, and how this man deserves to be ripped a new hole somewhere really sensitive. But that is a matter for another musing, what struck me here was the difference in the male and female response to the same couple, even in the face of the proximity difference.
Men, even those who would call me friend, will simply forget that I am in possession of a vagina. My ample figure is a moot point, my femininity, sexuality, no matter how overtly displayed no longer plays a role in our interaction. It is even often stated, as if to remind me of the fact, that my man is to be respected in so far as I “belong” to him. Even when the guys in question are strangers to him, even when he is half an island away!!! Asleep!!!
I tell you, the friend zoning is real. Really real.
While women are not at all deterred by that same given “ownership”, not even a little. But why? Is it that men are more respectful of each other than they are of women? Is it that they have more respect for the vows exchanged before God and family than their female counterparts? Maybe, but why? Aren’t we taught at an early age to expect to be hounded by the male of the species? “Have vagina will trouble” as it were.
Biology tells us that, as women, we look for the dominant male to father our children, we look for the ones who are fertile and strong and good providers, and what better way to prove this than already being in a relationship with healthy well taken care of kids. Right?
I found the whole thing easily dismissed at the time, but then I related the observation to a girlfriend, who quickly asserted that it was all my fault. For marrying a pretty man, for not painting him the devil, or the deadbeat, in other words for advertising my man in all those glowing blog posts. “Then you let him walk around by himself knowing that chick and all her sort are all around? What you expect?” she said. I was taken aback, here I was thinking that being an reasonable OK couple was, you know, a reasonable thing to be.
Her husband, gave a hefty nod. “You don’t even have any family pics up on social media.” I wasn’t aware I needed any. Those same friends and I spend quite the time laughing at all those couples with multiple albums of professionally shot hey-look-at-us pictures. Apparently there is supposed to be something to this digital marking of the territory. Something akin to sprinkling my pheromones in his laundry. Not that I think that would work to deter the throwing of selves.
All of this and neither of them could answer me as to the reason why the difference in the male and female response to our spouse-age. Neither he nor she had a clue. Offering me for my confusion, only a “Gyal Ah so woman bad, dem too tusty now a days.”
hmmmm….Now I find I’m just a little miffed at the dudes around me. Who when asked admit that it could be quite an interesting thing, to see who could flirt their way into my blushing presence, if not for one 6 foot tall detail. I mean really? The one disparity you guys choose to hold up is this? Ugh. Not even my disinterest would be a deterrent, but him? There are some serious gender biases at play here, and I don’t think I like it one bit.