Thursday, April 10, 2014

Smile for #tbt

I have never thrown back on a Thursday before, but here goes: In honor of "smile" catcalling finally getting its due, my 2005 post on the phenomenon.

Back when I was still young and urban enough to have these experiences on a regular basis, there wasn't any particular movement or vocabulary fighting it. No phrase "bitchy resting face" to describe the withering glance some give to others in the coffee shop/library/subway whether or not they're trying to. No widespread acknowledgment that calls to smile are insulting. This was the one I was always getting, and it always made me feel kind of guilty - like maybe I should smile more! Maybe I should greet total strangers with a grin and wish them a good day just for the heck of it!

Because self-awareness is imperfect at best, I saw non-smiling-ness as more about being a cynical New Yorker (or whatever the opposite is of "cornfed") and only eventually (around when I wrote that post, I suppose) began to connect it to being young, female, and someone creepy men wanted smiling at them. It makes me smile to see that today's recipients of this are responding in an organized manner.

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