Recently Amanda and I were grabbing some dinner at Cheddars when a woman walked up to me to comment on my tattoos. I didn’t mind and generally do enjoy when people – men or women – want to talk to me about my tattoos but I also understand I have lots of large, tattooed, white guy privilege. I understand that the perception and experience of women is very different. Amanda tagged me on this because it reminded her of our experience at Cheddars.
But lately I’ve been noticing that nearly every interaction I have with strange men about my tattoos, even when they aren’t street-harassing or being explicitly sexual, ends up feeling creepy and predatory.
This quote from the piece really has me being introspective and examining my motives and I have to be honest here. I have used tattoos as a reason to speak to women at bars or concerts and I’m mortified that I could have come off as creepy and predatory. It seems the comments Emily is writing about seem to happen when she’s just moving through public space. Like, she’s at the grocery store or a coffee shop and somebody walks up and makes a comment and is inspecting her body. Ok whew, I’ve never done that.
In general, I try to be pretty aware of how my presence is affecting women in my general area. Like, if I’m walking to my car and there’s a woman ahead of me, I might slow down to give her some more space or I’ve even crossed the street so she doesn’t have a large, tattooed guy following her.
So anyhoo, my take away from this is just to be aware of this and to be mindful that I’m not doing this in public, non-socializing spaces.