I feel like a prude saying it, but I hate it when I see men with their shirts off in public. It doesn’t make me look at them or admire their potentially good bodies, but it reminds me of the inequality and injustice between men and women. It reminds me that I can’t just simply take off my shirt because I feel like it. Most women get harassed no matter what they wear, but even more so in the warmer months when we’re less covered up. I was wearing a romper the other day which wasn’t very revealing, but the unwanted leer from men made me feel as if I was walking around in my underwear.
Yesterday I was sitting at a cafe and the man at the next table just whipped off his shirt. Just because the sun came out. And he felt it was too hot for him to keep his shirt on. This made me boil up inside. It’s like the ultimate display of male privilege. And think about how his sweat is left on the chair, for the next customer to enjoy..
Then later I saw a man walking around with his shirt off. We don’t live near the beach, so unless women can also do the same without getting harassed (unfortuntely will probably never happen in my lifetime), I don’t see why men should be able to walk around shirtless in the city without being called out about it.
Sometimes male friends come and visit us at the farm and end up taking their shirts off when they’re hot. The environment and circumstances are different, so I accept it, and I understand why they do it. It doesn’t ‘disturb’ me like a shirtless man in the city, but it still reminds me that I can’t do the same, even on my own property.