Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Goin' Too Far?

There’s this interesting thing that happens at the Recreation Center most evenings. The basketball/volleyball courts are surrounded by a mesh curtain to keep balls and other equipment from spilling out onto the running track that encircles all the courts. So, in the evenings, there will be a heated basketball game going on and hovering outside the mesh curtain will be a group of beautiful young women. And when I say beautiful women, I don’t mean inherently beautiful. I mean beautiful on purpose, as in perfectly styled hair, make-up, matching accessories, stylish and wrinkle free outfits, and cute shoes that have no business in a recreation center.

At first I was incredibly annoyed with these people. How dare they mill around in the middle of a racing track when people are trying to jog? That doesn’t even make sense! And how lame is it to come to the Rec, not to get exercise, but to stand around and look “cute”. Then I realized that these girls are probably freshmen, who have yet to find a real space on campus. They are still teenagers. I realized they are just trying to make friends and check out the cute guys playing basketball. They could be doing worse things.

As I was leaving the recreation center the other day, I was able to bear witness to an interesting scene.

Up ahead of me was a group of the beautiful women heading back toward the dorms. Behind me was a group of basketball players, fresh off the court, presumably also heading back to the dorms. They were discussing the girls ahead of them, loud enough for the girls to hear. Conversation quickly turned toward one girl in particular.

Man One: She goin’.

Man Two: Which one?

Man One: In the brown hat.

Man Two: Girl in the brown hat? She ain’t goin’!

Man One: Yes she is, in the brown hat, she goin’.

I figured they were talking about some party later on and I thought, “Well, the girl in the brown hat accomplished her mission: she got the attention of the boys and now they’re excited to see her at the party later on.”

They debated whether or not she was going a couple seconds more when the girl in the brown hat turned around and yelled, “WHAT?!”

“He said you goin’!” Man Two said referencing Man One’s comments.

The girl was livid. “I ain’t goin’, don’t say that!”

At this point I realized I was mistaken about the party scenario. I inferred that the term “goin” in this context meant something about promiscuity, as opposed to the Standard American English meaning. An urbandictionary.com search later on confirmed my guess.

“No, you goin, I already know!” Man One insisted.

“I ain’t goin, you goin!”

The group of boys just laughed at her retort. She said f*@k you and kept walking.

It’s sad that a young woman took the time to pick out an outfit (with a matching brown hat), carefully applied her make-up and styled her hair, and went to the Rec, probably in the hopes of catching the eye of some young man; hoping he would think she was pretty and worth hanging out with. For her troubles, she was publicly humiliated, and labeled a slut. Her friends did not defend her. None of the other men did either and neither did I …

It’s such a fine line for the heterosexual woman. Society tells you to be pretty and sexy—my own family tells me to do this—in order to “catch” a good man. Yet don’t go too far, don’t look too eager, and don’t be too sexy, because then you might be mistaken for a woman who’s “goin”: a woman who actually has sex and likes having a sex, instead of just appearing sexy.

What a hot mess.

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