(I will sidestep the issue of what a sophisticated cosmopolitan like myself is doing in Hicksville, USA. It's a good question, but the answer is beyond the scope of this discussion.)
So I'm walking down the street one spring evening after watching the sunset at a local park. I'm wearing my athletic clothes - the clothes that I picked out for a hike in the woods earlier that day. My outfit consists of a plain white cotton tank top, a pair of tennis shoes designed for jogging, and a breezy pair of shorts that leaves little to the imagination. My hair is done up in a cute but sporty braid. A close look from the front would reveal that I am physically male, but from a distance, or from the back, a person couldn't be blamed for thinking I was a girl.
I chose these clothes for two reasons - 1) because it was hot, and I was going to be exercising, and I like to wear as little clothing as is reasonable, and 2) because I like to wear clothes that make me feel sexy, and my legs are one of my best features. Plus, my butt looks great in these shorts (naturally, I wore them with a thong).
Now, I'm not under any illusion that men aren't going to check me out in an outfit like this. I'm actually in a unique place where I know (better than most, if not all, women) what goes through a man's head when he spots an attractive girl in sexy clothes. I check girls out all the time (although I'm not obnoxious about it), and I always appreciate it when they wear things that are skimpy and sexy in public (summertime at the pool is like eyecandyland, and if country folk are good for one thing, it's a lack of modesty). Ghandi said, "be the change you wish to see in the world", so I generally like to dress the way I like to see other girls dressing.
But there are friendly and unfriendly ways to appreciate another person's look. Take what happened to me the other day, on my walk to the post office. I was wearing even less revealing shorts that day, but I still got some comments from a group of young hillbillies hanging out on the porch in the middle of a weekday. A woman said to me, "hey good-lookin', I like dem shorts yer wearin'." Now, she could have been saying that sarcastically, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt, and returned a smile as I continued on my way.
But then one of the men standing there had to stick his dick into the conversation (metaphorically speaking). He asked if he could walk with me. I didn't really believe he was being serious, so I silently shook my head and kept walking. The last thing I hear as I move out of earshot is, "I'll take you to the train trestle." Like, honestly, in what universe does shouting at a stranger on the street make them want to fuck you? Especially when I'm the hot piece of ass, and you're the dirty hick who hasn't bathed in days, has a drug habit, and is most likely on welfare? I'll tell you one thing, if you enjoyed the sight of me (even if it was just to make fun of me), shouting at me like that is a surefire way to get me to choose a different return route.
Maybe he thought I was a prostitute. It wouldn't be the first time. I passed a man checking out cars while I was walking beside the edge of a used car lot once, and he said to me, "can I go witchu?" I stared at him with a confused expression on my face, and he gave me a closer look and must have recognized his error (probably not so much that I wasn't a prostitute, but that I had the wrong anatomy for a "hook-up"). He said "never mind," and I went on my way, with another story to tell when I got home.
It could be worse. I don't actually mind being mistaken for a prostitute, even though the prostitutes in this town are bottom rung fare, usually strung out on coke or heroin or, god forbid in this town, meth. It's not so bad when men mistake me for a hot, fuckable chick. It's more dangerous when they realize I'm not. I don't want to minimize the threat of being raped, but I'd rather be on the wrong end of desire than disgust. One time, a truck passed me on the street, and the man in the passenger seat flicked the contents of his tobacco spitoon (a.k.a., re-purposed beer bottle) right at me, ruining a perfectly good white t-shirt. I can't be sure if it was a hate crime (think of the ending to Easy Rider) or simply a demonstration of the antisocial tendencies some of the "hillbilly proud" garbage in this town prides itself on. Either way, nobody wins.
I'm just saying, is it really that horrible an act for a man to dress like a girl? Are girls that inferior, that a man wanting to be one is a piece of trash? I was dolled up one day at Walmart, in celebration of a girl's birthday, and some random guy says in my direction, "git dat dress off, boy!" (Right, am I supposed to do the rest of my shopping in my frilly panties?). Like, do you really think I care about the style opinion of a fat slob in muddy work clothes, whose parents are probably cousins? It's sad enough that this person can't appreciate the beauty of a man in a dress, but he has to insist on eliminating it so that nobody else can enjoy it either? Get over yourself! Anyway, you have to be pretty stupid to feel it necessary to broadcast your own bigotry in public like that.
Which brings us back to the incident I started with. I was walking past the local ice cream parlor in my athletic clothes, and this neanderthal begins to call out from the bustling crowd. He bleats out some generic, testosterone-fueled catcalls, and I try my best to ignore him and calmly get out of sight as quickly as possible. The ice cream parlor is filled with families and their kids, and this guy thinks it's a brilliant idea to draw all the attention onto his raging hormones (and terrible flirtation skills) - and me. I know what it's like when you see a hot girl walking down the street, but have some self-restraint, man. He was really persistent, too. Like, do you really think shouting at me is going to make me want to have anything to do with you?
But the worst part was the end. I don't know if he was disgruntled from me completely brushing him off, or if he took a second glance and noticed that, hey, dude looks like a lady. I can imagine the person he was with, or maybe one of the friendly teenage girls who work at the ice cream parlor and who have seen me in the neighborhood before, tipped him off. But then he shouts at me in an angry voice, "fuckin' faggot!" Like, okay, great. Sure, he has to preserve his manhood because he totally just got a hard-on for a man in short shorts (and, like an idiot, had to make absolutely sure everybody in that crowd knew it). But because of the way I look or the way I dress - which, if you trace it back, is probably due to a nonstandard combination of genetics (i.e., I was born this way, although it took me a long time to figure it out) - I deserve to be the target of angry hate speech? Real nice, dude. Real nice.
So, I'm subjected to both catcalls and gay bashing, and I'm neither a woman, nor gay. It doesn't inspire much faith in humanity. And these are the kind of people who are breeding like rabbits (à la Idiocracy) - having unprotected sex in high school one generation after the next, too stupid to plan ahead or think of the consequences (tell me, how is it that people like this are actually getting laid?). I think it's the people who are smart enough not to procreate that should seed the next generation, but I guess evolution will open its legs for just anybody...