“Hey there, sexy white girl.” Hand on heart, I promise that’s what I heard some bloke shout out very loudly in the street a couple of days ago. I’m not entirely sure who its intended target was. Also recently: “Hey there, sexy lady”. (I’m spotting a bit of a pattern here. Do you think there’s a letching equivalent of graffiti tags?)
This time I know that was definitely meant for me because the man in question leered right into my face as he said it, whilst I was blithely walking down a supermarket aisle. That sounds quite innocent as I read it back so let me tell you what happened next. I imagine that I must have looked less than flattered at his overtures, as it was swiftly followed by “Stuck up cow”. Except in the real-life post-watershed version, ‘cow’ wasn’t what he said. Not really what you expect when you’re choosing your veg.
Now you’ve got to understand that I’m not against expressions of appreciation of the female form. That’s not my point. A building site wolf-whistle can be quite gratifying and can give the day a lift. I’m not mad keen on comments being shouted out, but a whistle is just fine. Or a chirpy “Morning, darlin’” is also good. “Cheer up, it might never happen” is just brave.
My point is more that comments such as the ones above are frankly bizarre. What possible reaction is he hoping for? That it’ll make a girl stop for a chat and go for a drink? That it’ll end up being the amusing story often told in years to come about how granny and granddad first met? That seems unlikely. Or, are there really girls out there who find this kind of thing not only acceptable, but flattering? Can I be that out of touch with modern dating etiquette?
I’m sure most women will have their own favourite stories to tell of similar things. One of my personal all time faves took place about a thousand years, when a teenager who was cycling past called out “F**k me, please”. I remember being most taken aback by the politeness of the ‘please’. It’s good to know that whatever the circumstances, there’s never an excuse to forget your manners.