I Dress {Down} for the Men


Republished from Coco+Creme — I had my outfit all picked out. It wasn’t too revealing but showed off my athletic curves and was the brightest shade of pink my eyes have ever seen. But there was no way I’d wear this out. Sure I felt good in the confines of my Harlem apartment, but I knew it would be different once I stepped out the door. The damn-I’m-looking-good would quickly shift to why-did-I-wear-this once the block boys started making their incessant comments.

Even if I tried to distract myself by tinkering on my BlackBerry, it wouldn’t shield me. I’d feel naked until I reached my intended destination.

I attend a lot of events that require me to dress up a bit and my style leans towards anything with sequins, ruffles or bold prints.

The nature of some (not all) men on the block: they feel the need to comment on any woman who passes their line of vision, whether she’s five feet away or on the other side of the street. And women like myself who dress extra “fancy” get the loudest commentary.

“You don’t want to talk to me MJ?” That was the comment when I rocked a thrifted sequin vest.

“BITCH, YOU DON’T EVEN MATCH!” Those sweet words were uttered after I ignored a man’s advances. He clearly didn’t appreciate me mixing a tribal print dress with a lace top.

I’ve never really had issues with men in any other setting, it’s just the men on the block. I’m sure these same people wouldn’t dare say such things if they were alone or around other civilized folks in a social setting.