Sunday, October 27, 2013

People watching in Randwick

One day I was walking through Randwick Junction when I noticed a young woman carrying a bottle of water. She seemed vaguely dissatisfied, and decided to cheer herself up by being playfully sexual in quenching her thirst, bringing the bottle to her lips in a way distinctly suggestive of fellatio. I was the only person really watching, and I was torn between giving her a knowing smile and silently pointing out that such gestures cannot be made without reinforcing the notion that it's rewarding to be a woman who satisfies men - with or without them satisfying her back.

Should I have done the former? It's difficult enough for a woman to find a way to enjoy her sexuality without onlookers judging her, right? So what if her performance affirms the patriarchy? I do a lot of things unintentionally that have the same effect of playing into social expectations. Sexuality should be celebrated, not scrutinised. And yet, if it's that hard for me to break out of my social upbringing, I imagine it's even more difficult for others.

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