It’s 3AM and I’m surrounded by 6-7 guys reaching for the 6th beer to re-juice now that they can feel the effects of their previous can wearing off. How I got myself in a situation where I’ve become the only girl left in a house party I’ll never know. But here I was, desperately calling up every girl who’s still awake at this godforsaken time to come rescue me; to either take me away with her or at the very least come keep me company. Never before had I felt so, so alone.
The irony of this is that I had volunteered to stay because there was one other girl and she said she’d be staying the night. Not wanting her to be the only one staying in a house full of guys, I decided that there’s safety in numbers. Soon after, she went to sleep. Funny how that turned out.
But this was the thing – I had grown up with guys. My best friends at home were guys. I naturally gravitated towards talking to guys. Being younger, our bodies were barely different: I had short hair, wore typical “boy” clothes, played sport, never had much interest in typical “girl” things. I was the son my dad never had. I had felt so comfortable around guys but that night I had never felt so out of place. It was, put simply, the remarks the boys made that would be categorised as “boys will be boys”. It was the remarks that when I said I’m trying to get another girl here, they said “Oh yeah, I’m gonna fuck her. We’re all going to fuck her”. It was the crude-ness of “I wanna get off with someone” and the “who’s fair game” and the predatory attitudes.
It was then that I suddenly became so aware of my body. I’m not attractive and it wasn’t that I thought they were attracted to me, but it was that I was not the same as them. I was not a boy. I had never felt more aware of every single part of me that made me “not a boy” – of how much I was not one of them. This is a problem. Not the fact that I finally realised I was not and could never be one of them, but the fact that it seemed natural, easy, and even familiar for them to talk about girls this way. That it had flowed so easily out of their mouths, and even more so with some intoxication, and not thinking there was anything wrong with it. That this kind of attitude is okay and normal. I mean the kind of attitude that normalises the objectification of girls, of speaking about girls like a goal to achieve, of not only thinking about using girls for personal gain but also speaking about it, and quite frankly, speaking about all these things in the presence of another girl. I felt sick. It’s been two days since the party at the time of writing this post and I still feel the anxiety and discomfort coursing through my veins. Who would have thought it was possible for a single human being to feel so completely and utterly alienated from her peers, most whom she had felt growing friendships with, because of the offhand comments they made and the attitudes they wore snugly like a puffer jacket on a cold winter morning. I believed before that there was a divide between boys and girls but I never thought the divide was a chasm and the only bridge to this divide was nowhere to be found.