‘She just wants attention’ isn’t really an uncommon statement. Passed by men and unfortunately women for other women who choose to live a life on their own terms, it is not only a sexist insult but a subtle way how men gaslight women.
Have you ever come across a picture of this beautiful lady flaunting her curves in the most sexy way? The goddess can totally step on me and I won’t complain but wait, check out the comments on her picture. Yup, right after compliments, unsolicited invites, and not-so-subtle slut shaming, you will find comments that would claim the woman is just seeking a little attention by showing off her body. Some of you may find this true and some of you may have already accepted this as normal behavior, but I refused to. And I really hope you choose to stand against it too.
These same men who are calling that woman an attention seeker probably follow her. They are already in her dms, writing paragraphs about what they shall do to her body or sending unsolicited pictures. Again, something very common.
But How Is It Gaslighting Exactly?
The woman posting her picture because she liked it never asked you to pay attention. Two women having a conversation about their respective experiences didn’t ask you to step in and pass your opinion or offer your body to them. Women walking down the road didn’t stop for you to complement them or pass a comment on their body or dress. The women standing in front of you in a bus or in a queue didn’t ask you to touch her curves or harass her. It was you, ‘men’. Men who chose to do every wrongful act. Men who chose to harass and insult someone. Men who felt it was okay to step into a random conversation and make two stranger women uncomfortable. Men who didn’t understand passing comments on strangers may not be accepted as compliments. Still the same men choose to call women attention seekers? This is what gaslighting is, isn’t it?
How Does This Affect Our Mental Health?
You know, it does affect our mental health when men choose to do something that may not be as bad for them but is definitely triggering for us. Walking down the lane, we are scared of those eyes that may check us out up and down without realizing it can be very uncomfortable for the person to have those eyes on them. Trust me, we don’t need that attention.
Sharing our pictures to make ourselves feel better and accept our bodies after so many years of mental torture and fight with our inner self is our way of telling ourselves that we are okay with how we look. It is a way to let people around us, who matter, know that we have finally decided to work on our mental health. Again, nothing, no publicity stunt, we don’t even want you to like our picture let alone comment on it. We definitely don’t want you to follow us, after you have very clearly mentioned it was just an attention seeking stunt. Leave us with whatever attention we got and don’t look back. You staying for no reason is the kind of attention we DON’T want.
Two women talking about their intimate experiences, discussing things at whatever platform they feel like is not an invitation for sex. No they are not interested in sleeping with every random man on the internet. Leave us alone, we don’t need you to step in and give our conversation unrequited attention. And we are definitely not discussing sex for you. Even if it is online, on twitter! That is our timeline, our account, our friendship, our conversation, our experiences, for us. Nobody asked you to force attention on us.
It is very difficult for women to ignore this attention that they get on a regular basis. It is sad that most women have accepted it as normal and they don’t even bother doing something against it. I don’t blame you, I know it may be your way of dealing with it. But it can still affect your mental health. It can still trigger you as much as it does to me. I am sorry you have to go through this. I am sorry men think it is their right to harass women publicly like that and then blame the victim for their own behavior.
If you are someone who struggles with stress and anxiety after such incidents, I would request you to please work on your mental health. It is important girl, you are important! I like THC as a treatment for such days, you can check out the best brands available in the market for yourself at West Word.