Dear Ladies,

Please stop ruining this for the rest of us, with your “I don’t need to be told how attractive I am every, single, time I walk down the street” and “I can still eat cheesecake,” kind of twenty-four-year-old outrage. Some of us do need to be told, OK? Some of us are in our thirties now. Customer service representatives call us ma’am. We can’t remember what our natural hair color is anymore. We have no idea what CrossFit actually is or what kind of running shoes are right for just walking the dog around the block. And things are only getting harder for us. There are skinny jeans. And Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup spread. That’s mother fucking peanut butter with mother fucking chocolate. Sitting in a mother-fucking jar ready to just spread on your God-damn toast. Come on! Help a sister out, would ya!?

Some of us are trying really hard over here and we appreciate having our efforts acknowledged, so stop speaking for all of us with your catcalling shaming videos and your angry blog posts bemoaning how awful it is being told how hot you are by total fucking strangers who aren’t married to you and are therefore forced to tell you your ass looks great, even though you both know it doesn’t look great at all. Do you know what this kind of insidious lying can do to a person’s psyche? How complacent it can make you about attending spin class? Do you? If anyone should be outraged, it’s us: we women with the greying roots who no longer wear bras, but brassieres. Do you know what comes after brassieres? Harnesses, that’s what. All we had was the occasional lewd and lascivious comment yelled out by some homeless man on our walk to the subway but you, you took that away from us. And for what? So you could feel “valued as a human being?” Who the fuck are you? What makes you so fucking special?

I walked by a construction site the other day, in high heels and a questionably tight pencil skirt, and do you know what I heard? Nothing. Nothing but respect and the sound of shovels breaking ground by men hard at work. Are you happy now? Do you know how humiliating that was, to walk past a group of construction workers in orange vests, hard hats, and dirty jeans and be regarded as an equal deserving of common decency? There I am standing on the sidewalk, being thirty-four, wondering what a woman has to do around here to be objectified anymore. For the love of God, WHAT!? It was utterly mortifying. I’ve come to expect a certain amount of negative attention to feel positive about myself but you went ahead and ruined it.

How am I going to know if I can still pull off jeggings if I’m not verbally denigrated by some creepy guy who I would never even entertain having coffee with? How? Are you going to come over here and tell me, take time away from your precious Zumba? I didn’t think so.

Maybe, instead of bemoaning catcalling as an affront to women’s dignity, you could just opt-out yourself? Find a way to self-select as a woman not wanting to be verbally accosted by, say, turning thirty and eating a few too many cheese scones- even though you’ve developed lactose intolerance-so the rest of us can have our physical appearances validated in really unhealthy ways?

Failing that, why don’t you just stick to your war on gluten, k?

Thanks a bunch!

— Wendy