Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Invisible Women

I'm a closet fan of Ugly Betty. I gleefully, clandestinely burrow into my couch and watch the Internet rerun of it every Friday afternoon after work. It might actually be one of the highlights of my week, second only to getting to Second Work early enough to take a nap in my car.

I watched this latest episode with interest, because some of the plot lines were similar to events I had observed during the course of my own day at work, and during a date the evening before. (Please mark your calendars that I had a date on February 16, 2007 because it is likely you will likely not be party to such an event until Halley's Comet makes another pass over the Earth)


This latest episode featured a new recurring character named Becks, whom I despise not only because someone in the writing department was apparently reading an US Weekly when they were brainstorming character names, but also because he is unabashedly and gleefully a Male Pig. In the fifteen or so minutes he was in the episode, he called a woman a "fattie", berated the Betty character for being unattractive, and insinuated that a woman who was overweight during his college years would likely be desperate for a call for a man, because she had to be "working on her third or fourth chin by now".

Usual self-righteous abhorrence cast aside, I was intrigued by the way the man operated...separating the Hotties from Notties and then reserving his most biting scorn for the women in between--the ones who, with a nudge in the direction of a makeover counter and a SlimFast would be total foxes. So, as kind of a part two in my ongoing rant about Male Piggism and why they can't just give us a goddamn break to get our asses smallerized without feeling like shit about it, I have to wonder why this happens and who said it was ever okay to do it.

The reason why this sort of enraptured me was because one of my coworkers at Second Work does the exact same things, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized nearly every Male Pig I know does that, too. I watched the coworker, whose job it is to check in music teachers and students and pass out paychecks at the end of the day, and I noticed he did three things as females passed by the desk:

1) If the female was attractive, he would get a hopeful look in his eye and fixate on her until she talked to him.

2) If the female was obviously unattractive or old or asexual in some sort of way, he would joke around with them and carry on fairly long conversations with them about their day or their pet guinea pig named Nibbles (she's a tragic spinster with a Prince Valiant haircut...that's all you need to know)

3) If the female was young and sort of average looking or attractive but overweight, he ignored them. If they initiated contact, he was curt and sarcastic and immediately moved on to the next person after he had given an response.

At first I thought I was being oversenstive and crazy about the whole thing, probably smarting from saying hello to him in the morning and receiving only a raised eyebrow in response. But as I sat in my little fishbowl studio and watched him interact with the customers and the teachers and the moms who came to the counter, I realized he really had established a pattern on how to treat the different castes of women in the store. I just really, really wonder why the third group of girls would warrant the cold treatment from him, though, and why that seems to be such a prevalent attitude with young men. Are they afraid of catching obesity by being kind to the fat chick? Do they think if extending courtesy or kindness to someone they're not attracted to would give the girl false hope that she's acceptable for dating? Is he really just that offended by their non-hotness that his contempt forces him to act this way?

I would really love someday to sit my male friends, many of whom I've witness first-hand being guilty of this very behavior, and ask what exactly they're afraid of. I want to know if it's peer pressure, or the fear that the loves of their lives might have flabby arms or a shelf booty and what that says about them if they accept it. And I really want to know why they have no idea that it hurts really badly to be treated so poorly or worse, treated like you ought not to exist at all.

Weigh-in tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be a pound or two closer toward having the right to be seen in public in the company of males again.


Vickie said...

I think this is so true - and if you throw race into the equation - there is a whole other set of behaviors. . .

I'm Fat said...

What an ass. Could you take a picture of him so we can make fun of him online? Kidding. Obviously two wrongs don't make a right, but I would love to see what he looks like. He's a shallow flake if he is acting that way. I am sure he hasn't a clue, either.

Lori said...

I had several theories about your coworker and his attitude.

The bottom line is that women are a commodity to him; he can obviously be kind to the hopelessly ugly.

(And by the way, the tragic spinster with the Prince Valiant haircut...omg, that's so funny and I think every workplace by law is required to have someone like this working [more points if they are bucktoothed]. And Nibbles...!)

But those of us with a shelf booty, double chins, we obviously must not give a damn about men or we would be seriously working on this (never mind that some of us ARE working on this and not for that guy either). We must not care what they think so consequently, guys like him won't be bothered to be nice either.

I suspect that a majority of men who are like this would say that if it bothered us to be treated this way, then we should get off our ass (their words) and do something about it.

I could say something about life eventually giving him something to worry about like a lack of hair, beer gut, etc. but these guys still think they deserve a young, hot, athletic babe even though they may be 45+ with the aforementioned problems.

The good thing about men like this, their asshole behavior is usually obvious so most women can (and should) avoid them.

Good luck on the weigh-in! I know you'll do fine!

princess iveylocks said...

I think he knows the first tier is out of his league and the second tier is harmless, but the attainable women scare him for some reason.