Since the beginning of this semester, I’ve noticed a big Marine-looking student eyeballing me with sex in his eyes. At first, I thought he was just an observant kid who was caught staring by another observer. Then, I concluded that he was an imposingly large gay man. Last Friday, he needed help with Comp. I, and I was like, “Hey, dude, you see this beard? I’m totally about boobies,” internally of course. But by the end of our session, I had revised my earlier homo-hypothesis and decided he was just studious and nervous about asking for help; that is until he asked for my phone number "in case he had a question" over the weekend. Now, I can understand wanting to get to know someone, but to sneak in my defense through the back door, so to speak, offends me. That’s like saying, “Can I get your number in case I need someone to talk me out of suicide this weekend? Maybe I’m lying, but maybe I need your help.” I was so completely sure of his heterosexually that his abrupt request left me responding with a long “uuuuuuuuhhhhhhh…” as I tried to figure a reason to say no. He turned red, averted his eyes and started to blubber understanding as I grumbled guiltily. If you don’t know shit and are under deadline, you panic and ask men for their phone numbers, right? So I gave him mine and sternly told him not to call me unless he had no other choice. Poor kid. I wouldn’t have minded giving a fiery tranny my number if I truly thought s/he really needed help, but as I said, this fellow was much bigger and musclier than me, and he seemed very insecure and unsure of himself. Those elements combine to create danger (think Taxi Driver), and I don’t like such unpredictability in potential stalking rapists. I prefer knowing exactly what kind of situation I’ve unwittingly bunny-hopped into. Gilda’s machinegun laughter filled my ear when I called her after work and expressed my immediate regret and irrational worry.
For those of you shrugging off this story as homophobia, here is my pathetic* retort:
Ladies, imagine the largest, most awkward man who’s ever advanced himself upon you. Now, think of his advance, Ted Bundy style. Maybe his leg really is gimpy, and he needs your help carrying his books into his windowless van. Or, maybe he just wants to rape and kill you. You’ll never know until he calls you on Saturday for help in his composition class.
Gentlemen, imagine the same thing.
*Aristotle’s persuasive “pathos,” not “pathetic pity”
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