...girls like cars and moneyyyy... (Anyone? Teenybopper reference? Good Charlotte? No? Crickets? Oh well.)
BUT. I consider myself a rather feminist-y, independent person. Sure, my life's ambition is really to be a stay-at-home-mother (and that goes against what most feminists believe is an honorable achievement) but my opinion is this: I'll be doing what I really, truly, honestly want to do regardless of what others think. Isn't that really what feminism is all about?
(That was a huge digression.)
About the feminist-y/independence: that counts for just about everything except this whole living-in-a-big-city thing I've got going on. I'm in a fairly prominent city, and while I'm in a safe area, it is a large city and with that comes risks. I know someone who was mugged a few weeks ago -- walking on a safe street in the evening by himself, four guys approached him, showed him they had a knife, and took his cell phone and wallet. So you really do have to be careful here.
Because of that, I almost always travel places with guys. Not so much when I'm taking the subway, but if I'm walking somewhere especially at night, I'll make sure to either have a guy friend or several girl friends with me. You know, the whole safety in numbers philosophy.
But my girl friends and I were talking about it recently. We notice a HUGE difference in how we're treated if we have a guy with us. If it's just us girls, we get lots of whistles and cat calls. My friend got hit on at Mass, as a matter of fact. But it's not just positive (well, the word 'positive' is relative) attention we get. Another friend, when walking by herself, was honked at and told to "Get out of the way, bitch!" -- which probably wouldn't have happened if we had a guy friend with us.
I suppose that's the price we have to pay as girls. It's not like we're flaunting what we've got (on the contrary, it's freezing here so we're all bundled up), but still. I never had this kind MUCH attention in Texas. That makes me wonder--is it a different, less respectful attitude up north? Or is it because I'm outside and exposed to so many more people?
On a semi-related note, we had a debate in one of my classes recently about benevolent sexism. I was the *only* person in my class from south of the Mason-Dixon line, and I was the *only* person in my class who argued that when a man holds a door open for a woman, or gives up his seat on the subway, it's not because he's disrespecting her -- it's because he's respecting her.