Just another random guy telling a woman what to do with her body

So, another guy decided to tell me what he wants me to do with my body to please his eyes. Never mind that i hardlyScreen-Shot-2014-10-29-at-11.09.03-AM knew him. Never mind that the few interactions i had with him on social media were about him as an African-American reaching out because he wanted a better understanding on some issues especially as it affects Africa and Africans. Never mind that i treated him with utmost respect, taking time to answer his questions and i thought the respect was mutual. But alas, he was just another man who refused to understand that telling a woman what to do with her body, to please their ‘manly gaze’, is just totally wrong.

Well, he decided to express his displeasure with my weight loss. He sent messages to my Facebook inbox , starting with a disgusted face sticker, cos well, words weren’t enough to express just how disgusted he was that i lost my ‘meaty’ figure!

sidney edited

what u doing to yourself? u used to be a buxom voluptuous woman. u need to get some more meat on dem lovely bones.my eyes cant feast on u anymore.

Yeah, he started is message with a disgusted face sticker. Cos, well, that is just how disgusted he feels about me losing weight. As he stated, his eyes can’t feast on me anymore. Poor chap.

Of course, i didn’t hold back in telling him exactly what i thought he should do with his ‘manly gaze’.

sidney edited 1sidney edited 2

That’s very insulting and I am very disappointed that you have this kind of patriarchal mindset. I thought you were more evolved than this lousy comment.

First, it is my body, not yours.

What i do with my body is my business, not anyone else’s business.

It is very sexist and patriarchal of you to use language that implies my body is for you or any other man to FEAST on. I am not a piece of meat on display for your ‘manly gaze’.

If my existence or looks hurt your eyes, then take your fucking eyes somewhere else, i never asked for you stare, look or feast on me BTW, I didn’t know you have been feasting on me, i am so glad now that there is one less sexist man feasting on me.

Crawl out of that cave you woke up in today that made you think it was ok for you to tell me I should put on some meat on my bones cos you liked feasting your eyes on me when i was “a buxom voluptuous woman”. Gawd, do you even understand how patronising that sounds?

And truly, shed that sexist, patriarchal attitude and stop telling women what to do with their bodies, we do not exist for your pleasure! My body. My choice. My Right.

Did he understand this simple truth? Of course he wouldn’t even think about it cos it’s easier to blame his victim.

sidney edited 3

its not patriarchal, it matriarchal. u insult me with that. i dont think appreciating a woman’s beauty is patriarchal, i don’t think loving women is patriarchal. if i admire your buxom voluptuous beauty, its not patriarchal. if I express my opinion about you, or any part of you, body, mind or spirit, its not patriarchal. not what you are doing has a name but I wont name it because THEN you might accuse me of being patriarchal when in fact it would appear you are more patriarchal than me. You have gone beyond the pale, out of bounds and past your limits in your evaluation and attribution of motive to me.

He just kept trying to pathetically justify his action, even claiming i am the one who is patriarchal. lol

sidney edited 4

and yes, i see NOTHING WRONG in enjoying you as a complete person.

sexist? stop it.

sensuality and beinf sensual and enjoying it is not sexist nor pariarchal.

i respect ur sensitivity, but u are wrong here if u think i am insensitive.

i expressed myself to u as a friend.

it was tongue in cheek

i was obviously mistaken to think that you knew me better.

Somehow in his mind, i was to blame for reading his words rather than reading his mind.  And his pathetic attempt at pacifying me ended up as very patronising. Well, he couldn’t apologise, after all, he still couldn’t see how he was wrong. According to him, he respects my sensitivity, cos well, i was just being “sensitive” about being talked to like a piece of meat, albeit one no longer fit for his consumption and pleasure!

sidney edited 5sidney edited 6sidney edited 7

I don’t care what your motives or intentions were, all i know FOR CERTAIN is that you have no right to tell me what to do with my body.

Keep your opinion of my body to your self.

Don’t tell me or any woman to put on weight or lose weight FOR YOUR BENEFIT or Pleasure

Don’t ever treat or talk to me like I am a piece of meat for you to feast your eyes on. Obviously you still can’t see how your choice of words are very insulting.. Feast on .. as if i am a pie e of meat for your pleasure and consumption. So i should just go make myself more meaty so you can Feast your eyes on me again. as Now, i am sore to your meaty loving eyes. EEEK!!!!

Enjoy whatever goes on in your mind, you cross the line when you abuse whatever facebook friendship i have with you when you tell me what i should do with my body to PLEASE YOU.

I did not solicit for your opinion of my body. Keep your opinions to yourself.

Do you think you are the only man who feel they are entitled to tell me or other women what to do with our body? I get this kind of lousy behaviour every day. It is harassment. Catcalls, random opinion of guys on my body. Guys insisting i smile for them. Guys telling me to lose weight. Guys saying i need to keep my curves and stop losing weight. I am so tired of such assholes. It is my body, you all should just keep your opiniony of my bod to your entitled sexist selves!

Again, NEVER tell a woman what to do with her body. We don’t exist for your sexist gaze or approval. You should read the articles wrote on similar attitude of men telling women what to do with their bodies.

Stop telling black women what to do with their hair or skin!

Everyday Sexism: Catcalls and Street Harassment 

I saw he was still busy typing, no doubt trying to justify his action. At this point, i knew i had to disengage.

Sidney edited 8

I do not wish to spend any more time engaging with you on this. Pls, respect my space. I don’t care to read whatever it is you are typing right now. Just give it a rest. Go think about your comments and read the articles. I don’t want to hear or read anymore attempt of you trying to justify your comment. There is no excuse .

Did he get it? No, but at least he disengaged. However,  he couldn’t resist telling me how i was to blame for not understanding him. Well, at least he did say “ok. bye.”

sidney edited 9

u act like i was giving u a command. I know how u feel about such things. i have read ur commentaries about sexist patriarchal insults and attitudes.

ok. bye.
Well, that was that. This was especially sad because this guy actually considered himself to be amongst the ”good’, 557264_423393704397930_1730387465_n‘decent’, ‘women supporting’ men out there, but his words and mindset speak otherwise. Unfortunately, like many other men, he just wasn’t willing to admit that he consciously or unconsciously still sees and treats women as a piece of meat whose existence is to aesthetically please his ‘manly gaze’.  Men, please, stop doing this.



  1. kestrel says

    Wow. He seemed completely unable to listen.

    I think we can be so immersed in a patriarchal culture that we don’t even notice it sometimes. Just like a fish who has always lived in polluted water can’t see the pollution because it is all they know. Maybe that’s the case for this guy; he wants to be a good person but does not see or realize how his culture has taught him to be controlling of women.

    I thought your response was great.

  2. says

    It’s fatiguing to see this. Really -- quite exhausting. Just when you think you can have a conversation with a man as though you are a human being, you’re reminded you’re not one.

    A relative once said to me in passing that she really felt like a woman when wearing her satin panties. I asked her if a man could enjoy wearing something silky and soft -- if he felt as much pleasure as she did -- would that make him feel like a woman? She thought that was stupid, and pointedly asked me what made me feel like a woman. I told her what I’ve been saying since I was a little girl: every morning I wake up thinking I’m just me. Sometimes I can go an hour or two being just me. But then someone or something always comes along to remind me I’m a girl, and I realize I can never just be me to those who see me as a girl first, and maybe a person later, if I’m lucky.

    I look at your shortened C.V. to the left of the page and wonder just what it would take for a man to talk to you as an African trade unionist and activist with a law degree, rather than something to satisfy his appetite with. At the risk of being a little too bloodthirsty, I’m sure glad you kicked his ass. 🙂

  3. efogoto says

    This was the real zinger: “Pls, respect my space.” As though he knew how to respect a person’s space. Hah!

  4. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    Anytime a guy says he’s a “good guy” it’s usually a prelude to messiness.

    You were quite respectful in your rebuttals, even offering ways for him to educate himself in how his actions were wrong. The first step is admitting that there’s a problem, he isn’t even there yet.

  5. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @kestrel -Thanks, I think that was exactly his problem in this exchange. He just couldn’t understand why his action was wrong because it seems to be so used to it. I only wished he had just listened instead of trying to justify his action. Men telling women what to do with their bodies is so normalised that some men just can’t imagine it any other way. Therefore, they fight any attempt to change the status quo, after all, the status quo is in their favour and it puts them right on top of the control ladder.

  6. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @mysteriousqfever- Oh Yes! That’s exactly what i have been saying for so long. The times i am reminded that i am a woman first and foremost before i am a human being are often propelled by the actions and words of men around me.

    It especially hurts and very annoying when it comes from people i have actually worked with. Comrades who should know better. Men who tell me they respect my work, my brain and my achievements but
    -wouldn’t hesitate to sexually harass me at office gatherings or the slightest opportunity they get.
    -- wouldn’t think twice about suffocating me with unwanted sexual advances even when they are obviously married.
    -- wouldn’t hesitate during a debate or argument, to remind me that they have a woman at home, in fact that they have two or three wives at home so i should shut up and listen.

    Damn, i am reminded I am a woman when i go for a walk to enjoy a good weather but guys on the street think it is an invitation to comment on my look, ask me to smile and some even get abusive when their catcalls are not acknowledged. Men make me feel like their definition of a woman every day, and it is not a good feeling. It is outright dehumanising. They do all these and then and then wonder why feminists are so angry!

  7. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @efogoto- He obviously had no space boundary but i do hope he learns for the sake of the women in his life. With attitude like that, he would make women around him feel miserable without even intending to.

  8. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    Chancellor of the Exchequer- Thanks, I tried to keep it together for as long as i could even though that disgusted face emoticon he sent just kept messing with my head. I mean , in real life, would any decent person look at another human being with such disgusted face especially when they’ve done them no harm?

    And i did consider him a decent person because he was an African America brother who was concerned about homophobia and would ask me for useful resource materials on the history of homosexuality in Africa. Also, even though he does not identify as an atheist, he was challenging religion , well western religion, in his own way.

    I really hope he has a rethink about his mindset, admit the problem and endeavour to change his attitude towards women. Being a good guy on one social justice issue does not mean you get a free pass to be nasty to women.

  9. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    And i did consider him a decent person because he was an African America brother who was concerned about homophobia and would ask me for useful resource materials on the history of homosexuality in Africa.

    Great Googly Moogly. I’m white as they come, never been to Africa, and I’ve got a copy of Boy Wives & Female Husbands on my bookshelf 30-35 feet away. Nor are you and Will Roscoe the only authors I’ve read on African queerness/homosexuality.

    Has this guy never heard of bookstores? Google?

    Dropping the responsibility for the basic research in your lap is just as awful as any of the rest of the problems with his messages. Oy, vey.

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