ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion


Guatemala is a fairly typical Latin culture in terms of gender roles and machismo. The primary impact of this on me, as a foreigner, is the men's piropos -- comments and attention-getting noises on the streets.

Mostly, here in Xela, they're "ch-ch" or hissing noises, and relatively easy to ignore. Sometimes they're a little more explicit comments. Or a lot more explicit. Local women ignore them, and I do, too.

I had kinda lost the edge of my ignoring knife in my time back in the US, but now I'm back up to speed, just in time to leave on Thursday, of course.

But yesterday was a surprising day in that I was physically approached TWICE by men who were quite odiferously drunk (and therefore pretty much impossible for me to understand). What is it about the phase of the moon or whatever that makes things like that happen in clusters?

My first week here, I had a man follow me for a block on his bicycle while trying to make me pay attention to him. At least he wasn't being rude (other than the following me part) in his comments.

I always wonder what's going on in that kind of experience for a man. It's far from the majority of men, or it would happen every two minutes, but it's certainly a noticeable percentage. Is it a search for affirmation, or a desire to get a reaction, or do they really think that some women will swoon in delight at their feet?

Whatever it is, it won't be missed when I leave :)

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