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  • Six months ago, I was fully informed of how much some men hate women. This information was given to me by three men I had never met before; three men that would push me to the ground and proceed to school me in the ways of their hate for me, a stranger but a woman just the same, and for this one crime, I was to be beaten, raped, and, if not for the miracle of sudden car lights, killed….destroyed…put out…helpless prey for the hunters for power on some random weekend night.

    I had heard it said before this night that rape was not about sex, but after that night it was confirmed. Rape is an act of power, hate and greed…it is little more than that…it is an evil person’s need to take his/her power back….but why me? I had never me these men before…they were decades younger than me and Bolivian village locals…our paths would have never met except I had the one thing worthy for their attack…my femininity.

    And when one is schooled the way I was on that fateful night…one begins to look around and in this gander, I have found is this hate for us is all around…it is in the magazines (ideals of beauty that no person can attain), it is on the television telling us that the only way to be happy is to win How to Snag a Millionaire and most of all, it is in our porn which is now many people go for their sex and where many young men are trained to think sex is like this and what they see is not making love but sex…words like bitch and slut have replaced terms like mi armor. And as our technology advances, our children can more readily watch this more and more and although many do not want to talk of such things…this new approach to sexual things will have its impacts on this entire human race…and there is a message in there that preaches that sex is not about love; it is about putting bitches in their places.

    It has been six months since all this came clear, six months of lawyer’s appointments, rumors, healing techniques and tons and tons of prayer. There is also a strong desire within me to clean…clean everything…inside and out and this is why I have come here…to the sea…a place that cleanses me.

    Today, I have come to Puente de Este, a beach along the Uruguayan coast and today, I sit on its sand with three men. Two of the men are in a Bob Marley cover band and the other goes by the name Mike from New Jersey. We all met in the hostel down the street and after a conversation or two, we have decided to come to the shore to watch sunset. We find a spot in the sand and sit down. I look out at the immense waters before me but I am distracted by the laughter going on behind my head. When I turn to see, I find it is one of the band members; he is laughing steadily while Mike from NJ whispers something in Spanish in his ear. Although I cannot understand what he is saying, I can tell by the Cheshire cat looks on their faces that they could only be talking about one thing…girls.

    The laughter looks at me and asks, “Can you understand anything Mike is saying?”

    I reply that I don’t need to understand the words but I can tell by Mike’s tone in his voice that there are pretty girls close.

    All three heads stare before them and nod something like, “Of course.”

    “They are..they are…” Mike says dreamily before he starts whispering in Spanish to his two friends who keep shaking with laughter by whatever he is saying.

    Because I don’t understand, I turn again towards the sea but when I do, I see what they see….two Brazilian beauties sitting right in front of us….they are finishing their day in the sun…the men I am with are right…these women are beautiful…all honey dipped, firm and young. I turn my gaze back towards the men. They don’t even notice me…they are hypnotized by the sights of these girls’ thighs…Then, Mike wakes up again,

    “We are talking about their skin.”

    I answer, “It’s beautiful, si?”

    All three heads nod without taking their eyes off of…honey dipped…

    I turn to watch the women myself.

    Galls of laughter… then I am struck by a story that I think I should tell…so I dare to step in.

    “My boyfriend, Jon, loved women like you do.”

    Although what I say doesn’t catch their eye, it does catch their ear as they already know a bit of my tale…solo woman traveler who lost a boyfriend to cancer a few years back…it is a story I am always quick to tell as it is still a defining mark for me. I tell them the story of how Jon and I ended up together, and the story goes like this. Jon was my hairdresser and after two years of self-induced nunnery, I decided to date, so I went to Jon to get my crazy ass hair done. When I told him of my plan, he looked me up and down and said,

    “Can I be honest with you?”

    “Of course. Please do.”

    He looked me up and down again.

    “You,” he said slowly, “Need a lot of work.”

    Fuck you, Jon, was the first thing I thought to myself but I had known Jon for years and knew that none of his words carried malice, so I gave him my ears and when I did, he talked them off for this was his favorite subject on earth…this subject was girls.

    So, for the next two hours, Jon talked non-stop unless he was drawing pictures, acting out scenarios, opening magazines…all of these things he did was to show me how a woman can draw any man’s eye. And at the end of his soliloquy, this is where Jon arrived,

    “The thing is this…everyone knows what pretty when they see it but what most people don’t realize is that all pretty is this…lines and motion.”

    He opened a magazine page with a super model on it to demonstrate.

    “See all the lines she has…the long legs, long hair, long nails, long lashes and the feet being elongated by a heel…you see, the more line a woman can achieve, the prettier to the male eye she is and if she can slow that line down enough for a man to have time to become intrigued…then WHAM!”

    Jon dramatically closed the magazine, threw it on the ground and then began to do his signature dance and in Zorba the Greek flourish, he raised his hands to deliver his last line,

    “When a woman realizes these two things...lines and moves…that woman rules the world!”

    And with this, I finish telling the story of Jon’s theory of line and motion. We are on the beach now and it is silent…all eyes are fixed on the girls still and the girls are getting ready to go, so the view has changed and we are all lost in the lines that these girls’ legs make. Then, the band member makes a sound of aching pain and says behind me,

    “Your boyfriend was right.”

    I whisper, “Yes, I know he was.”

    We continue to watch the girls until they leave the sand. I turn my gaze back to the three men. The band member puts his hands to his head in mock awe,

    “Those sirens made us forget that we came to watch the ocean.”

    We all laugh now…lines and motion can lead people astray.

    And then, Mike dramatically lays on the sand and in mock pain says to the sky, “ Oh the female form…you have no idea how much you intoxicate thee.”

    We laugh again and then get up to leave. That is enough of the sea for one day.

    And as I walk away, I am left with these thoughts…six months ago, I was nearly killed for this…my femininity and six months later, I had an intimate look at men’s reverence for the same thing. For this, I feel blessed as moments like this help me heal.

    Yet, there is something larger here…in a world that promotes the thoughts that women are to be hidden, oppressed and feared, I do hope that men come to realize that their power lies in their love for us, not in their hate.
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