…let us turn to one of the more unpleasant urban phenomena: the wolf whistle, the catcall, the lewd jeers and comments constantly passed from men in groups and singly to women on the street- the behavior that, at his shoeshine stand at forty-second street and eight avenue, for twenty-five years, Ben has taunted, exploited, destabilized, and aestheticized. Away from the urban center of desire Ben holds sway at, in the surrounding city streets, such comments pass as more or less ritualized expressions of hostility and aggression toward women by men who, to the extent they are thinking at all, glibly blam women for the situation of heterosexual scarcity. As every woman knows, the message that underlies such jeers and comments, no matter how much they seem to highlight her attractiveness, is not “I want to fuck you,” but rather “I know you won’t fuck me, no matter how available I make myself- so the hell with you!” The fact that at twelve-thirty in the afternoon the average construction worker on his lunch hour is no more available for a quick fuck than the average secretary on hers is not really to the question: that’s what keeps it ritualized- what allows it to leap back and forth across some fibrillating boundary between the just bearable and the wholly intolerable.
-Samuel Delany. The end! I don’t have any more quotes from this to share with you!
Times Square Red, Times Square Blue
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