23 March 2013

The Movie of Doom

As I drove in to work today, I had NPR on the radio.  I often have NPR on the radio, because I need something to quiet the voices in my head... and NPR keeps me from having to listen to love songs that make me cry over The Redhead dumping me.  Because, you know, crying is not particularly conducive to safe driving.  And isn't it amazing how many popular songs are about love?  You'd think there was nothing else available about which to write songs.

But I digress.  On the program Snap Judgement, I heard a segment by the documentary filmmaker of Seeking Asian Female.  She described how she came to make the film; described how she was uncomfortable with the way that a certain kind of (generally White) male looked at her, objectified her, and that she wanted to get into those guy's heads, wanted to see what it was that they saw when they looked at her. 

Have I mentioned that I was born in Japan? I thought about a particular incident from my life: the night that I walked through a dark parking lot, and a man in a truck drove past, turned back, parked his truck, and came to talk to me.  There is no horror story here; I talked politely but distantly to him, he got back in his truck, I got in my jeep, and I drove miles out of my way on well-trafficed streets to be sure he wasn't following me.

But it happened because of how I look, is my point; it happened because he perceived me as being part of a class of women that fit his particular desires, and it didn't have anything to do with who I was. So I have some experience of what the filmmaker was talking about, is my point.  And I listened to her piece with interest.

One thing that she said made me sad: "Steve wasn't really marriage material.  He didn't have a house, he didn't have much money...."  It made me sad because you could say those things about me.  I have a decent job, but I don't really have any savings.  I have a twelve-year-old car that my mother gave me, and it's requiring a lot of maintenance lately.  I don't have a house... I rent an apartment in a part of town that's okay, but not the best. 

When The Redhead and I were together, she wasn't my girlfriend; she was my partner.  I placed her needs, physical, emotional, spiritual, on a level with my own, and tried to find ways to fulfill those needs... hers, and mine.  Sometimes, I put her needs first.  Sometimes, I put my needs first.  Most of the time, I found ways to fulfil both of our needs at the same time. 

I'm interested in my partner's life.  I'm interested in her interests.  I'm a good friend, an affectionate partner, and, I think, a good person to be with.  But it wasn't enough for The Redhead.  And, apparently, it's not enough for the maker of the documentary.  Which makes me wonder if there's anybody it's enough for.

In the last argument that The Redhead and I had before she dumped me, I said that I chose to believe that the future would be better; that I had to believe that, or I'd end up in the bathtub with a pot on my head to keep the bullet from going through the wall after it went through my head. 

I still feel that way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looking back from a longer perspective, the future always gets better. It does it in leaps and bounds, and it does it in tiny increments, but it does it. It helps get through those hard times to know that, and I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't know it. Objectify. There is a lot of that which goes on from both genders. Whether we want to be or not, we can't help being ego-centric. How can we look at the world from any point of view but where WE are? I don't know how many people look beyond Aunt Bobbie's "he's a good provider" mentality, but I know there are SOME, and really, it's about partnership. Women wanted equality, so they need to stop looking for "providers" and start looking for partners. It's what they should have been doing all along. =)