How To Handle A Read

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.soc' started by Taylor, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. Taylor

    Taylor Guest

    How To Handle A Read

    by Angela Gardner

    You've just spent hours shaving, putting on make up and slipping into
    your nicest conservative daytime outfit. You've primped, plucked and
    powdered. You top it off with your sexy new lipstick, take a final
    look in the mirror at the gorgeous, passable woman there and climb
    into your car. As you drive to your objective for the day, perhaps a
    trip to a friendly store, a walk through a distant mall or dinner
    with a friend. You feel confident and feminine. The jangled nerves of
    getting to the car and out of your neighborhood are beginning to
    settle down.

    Then, as you wait at a red light with your hands on the wheel in your
    most graceful pose, you hear an ominous sound. A strange cackling and
    hooting is coming from the car next to your or behind you or across
    the intersection. Yes... you've just been read.

    At this point, most of us are more than a little red at being read.
    No one likes to feel that she wasted two or three hours of
    preparation time spent that day, not mention the hours and hours of
    perfecting her feminine ways in the past years just to be read by the
    first carload of cretins to drive by. How do you deal with being
    read? What should you do and what shouldn't you do.

    You should try not to hide. Get away from the area certainly, but
    don't hide. That only draws more attention to yourself. Lying down on
    the car seat or jumping behind a bush may seem Iike the only thing to
    do, but it is not something a real woman would do. The act of hiding
    will only confirm the reader's assessment of your gender. Move away
    from them with dignity. As for their derision, take it until you can
    move away.

    The words "take it" really sum up what your attitude must be. If a
    group of immature jerks were laughing and pointing at a woman, she
    might wonder what they were so excited about, but she would not do
    anything other than ignore them. There is nothing you can do to
    convince your tormentors that you are a real woman or that they
    should pick up a dictionary and learn the meaning of the
    word "tolerance." If they decide you are a man in drag, all you can
    do is not react and hope to leave them with some doubts. Try to
    appear as if you don't know they even exist. Look straight ahead,
    play with the radio or study your manicure. Don't get aggressive
    yourself. Don't make obscene gestures or tell them what you think of
    their manners or parentage. That type of response could make you a
    candidate for plastic surgery, even if you didn't need it before. Of
    course, you could adopt a belligerent attitude if you packed a .357
    Magnum in your purse, but we get enough bad image stuff from TV-
    killers in the movies. Besides, it isn't ladylike!

    To some, it may sound sexist to insist on your acting passive.
    Passive worked for Gandhi. Give it a try. Granted, there are women
    who would not take the kind of harassment you might be subjected to,
    but one of them is not there to help you out. Violent responses will
    not help you or change your tormentor's attitude. It's a lot more
    embarrassing to be in the emergency room of a hospital with a ripped
    dress, torn stockings and fat lip than it is to take a little abuse
    while remaining dignified and demure.

    What does it mean to be read? Not all reads are as raucous as the
    example I've just used. Sometimes you will be in a public place and
    you will see someone's lips move in the "That's a man!" pattern. What
    do you do about that? Well, you're most likely not facing any
    physical danger so what's the big deal~ You've just entertained a
    bored housewife or an accountant whose idea of excitement is a new
    calculator. Ignore them. Go on about your business and continue to
    act like a woman. You will stop being a novelty if you just continue
    to do what you were doing. If they absolutely won't stop staring, try
    staring back and smiling! Most likely they will turn away and try to
    ignore you.

    If you're going to be read at all, the nicest way is to hear someone
    whisper, "That's a man?" The question in their voice lets you know
    that all though they suspect you're not exactly what you appear to
    be, your beauty and poise have left large doubts in their minds. Of
    course, any read, even the nicest ones, can be a pain. What should
    you do afterward? Do you drive home, rip off your wig (if you are
    wearing one, please check beforehand), wash off your make-up, and vow
    never to indulge in this humiliating behavior again? Of course not!
    That impulse, like the urge to hide, will get you nowhere. For every
    read you detect, there are a few you are not aware of at all. There
    are also hundreds of people who see you on your public outings and
    hove no idea that you are anything but what you appear to be. Don't
    let being read discourage you. No one passes all of the time. As long
    as we only cross the gender line a few times each month, there will
    always be something masculine about us that, from the right angle, in
    the right place, to the wrong person, will give us away.

    What's important is your attitude. You have as much right to be where
    you are, dressed as you choose, as anyone else in the place. Ninety
    percent of the time, if you look and act relaxed, as- if you belong
    there, you will pass. don't worry about the other ten percent. As
    long as people who notice don't think it's their duty to rearrange
    your body parts, then don't let their attention bother you.

    Another component of passing that is hard to gauge is the 'getting
    away with it' factor. Many members of the general public are
    perceptive enough to notice that there is something wrong with this
    picture, but they have manners, breeding, style or they're just too
    apathetic to care. The point is, don't worry about what they think.
    Project the image you want to the best of your ability and enjoy
    yourself. Use discretion about where you go and how you dress. Look
    appropriate and stay relaxed. It's' up to you to make your outings a
    fun time that can help you grow personally. Try to remove the anxiety
    from the experience and enjoy!


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