Ecuador · Expat

Woman vs man

I really do like my new place better than my old one but. But my landlady who is around 58 years old seems to enjoy yelling at her 70something husband.

Apparently it is very common for Ecuadorian men to have a much younger wife. Of course the vice versa is unheard of. Now coming from Thailand this is not unusual. Many foreign men find a younger Thai wife but I don’t live with them.

And even though Thai women (especially working girls) dress provocatively for the male species they don’t look as gaudy as they do here. I’m sorry; maybe it’s a cultural thing but the Cuencana women dress in a way that makes my upper lip curl.

The first thing you will notice is the poochy belly sticking out between thrushy jeans (or jeans worn so tight as to promote thrush) and a top that is a little shy of covering the flesh. The peek-a-boo midriff in my opinion was so 90s but in Cuenca the moda or fashion is making its appearance on an ample gut near you.

That’s right, an ample, healthy, stretched-marked belly thrust out like a hot dog balloon. The look is complimented with high heels which can be challenging to walk in on the cobblestone sidewalks and roads with rebars branching out and mystery holes and cracks sinking in. I twisted my ankle the very first day I arrived and yet I haven’t seen any woman here take a tumble.

But honestly what bothers me the most (yes it does cause great agitation) are the panty lines. You will see panty line after panty line on the majority of the women. Thongs, lacy, granny, you name it, you’ll see it – under jeans even and definitely on mothers pushing strollers and business women walking to work.

And they do it for the men.

Ah the joys of living in a machismo society and I was annoyed by the jack-in-the-box thong in the United States.

I know women dress for men. I know I’ve done it too. Although Brad argues that women dress for other women because he doesn’t like half the things that women wear and he certainly doesn’t like the clown paint.

But older women are invisible here, so after you’ve reached a certain age and none of the guys are smiling at your panty lines, then what? What happens to the women who worked so hard to grab the attention of men with their jiggle and wiggle?

Do they turn into my landlady (who is a very nice lady by the way) who yells at her husband? Do they change their “powers” from look here to come here? Is this empowering and is this what it means to wield a woman’s power?

When I listen to her raise her voice in this beautiful house with excellent acoustics, I can’t help but think about how I sound. I know I’ve yelled and I know how hard it is to work on your temper and anger. And I realize this is her house and she can damn well do whatever she likes in it. But – I don’t want to sound like that. I want to remember this moment. I want remember to widen the camera lens and see and hear myself, just like I can hear her.

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3 thoughts on “Woman vs man

  1. I know John agrees with Brad. He thinks how women dress, women's magazines, etc. are all because women dress or make themselves up for other women. An interesting thought. I wonder what my dad thinks?

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  2. A couple of friends and I were talking about this post during lunch and my male friend brought up a good point ~ all this provocativeness AND in a very Catholic society.

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  3. But you see, it's all that heavy concentration on SIN, especially on a Sunday, that does it to the Catholics. I know, because I'm Catholic (but no longer practicing). Every day you are instructed to dwell on your sins: sin, sin, sin. See?

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