to the middle aged man who told me to smile on 3rd and Yew st

It was Labour Day and I was standing on the corner of west 3rd and Yew St looking at my phone and you walked by and said to me "Smile. You always look so miserable why don't you ever smile?" (Obviously you have seen me before?) I looked up and gave you a very confused look and you continued to say "you are too pretty to look so mad all the time." Absolutely nothing was wrong and I was in a fine mood. I have resting b**** face. My face is naturally scowly when it is resting. Why do I have to smile? Do I ow you, a stranger, a smile? Why? Am I here for YOUR viewing pleasure? If you want to see a smile go look in the mirror and smile at yourself. It's overbearing, invasive and slightly eerie for men to tell women (that they've never met before) to smile. I can't help but wonder if you are commanding men to smile on the street? Telling a woman to smile, even if your intent is purely innocent is dictatorial and it shouldn't happen. Men tell women to smile because society conditions men to think we exist for the male gaze and for their pleasure. Men are socialized to believe they have control over women's bodies. This is the result in them giving unsolicited instructions on how we should look, think and act. Essentially what you were saying to me when you told me to smile was that YOUR wants outweigh my own autonomy over how I exist in the world. NEVER TELL A STRANGER TO SMILE. For all you know their parents just died and they lost their worldly possessions in a fire all while undergoing chemo. Would you have the audacity to tell someone going through that to smile?

When: Sunday, September, 3 2017

Where: West 3rd and Yew St. Kitsilano

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