Sometimes it is just stares. As I am walking down the street, I see him coming across me. He is several metres when I am already cringing. I lower my stare, or look away.
I want to close my manteau - the medium-length, light jacket worn by some Iranian women instead of chador - to avoid his snooping glare, but it’s too late. As I walk past him, I feel his piercing eyes looking for my breasts under my thick cloak, sizing up my figure with acute intensity. Riveted to my body, they follow me up until I feel them burning my back as he is already behind me. There isn’t even the slightest pretence of hiding: the ogling is unabashed, both nonchalant and full of aplomb.
Every so often, there are sounds. As he walks by, he turns his head towards me and slams his tongue against his palate. Or kisses the air loudly. There are so many shades of whistling, hissing, smacking, licking, puffing that I am amazed at the capacities of the human mouth. Sometimes it comes from behind me: a hiss directly in my ear. Sometimes it’s a last-second move as we walk past each other, like a snake suddenly sticking out its tongue. Every time, it is the same hideous expression of unhindered lust sending shivers through my spine.
Oftentimes, it is words too. Fortunately, my Persian is not good enough to grasp the profanity thrown in my face. Or maybe I don’t want to know anyway.
In the end, it makes little difference: the way those words are tossed at me in the air, with a peculiar expression on the guy’s face, sleek eyes and upper lip slightly turned up, that is part of universal language. I can only guess he is commenting on my outfit or my body, inviting me to his home or just calling me a whore. Verbal aggression does not need even rough translation. This is the most basic form of bestial communication.Instead of forcing chicks to cover up, wouldn't it be more effective to force the men to wear blindfolds?