In the past it was perfectly acceptable (to some segments of society if not to the accosted woman) to ogle pretty women. See them as having little value beyond their lovely appearance, and make lewd comments. But when a man does that today, we gasp in shock. “How dare they?” Those men are wrong thinkers.
“Of course.” You say, indigent that I would even bring the topic up.
Well, I’m pretty sure that years from now people will be using me as an example of the wrong-thinking female. I ogle. I watch TV for the abbidy-pec-pec (referring to really ripped chests in-case this goes over anyone’s head) good time that many of today’s male leads…well lead with. The other day I had a conversation at work (which might get me in trouble the jury is still out) that illustrated the point to me…maybe I need to stop my wrong-thinking ogling behavior…but I’m only human.
Colleague: Mmmm, David Bechkam is coming to Vancouver, wanna get tickets?
Me: Um, Yah.
Male Colleague (MC): Good luck with that.
Me: Probably sold out.
MC: What is it with that guy anyway?
Me: Bechkam? Have you seen him?
Me: Oh, right, you’re a guy. <sitting up and looking proper, hoping I wont get busted for this conversation at work> He is very physically attractive.
MC: But wouldn’t you find his voice –
Me: Why would I let him talk?
Colleague: He’s not for talking.
Me: He married a Spice Girl.
Me: And she gave up her career for him. That’s how good he is. Like that lady who gave up everything to become the Princess of Monaco.
MC: You mean Grace Kelly?
Me: Yah, she was an actress right? Because who wouldn’t want to be a princess?
MC: Why play a princess, when I can be one in real life?
Me: When I watched “A Prince and Me” I asked Andre at the end if he was secretly a Prince, and told him I promised not to be mad if he told me the truth.
Me: But he said he wasn’t and I said, that’s exactly what a secret prince would say.
MC: I don’t even know what to say to that.
Colleague: He’s coming again in September.
Me: I’m in.
I am at this moment trying to decide if my wrong-thinking is a habit I should try to purge…or if perhaps I can let it slide. I mean every generation needs to have examples of bad behavior, or how will the next feel superior? No? Ok, fine, I’ll try to be better. Does it make it better if I never say those things in front of the object of my ogling?
I like to make characters move. How a character moves, their speed, their choice of locomotion, their grace or lack thereof all give me the opportunity to provide information to the reader. For example if a car explodes, the words I choose to describe a character at the scene can revel their personalities as well as their relationship to the explosion. For example, what would you think if I used any of the following? Ducked. Scurried. Stumbled. Cringed. Ran. Skipped. Each word implies a different reaction and relationship. But more than simple single words to describe motion, we can expand a scene to describe the complexities of motion. We can describe how each body part moves. We can use metaphor and simile to imply different types of motion. We can use emotion to more fully describe a motion. (Nervous fidgets. Guilty glances…)
Choose a character and a scene. If you like you can borrow the car explosion, or use something less dramatic. Then use how your character moves to tell your reader something about your character. Don’t revel the facts with words, but with a description of motion.