Some women want the mask mandates of the COVID-19 pandemic to continue because they act as an “invisibility cloak” and curb “the male gaze.”
“I don’t want to feel the pressure of smiling at people to make sure everyone knows I’m ‘friendly’ and ‘likable.’ It’s almost like taking away the male gaze,” said Aimee, 44, of Los Angeles, in a report by the Guardian. “There’s freedom in taking that power back.”
The Guardian spoke with Becca Marshalla, 25, a Chicago-area bookstore worker.
“It’s a common consensus among my co-workers that we prefer not having customers see our faces,” she said. “Oftentimes when a customer is being rude or saying off-color political things, I’m not allowed to grimace or ‘make a face’ because that will set them off. With a mask, I don’t have to smile at them or worry about keeping a neutral face.”
She said some customers have become “very upset” when she doesn’t smile at them.
“Ideal with anti-maskers constantly at work,” she said. “They have threatened to hurt me, tried to get me fired, thrown things at me and yelled … in my face. If wearing a mask in the park separates me from them, I’m cool with that.”
The Guardian also spoke with Francesca, 46, a teacher who views her mask as an “invisibility cloak.”
“Maybe it’s because I’m a New Yorker or maybe it’s because I always feel like I have to present my best self to the world, but it has been such a relief to feel anonymous. It’s like having a force field around me that says ‘don’t see me,'” she said.
Some of those interviewed by The Guardian acknowledged their sentiments have little to do with science.
“Instead, it’s about the fact that there are more things that can hurt them than viruses, including the aggressive or unwelcome attention of other people – or even any attention at all,” the report said.
Another person interviewed said he was freed from being told to “be happy” while his mask is on. And a woman said it prevents comments on her skin, which sometimes gets flaky.
Others added that they appreciated the level of anonymity that masks afford.
Veronica Hays of Newsbusters wrote: “Persistent mask-wearing even without the presence of health risk is indulging fragile, poorly adjusted individuals to remain so. The dependency of those who are not eagerly awaiting the unmasking of America is irrational. Personal insecurities are preventing people from surrendering the mask as well as addressing and overcoming internal issues which create this reliance. Mask-wearing is fostering a sense of general distrust between and among individuals, and in this case, is being used by feminists as another way to demonize men.”
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.