Normal History Vol. 639: The Art Of David Lester

Every week, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 37-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

At 61, it is utterly thrilling to be invisible on the street! I am the same person, of course, who heard the “smile baby” type comments, but now: nothing! It’s great! I was thinking about how it is for women who endure street harassment, wondering if it’s worse now than when I was young. I have a feeling it is. Wondering about the men who do it, what they get from it. They must enjoy the power to frighten, offend, irritate, anger women. They wouldn’t be able to engage in a way that a woman was positively responsive to, so they try to get attention from women in this primitive way because they have no other skills other than perhaps knowing that older women are probably less likely to take their abuse.

Smile Baby” from Calico Kills The Cat (K, 1988) (download):