"For the first time ever, the weather getting nicer is *not* correlating with more men demanding that I smile, so that’s something. Thanks face mask!"

Tweeted Steph Herold, "an activist and researcher in Queens," quoted in "Silver Lining to the Mask? Not Having to Smile/Like everything else, seasonal catcalling will be different this year" (NYT).

Why be thankful for this? 1. It's approving of the hiding of a woman's face as the right approach to fend off male intrusion. That's retrograde! 2. You lose your opportunity to resist and demonstrate your power by maintaining the facial expression you've chosen for yourself. That's passive! 3. You're counting on the idea that smiling happens only in the mouth. That's delusional!
“Wearing a mask is so liberating I might hang on to it, even if they do find a Covid-19 cure,” said Clare Mackintosh, an author who lives in Wales....
As long as you get to choose your own liberation, have at it. I suspect that wearing a mouth-and-nose mask after the virus is gone will make you look quite strange, but it's always in your power to look uninvitingly strange. I'd recommend finding another way to express that you're not open to overtures from random strangers — one that doesn't have the symbolism of being prevented from speaking. It was just last year that women were protesting like this:

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