Friday, 13 October 2017

I’ve been Sexually Harassed. You Probably Have Too.

The Weinstein thing. It’s everywhere right now. Big (male) Hollywood Producer in casting couch shocker. The term originated there. I am GLAD it’s everywhere, but it’s about time. Finally more and more men who have abused their positions of power are being held accountable.

And it’s obviously creating a wave of emotion from people who have experienced sexual harassment. I’ve seen quite a few girls on Twitter who have felt “triggered” by the news events recently and have had to come off social media to preserve their mental health. Which completely makes sense, despite it being a desperately sad situation.

But then I realised. I’ve been sexually harassed. I’ve been sexually harassed loads in fact. And do you know why that fact has only just occurred to me? Because I’d always just dismissed it as expected behaviour from the environment I was in. I’ll expand.



I’ve have had my bum pinched by a male teacher, aged 9. Thought it was normal (actually I thought it was a bit weird but not enough to say anything to anyone).

I’ve had my bum patted so many times by so many different men that I can’t even remember numbers.

I’ve had my boobs grabbed, and felt up by strangers in bars, night clubs.

I’ve been forcefully kissed on the mouth by a man I was arguing with.

I’ve had my PUSSY grabbed at by a man in a disgusting pub in Canton, Cardiff. And when I protested this, of course I was called a frigid, lesbian bitch. The stock response. Again I've lost count of how many times I've been accused of either or both. 

I’ve never put up with it. I’ve ALWAYS called out whoever has done the grabbing, rubbing, touching. None of it was invited and where I was (in a club/bar) and what I was wearing (maybe a low cut top) NEVER meant I sanctioned being TOUCHED by a stranger. I’ve had many verbal fights with men and a lot of “almost” physical fights before being pulled away by my friends / boyfriend (who mostly got the stick for not controlling his “bitch”).

Now I am lucky. None of these events have traumatised me. They’ve stayed with me. They’ve hardened my determination to see that women get treated more equally in society. Inevitably they HAVE made me feel bitter and angry that we have to put up with being treated like bits of meat in a butchers shop. But I don’t bear the scars and for that I am grateful.

I am not alone though am I? I am willing to bet that most women who read this will also have, at some time in their lives, been on the receiving end of unwanted touching. Or behaviour that has made them feel uncomfortable… like wolf whistling (For which we must all respond graciously for fear of being told we were ugly / fat / disgusting in the first place).

But this is the thing. We’ve grown up expecting it. Even though MOST of us hate it, we know that we have to “just put up with it” because it’s just a bit of fun, isn’t it? It’s a compliment!

Does that seem like an “equal” society to you? That one sex can predominantly make the other sex feel uncomfortable? Of course there are plenty of instances where the tables are turned. Women groping men. I had a friend who would regularly grab men when she was drunk. They were visibly repulsed by it most of the time. Unsurprisingly. But I don’t condone that either. Of course not!

No one needs to touch ANYONE else, unless they are invited to. Lets stop acting like it’s OK.

PLEASE let this persuade you that we still need feminism! Having your bum pinched is a feminist issue! REPRESENT!!!!
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