May 30, 2012

STOP: Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment and how frequent it is in London (as well as other cities in the UK and across the world) is a hot topic at the moment. 

The stats are not cool: over 41% of women are harassed at some point in their lives in London. 
Public transport harassment: A third of the 1,047 respondents reported unwanted sexual attention on trains and buses, with 5 per cent saying they had been groped. 

My question is this - WHY do men feel they have the pre-ordained RIGHT to sexually harass us? Don't even give me the bullshit of 'we asked for it by wearing a short skirt'. We live in a society where showing flesh here and there has become the norm..... without fear of being harassed. Well, that's what I thought anyway. Apparently the norm has become... show some flesh - get attacked. Cat-calling demeans us, and instills a fear of walking the streets alone just in case it suddenly goes from 'alright beautiful, look at those legs' to 'come here you' and it becomes assault.

Goddamn, this frustrates me so much because we should be able to WEAR WHAT WE WANT. Do women start abusing men when they strip off and walk around half naked? Some might, yes. But the majority don't. Because we RESPECT YOU. But we're losing that pretty quickly due to your disgusting actions. 

That's what this is about. Where did the innate respect for the 'other half' go? What did your parents teach you in regards to not touching women inappropriately? What has society and education taught you? Apparently that it's ok and that 'we asked for it'. 

I'm so sick and tired of hearing that it's our fault. NO, it's not. Please leave us alone. You think we look good, sexy, beautiful? Thanks, I appreciate it. Just keep the thought in your head. And if you're tempted to come over and start touching, then please... ask might be your lucky day and we might say yes. I doubt very much that you'd enjoy it if a woman came over and just grabbed your penis? Imagine if that happened frequently, would you Really enjoy it? Think about that for a second...

Laurie Penny sums it up perfectly in my opinion:

"What street harassment tells women is that we should expect to pay a price for being female in public. Many young women, growing up, learn that it is up to us to "fend off" sexual harassment in public places – by dressing conservatively, taking the shortest route home, not travelling alone after dark. We learn, in short, that public sexual harassment is our fault. It's time we change to record."


May 25, 2012

Rules are made to be broken

During the first few months of this year in an attempt to re-create some kind of romantic life for myself I've had the sometimes but mostly not-very-pleasurable experience of going on dates.

I don't remember it being this hard when I was 17 or at university but in this new dating world I've been faced with so many rules to remember; what to do on the first, second, third date... what not to do or say, who texts first..

It's all completely ridiculous and in our own minds ..... or is it? These rules exist from somewhere, someone back in the day plucked them out of nowhere OR maybe they all come from this horrific book 'The Rules'. Strapline: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right. 

Because that's what we were born to do...... capture the heart of Mr. Right. NO. We can do a lot better than that and we've got better things to do than constantly chase Mr Right. 

Also, why can't Mr. Right capture our hearts? Oh yeah, 
a) because Mr. Right doesn't exist (Sorry to burst anyone's bubble) 
b) because we, the woman, is ALWAYS the one who makes herself available... 
c) because The Rules weren't written for men. (Perhaps The Game is its equivalent but that's even more horrific and only advises men on how to play women, in my opinion)

These rules are awful and place the woman in an inferior position (what a surprise), completely and utterly dependent on the man - if he likes her, then it's a go! If she likes him, she has to play it cool.... don't look too desperate, don't text too often, be coy, be mysterious... you do all the 'right' things yet he won't stay.... Oh whaaaat did I doo wrong??? Erm.... how about, you weren't suited to each other? Or, he didn't make one single effort so why would you blame yourself when sometimes, he's the one who needs to chase you. 

Yes, there are lots of rules.....but as I was told at a young age, Rules are made to be broken... So girls, fuck the rules and if you like someone GO FOR IT. MAKE IT OBVIOUS. TEXT HIM. TALK TO HIM. PLAY IT COOL.....for a day. TAKE CONTROL. EMPOWER YOURSELF. 



ps. Read here for a Feminist's guide to 'The Rules'