Tuesday, 29 May 2018

My Body | My Rules

If you follow me on Instagram then you would have seen my post on Sunday evening about what had happened to me over the weekend with regards to two different men, on two separate occasions touching me, grabbing me and shouting abuse at me. But first, let’s rewind a bit...

From the moment you step into that secondary school uniform you, as a female, become a sexual object for almost all men you encounter. I say object because that’s how, in my opinion, we are viewed. Merely an object for the male eyes to gaze at, often a little to long and one too many placing hands where they don’t belong.

I could honestly write a novel on the shit I’ve gone through, put up with and experienced in my 22 years of life. And it’s ironic isn’t it? It’s the dads, grandads, brothers, husbands and boyfriends who throw fists and launch into a tirade when their precious offspring or significant others get unwanted attention - verbal and/or physical - off other men yet it’s the men with wedding bands, the men with balding patches, receding hairlines and grey strands, the men who swear they’ll protect you like they protect their sisters, the men who’s girlfriends don’t have to know... it’s them. It’s them who force themselves upon you like you’re fresh meat ready for them to stick their teeth into.

The story would go on forever if I told you about every time I said ‘no’ for it to fall on deaf ears. If I told you about every time I said ‘I’m not interested’ for me to get told ‘just give me a chance’. If I told you about every time I said ‘please don’t touch me’ to in return get a grip that only became tighter. If I told you about the times I had to leave the venue. If I told you about the times I believed those who said would protect me only to turn around and do the same. If I told you about every time, the story would go on forever.

Some people might read this and take it the wrong way. They will see me as some angry feminist bitch that it’s all for women and women only and that men could do no right in a world full of wrongs. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s sad I have to even explain this but the fact of the matter is, there’s a huge difference in approaching a woman (without touching her inappropriately) to compliment her, chat her up, ask for her number... you get the drift, to then lingering around when she’s asked you to leave, to placing hands where they don’t belong, to spitting out abuse because you didn’t get the answer you thought you deserved.

Honestly, it’s a fucking joke.

So, back to this weekend. The second incident was the worse of the two and made my fucking blood boil. I had just come out of seeing one of my favourite poets ever (Rudy Francisco - look him up the guys a genius) and had walked a few yards down the street. Typical me I was talking about a pizza offer that was up in a shop window to my friend when I felt a hand on my arm. At first I thought it was my friend but the grip was too strong and staying put too long. I turned around to see a man holding onto me as if I was his prized procession telling me I’m pretty. I lost it. I shouted ‘stop fucking touching me’ and he let go just after the grip got tighter. He slurred some bullshit at me I couldn’t understand for me to respond ‘don’t fucking touch me’ and this may come as a surprise to you (sense the sarcastic tone guys and gals) this dude then had the audacity to shout ‘fuck you! You’re not pretty anyway’ and continue to shout abuse at me as he walked down the street. 

Want to know one of the things I got asked after I posted about this on my Instagram that got to me the most? “What were you wearing?”

“What were you wearing?” - HA. Now that really is a fucking joke.

The fact people think my clothes define who can lay their hands on me. The fact they asked this before they asked if I was okay. The fact people genuinely believe certain attire attracts this kind of unwanted attention. That the blame has already been shifted to me. That the guilt starts to set in. What am I even feeling guilty for? That men find this funny. That men tell me I wouldn’t feel this way if I was attracted to him. That I should be flattered I even get attention and compliments. 

Next time you’re with a female in your life whether that be a friend, mum, sister, girlfriend, someone you’ve been dating a while.. bring up this topic. Bring it up and watch how every single one of them will have at least several stories to tell. Several stories that will make you angry, make you hate the world but also think about this... how do you act around women? How do you speak to them? Do you grab someone’s ass on a night out just because you want to? Trust me, it happens. Do you tell a girl she’s a slag just because she doesn’t want to fuck you? Trust me, that happens too. 

And my biggest piece of advice? Listen to when a woman talks to you about something like this and take it seriously for once in your fucking lives.

Until next time...

Elle x