I was on a bus home alone late at night in South London and was on the phone to my boyfriend. I often call him when I’m in these circumstances as it makes me feel a bit safer. Whilst on the phone this random man said excuse me very loudly. I turned to him wondering what was wrong. He said ‘When you get off the phone you need to talk to me.’ I said ‘Do I? Why would that be?.’ He said ‘Because I have a nice face, and you have a nice face and we can talk about marriage and babies.’ This man was about 50. I’m 24. I would have loved to have told him to go fuck himself, but was worried in case he was getting off at the same stop as me and if he was going to follow me once I got off the bus. I turned back and started talking to my boyfriend on the phone again and very loudly joked about the ludicrous man old enough to be my father who wanted to marry me. I think the man felt a bit embarrassed after that and luckily he got off way before my stop. I’ve had a lot of similar experiences with men thinking their harassment is light hearted and ‘just a joke’ I find it so frustrating because for me nothing about these experiences are amusing. Being made to feel unsafe everywhere I go is not funny, it’s disgusting and it in infuriates me that there don’t seem to be any public awareness campaigns on public transport and no formal channels to report these instances of harassment and prosecute these individuals.
So today I decided to not listen to music on the way home from school and got comments on my body from about 5 boys from a local school. I know it happens everyday because I watch them look me up and down as I walk past them; my hands clenched in fists. A couple of boys stepped in front of me right as I was passing them to try and make me jump. I know it’s not right but I don’t ever feel as though I can stand up to them. I often think, ‘what would happen if I punched him for self defence?’ and then I realise that he could and would do much worse things back. Just the other day, I realised, my brother referred to a group of girls at his youth group as “goes” and it made me so uncomfortable. But even in my own house, I didn’t feel able to say anything to him. It makes me so angry that so many people like me have to experience this, and that even I, aged only 14, feel worried walking past a group of teenage boys younger than me because I know they might try and trip me up or whistle at me. I never know what to do, and what any of us can do unless something is said to the boys? Because I know at the moment that nobody is confident enough to say anything to that school because everyone considers it normal behaviour.
Tonight I was groped in a pub. I was standing with a friend at a bar when a young drunk man approached me and told me he would like to ‘suck the face off me’. I ignored him. A couple of minutes later he grabbed my breast while his friend grabbed my ass. I told them to stop and leave me alone but they mocked me and kept doing it. I told my friend I had to leave and quickly moved away, one of them made obsence gestures at me while I was moving away. Not that what I was wearing matters but just to paint a picture, I was wearing a pair of ‘girlfriend’ jeans, wedges and a high necked blue and white striped M&S top. A male friend of the guys saw what happened and told my friend and she followed me. He told her that I look really upset and he was sorry for how his friends treated me. I found a quite spot in a different section of the pub and tried to Calm down so I wouldn’t cry. I felt frustrated, humiliated, angry but most of all powerless. I think worse than that is what happened later I told a female friend who is in the police force. she said to forget about it – it is what drunk men do and i was pretty so that kind of attention was expected. I am so angry at her for towing the ‘boys will be boys line’ for dismissing my feelings of powerlessness and vulnerability, for telling me to accept my looks means I should expect to be touch inappropriately and forget about it, for trying to make me feel like I am over reacting because two assholes felt entitled to grab my breast and ass for no other reason than they could most of all I am disappointed that she didn’t support me as a woman and her friend. What hope do we have in our quest to be treated as equals if women in the police force minimise groping as something drunk guys do rather than what it is which is sexual assault. Thank you for the forum to allow me rant I just needed someone to hear me say that gropping is sexual assault and that I was sexually harassed assaulted tonight and that is not ok.
In 2015 (I was 17 at the time) I was best friends with this boy. He and I were so close, on a brotherly sisterly type level. He had confessed his romantic feelings for me in the past, but I made it clear to him that I wanted to be strictly friends and that I considered him a brother. So the summer of 2015 we get this idea to have a sleepover. I’m not talkin anything sexual in any way shape or form, when we were planning this sleepover it sounded like a good old fashioned slumber party. Both of our parents approved of it since it was clear to them we were just really good friends. We spent the beginning of the night on a blow up mattress watching a movie. Before we went to sleep I made it clear to him that nothing was going to happen, that I didn’t want anything to happen, and that he was my friend and nothing more. He agreed with me. Later, after we had fallen asleep I felt him groping me. He put his hands down my shirt and started touching my chest. He also forced his way into my pants and fingered me. He kissed me. This all started while I was asleep, there was no consent. There was no chance to give consent as I was ASLEEP. He just started touching me as he pleased like it was completely normal to do that. Waking up to him touching me made me feel physically and mentally paralyzed, I was in shock. I was frozen, couldn’t do anything couldn’t say anything. I don’t remember falling asleep, but that morning I was so nauseous. When I told him I was nauseous at first he was “helping” me by supporting my back while I sat up, but minutes later HE STARTED FINGERING ME AGAIN LIKE HE HAD DONE THAT PREVIOUS NIGHT. JUST HELPED HIMSELF. That’s when I ran to the bathroom and puked. I’ve tried telling the police about it but they were biased as my abuser’s dad works for the police department in my town. The police officer I spoke with basically told me I was asking for it and should’ve been more careful about the situation I put myself in. -.- I know…absolutely revolting isn’t it
I found a post and shared it on my timeline on facebook, about women witnessing and protecting other women (strangers) in vulnerable situations. Just a basic, look out for your sisters post. It was quite heartfelt and reminded me of several times I have been accosted whilst vulnerable. A male friend of mine, who has previously denounced feminism as a way to divide the sexes and that we should care for all vulnerable people. GRAND. except, feminism is not about dividing, it is about existing, in fairness and the sad fact that we as women still have a long way to go to achieve this. And anyway my post was about vulnerable women, so why try and take the importance of that away,it’s just another way to undermine women and their struggles. This hurt, upset and angered me. But aside from his rude and harmful comments I had been thinking in regard to the post I had shared of all the times i had been placed in a vulnerable position by men, and myself and a friend sat down And actually listed them all out. And what I wrote down shocked and devastated me. These are all the examples and ages that I have been assaulted or accosted in my life (this post does have a point to end with!) 12. Legs felt up, trying to look under my bedsheets at me in my underwear 14. Sexually assaulted 14. Attempted sexual assault 15. Raped 15. Flashed in my school uniform 18. Woken up to being groped while asleep 18/19. Pressured for sex by my boyfriend 1+ year 22. Public sexual assault, reported to police, in the newspaper. Nothing came of it 24. Consistently ogled while getting changed, (walked in ‘by accident’ several times, by close male friend) 30. Followed home down a dark street, by a male on a tram who noticed me three stops before mine, had to hide behind a truck as he searched for me. Stayed awake in my house alone all night terrified. Ages 12-32 verbal sexual harrassment, leers, sexual comments My point is this. I MYSELF had not realised how utterly fucked up this is is. It’s only sitting down and looking at it in black and white that I begin to understand how bad it is when it comes to sexism and what is accepted by society or #everydaysexism, when someone I consider a friend of ten plus years who I thought was a decent person, can come on my post and belittle my experiences and my simple wish that women need to look out for other women in vulnerable or even everyday situations then how far have we still got to go? The answer is VERY FAR. But it starts with or continues with women, feminists and our allies speaking out about this, confronting bad attitudes and outright abuse, sharing our experiences and saying NO I will not stand for this. By educating our children and teaching consent, by calling out the media who use us as sex objects. We must continue the fight. I have blocked and deleted this person and told them in no uncertain terms what they did was wrong and I have no place for it in my life however long our history
So I have had run ins with my friend’s boyfriend for sometime due to his incessant interrupting but today he finally tipped me off the edge. I had been sitting with my boyfriend when a group of my male friends came over and started talking to us. I tuned out briefly but tuned back in to hear my friend’s boyfriend, let’s call him Ed, say to my boyfriend, let’s call him Tim, ‘ah, bros before hoes’ and signalling towards me. I looked at him and said ‘are you calling me a hoe?’ he then laughed and said ‘no… but…’. I looked at him with disgust and walked away leaving my boyfriend to catch up with me. I then spoke to Tim afterwards and explained why I was pissed off, saying that even if Ed didn’t mean it in a horrible the phrase in itself is mean and derogatory and was directed at me. Tim then replied ‘Yeh well I’m sure he didn’t mean it, you just have to laugh it off really.’ No. I do not have to laugh it off. Women have been ‘laughing off’ derogatory comments and actions for too long and I am sick to death of having to put up with everyday sexism which is so common people don’t even notice it. I am sick of, how did Trump put it? ‘Locker room banter’.
I went running today, a man said to me while I ran past him “sexy lady”. Not ok
Couple of years ago, I was out running along a path beside a main road, and as a car goes past the guy in the passenger seat leans out of the window with his phone, shouts something at me (I had headphones in, so couldn’t hear what) and snaps a photo of my arse as they drive past. Nice.
My married-with-kids neighbor, who I thought I had a mildly positive, completely neighborly relationship with and whose children I’ve played with, tried to kiss me and told me about how he’d seen me naked. And how great my breasts are and that I’m sexy. He’d apparently been spying on me through the window in my master bathroom, which I didn’t think anyone could see into due to the angle of the houses. He also told me I shouldn’t be offended/embarrassed because this kind of thing “just happens in society.” But don’t tell my live-in boyfriend because he doesn’t want to be beaten up but it’s normal. And don’t be offended.
I was at a gas station and while waiting for my tank to fill, I was cleaning my windshield. A car of teenaged boys pulls up across from me and the kid who got out says to me “I’ll give you $5 to see you wash my windshield!” I replied, “I’ll give you $5 to shove it up your ass.” He asked why I “had to be so mean” and that he was “trying to be funny.”