Tag Archives: Public space

20 year old woman

When I was 13 a friend of mine (also 13) told me she had been raped. She didn’t tell me in the confines of a private space, she told me casually in the dinner queue at school. Of course, I was shocked. I asked her if she was okay. She told me not to worry about it. I was quite an innocent 13 year old and didn’t really know what being raped meant. I knew it was bad though. I never said anything else to anyone because I had it in my head at the time that rape is simply something that people get away with. Shortly after, my friend and I stopped speaking to each other. I didn’t think much of it, but we kept each other on Facebook. It is only now, at the age of 20, and having met several other women who have told me about their experiences of being raped, attacked, assaulted, that I realise how important it is to listen to the victims and survivors of these horrendous crimes, and do whatever we can to bring the men who commit them to justice. I would encourage anyone to watch the recent BBC drama called Three Girls. Sadly it is a dramatisation of a true story, but it reflects very well (in my opinion) the ways in which the crime of rape can wreck havoc on people’s lives. If I’d have known this at the age of 13, I would never have kept quiet about the rape of my friend. To that girl, I am sorry. And to all other survivors of sexual assault, you are not alone.


Last week, as I was walking home from work, a car full of young men (late teens, early twenties) slowed down and rolled the window down as they drove past me. One of them leaned out and gestured, telling me I had a nice butt. I heard laughter from inside the car as they drove faster again. I was not very shocked or insulted, but I didn’t feel complimented either. I wasn’t scared. But I can’t help wondering: what on earth makes it alright for strangers to slow down and do that? To a woman, or to anyone? I’m willing to bet my apparently nice but Mt, that they would be absolutely outraged if someone did the same to them.


It’s a hot hot day in London and I go out to run to the supermarket in a spaghetti strap top. I get cat called by a man in a van (not surprising) whilst walking along the high street. I cannot win. I wore this top to suit the climate, to avoid sweat patches and discomfort. The fact I cannot enjoy the sunshine and do a weekly shop without feeling self conscious and degraded is beyond me. If women continue to see this sort of reaction on the streets for what they wear, even in 2017, then god help us!


My mum is always asked: “Is it Miss or Mrs?” by loads of people (hospital receptionists, hotel staff members or anyone in her office etc.) She replies: “It is Dr. actually”.

Lauren Hepburn

Overheard in Fulham Broadway: a man complaining that his and his wife’s friend ‘Just doesn’t try; doesn’t try at all, does she? Doesn’t wear any make-up. Puts no effort in whatsoever to look like anything other than a grumpy old woman’


A young female tourist in London speaking to a young man from the US. Tells him about having lived with her boyfriend for a few months. His response? “In America you wouldn’t live together unless you were married.” Aside from the fact that I think he was pissed she wasn’t single, he was trying to shame her. And attributed conservative (oft religious-based) views held by SOME in the USA to the entire nation. WRONG. I hope she didn’t believe him.


Had to call the police on a group of men who didn’t like that I had said no to their friend’s advances. He started grabbing me and threatening me. He was chucked out the pub I was in but then he just started beating his fists on the window and screaming. They wouldn’t leave because they were waiting for me and my female friends to come outside. They told the police we were liars then his round the corner and stared at us from across the road when we we came out to speak to the police. They wouldn’t leave, but the police didn’t do anything about that. Instead they just gave us a lift home so that these men couldn’t follow us.


Went on holiday to New York with 4 of my girl friends to see another friend who was living there for a year. A couple days in a man on the subway platform opposite us started staring at us and masturbating. We were too shocked and disgusted to say anything. I hate that we felt that way. Two days later as we were walking along a street at night a car pulled up next to us with the inside lights on. I looked over and he had his pants down, staring at us and masturbating. This time I screamed. This disgusting, intimidating, perverted attack happened twice in the space of two days. Why do we have to put up with this shit? When do women ever do this to men? The first time this happened to me I was fourteen. The man in the car followed me and my friends while he was masturbating until they saw an adult walking our way.


At a stand-up comedy gig in Shepherd’s Bush. I was the only woman in the room and was relentlessly picked on by the comedians, who would not stop telling me how “gorgeous” I was. One asked whether I was dating the male friend I had come to support, when told no my friend was advised to simply “keep trying”. Another said to the whole room that I was “a woman worth dying over, or at least spraining a wrist over” and received thunderous laughter from the audience. I left feeling utterly humiliated. Was I supposed to find that funny?


A few years ago when I was 15 I was at this party and when we all went to sleep this guy who was a mate of my friends didn’t have anywhere to sleep so I let him share a bed with me with no intention for anything to happen because women are suppose to be respected right? Well he started to spoon me and grope me in all areas, I had never felt so violated in all my life and told him to f*** off several times but he didn’t respect me or listen. I told my friends and all they do now is joke about it whenever we see him, like it’s acceptable or something? And I’m the one left feeling guilty and embarrassed. Only realised how wrong this was till recently and will never let it happen ever again.