I was just having a funny snapchat convo with this boy in one of my classes about whether books were worthwhile or not and suddenly, after not saying anything for a while, he sends two words. suck me. I didn’t respond. I took a picture of it (not a screenshot, I used another device) and saved it so that I have proof. I am shaking at this point, in fact I’m still shaking now. I told my friend about it. I sent her the pictures I took, and she said “Haha. Ya. That’s funny.” Then she said she had to go. I said its not funny and asked if she had gotten them. The answer had apparently been yes. She said that “the last thing he had said was strange, but it was all really funny.” I suppose that could have been fair enough. The first part of the conversation had been funny. I asked her if she knew what suck me meant, because while I thought she did, she certainly wasn’t acting like it. She did know what it meant. I responded, “That’s not strange, that’s sexual harassment.” Because it was. She told me, “It’s fine. He’s a teenaged boy. That’s what they do.” I sent her a series of three texts after that. They read, “It’s not fine. They need to learn to control themselves. If they don’t now they never will.” “Next step, he’s older and hes yelling that at women across the street, maybe he’s even grabbing them or slapping their ass or something.” “There’s no excuse” She ended the conversation with “We can talk about this hilarious conversation tomorrow. I have to eat now. Bye.” and that was it. I felt violated and disgusting. Was I leading him on in any way? At all? I don’t think I was, but after this I dont feel sure. I was also disgusted and disappointed with how casually she treated it. It can’t just be treated as boys will be boys. It cant. If thats how we treat it then they could end up being a rapist, or at least sexually harassing women. It’s not okay, it’s never okay, and no age justifies it. This is how rape culture has affected people’s outlook on sexual harassment. This is not okay. This is never okay. I know I’m not the only one with a story like this. A lot of people have much worse stories. This needs to end. (I also posted this on tumblr)
Guy DMed me on Twitter after I appeared on a podcast. Said I ‘gave him a few chuckles’ and he ‘enjoyed my music’…then went on to say it helped that I was ‘half pretty’. Not sure what to make of that to be honest mate. All else aside either compliment me or don’t…Wanker
Sexism on Social Media In wake of Trump being elected, I decided to run an experiment. I scrolled through Lena Dunham’s Facebook page (a feminist and Hillary supporter), as I knew she would no doubt be receiving a lot of abuse from Trump supporters. As predicted, there was a barrage of shockingly offensive and sexist comments. I reported fourteen of the worst ones that I saw, and waited for Facebook’s response. After all, Facebook have stated in the past that it’s impossible to monitor and control abusive messages. To every one of my reports, I was issued with a message to say that none of them had violated Community Standards. This is the letter I wrote to them in response. — Dear Facebook, I’m contacting you to let you know how exactly the comments I reported on the 11th November breached your community rules. The comments were on a thread against Lena Dunham, a woman who has supported Hillary Clinton and is a campaigner for women’s rights. After the success of Donald Trump, a man who has promoted the objectification of women and has been accused of rape and sexual assault (‘grab them by the pussy’), she received a barrage of abuse from Trump supporters. I’m all for freedom of speech. Being verbally aggressive towards someone is one thing (still unacceptable), but being openly sexist without consequence is quite another. The reported comments, such as ‘you need a good fucking from a white Texan male’ and ‘all you are is a life support system for a vagina’ and ‘obese’, ‘fat pig cunt’ are not only disgustingly sexist, they’re damaging in the fight women, including me, experience every day. It reduces our argument to mockery. It reduces our worth to our ability to look pretty, have sex and conceive. It doesn’t just affect one public person in this case, it affects all women. Letting comments like this go condones this culture of reducing a woman’s self worth. According to Facebook, all of my reported comments apparently did not violate community standards. Though it’s impossible to change the result of the election, it’s important now, more than ever, for companies such as yours to hold people responsible for misogynistic behaviour. This is a targeted hate crime. Facebook is one of the strongest and most influential platforms for communicating. Please help that communication be more positive for women. I look forward to hearing from you.
My friend has recently experienced cyber bullying over “what’s app” by a group of boys from our year. They have been calling her horrid names like slag, little shit, cunt and bitch. One boy even went as far as changing the group chat name to “I want to fuck Mazie*” (which I am pretty sure is a rape threat) all because she had her hair cut to a pixie cut. We are planning to tell our feminist humanities and law teacher (who is awesome) about it. But what worries me is the fact that these boys think they can say this to a 13 YEAR OLD girl! I bet their mums don’t know they are saying these disgusting things. I hate how girls like Masie have to deal with this on a more or less daily basis and I am going to do something about it. *Mazie isn’t her real name.
I posted a jokey message on social media about being given the smaller portion of 2 food items because I was a woman and the person after me was my brother. Woke up the next day to find this tweet jumped on by trolls who are continuing to send me sexist and fat-shaming hate. It’s enough to drive me off the social network.
I found this post on a Crystal Palace supporters forum and it disgusted me: ‘Intelligent Rachel Riley is a football bimbo What is that self obsessed stupid bitch doing on this show? A plastic Man U fan from Essex who is obviously getting told what to say or ask through her earpiece. Piss off back to your spelling and sums on Countdown with your piss stinking geriatrics. And before anyone replies and says ‘but you would though wouldn’t you’, seriously no I f*cking wouldn’t. Rather stick her in my dungeon with my baseball bat. Hate women like her. And it was her fault we had a perfectly good goal ruled out.’
On facebook I was tagged in a “challenge” post which challenged me to post three photos of myself which I thought were my best. The point was to promote women’s physical beauty and improve self-confidence, and whilst it’s a noble goal it still puts the emphasis on the fact that all women are only on earth to look pretty. Anyway, I ignored the challenge for a day or two, then came up with an idea. I reposted the challenge with my three photos.. only they were photos of me at various running/swimming events I’ve entered. In none of the pictures do I look particularly attractive – dripping with sweat, exhausted, peculiar running faces, wearing a swim cap & wetsuit – but I put an explanation that these pictures made me feel so good about myself and my achievements and that I felt that was in the spirit of the challenge. The reaction from some of my so-called friends was horrendous – from well-meaning “but you’re so pretty you could have chosen better photos!” to downright rude “ew, that’s an ugly face!” and even “you missed the point, you were meant to post pics where you’re beautiful lol”. Ugh. I chose to post the pictures that made me feel good about myself, that gave me self-confidence and which I genuinely believe show my overall “beauty” – in terms of my personality, my achievements, my passions. Unfortunately I came away from it feeling dejected, ugly and insecure.
I have a male relative who is famous in our family for being very rude on Facebook. If you ever post something he doesn’t agree with, he will blast you for it in the comment section. I’ve never been a particularly controversial person on Facebook and tend to steer towards feel good, humorous stuff, but recently I started sharing things pertaining to feminism and issues surrounding it. He, as you can probably guess, wasn’t too fond of it. The first incident was when I shared a picture of a tweet by a girl named Chloe Cheek about the Brock Turner trial which said “rape culture is victim shaming a woman for being ‘too drunk’, then defending a man by saying his actions were influenced by alcohol”. My relative went on to comment with “there is no such thing as “rape culture” and if a woman chooses to get drunk if ANYONE!!! chooses to drink…they get EVERYTHING that comes with it. sorry! that’s the plain truth of it” first of all, what the actual heck? How on earth can you ever insinuate that a woman deserved to get raped? Under any circumstances? I understand that he and I both come from a christian perspective that being drunk is sinful, but I don’t believe that just because you sin means you deserve to have bad things happen to you. No human being deserves to get raped. Period. God does not punish a woman’s sins by making a man rape her. That was his first offense, and I let it slide because A. I’m not a controversial person, and B. I know he’s the kind of person who will never have his mind changed. His beliefs are rooted too deeply. and when a stubborn man think God is telling him something in particular, nothing but an act of God is going to make him see his ways. So I responded with an “Okey dokey, artichokey” and left it at that. But today another incident happened. I posted an Emma Watson quote that stated “If you stand for equality, you’re a feminist. I’m sorry to tell you.” seemingly harmless, right? Something a young woman should be able to post on Facebook without being insulted and degraded simply for the fact that she has a vagina and not a penis, right? WRONG. Him: oh. my. God. ugh…I don’t even know where to start. Me: Then don’t. Neither one of us will convince the other to see things the way we see them and our opinions aren’t hurting or affecting each other at all, so we’re both better off just agreeing to disagree and nobody gets hurt feelings. Sometimes we just have to choose our battles. So thanks for not starting. 🙂 I was being so kind and accepting of our differences in opinions, right? Surely that merits me at least a little bit of respect for being a human. Him: well feminist lies are not opinions per se. and yes the spread of them does hurt. it hurts men. it relations between men and women. and it hurts gullible young women who refuse to learn better. there. that is where I started. and stopped. There he goes. I am simultaneously told that A. Because he sees my opinion as a lie it means that I am automatically stripped of even having an opinion, B. That I am just a gullible young woman who refuses to learn better, and C. That I am hurting men and my relationship to my fiance by wanting to get equal pay if, say, me and a man are both working a job and have the same qualifications, and also because I don’t want to, you know, have to worry about being RAPED every time I walk out of my house without a man I trust with me. I have bad anxiety where when someone says something mean or degrading to me, my heart starts pounding, I can’t think straight, and I start to cry. This is not the first time this man has made me cry, but it is the first time he’s treated me like a lesser human. My older sister, who has had lots of battles with this man, including over feminism, gave me the advice to not rise to his bait or act angry, because it will just infuriate him more if I act nonchalant about his rude attitude. But it just made me so sick. That’s when I started to think about how he can only make me feel small and lesser if I let him. That I cannot stop making my voice heard just because he wants to shame and scare me into being a good submissive woman. That’s when I got my idea. This may sound a little crazy and obsessive, but for the last hour I’ve been stockpiling bookmarks of feminist quotes, pictures, articles, everything….and I’ve decided to periodically post them. I feel like he will either see that I am standing my ground and give up, or he’ll continue to make a fool of himself on my posts and eventually I won’t get that heart pounding, blurry thoughts, teary eyed moment that he usually makes me have. It’s a win/win. So with that being said, I know that this is not nearly as bad as what a lot of women face on a day to day basis, but this is my story. I wanted to get it out there and share that sometimes a misogynistic man who picks on little girls can end up being just the fuel that makes that girl finally decide to stand up for what she believes in.
When I was 18, I managed to get on a work placement doing what I wanted to pursue later on at uni. I was the youngest in the whole office by 5 years, though the average age was probably late 30’s, and I was the only female in my department. On my smoke breaks I would often run into my boss’ boss, who I’d say was about 40. We would chat, he would tell jokes, sometimes of a slightly flirty nature, but I let him be, not wanting to cause a fuss as I’d only be there for a couple of months. I went on a night out with my other colleagues, and they all added me on Facebook. A couple of days later I got a request from my boss’ boss. I accepted, as he’d offered to help me with a job after I finished university. Over the course of the next 8 months, he messaged me several times, at first friendly, but then asking me about my sex life, trying to tell me about his, describing what he’d like to do to me, belittling my boyfriend and eventually asked me – with a very graphic description – for a blowjob. He got married during this time. I could never tell to what extent he was “joking”, but it made me feel so uncomfortable either way. He eventually got bored, but I hope it wasn’t because he found another innocent young woman to prey on.
I logged into Facebook this evening to be greeted by a post from a young man (not the same one who posted something similar before- I mentioned that instance under a different ‘handle’) on my friends list which read something to the effect of “surprise sex is the best thing to wake up to”. Now I don’t know if I’m overreacting, or if I’ve taken the comment the wrong way, but I didn’t like it or find it particularly amusing. It struck me as being a bit too close to being a rape joke for my liking, & I hate rape jokes & fail to understand how someone could find something so horrible funny. It’s a complete mystery to me. I didn’t bother reporting it on the grounds that I figured Facebook wouldn’t do tiddly pop about it, given what I’ve read here about that site’s response to similar stuff.