#MeToo and how I’ve dealt with them!
If you have been near any social media in the past two weeks, you will be familiar with #MeToo. It’s all about sexual harassment of seemingly very many women in the movie industry. Harvey Weinstein being the baddie at the centre of it all.
Everybody is doing a survey, trying to establish just how bad the situation is. I don’t think we need to know surveys to know that it’s bad. Very bad.
But here is what worries me. What is the definition of sexual harassment and sexual abuse? Let’s exclude for a moment physical or emotional abuse because if we include that very few have escaped.
If someone told you an inappropriate joke, said you look sexy, made a sexual suggestion or whistled as you walked passed, does that count? I believe that if you are complaining about nonsense you are undermining those individuals who have had to survive ‘proper’ abuse.
I don’t believe that I have ever been sexually abused or harassed but maybe I just have a thick skin.
My first husband always said that no one would ever dare attack me, not even my heart but by some standards I am extremely harassed and abused.
I know that I am controversial and not exactly as fragile as some but I do believe that some are calling wolf because they are feeling left out. To you I say – grow a vagina and stand up for yourself.
Yes I know that you need the job, want to keep the relationship and fear for your safety but if you let the predator get away with it you are perpetuating the problem.
I thought I’d share some of the incidents I have experienced and how I dealt with them. I am not scarred and I do not for one second believe I have been abused.
The first time I can remember, I was about 13 and a drunk man became very aggressive towards a woman I didn’t know. I walked up and told him to pick on someone his own size. I was a small 13 year old so he was confused. He threatened to hit me. I invited him to do and to make sure it was his best shot because chances are he wouldn’t get up again. I moved in with my fist resting very close to his testicles. He backed down.
I had a boyfriend whose father took a fancy to me. It took me a while to work out why he was always around when I was alone. One day he had a grab. I stepped back, slapped his hand and asked if he was #$@* mad? He was so shocked. I marched to the door and said that if he ever followed me again I would tell his wife, daughter and son. I finished it off with a ‘Sis!’
I was in a supermarket waiting to pay. A man was standing behind me, invading every inch of personal space. I moved forward to ‘see air’ as the say in rugby. He moved closer. I moved forward again, so did he. I turned around and asked him to step back. He glared. I moved again, so did he. I turned around, cupped his testicles in my hand, gave them a juggle and asked in a very loud voice if this is what he wanted because I was very happy to oblige. He left.
I had a man show me his genitals in a lift. I looked at it and said ‘put it away it’s nothing to be proud of’. He died and got off at the next stop.
I’ve had a man, I didn’t know say, ‘Show me your tits love!’ I replied – ‘you first, they’re bigger than mine’. He actually asked me why I felt the need to be rude. I just laughed.
A man I met at a business networking function send me a dick pic the following day. I wrote back and asked what in the world he thought he was doing? I further asked what I had done that made him think that I wanted to see his very unimpressive penis? He didn’t reply.
Another told me he was going off to masturbate and think about me. I said I was really not interested and again asked what I had done to invite such attention. He apologised and then I never heard from him again.
Another asked how I would like to be *****ed. I said by a woman thanks. He was so taken aback he left.
I cannot tell you how many times a man has told me the filthiest joke he knows. I assume that he thinks because of what I do it’s okay. I have this wonderful look that can kill a horse at 50 yards. I look at him like that and say, ‘Really?’
And then sometimes there is a comeback, ‘I thought you had a sense of humour?’ I reply ‘I do, but that was just rude!’ I might even add ‘sis’!
I love flirting and the art of the flirt but if we continue to let every sexual innuendo or comment count as abuse we are in very serious trouble.
How will we know where the boundaries are? If you do not stand up for yourself and make your limits very clear, what will happen?
Just because you were offended and didn’t say anything does not make you abused. You bear a responsibility. Say something, tell someone and confront the person who is offending. Do it loudly for maximum impact.
Let me know your views – firstname.lastname@example.org