Call Me Crazy…

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim”

– Nora Ephron

So a few days ago as I was coming off the train, I witnessed a man slap the butt of a woman who was also getting off.

Instinctively I shouted “YOU F*CKING PIECE OF SH*T” and walked up towards the woman to see if she was okay. She, looking confused and annoyed, thanked me for ‘sticking up for her’ and I responded with “I’m just sorry I couldn’t punch him, I hope it doesn’t ruin your night” and then went off further to exit the station.

As I was walking home I couldn’t let this go. Right in my chest I felt as though I was carrying a lot of tension, rage and even embarrassment. It felt as though I was the one groped on the train and a part of me wishes I could have shouted even more obscenities at the man, merely to expose him for the creep that he was.

Still walking home, many questions came rushing through my head:

Did I overreact unnecessary on behalf of someone else? Perhaps the woman didn’t mind being touched by the stranger.

Not likely!

Was I angry because it was a White man groping a Black woman? Or would I have been just as angry if it was a White [or any other] woman?

 Yep, just as angry! (Although I thought it was worth exploring if my outburst and subsequent reaction did stem from racial bias.)

Was the woman’s race a factor in the man’s decision to touch her inappropriately and in public?

We’ll never know!

To the eyes of men are Black women still hyper sexualised beings that can be a play thing for anyone with little to no condemnation?

*A wave of despondency floods through my body.*

Would a woman defend me if they saw the same happen to me?

That would be nice.

Once I got home, still angry, I paused for a moment began to burst out laughing. I’ve never been one to make a scene in public so I really did surprise myself with my somewhat vulgar outburst. I gave myself a mental pat on the back for actually doing something about the indecent act I witnessed. I’m glad that at the core of who I am, I truly care about the wellbeing of women and wholeheartedly believe that we should not have to put up with the sexually aggressive behaviour of [some] men.

Why does it need explaining that our existence as women is not an open invitation for men to do what they want with our bodies? People have chosen to undermine this and say ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘but what was she wearing?’ Turning the accountability away from the perpetrators to the women who simply just want to live their life on their terms. I’m so tired of this casual misogyny that it’s actually exhausting to be so defensive.

Personally, I will not tolerate any man touching me inappropriately! I will shame them for it and may throw in a punch or two! Yes, call me crazy, call me reckless or simply call me a woman who has just had enough and has reached her tipping point.

Have you ever acted out your indignation regarding anything you believe in? Let me know your thoughts.

2 comments

  1. Hi, been a while since I commented on one of your pieces but I was thinking again about this topic. I witnessed some harassment in the street and though I didn’t say anything, I stared at the men who had called out as if they were mad/dangerous/insane/freaks. People tell me all the time I shouldn’t do anything -not even stare aggressively- because it’s dangerous to react to sexual harassment in public. But to me, and you as well I think: if the discrimination can be visible and loud, then the consequences should be visible and loud as well. Quiet internal condemnation without action doesn’t mean anything to me, it just translates as acceptance. When there is harassment there has to be some kind of reaction. Doesn’t have to be violent physically perse but it should be loud and violent in shocking people awake.
    I like this blog by the way, it’s one of my favourites, keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the words of encouragement and articulating your own experience.

      I 1000% agree that doing nothing (or quiet internal condemnation) is worthless and does in fact suggest acceptance. I remember thinking ‘gosh I wish I didn’t just spew out profanities but actually question his reasoning.’ I don’t think violence or vulgarity is ever the answer, unfortunately I’m too sensitive and passionate and in this instance I reacted before I could really think about it.

      Because such behaviour is not brought into question enough a lot of guys think it’s acceptable, so the more intense stares the better.

      Like

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