I’m a fairly conscientious kind of person; I like to do a bit of reading and know what I’m talking about before I get started on something. Recently I’ve been reading more and more about feminism, starting on this blog http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/ and ending up all over the place, but this one really stuck with me http://www.everydaysexism.com/. There are plenty of other sites that I’ve been reading, so if you’re interested email me or comment and I’ll send you a few links to the things that affected me and got me started.
This has sprung up fairly recently, I was always pretty easy going and just let everyone get on with their own lives. Live and let live, eh? But last year I started getting harassment in the street, and because I was uncomfortable and unsure how to respond, I got really angry and scared and didn’t like to go outside without a man. I was flattered on some level, but I felt more negatively about it than anything else. I would always phone my mum while I was walking to give me some sort of comfort, but men would still shout at me and if I shouted back, mum got scared. She was worried that by standing up for myself I would get attacked and raped; my dad told me that I should take it as a compliment.
I don’t take it as a compliment. I don’t like getting shouted at in the street, I don’t like the lewd comments, and I don’t like having to stare straight ahead or at the floor, just so I don’t make eye contact and inadvertently “ask for it”. You know what I mean. My parents were just trying to look out for their daughter who lives 200 miles away, but it wasn’t helping me. It still doesn’t, and I’m still trying to find a way to deal with this. I told one of my friends about this, and he seemed shocked that it happened. Sometimes it’s worth talking to them, but sadly so many of them don’t seem to think it’s important or relevant or they just don’t want to get into a heavy conversation. I’m not blaming them, we’re all still students and I’m a bit older than them.
Anyway, rape culture seems to be infiltrating everywhere and it upset me a lot when my dad made a rape joke. We’ve always had a difficult relationship, so I treasure when he makes an effort to communicate with me because it’s never been that easy. I was at home for a few days, and while I was there I made a present for my Hairy, as he’s turning old this month and I wanted to make it while I was away and he couldn’t see anything 🙂 I made him a book of date night ideas – cheesy but he’s going to love it! I called it “Date night made easy”, told my dad that and he said “Add this onto it: ‘Otherwise spelled ‘rohypnol””. I didn’t know how to react at all to that! I tried to laugh, but it’s still getting to me now. How would you have dealt with that?
Another thing that makes me awkward is music. I have a song that I like to listen to by Buckcherry, but after listening to the lyrics I don’t like them. The guy basically says that so long as a woman is good at sex, then he doesn’t really care about her personality. I know I’m being sensitive here, but there are more songs that put out the message that women are crazy, only need a man to be happy, are bits of meat to be ogled by men… I could go on and on. My Hairy has put my mind at ease a little, but I’m still not sure how much I can carry on enjoying that song. On a happier note, there are many other good songs out there – Clawfinger, Right to Rape is one I still like.
So that’s a load off my mind. I wrote it better the first time around but it was lost to the bowels of the internet, scumbag that it is! What do you think? Are there things that make you awkward to think/talk about? Do you find it hard to talk to your friends/family when something like this comes up? And on a happy last note, what sort of music do you like?