Monday, 6 October 2014

ASSAULT, BITCHING & CONSENT

Please remember, I am taking a HUGE risk in posting this, if you leave any nasty/rude/hateful comments, they WILL be deleted. 
Thank You. 

If you have your toes or eyeballs in the YouTube community you will have heard of many, many scandals involving YouTubers, their fans and sexual abuse/harassment. The most recent of these - Sam Pepper. 

FEMINISM. 

I cannot comprehend why anyone would think it okay to go around touching anyone in a sexual way, and NOT expect to get backlash. These recent events have made me think, more than ever before about sexual abuse and harassment. 
It doesn't just happen to women/girls, please remember that! 
But, as I am a female, I feel it is right for me to talk about it from a female point of view, as I physically can't give you a male point of view. It would be wrong for me to 'imagine' a man's point of view on this, as I am not one. 
After watching Emma Watson's UN speech, I can fiercely say that I am a feminist. When we say 'Feminist', the type of people that spring to mind are the extremists, but feminism is the want of equality for all sexes. We want women and men to stand together as equals, for us to be paid the same for the same jobs, for it not to be a 'miracle' or 'special' that a certain percentage of Parliament is female. 
But, at the same time, if a certain woman is not good enough for a job, I don't think she should be hired because she's a woman and she'll make the company look good. Job opportunities and the like should be equal, if a certain man is better suited for the job, he should be hired instead. The same way as if two women were competing for one role, the best would be hired. 
I feel like this example brings me to one of my main points, equality. You've probably all seen teenage boys wandering around, with their 'Calvin Klein' waistbands on full display. It's become a weird and unusual normality, so why if a girl were to wear her 'Victoria's Secret' underwear higher than her jeans, to show of the waistband, is it suddenly sexual? Is it because we've become normalised to seeing the top of boy's boxers and not the top of a girl's thong? They're the same type of underwear aren't they? 

ONE EXPERIENCE. 

I want to tell you about a real-life experience of my own. As you know I have my own online jewellery business, and so I have to make my products and then take them down to the Post Office to send them off. On this particular day earlier this summer before I went to France, I went to a Post Office that was not the one I usually visit. I went up to the counter and was being served by a lovely woman, I was wearing a black loose fitting maxi dress and a baggy beige 3/4 length sleeve blazer/jacket thing. In fact this is the EXACT (right) outfit I was wearing (I've cropped my friend out as I haven't asked her permission to use a picture of her on here - aka-privacy!). So I'm filling out the customs forms for my parcels, when some guy (older than me) came up behind me and started making comments about my bum. Yes it's definitely 'there', one side of my family has 'bums Kim K Style' and I've inherited that trait. He was making out-loud comments about my appearance, then began muttering 'big bum' songs. His father came over, and he asked his Dad if he'd ever seen an "ass like that", his father said nothing, but didn't tell him to stop. Please bare in mind that it was a WOMAN serving me behind the counter, and there was a sheet of glass between us. I've been behind one of those and she could hear what he was saying, but she said nothing. She didn't politely ask him to stop, she just waited for me to put in my pin number. Needless to say I've never felt more betrayed in my life, by a fellow female. I don't know what she could have done, but something, anything, would have been better than nothing. 
I realise now that this is why I can't take this Sam Pepper thing sitting down, it's not okay to say nothing. 

YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO TOUCH ANYONE WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. 

Every human belongs to themselves, you never belong to someone else. Ever. Your body is yours, not a strangers, not your boyfriends/girlfriends, not even your husbands/wives! When you talk about someone else's hair for example you say 'their hair' not 'MY hair', if you are talking about someone else's hands you say 'their hands' not 'MY hands'. So why should any part of the rest of our bodies be different. 

YOUR BODY IS YOURS, NOONE ELSES. 

Think of it this way, if you grab something you make it 'yours', you take the last french fry, it's yours. You buy that pair of boots, they're yours. Hold up a second, let's rewind and look over the last two sentences. What are the subjects? Objects. So when you grab someone's  bum...? Are they an object? Are PEOPLE objects now? When it comes to human beings, when did yours and mine become ours? When people are married they don't say our body. They are not one being, one person, one entity. They are two, joined by something else, but it does not make them one person. It's our bodies, two, plural, separate, belonging to ourselves. 

WHY DO WE BLAME THE VICTIM? 

One thing that really shocks me is the lack of caring for the victim in these situations. People saying "Oh they were asking for it", really? Was I asking for it when I went to the Post Office to mail a package in a floor-length, chest-covering, arm-covering outfit? If a girl wants to wear a bikini on the beach is she asking for it? Even though there are men there in ONE LESS piece of clothing than she? This is what I mean. Equality, it doesn't really exist does it? Are we going to become like the Abnegation in Divergent? Covering our bodies from others and ourselves? 
A rape case a while back in America in a University caught my attention, simply because all the sympathy was for the criminal, not the victim. (I don't remember the names or the University but if you do, please let me know in the comments). The guy was an athlete and was having his name 'besmirched' by a girl that he'd raped, because she'd reported him, she was shunned. Because she was the victim. I've recently read a book which gives more insight into this sort of case - 'Easy' by Tammara Webber - Within the book a sorority girl gets raped by one of the schools leading athletes, and her sorority sisters actually have to debate whether to stand by her or not. Why? Because his reputation is on the line. Why? Because he's a criminal. ANYONE, female or male is a criminal if they sexually abuse in any way, many forms of sexual harassment are also criminal actions. 

A KISS IS NOT CONSENT.

I've also watched this video by YouTuber ThisBeDottie, it's an insight into her experience with Sam Pepper. There are comments on this video saying 'you lead him on', 'this is what you should have expected'. Going on a DATE with someone is not consent. A date is where two people expect to get to know each other. Kissing someone isn't consent. When did kissing become the international sign of 'I want to have sex with you'? 

BITCHING HAS TO STOP. 

Please DO watch that video by Dottie, and then when you read the comments, notice how so many of the comments are by FEMALES. 
Question - Why should men take us seriously when we're always trying to tear each other down? It's what women do, it's why it's called 'BITCHING'! Bitch is FEMALE! We look for each other's weaknesses and tear each other apart, rather than standing together. 
I don't understand why other women aren't supporting Dottie, because she deserves it. She's BRAVE for standing up for her rights, for not giving in, and for posting online, because guess what? It's made many, many more victims come forward. If there are this many people, how can we deny the truth? 
Why do women constantly feel in competition with each other, we feel the need to impress each other, to be the best dressed, the prettiest, the smartest. As if being ourselves isn't enough any more! 
When I was at secondary school, I overheard a group of much younger girls talking, they were talking about another girls acne. "She's ugly because she's got so many spots, her face is red, like, all the time" still rings through my head today, please bare in mind, these girls were about twelve. They're twelve and they're thinking like this, that because someone has a skin condition that the majority of people suffer through, that said person is ugly. 
One other thing I noticed at school, was that girls would always try to hide their acne, because we could with makeup etc. It was a vanity thing that we all still pertain to today, we like the look of clear, fresh skin. I noticed that the girls with fresh skin got boys attention, and the girls with acne, didn't no matter how they tried to hide it. BUT when it came to the boys, no one cared whether they had acne or not. Acne on girls was ugly, acne on boys, normal. This harks back to my underwear debate at the beginning. 
GIRLS we need to stand together, because if we can't love and respect each other, we have nothing. Why do we expect respect from others, when we can't love each other? Think about it. 

THIS IS A REAL PROBLEM. 

Whilst I've used literature as an example, please remember that this is a REAL problem. It affects REAL people, it may have even affected you. It's not something thats just in the papers or on TV in the news, it's happening to real people, maybe even people you know. If you have a story, please share it. The more we talk about these things, the more people will realise it's happening, that it's a problem, and that it needs to be stamped out. 

Please check out the HeForShe campaign

REMEMBER, IT'S NOT ABOUT WOMEN AGAINST MEN. IT'S ABOUT EQUALITY. WE WANT TO STAND TOGETHER -WOMEN AND MEN- TO STAMP OUT SEXISM, ABUSE, VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT. WE CAN DO IT TOGETHER IF YOU JUST REALISE YOU ARE YOU. YOU BELONG TO YOURSELF, AND NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT FROM YOU. 

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