There is a lot of media focus at the moment on sexual harassment. Its an important topic that we should talk about more. Today I thought I’d share with you 7 times I didn’t want to and join in the conversation of #MeToo. I have delved past sexual experiences and included various situations where a man has abused his position as a man/partner and mistreated me. These aren’t things I ever thought I would be sharing with the internet, but I think its important to talk about our experiences so that we, as a generation can pave the way for a better world. These are my personal experiences, and I’m sure by the time you get to the end of this post, you’ll think I’m a complete man hater. I’m not. Of course I have certain issues and am very conscious of certain personality traits or behaviours, but I know there are good people and bad people. I know a lot of great guys, its just unfortunate that in my 25 years I’ve come across quite a few bad eggs.
Some of these experiences I have never told anyone about, others I have only shared with close friends. The reason for that is embarrassment. I’m embarrassed I allowed a man to treat me in a certain way, or worry that people will assume I did something to make a man do that. Those worries are because thats what I have thought myself. It must be my fault, society has conditioned us to think like that. One of the experiences I had since moving to London, really affected me. It wasn’t actually until around a month ago that I made the realisation. I rarely commute to work with make up on. The reason? Because when I do, I tend to get cat calls or remarks made that make me feel uncomfortable. Its easier to not make an effort. But I shouldn’t have to do that, none of us should.
I didn’t want to be cornered
When I was 15, I spent a lot of time at a friends, boyfriends. I would go with her and we would hang out with him and his friends, I liked one of his friends, but being young and embarrassed I never brought it up. Another of his friends however, showed interest in me. I avoided any situation of us being alone together, clearly he picked up on this and on one particular evening he went to lengths of throwing my cigarettes out of an upstairs window so I had no choice but to go outside to get them. Of course, he followed me and cornered me outside to talk about ‘us’. There was no us, there never had been. However, in that moment of feeling intimidated by this much larger and older male, I agreed with everything he said, told him I felt the same, just to get out of the situation. Needless to say, it didn’t last, and I was able to gradually let him down. Problem was, I never wanted it to start in the first place. I was cornered.
I didn’t want to give in
Last year I had an experience that has been detrimental to my feelings towards men and even still I find it really difficult to let my guard down. I was on a night out with a friend who got completely wasted and left me in town with some acquaintances. When the end of the night came, he said I could stay at his, it was fine and he made it clear he wouldn’t try anything on. At this point, I was a mess. I had drank way too much and ended up being sick all over his front garden and had a terrible panic attack. His friend, who was really lovely helped calm me down and the last thing I remember was lying on the bed and him stroking my head and telling me I was ok. I woke up really disorientated and horrifically hungover with an erection rubbing against my back and a hand caressing my upper thigh. I instantly pushed it away and said “no”. He grabbed it again, harder this time and said “come on” again I said “no”. This lasted for around 15 minutes, before I gave in and allowed him to have sex with me. Afterwards I felt disgusting and completely violated. I must have done something to bring this on myself and I was completely ashamed. But who would believe me? I went to his house, I slept in his bed. I gave in.
I didn’t want to be followed home
About 3 months after moving to London I went to an event after work. It was a cocktail dress/black tie event, so after work myself and Albertine had come back to mine to get dolled up and headed out. I had a great night of cocktails, networking and had glitter face paint done for me by a lovely company showcasing at the event. When I went outside to get my bus home from the station, A man got off one of the buses, clocked eyes with me and immediately changed his direction and came to stand uncomfortably close to me. He said he liked my glitter and I thanked him. He then asked me about my night, I just said I was at a work event. He then asked where I was going, I replied “home”. Something I’ll never do again. Thankfully my bus just arrived just as I responded and I hurried on. He followed. I felt very uncomfortable. Just that something wasn’t right. I text the group chat with my housemates to ask if anyone was home and that this guy had followed me onto my bus. My housemate lizi was home, and agreed to meet me at the door. About three stops before mine, He turned in his seat and started staring at me. He then asked again ‘Where are you going” I ignored him. I then got up to get off and just as the bus came to a stop, he quickly got up and followed. I was really in a panic at this point. He was walking right beside me. Uncomfortably close. I called lizi, and whilst on the phone to her, he was telling me “your really beautiful” “you do realise I only got on the bus for you” I walked faster whilst telling lizi “I’ll be there in a minute, can you be at the door?” She actually came out in her pyjama’s to the end of our road and the man walked straight past when he saw her there. I have no doubt at all that had I been alone, he would have followed me right to my door. Thank god she was home.
I didn’t want to be deceived
I spent a good portion of my late teen’s, early 20s in a serious relationship, however we just weren’t right. He had broken my trust at the start of the relationship and no matter how much I wanted it to work, I never truly believed what he said and after 2 years together we broke up for around 2 months. In that period I had been on a few dates, but I still loved my ex and wasn’t ready to let the relationship go. We had been in constant contact, so I don’t think I really gave myself the opportunity to move on. Inevitably, we started to get back together. Before we had sex again for the first time since breaking up, I asked him if he had been with anyone else. He promised me he hadn’t. He lied. He had sex with a girl I knew whilst we were separate, and had apparently been scared to tell me in case I then decided I didn’t want to get back with him. Point being, this choice was taken away from me. I probably would have been a little hurt, made him go get an STI Check and moved passed it. Or maybe that would have made me realise I didn’t want to be with him, instead of wasting a further 3 years of my life. But I wasn’t given that choice. I was deceived.
I didn’t want to have sex with him
When I was 16 I had a pretty rough time, and got into the wrong crowd. On one night, my friend and I had started the night with one group and gradually ended up with complete strangers by the end of the night, I had drank far to much and completely blacked out. I remember gaining consciousness and a man being on top of me, he was having sex with me. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t tell him to stop. I drifted back out again. When I woke up, I was in an empty bedroom. There was literally a bed with no sheets or quilt on it, in a completely bare room. I was there alone, with no bottoms on. I got dressed and snook out of the room and directly opposite I saw my friend asleep on a sofa. There were people sleeping everywhere. I woke her and told her we had to leave immediately. I have kind of pushed that memory to the back of my mind. I don’t know what I did to deserve it. Why he chose me. but I don’t know who he was and probably never will.
I didn’t want to be hit
One of the first boyfriends I ever had, had a temper. When his football team didn’t win, it was my fault. When someone else had upset him, he blamed me. And on a few occasions, this turned physical. He was very clever though, almost like he had done it before. He would punch my side, or grab my arms, where it wasn’t visible day to day. He hurt me physically and emotionally. From this relationship, I learnt a behaviour of apologising for things I hadn’t done. I still do this sometimes now, to avoid confrontation, I will apologise just for an easy life, even though I know I’m not wrong. That was a really scary experience and I find it horrifying to think some women live with this behaviour on a regular basis.
I didn’t want to be touched
This is probably one of the most widely known actions that so many women face on a regular basis. It is almost the norm. Guys touching our ass. It’s disrespectful and not ok to put your hands on someone you don’t know. There are boundaries. It’s very unusual to finish a night out and come home having not have had my ass groped at least once. It’s often brushed off as ‘a joke’. I have been in many circumstances where staff and security have seen it happen and don’t say a word, they just turn a blind eye. It has to stop. It has never been ok and never will. Hopefully by having all these conversations about it, our generation will change this.
Woah, that was deep, but I actually feel amazingly lighter. If you got to the end, well done you! I was really unsure of posting this, but I think its really important to join the conversation and share our personal experiences. It’s the only way for us to make a difference and ultimately see a change. We all have issues, we have all been mistreated. But silence does nothing but allow it to continue, maybe you reading this can relate to one of the topics I have discussed, maybe you can’t. Either way, I hope its given you an insight into some of the serious issues that still happen to people today. I can only talk from my perspective as a young woman, but I’m very aware that men face these issue too. We are talking about serious mistreatment which is often, forgotten about and not reported through fear of embarrassment.
I am an adult, I have sex. As I’m sure you do too. However it is still very much a taboo subject outside of our immediate friendship groups. It shouldn’t be. We need to talk about boundaries and where the line is crossed In order to ensure that everyone is safe and never has to feel like they have been taken advantage of. The cognitive issues that many people carry having been subjected to any form of mistreatment from men or women, can seriously impact future relationships. So lets talk about it!
I really hope you enjoyed this post. have you ever had a situation where you ‘didn’t want to’? Join In the conversation below.