Uninvited directions to the G-spot? I might chip a nail!

In the week or so that has passed since my last blog, I have been subject to many sexist comments, bordering on harassment. Not because of my last blog, might I add, but for absolutely no perceivable reason other than the fact that I am a woman.  What were the comments, I hear you cry. Contrary to the name-and-shame culture I would so love to partake in, I am not going to reveal the identity or touching sentiments articulated by each swine because: a) we never made proper, intelligible acquaintance and b) I would rather not give them the chance of glorification by the minority. However, the Everyday Sexism project has highlighted that for many women this type of harassment is expected as a part of daily life and Leah Green’s video which sees her turning the tables on unsuspecting men demonstrates the novelty of this alien role reversal.

Whilst I could (and would very much like to) spend all day writing about the ridiculousness of the current situation in which sexist behaviour towards women is unsurprising, my focus is actually the cynics. Unfortunately, some of the women I know have had the idea that ‘sexism is normal’ ingrained in them so far that they not only expect disgusting behaviour to be directed towards them, but tolerate it with a ‘who cares?’ attitude. And maybe they don’t care. The point is, however, that they should care. Fundamentally, sexism is wrong. But how are we supposed to preach that to the sistas if some of the sistas don’t speak or understand the same language as us? I guess we have to learn to speak their language.

As far as I can imagine, there are two reasons why some women continue to tolerate being heckled in the street or having their arse grabbed in a bar. Firstly, they are scared to disrupt the status quo. (Not the band, for they are apparently unstoppable.) Many of the cynics argue that sexism is such an ordinary part of life that to eradicate it would be impossible. Why risk alienating yourself from the crowd by pointing out the offense of another’s misogyny? Besides, there is never an appropriate time to get all feminist and burn your bra, and you might get accused of not being able to take da banta. Terrifying.

On the other hand, there are those who simply do not want to be labelled a ‘feminist’. They fear the implication that they might be a man-hating-lesbian-with-a-fully-grown-lady-garden because that is what the unenlightened minority suppose we are. Whilst this fear of association is incredibly irritating, I do admire the conviction with which this type of cynic will argue against rejecting sexism just for argument’s sake. We could really use their spirit on our ‘team’.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating a violent attack on each misogynist that delivers an aural package of crap – I might chip a nail! But it would be nice if we could all agree that I do not require uninvited directions to the G-spot.

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Where was she hiding the beauties? Behind her self-respect, perhaps.

‘She always covered herself up, so I didn’t think much of her. But it turns out she’s got bloody Fs!’ One man’s approach to female bodies: he has the right to know the size of female appendages and bases his opinion of us directly on them. Shame the size of his misogyny outweighs the size of his appendage. Where was she hiding the beauties? Behind her self-respect, perhaps. As I write this an unknown lorry driver beeps at me. Maybe he thought I was someone he knew. Maybe he should reconsider his gestures when I have a camera phone on which to capture his number plate and company name. Anyway, even when I broached the subject of sexism in the pub (why ever not?) some guys brushed it off as ‘banter’ which apparently I am obliged to ‘take’. This discourse sounds familiar…

Others stay quiet, hoping that their silence will appeal to both parties and feeling clever to have duped us all. Au contraire shy guys, you have very clearly taken your position on the fence, which is fine for some issues (rambling in the countryside, fencing..no, maybe not) but definitely not for a matter of rights and gender equality.

Laughing off constant sexism as ‘banter’ and ignoring its existence altogether are as bad as each other. Frankly, I do not want to end up having this argument every time I go out, but then again blaming alcohol for bringing out an ingrained disrespect for women is infinitely more unacceptable. If anything, it tells me that the people spewing out this sexist ‘banter’ have a sense of humour the size of a cocktail sausage. That figures. It might actually surprise them to know that there are so many other ways to make people laugh without insulting others.