Let’s face it girls, and some guys, at some point in our lives we have all received unwanted attention of some sort. Sometimes this is perceived by others as harmless and sometimes not so, but the only person that matters is you or I or whoever is on the receiving end and how it makes us feel, and this can be very different depending on how we each perceive the attention we received. Today I reacted to people I work with for comments I heard, implying that women get unwanted attention or even suffer sexual assaults or rape because of how they are dressed. This prompted me to come home and write this post, referring to my personal experiences of both unwelcome comments and unwanted physical/sexual contact.
Now I am not saying that someone talking loudly to their mates in a bar about you, with comments the likes of “She’d get it” (Actually, she might, but not from you loser), is the same as someone sexually assaulting you. It’s not, but where does the line get drawn? at the comment? when someone gropes you? when they force themselves on you and kiss you? When they drag you into an alley? Or Drug you and rape you? In my opinion its simple, any unwanted attention is wrong and none of us should have to put up with it.
The thing is, at the lowest levels of this, if a woman makes a ‘Flattering’ comment about a man, it elevates his status amongst his peers, whereas the reverse applies for a woman, such that she becomes objectified (Put simply changes your status from equal to object) as something to be desired or had, on a basic level this is down to outdated ideals whereby men were the head of the family/tribe/group etc, and women and children were deemed to be not as capable, they were seen as trophies and proof of how great the man was, and as such were to be cared for and looked after. Objectification is deep rooted in our society and is another problem, but not completely disassociated from the notion of unwanted attention.
I went a little off track there, so back to the subject. How many of you have found yourselves subjected to the verbal comments? I have, and I’m betting almost all of you reading this have as well. Comments like “I wouldn’t mind her legs wrapped round me” (Hmmmm I bet you would mind if you knew what I know), “She’d get stacks” (Not from you mate), “You are gorgeous, you could turn me straight” (How do you work that out?? I was out with my wife at my side when that line was delivered), there are plenty more. The point here is that all those comments may seem to be flattering from the perspectives of the guys delivering them, but I didn’t think the same, and although I felt safe as these all happened in pubs/clubs and I was in a reasonably safe environment, I have been on the receipt of comments that made me feel vulnerable and scared for my safety as well.
I was about 26 years old, and walking towards my home, it was about 10pm, dark and drizzly, and I was wearing a high necked mini-dress, a jacket and boots. A car came along the street from behind me, I was walking on the opposite pavement (I’m not totally stupid), when it slowed right down and pulled near me, someone shouted something and my reaction was to turn and look, then I found the car had four lads in it, they had been drinking and the comments they were shouting included things like “You want some cock love”, ‘’You can have a lift if you want in exchange for a Blow Job”, you get the tone. I just walked quicker and ignored them. They drove on with one of them shouting “If you’re not gonna put out, don’t dress like that you slut”. This whole experience put the fear of god up me and I just hurried on. With about 100 meters to my front door, and to my horror, the car then pulled up at the next street down from mine and I realised they were turning the car around. I ran, I don’t think I ever ran that fast in heels before or since, I was terrified of what they might do next, and even worse if they discovered I was Transgender, I was fumbling to get my key in the front door as they stopped on the road adjacent to my house. Not listening to anything they said, I fell through the front door and slammed it shut and locked behind me. I sat with the lights off, on the floor in my kitchen and just cried, I was there for hours, I had no one I could call, no one I could talk to about what happened and because I didn’t dare look to see if they were still there, nowhere to go. After that, I didn’t go out of the house as the female me for over 10 years.
More recently, and I would bet again that most if not all of you have suffered this one as well, I have been on the receiving end of unwanted physical/sexual contact. The same guy that previously told me that a girl like me was “Gorgeous and could turn him straight” had bought my wife and I drinks and obviously decided that that entitled him to more than just conversation. He was a little tipsy but not drunk, and after having twice removed his hand from stroking my thigh, I excused myself to use the toilets, when I returned to the bar, he was absent. I thought maybe he had left, I was wrong and out of nowhere, he was behind me, stroking me on my sides and holding round my waist, then kissing my neck and insisting that I was exactly what he needed to turn him straight, I told him it was never going to happen, removed his hands a few times and he eventually gave up. It was flattering, cringeworthy and creepy all at the same time and not a pleasant experience. I didn’t feel threatened by him, but it was still unwanted, and the physical contact and sexual advances shouldn’t have happened. I told him no and he should have respected that without question.
My point is that these are the kind of things that happen to women all over the world, on a daily basis, its neither ok or acceptable for this to happen and we all have an absolute right to be treated both as equals in this world and with respect.
Finally, I just want to thank you for taking the time to read my blog and hope you enjoy this and the other posts I have written and will follow me into the future. Please feel free to leave a comment and you can also find and follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin, just follow the links below.
Love and hugs, Sophie xx
Hi, I'm Sophie. I hope you enjoy reading my blog. Please leave some comments on what you think of my blog x