On Saturday I was lying on the beach reading when a surfer dude (yes, another one) came walking towards me. “Those dudes there are filming you” he warned.
I looked around to discover two young surfer dudes filming my ass.
I immediately felt sick.
They were on their iPhone and about 15m away, and when I looked over they pretended to be taking a photo of the sand. I was on the phone to my friend at the time, but suddenly I couldn’t focus on what he was saying. I sat up and glared at the dudes as they walked up the beach near me, and one of them gave me the peace sign and a cheeky grin that made me want to run over and punch him. I just glared at them all the way til they left the beach.
I told my friend about it, then I called Bloody Good Chap and told him too,
it made me feel better to talk about it to a man who respects women.
The thing is that I was sunbathing in my bikini bottoms and a tshirt (the clouds had made me cold!). I looked around to see if there was something wrong with my ass or what I was wearing, and felt extremely self conscious from then on. If I had an epic, toned ass, I would have just felt regularly violated rather than violated + self conscious, but because I don’t, it made me feel extra crap, it was unlikely they were filming me for my sexiness.
My nausea soon turned to rage towards all of the men and boys in the world who take their perpetual feeling of safety for granted.
If a man could feel for just a day what it feels like to be in a female body, to constantly worry for our safety.
when it’s dark, if only in small ways, to know that at all times, there is nothing to stop a dude bigger than us overpowering us if they so choose, I wonder if they’d take their “hilarious” perving so lightly.
I’d never considered it before reading a blog about femininism recently that made me realise that this sense of very mild fear that I always have with me, especially when walking or biking alone at night, is not something most males have to handle. Simply because I’m smaller and more vulnerable physiologically, and because centuries of men thought it was normal to treat women as their property.
The point of the post is because no doubt, my mainly-female readers,
you’ve also experienced some form of harassment, judgement, or sexual objectification throughout your life,
just because you’re a female.
And it’s important to recognise emotions that come up when it happens. Don’t try to shut them down, experience them, and let them move on.
Otherwise you’ll shove them down inside and they’ll inhibit your ability to open up and to feel sexual in the long term. Unprocessed emotions can affect your life in ways you’d never expect.
I know because after a whole lifetime of it, I too have learnt to hide and repress.
I’ve had my ass grabbed more times than I can count, even my boobs, I’ve had dudes hissing at me and making kissing noises while travelling, cat calls, whistles from tradies, I’ve had “sluts” shouted out the window from a passing car on our way to dinner, been followed by a van in the dark streets of Italy, had dudes I worked with laughingly ask all the females for a blow job when drunk, and been made to do the dishes for all the male crew of a superyacht still on my feet after 17 hours work while all the males sat around drinking whisky and making sexist jokes.
Since I’m going for it with this post…
I’ve also been sexually abused repeatedly when I was young by someone I barely knew. I told one person, then never spoke of it again until a year ago. Because
I’d blocked it out, I thought that it didn’t affect me any more.
Not the case.
In some way big or small, I suspect almost every female has been abused in some way.
And most of us respond by shutting down our emotions, laughing it off so we don’t look all “feministy”, or boiling with rage or nausea but never expressing it. Cause you know, we don’t want to look like a bitch or anything, we want to look cool.
I never dress sexually, and I still feel uncomfortable looking sexy.
Which has stopped me being able to express myself fully nor open up sexually, and I’ve only started to undo the damage in the last few years by doing Kim Anami’s courses, and working with my current sex coach.
The importance of knowing you’re not alone, talking about this stuff, big or small, and allowing the emotions to come and be felt, rather than suppressing them, is key to not letting this shit run and stifle your life.
And incase any men are reading this, no doubt you’re a good human like the first surfer dude, who respects females as your equal. If you’re not such a man yet, and you find yourself giggling as you film or take photos of chicks, cat calling them, jeering at them in a bar, or any other behaviour that you think is hilarious when you’re with the boys…
Put yourself in our position.
In your sisters, your cousin’s, even your Mum’s position. Imagine what it’s like to have a dude jeer at you and take pictures of you knowing that he could overpower you anytime if he chose.