Dating and Dickpics: Episode 13

13. Unlucky for some. But as someone with seemingly endless bad luck, I like to think 13 can signify some sort of change.

Well, unfortunately, there’s no change here. I was recently at work on a Wednesday morning, quite happily tapping away on my keyboard and coding paperwork, minding my own business and listening to Drake (obviously) when my phone vibrated against the cool, hard wooden desk I’d placed it on. I figured it was one of my friends trying to arrange plans for the weekend so I didn’t hesitate to open it.

It was an anonymous dickpic.

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Scarred for life

I’m not entirely sure what’s worse: a dickpic from a man you know or a dickpic from a complete stranger. Both are intolerable in my eyes and both are embarrassing but perhaps more so from the stranger because they are under the false illusion that somehow, their penis is so magnificent and aesthetically pleasing that you will jump on the next tube to their place naked.

I told the dick in question that his actions were repulsive and that I was not interested. I told him the sight of his ghastly manhood made me want to vomit. He proceeded to call me a whore. Right, I’m the whore. You’re the one who sent a picture of your genitals to a stranger, but I’m the whore. I preceded to destroy his logic by telling him that clearly he’s the whore out of the two of us because he’s so desperate for sex that he’s flashing his penis to an anonymous person. He then used some colourful language and after telling him to have a quick one-two pump in his hand because that’s all he could manage, I blocked him.

Lesson? I will always call you out on your bullshit and I will always have the last word if you dare disrespect me.

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Queen of Effortless Clapbacks aka me

There was another guy who decided to stumble his fuckboy-ways back into my life. He texted me after months and months of silence. His excuse? He’s ‘choleric’. In case you wondered, he’s talking about one of the Four Temperaments which have been wholeheartedly disproved. This was his oldy-worldy way of saying ‘I’m a fuckboy and I’m only messaging you because I want sex and for some reason, I think that I’m so special you’ll break two and a half years of celibacy for me’.

Any guesses on how I dealt with that?

Did I:

  • A: Express my wonder at him texting me again and partake in some polite conversation?
  • B: Make it crystal clear that I am looking for something serious, not a party in my pants?
  • C: Explain how much of a fuckboy he is, only for him to beg for another chance?
  • D: C, but sass him down and block his sorry ass?

The answer is D, because I don’t suffer fools gladly. I was a little shocked that he had bothered to text me but then again, if a fuckboy wants sex, they will magically remember the number of anyone they ever met with a pulse. I don’t think he actually remembered me. He did vaguely describe the night I met him but I really could’ve been any girl he met in any bar in London. He was horny and desperate. I am neither of the two and I have exacting standards.

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I’ll call you out if you’re a fuckboy

Remember how earlier on I was talking about how 13 is unlucky for some? It seems that this installment of D&D shows a change in luck, for I was recently with someone who met my exacting standards. We spent some time together and it was absolutely magical. It was, quite simply, the best weekend of my life (and I’m happy to say he also enjoyed it). He’s a good friend of mine and someone I feel extremely comfortable with. I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not. I don’t have to be perfect. My imperfections aren’t a big deal to him. He makes me smile uncontrollably and laugh like a complete goofball. The best bit? I managed to successfully introduce him to my real, true love, Grey’s Anatomy. It’s all very early days but I’m excited and for once, I’m happy. Long may it continue. And although I love all of my readers dearly, I hope this is the last Dating & Dickpics I have to write in a very, very long time.

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It wasn’t as cheesy as this but considering I’m a 20-something Bridget Jones, this picture seemed appropriate (note: I am cheesy)

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Dating and Dickpics: Episode 10

I’ve been really busy lately, writing for The Tab on a fellowship that I won so I haven’t had a chance to write here. I was also on a fixed term contract at a company but that ended so I have my life back!  Now I’m back and you just know I had to write D&D Episode 10! I’ve got some absolute gems for you.

There’s obviously been the usual sexual harassment online. I wonder if that will ever stop. I doubt it. For some reason, some men seem to think that if you’re on a dating site or app, it’s fine to sexually harass and intimidate you. In fact, I even received sexual harassment on Twitter, of all places. Some bloke thought he had the God-given right to ask me invasive questions about my sex life. I’m just astounded that there are so many fuckboys. They’re literally everywhere! I don’t even know if I should give them the time of day on D&D. I do tend to hand out some sassy replies though. For example, one guy said he was searching for a woman who loved to be eaten out for ‘the main event’. So I said that I was searching for a man who didn’t spout sexually invasive shit in their messages. He wasn’t happy but he’d pissed me off by writing such foul garbage in the first place. If you piss me off, expect to be dealt a worse hand.

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Fuckboys EVERYWHERE

There was this guy I was texting. We met on Tinder and it seemed to be going well. Tinder is a notoriously rubbish app to use and it has loads of bugs in it so we weren’t always getting notifications when we replied to one another so we decided to swap numbers and take it from there. That was the biggest mistake I ever made. Anyone who knows me knows that I have anxiety and therefore taking phone calls with strangers is really stressful for me. I panic and get anxious so I avoid them at all costs. Of course, if it’s one of my best friends on the other end of the line, I feel comfortable as I have known and loved them for years (shoutout to all of you, you’re the real MVPs). This guy, whom I have never met in my life, thinks that it’s fine to call me up even though I’ve explained that I don’t like answering the phone and that I have anxiety. Anyone who knows what anxiety is, even if they don’t know all about it, knows that people with anxiety tend to have panic attacks. So he was prepared to give me a panic attack because he wanted to call me. Of course, all the alarm bells are ringing at this point. Anyway, he was adamant that he was going to get the bottom of what I was ‘hiding’ because clearly, having anxiety isn’t a good enough reason not to pick up the phone according to him. I said I wasn’t hiding anything and I didn’t think we should meet up because he was clearly paranoid and if he couldn’t accept something as simple as me having anxiety and not being able to speak to essentially a stranger on the phone, this was never going to work out. He cooled off for a bit and then apologised, hoping to win favour with me again. No fucking chance. I told him I was no longer interested, to which he responded that it was fine because…

Because he thought I was ‘born a man’, in his words, and I wasn’t a ‘proper woman’ (because this huge transphobe thinks transwomen are not ‘real women’…after that comment, he really had no fucking chance because I won’t date a transphobe).

So according to him, I wasn’t picking up the phone because I was a born a man. What the hell? That’s absurd. Safe to say I was just so fucking done at that point.

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REALLY?

I love my trans-sisters for sure and I will always stand up for the trans community, but I find it pretty weird that he couldn’t accept my anxiety as the reason that I couldn’t talk on the phone and thought that the clearly logical explanation was that I was a transwoman. Firstly, there is nothing wrong with being trans. Secondly…surely it’s just common decency to give the person the benefit of the doubt and believe what they’re saying is true? Finally, I’m glad I saw his true, transphobic colours because I don’t date assholes who think it’s acceptable to insult people based on their gender. (If anyone was actually wondering, which I highly doubt because my readers are inclusive and awesome, I’m not trans.)

Well, this fine-ass woman (me) actually bagged herself a date with a right fittie. We’d been talking for weeks and we finally went out last weekend. It was so much fun! He’s amazing. I really like him and he really likes me. He’s so handsome, funny and just so much fun to be around. Seriously, I couldn’t stop smiling the whole day and when we said goodbye, I was genuinely sad to be going home. I bumped into a friend on the train home and she noted that I looked like I was high as a kite so I told her all about the date and how incredible he is. He’s so charming. Ugh, I sound like such a fangirl! It’s only been one date but it feels right. I feel like I can be myself around him and I’m really comfortable around him. He’s a great guy. I can’t wait to see him again (that’s happening tomorrow, actually). So maybe this is the beginning of the end of Dating & Dickpics!

sailor moon

This is genuinely how I felt when I first saw him!

Wish me luck!

  • I’m super excited for tomorrow.
  • Nothing is as good as a gif picture.
  • The weather is lovely and I’d like it to stay like this until the end of summer.
  • I have to start planning my birthday party now that August is just days away and I have no idea where to go or what to do. I do know who I’m inviting though, so that’s one thing at least.
  • If anyone knows of any social media or writing jobs going, do let me know!

Dating and Dickpics: Episode 8

Welcome, one and all, to another episode of my tragic love life.

As some of you will know from a brief note in my last column, I went on a date with a really great guy. He’s intelligent, funny and pretty charming. He’s also pretty easy on the eyes, which is always a bonus (and if I’m being honest, a basic requirement). Things are going pretty well between us. We went on another date last week and we basically just chilled out and talked the whole time. We went back to his place after a while and talked for ages until I had to reluctantly make my way home if I had any chance at getting back at my house at a decent, civilised hour. He’s smooth as hell, I’ll tell you that now. He says some of the sweetest stuff. He’s got quite a lot of deadlines so things have cooled off a bit temporarily. I hope it’s just temporary. We seem to have a good time together and we flirt a lot too, so I hope it’s just my anxiety rearing its ugly head and he really does like me.

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My anxiety always makes me doubt my pulling abilities

Other than that, I haven’t really entertained any dates from anyone else because the calibre of men is shocking. There’s no one decent. Case in point: the only reason I went on a date with the guy I’m sort of seeing (or pre-dating) is because he came up with a rather quirky way of asking me out and he’s not a douche. He’s a genuinely nice guy who isn’t after everything. But with most guys, they have an ulterior motive. Call it gut instinct because I’ve been a woman my whole life and have had to deal with a barrage of misogyny and sexism, but I just get certain vibes off certain guys. And when it comes to discerning whether or not someone is a creep, I’m rarely ever wrong.

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My gut instinct is as good as Annalise Keating’s

This wouldn’t be Dating and Dickpics without my usual screenshots and naming and shaming of misogynistic males, so here are the spoils of my plunder, so to speak.

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I don’t even know why anyone would think that this is an acceptable opening line to send anyone. Who has ever said, ‘he asked if I wanted a big black sugar daddy and I knew it was love’?!

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As you all know, feminism is a fundamental part of my life. I believe in feminism so much that I’ve even got the word permanently inked into my skin. I shout it from the rooftops and specify that before messaging me, guys should only bother if they identify as a feminist. So why does this asshole think he has a right to bait anyone out. He’s clearly so ignorant that he couldn’t even be bothered to look up the definition of ‘feminist’, which is someone who believes in the equality of all genders. This stuff is actually more infuriating than people who use cheesy lines or blatantly misogynistic slurs. This guy actually wanted to ‘moan’ about feminism to me. Safe to say I blocked his pathetic ass.

put

If you needed any more evidence that sexism is alive and kicking online, there you have it. I’m not being funny, but you have to actually meet up with whoever’s pussy you’re going to ‘murder’ and guess what? Being a misogynistic fuckwit means that’s never going to happen! If any murder needs to be done, it’s to you. A nice decapitation of the neck would do.

fuckedupfuckeduptwiceThe above to screenshots make me sick. This guy was seriously so fucked up and triggering. Alongside putting down that I am a feminist, I also ask guys who want kids not to bother contacting me. I always make it explicitly clear because now I’m in my 20s, I feel that anything I get into should be going somewhere and if a guy wants them, we’re not compatible at all. This guy took it to another level. He messaged me saying ‘we would make cute children if we were together’ but I didn’t take the bait. And he couldn’t take that for a hint and kept messaging me one word here or there. I finally snapped and the above is what he sent me. This is unbelievably triggering for me because he was not respecting my boundaries and was actually thinking that it was fine to think about a hypothetical situation would would be a complete violation of my body. After explaining to him how sick and twisted he was, his response was ‘lol relax’. How can I relax when you’ve basically kept insisting that getting me knocked up would be a perfect situation for you? How can anyone who is so child-phobic ‘relax’ after that? I have reported him to the website and I hope they permanently ban him.

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‘Sorry to be that guy’…well actually, you’re not. Because if you were, you wouldn’t have said it in the first place. What you’ve done is just the equivalent of online catcalling so #byefelipe.

Being a woman on the internet and trying to date and find love is fucking exhausting.

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When will the misogyny stop?!

In other news:

  • I got my hair re-coloured and restyled. It’s very Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy before season 12.
  • I’m applying for jobs like they’re going out of fashion.
  • I’m losing all hope in the male population at this rate. Their only potential beacon of light is this guy I’ve been on two dates with.
  • I don’t think ending up alone would be such a bad thing, given the sorry state of guys on dating websites.
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So done

Dating and Dickpics: Episode 7

Sometimes I wonder when exactly I will stop writing D&D. I don’t think it’s going to come to an end any time soon though; the dating pool is seriously shallow at the moment. It’s full of fuckboys and guys who just want to waste your time or completely ignore your stances on key things like politics, children, religion etc. I guess it just means more entertainment for my loyal readers!

As some of you know, I was dating a guy for a few weeks. We really hit it off. He was funny as hell and he was quite interesting. He had a mental health problem so I felt he could relate to me because of mine. I actually think it broke down a lot of barriers because we refused to judge one another and were careful not to say anything insensitive. It was all a bit of a whirlwind really. Things moved pretty fast but we were both alright with it. There was only one issue. He told me on the first date that he was absolutely fine with not having kids and understood and respected that I never wanted them.

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Basically…

But if I’ve learnt anything through my dating woes, it’s that men lie, especially when it comes to the topic of kids. If you bring it up on the first date, they say they’re down with not having kids…only to turn around later and say ‘I thought I could change your mind’. Sorry, but I love myself more than I will ever love any man and I’d lose all self-respect if I did a u-turn on something I have felt and believed in since I was a child myself.

Things were going well until we were messaging one night and we started discussing what our perfect partner would be like and obviously, the children thing came up. He then went away for a couple of hours and allowed his dad to completely influence his decision, saying that he couldn’t live with the potential possibility that he may never have kids. I actually tried to think of ways around it in which I didn’t have to compromise on not having children (from experiences within my own family and circle of friends, it’s easier to go from wanting them to not wanting them than vice-versa). But in the end, he wasn’t prepared to entertain anything I was bringing to the table. I don’t even think that the children thing would’ve broken us up, to be honest. He had no sense of direction and his priorities were all wrong whereas I’m very headstrong, so we would’ve gone our separate ways because of that.

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Bitchslap and move on

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and that can only mean one thing: another year without being able to celebrate it. Consistency is key, guys. 22 years and counting. Anyway, I’m planning on spoiling myself and reminding myself that I do have love in my life, irreplaceable love from my friends and my family which is ultimately the most important kind of love. But you know, a guy to snuggle up with would be nice. But I have a bottle of vodka to snuggle up with so it’s essentially the same thing.

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Let’s be honest, this is how we’re all spending Valentine’s Day

Now, for the usual roundup of dirtbags I encounter on the internet.

 

israel

Talk about counting your chickens before they hatch…this guy was genuinely prepared to move from Israel for me.

perv

So you think it’s perfectly acceptable to message a girl who is less than half your age? In what world is that okay? I felt so creeped on when I read this message, especially considering I wrote on my profile that if a guy is over 32, he needn’t bother messaging me.

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I’ll never understand why some guys think it’s acceptable to just ask sexual questions on the internet. Would you go up to someone in the street and ask them when they last had sex? Believe it or not, the people behind their computer screens are real. They have feelings and they don’t like to be sexually harassed online.

fuckboy

Guys, when a lady’s profile says that she is looking for dating and something serious, do not then ask for casual sex. You’re asking a stranger for sex. That’s desperate. Has it ever worked? Who can honestly say that they met the love of their life on a dating website by asking them if they wanted sex?

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Apparently insulting a girl is the best way to get her. Calling me ‘picky’ is never going to work. So sorry that I have high standards. #sorrynotsorry

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Sometimes I wonder if people bother reading anything in my profile. You’re 39. You’re 17 years older than me. You were an adult when I was born. End of discussion.

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This is an entirely new technique that I was baffled by. Now, we all know I’m superficial. I’ve rejected people based on the way they look. I’m not particularly proud of it, but I don’t see the point in being with someone I don’t find physically attractive. When this girl messaged me, my first thought was ‘who the hell gets their friend to do the talking for them? And who thinks they’re going to get anywhere without a single picture of themselves?’ I couldn’t even respond to this one.

ewwww

Firstly, calling someone ‘sexy’ is not a good compliment. Secondly, I burst out laughing when I saw this and absolutely had to respond. I’ll give him credit, he did say ‘okay cool’ after I responded.

In other news:

  • I had a dream that Ed Sheeran was my boyfriend and I never wanted to wake up.
  • I went on a date at the weekend with a really great guy. He’s attractive, funny and really intelligent. Maybe my ice cold heart will melt with this one.
  • I’m buying myself a present for Valentine’s Day. Any excuse.
  • True love is basically Netflix, booze and snacks.
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I woke up like this

Dating and Dickpics: Episode 3

Welcome to another installment of Dating and Dickpics. Apologies for not updating the column sooner but I’ve not been in the best health lately. But I am back with more hilarious stories about the woes of online dating.

The past few weeks have mostly provided me with unwarranted sexual harassment. I got a message from a guy who, after saying ‘hi’ to me, asked for sex. Sorry but why do men think that this is an acceptable thing to say just because it’s online? It is, quite frankly, disgusting. You wouldn’t ask a random person on the street for sex, so why do it online?

I spoke to an Italian guy online. It was going alright and he seemed nice enough. Besides, if you speak a foreign language that I speak, you are more likely to get a response because I find it fun to practice my language skills. Then it turned sour, like some mozzarella that had gone off. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what language you speak. It is NOT okay to sexually harass a woman, even in a different language. I am fluent in Italian and I know a hell of a lot of Italian slang, so I knew that he was being sexually explicit in the following message. Ladies, if a guy ever says ‘la tua figa‘, he’s talking about your pussy. He kept saying how much he wanted to do stuff to me. How fucking disgusting! The worst part? When I didn’t reply, he just kept sending sexually explicit messages to my account. I ended up saying ‘sei un pezzo di merda, vaffanculo!’ (great to use if you ever are being sexually harassed by an Italian guy — merda is worse than the F word in Italy) and blocked him.

Bellissima...unlike the chat from the Italian dude

Bellissima…unlike the chat from the Italian dude

As you know now, I do use Tinder. It’s quite fun actually. Anyway, I started talking to this guy who has a big corporate job in central London. All was going well except for a couple of things. He has this think about last minute plans which really pisses me off. About a week ago, he said he was heading to Kingston that very minute; it was around 9pm. I’d already turned down for the night — pyjamas on, wine bottle open and looking forward to a night in with my mum. He then texted me and said ‘I’m going to get drunk in Kingston, come join me’.

Snapshot of my Friday nights at home

Snapshot of my Friday nights at home

Hang on a minute.

  • You’re already on your way to Kingston.
  • You expect me to hop on a train to Kingston when I’m in my pyjamas and not remotely ready to just hop out of my house.
  • We’ve not been talking for long, how can I trust you?
  • You know I don’t live near Kingston — it’s about a 40 minute drive from my house, if not more, so it’s even longer on the train.
  • What happened to common courtesy i.e. forward planning?

He then repeated this the following week, telling me at 10pm on Thursday that we should meet after work on Friday in central London and we could see where the evening takes us. I’m all for spontaneity on dates: I like meeting up at a specific time on a specific day at a specific place. I like advance notice before embarking on a date. I think it’s only polite and courteous to plan something in advance; otherwise it makes the other person feel like they’re a last minute thought and a last minute resort because you have no one else to hang out with. I feel this guy had a complete lack of manners because of the lack of notice. Funnily enough, when I didn’t agree based on the fact that there’s no forward planning, he asked if  was okay/asked if I was having a bad day because he’s ‘never gotten that reaction before’. No, I’m not having a bad day. I just don’t like bad manners. I  think the worst part is that on said Friday after work, it was my mum’s birthday, which I explained to him, yet he expected me to ditch her on her birthday? Also, what’s wrong with having basic standards i.e. someone who likes to give people advance notice for dates?

Furthermore, who the fuck do you think you are? The only people I will drop everything for are my best friends.

I don’t know why guys think dating sites = places to sexually harass women. Some guy my age messaged me and it didn’t seem like a bad thing to talk to him — he said I looked cute and had a cool profile, then proceeded to ask me what my favourite movie was. So in response, I thanked him and told him that my favourite movie was the one, the only: THE GODFATHER.

The Godfather is my favourite movie, of course!

The Godfather is my favourite movie, of course!

Then he went silent for a while (as most of the people on dating websites do). When he replied, he told me that he’d found a girlfriend on the dating website and was wondering if I’d like to partake in a threesome. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. Why would that ever be a reasonable thing to ask basically a stranger online? Also, in my basic profile information, it states what I am looking for (dating, friendship, long-term relationship) and that I am straight. Why do guys think girls will make an exception when it comes to sexual preference for them? Why do guys think that all girls must somehow be game for a threesome with another girl? Also, what a fucking cheek. I through everything and the kitchen sink at him and asked how he could ever justify asking anyone that question. His response? ‘We’re both horny’. The fact that he even tried to justify asking someone to join in on sex — someone who is a complete stranger, who thought you were a nice person and not a fucking pervert — is beyond despicable. If you want someone to toss into your sex life, get a prostitute. It’s not hard. Asking someone who is not a sex worker for sexual favours online is never acceptable and yes, it IS harassment.

There just seems to be a plethora of weird (not in a good way) men and men who have no sense of what is appropriate or not online. I had one guy who was 43 message me (my profile says ‘looking for men aged 21 – 31) and he asked if I would like to meet up for him to give me up to £1000 cash with no strings attached. I told him that evidently, from my profile, this is not what I was looking for and I do not entertain sugar daddies at all. He then got offended and told me ‘not to judge so quickly’ and then blocked me. Apparently, calling a spade a spade doesn’t go down too well.

You can't buy me, bitch

You can’t buy me, bitch

 Another guy was much like Mr ‘What’s Your Favourite Movie’. The conversation started off okay and the guy was good looking so I replied. He asked what I was looking for so I said ‘friendship/dating and then if anything develops, a relationship’. As you all know by now, I am very open and honest. He then asked, despite knowing the answer based on what I said I was looking for, if I liked ‘to enjoy sex and have fun’ i.e. would I sleep with him? Call me old fashioned but isn’t it best to say something along the lines of ‘okay I’m looking for sex so we’re clearly not looking for the same thing, so bye’ and not to ask intrusive, invasive questions? If you know the person is looking for something serious and you just want sex, it’s better not to push the matter further. Where are the goddamn manners in our generation? Why do men just jump straight to sex questions, especially on a dating site where they can view a profile which in the first sentence says what you’re looking for? There seems to be a clear lack of respect for women on dating sites and inherent misogynistic attitudes from the majority of men on there. There’s definite everyday sexism present online.

Fuckboys piss me off

Fuckboys piss me off

Other shit that went down in the past couple of weeks:

  • One guy said he believes men and women should be equal but he refuses to call himself a feminist…did he realise he just proved why we need feminism in the first place? He said he felt he was frowned upon one time he went to a feminist debate. Perhaps because in that setting, a white cishet man’s voice wasn’t the dominant one? Doesn’t feel fun, does it? Try being a WoC; it’s like that every day for me. White cishet men dominate most spaces I try to participate in and I just get frowned upon. When I put him in his place about all this, he ran off and cried some male tears because he didn’t reply to me. If you’re going to try and have an intellectual discussion with me, at least admit your shortcomings.
  • That Greek guy we met in Episode 1? He matched with me on Tinder. I didn’t know whether or not to swipe right but I did because it was just too coincidental. Pobrecito thinks I’ll go on a date with him. He’s still a psycho ass bitch, so that’s not happening.
  • Some guy looked at my profile and tried typing out dodgy ass Spanish to me to get a reply from me. It did not work.
You won't charm me in Spanish unless you take tips from Romeo Santos

You won’t charm me in Spanish unless you take tips from Romeo Santos

West London Victim Blaming

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‘Women urged to avoid walking alone following series of sexual assaults in west London’. That was the headline released on 2nd December by more than one news source (this one is from London Evening Standard, read the article here). When I read the headline, I instantly felt sick to my stomach. Why? The headline, used by more than one news source, is a clear example of victim blaming.

In fact, throughout all the pieces, the emphasis is on women not to walk alone because then technically, they’re to blame if they become victim of sexual assault. There is no onus on shaming the attacker or condemning his actions as despicable. There is no warning for potential assailants not to attack potential victims. The blame lies solely with the potential victims.

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I’m sure many will agree when I say that it is beyond disgusting that in this day and age, women are being told to not walk alone at any point in the day because they may be attacked. We shouldn’t have to walk around constantly frightened and we shouldn’t be locked up at home because we’re women and we may get attacked. The slant of the reports actually suggest that if you’re a woman in west London and, now you’ve read what has happened to these women who were assaulted, you then become victim to a horrific crime, it’s your fault because you were forewarned. So as women, are we supposed to stop living our lives, going to work, socialising with friends and such because there is an attacker on the loose? Are we supposed to stay in the confines of our homes, imprisoned for a crime we’re not perpetuating? How about blaming the assailant for the horrific atrocities he has committed against these women instead, catching him and using him as an example to any future attackers that it is entirely their fault if they violate anyone?

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Victim blaming achieves nothing. Actually, that’s a lie. It does achieve something. It achieves oppression. Oppression of the vulnerable, when what they need is protection. The police, who should be protecting those who may come into danger are instead blaming them rather than tracking down those responsible for these sexual crimes. So long as the culture of victim blaming exists, sexual violence will continue to rise because of the reinforced sense of entitlement that society and the media give these attackers and rapists. Society, by perpetuating victim blaming, is excusing and encouraging those committing the crimes. It’s 2014, almost 2015. It makes me wonder what it will take to stop victim blaming, considering that in the 21st century, it is occurring as frequently as ever.

Summertime Sadness

It’s hot. For once, the British weather has actually acknowledged the meaning of ‘summer’ and has graced us with weeks of sun. I couldn’t be happier – nothing makes me smile more than a lot of sunshine. I instantly equate sunshine and warm weather to days out with friends, catching up and cooling down with a pint, listening to music whilst basking in the sun and spontaneous evenings out.

It is only this summer, my first summer after university, that I’ve thought about the sinister side of summer. I never had a problem before; I haven’t seen a summer this hot in a good few years, so I was never really aware of it. It was only when I was catching up on Everyday Sexism and browsing the internet about air conditioning and ventilation on the tubes that it became obvious. Summer seems to bring out the pervs in people. Sexual harassment has risen significantly during the heatwave and the common excuse is that by wearing skirts, shorts and dresses – i.e. dressing comfortably in the sticky heat – means that women are ‘asking for it’.

skirt

Believe it or not, when women get dressed before going out and bracing themselves for the stuffy underground, which is terrible even in winter, we don’t dress and think ‘gee, I hope someone catcalls me or gropes me in these shorts, else it will be a wasted outing!’ We dress the way we do because it is summer. It is incredibly hot, even more so when commuting. We dress for comfort. I can’t think of anything worse than it being almost 30˚c and being covered head to toe in something like jeans and a jumper (though given some of the gentry around, we’d probably still be asking for it then). We dress for ourselves, be it for our own satisfaction, comfort or practicality. We are not objects to defile and degrade. You do not have a right to comment on our bodies or the nature in which we have dressed them. Our bodies are our private space, not a public space which you can grope or masturbate at. Catcalling is never a compliment and actually makes us feel like we shouldn’t have bothered leaving the house because of the amount of sexual harassment we have had to endure just to be comfortable.

Our bodies are exactly that – ours. We have the right to dress according to the weather without suffering leering gazes mentally undressing us. And I’ll be damned if I let perverts dictate my movements and outfits during the summer: clothing is never the cause of sexual harassment.