I’m reading Tarana Burke’s Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement. It’s not an easy read; but the interviews Tarana’s been giving have told me, the book is a necessary one. It’s also a book that Brené Brown said in their conversation on Unlocking Us, “You start reading as one person, and end as another.”
I’ve archived my personal blog, but have been ruminating on cross-pollinating some posts to this website. On my walk this morning with Tarana’s words ringing in my head, and indelibly across my heart, here’s the first post I’m re-sharing.
Any posts I add to this website from my personal blog will be labelled ‘Revisiting’.
Originally published on 17 December 2017.
As we approach the festive season, it doesn’t matter what people wear, how they act or what they do. If they look uncomfortable, leave them alone. If they say ‘No.’ leave them alone. ‘No’ is a complete sentence, it does not mean ‘Convince me’. Don’t be one of those people who gets so drunk they think it’s funny to lurch, lean, grope, manhandle or even vomit over someone else.
– On the tube in London, a day trip up to go shopping. Probably the Circle Line as that swung past Victoria. I feel a hand on my bum, it brushed past it at first, then slowly crept round to touch it (me) properly. I grab hold of the hand, hold it aloft and ask “Does anyone know who’s this is? I’ve just found it on my arse”
– On the dance-floor in a variety of clubs, the rooms are hot, dark and people are rammed together. It would be an unusual weekend of clubbing if one or other of my friends didn’t get groped. Note to all you youngsters; talk to the club staff and bouncers, get to know them, be nice, polite and friendly – they’ll help you out no end. Until then, wear trousers as much as possible so you don’t get an attempted fingering on the dance floor.
– Drunk Portsmouth football fans on the train home after winning the FA Cup, smoking and drinking on the train. I’ve sat in the front carriage deliberately as when I get on the train at Waterloo, it’s nearly evening. The drunk fans start heckling and abusing me. Knock on the driver’s door to ask for help as I can’t walk past them out the carriage. He looks past me and does nothing as ‘I’m just the driver’ I ask about the guard instead and get told he’ll message him. No help arrives, heckling gets worse. Do I get off and wait for another train loaded with more drunk fans, I knock on the drivers’ door again. Ask if should I pull the emergency brake? He said if I did ‘It’s not an emergency sweetheart’ so I’d be fined. When I raise an incident form with South West Trains, I get told that “For the safety of their staff, the guard and driver chose not to approach the men on the train”. Luckily the Police were more sympathetic. Yes I should have called 999 (or 000, or 911).
– ‘You can’t refuse me, don’t you know that you stupid bitch.’ Yes, this did end up in One Last Hundred Chances
– ‘Come and take these notes, but write long-hand, I want to look at your legs.’
– ‘It’ll only take a minute, no-one will know.’
– ‘For a good-looking girl, you can look awful. You really should wear make-up every day.’
– The primary school swimming teacher who’d ‘check’ on how the girls were doing getting changed afterwards.
– That until I’d had counselling, hypnosis and EFT I couldn’t bear people breathing in my ear, but the smell of Brylcreem can still make me want to vomit.
– I’ve also lost count of men who think it’s funny or that other people won’t mind if they get their penis out in public. “Is that all you’ve got?” usually works well, or “Do you do that in front of your mother?”