I did something stupid tonight, I shouldn’t have done and I promise I won’t do it again. I also don’t think you should do it either. But it came at the end of a funny day. Venus is in retrograde and there is a near full moon, maybe that had something to do with it.
It started with listening to the news where there was talk of trying to criminalise ‘upskirting’, sexual harassment in the street and leaking intimate photos and videos to try and protect women, (and granted, some men). I turned off the news and started listening to a Radio 4 Front Row episode, it happened to be about #METOO and discussing what had changed in the past year since the hashtag first began. It seemed that it had definitely kickstarted a better environment for women but as with some many things, there is ‘still a way to go’. I was feeling hard done by as a women, all these things we have to contend just because of our sex. I began thinking back over various encounters I’d had over the years and how I brushed them off or took them as normal, something you just have to put up. Thinking about the Rosa Parks episode of Doctor Who I thought we have to make a stand, be brave. What would Rosa do?
Then a couple of hours later I got a text from my 14 year old daughter.
I REJECTED THIS BOY EARLIER, SO HE SMASHED ME IN THE HEAD WITH HIS PE KIT AND SAID ‘THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T REJECT PEOPLE WHO ASK YOU OUT’
I was fuming!!!!!! On so many levels this was wrong. I told her to go straight to pastoral and tell them about the situation, BOY needs educating on what his ‘rights’ in the world are. There are some that will say, ‘ah, it’s just lads, clumsy and bit stupid’, but NO!!!! How dare he, how dare he think that my daughter should be punished because she didn’t want to be with him, its not fun and larks, its sexual bullying. If it sounds a bit strong then I’m sorry, but listening to and remembering, what has gone on for years for thousands and thousands of women who are just supposed to brush it off every time some bloke feels they have a right over them, touches them or makes innuendos, I feel that 14 is exactly the right age to learn that its not on.
Suffice to say i’m a little riled up by this point. Cut to me popping to the shops to get some onions, as I pull out of a junction at the end of the road where my children get off the school bus, another car doing well over the speed limit accelerated up behind me and flashed and beeped at me as he felt that I’d pulled out in front of him. I wound down the window and put my arm out as if to say ‘What?’, he then continued to be right up my arse (excuse the expression), so I slowed right down. Bearing in mind its rush hour, nobody can get anywhere fast, he decides to try and overtake me, but a traffic island stops him. He then continued driving close and flashing me….. so I pulled over….. he got out of his car and so I got out of my car, and I let rip. He got my whole days frustrations, frustration for my daughter, for myself, and for women everywhere. I don’t know if he knew I was female, I don’t care, he was trying to intimidate me, wind me up and scare me. And I refused to accept, he’d picked the wrong day. This road is a road that my kids cross every single day and because he wasn’t allowed to zoom along it putting everyone’s safety at risk he thought that he could bully me.
A good samaritan, who happened to have seen the whole thing as he was driving behind the flashing man, stopped and tried to diffuse the situation, explaining to Mr Flashy that he was in fact in the wrong. It died down in the end, but I refused to budge, heart racing and blood rushing, finally he got back in his car, did a 3 point turn and went back down the road (proving that he had done a detour to his actual route to try and scare me).
Adrenalin pumping, I went to get my onions, without having thanked Good Samaritan, (if you’re reading, Thank You!).
Of course the minute I’d calmed down I realised that whole situation could have ended a lot worse, but fortunately tiny little Mr Flashy wasn’t as tough once he was out of his giant car, and he was just plain wrong. I really won’t do it again though.
But I was angry, angry for woman and girls everywhere. I will not stand for being bullied or intimidated, just because I’m female I won’t be scared. And I won’t let my daughters be scared either.