I messed about with the post a couple of times now, and having watched the atrocities against women unfold online – everything from being touched and spoken to inappropriately to violent crime, my suspicions became clear – not one woman I know hasn’t been subjected to this kind of behaviour from a man in her lifetime. It’s completely unacceptable.
Behaviour has changed since the 80s and 90s and that’s a great thing. Harvey Weinstein and his behaviour have been called out and people are finally taking this SERIOUSLY. This isn’t some actress trying to fuck her way to the top, this is men abusing their power, making women feel that they HAVE to do these things so they get what they really want.
The issue we’re seeing now is that there are hoards of women who have been impacted by this abuse. Women who don’t know how to undo the things they were taught by these men in their vulnerable years. No one should ever feel like they have to do something so personal just to get what they want, but I fear they were given little choice. Weinstein and Trump and all the other high-profile cases coming out in the media just go to show how rife it is, and how accepted it has been that men just fuck who they want because they’re this person, or that person, and if you’re in the biz, then you expect to have to put up with being grabbed. Lie down and think of England while you work on your career!
I know that coming to terms with what happened to my group of friends and myself when we were teens was hard work. It became a behavioural pattern that repeated over and over. Some guy would have some sort of power and I would fall at his feet begging him to do whatever he wanted to me. It happened time and time again. I thought if I could just do this thing, this one time, I would get the recognition I wanted. And then there are the times I was slapped, touched, and mauled by people in the pub. I dressed up so they would DO THIS TO ME because I had already learned that THAT IS HOW YOU GET ATTENTION.
It’s a hard chain to break. It’s deeply affected my writing (which nearly always featured a girl being dominated by a strong silent type with issues with being in love – 50 shades of abuse, anyone?) and it affected me every day of my life. I’ve read other stories about flashbacks and nightmares, and yet the way it affects others is much less obvious.
It would give me feelings I know I shouldn’t have, especially when I was under stress and I revert to comfort behaviours. This is one of them: become the most fuckable thing in the room and you’ll get all the attention of the boys. You can play dumb, stupid, and helpless and they’ll all do what you need. So what if you have to suck a few off, that’s just how it is. I would let boys do all sorts of untold things to me so I could get them to bed, and then wield the power of The Secret (generally because I was the other woman) over them. I learned, through this abuse of power, how to use it to my advantage. I can spot one of these people a mile off and my brain immediately knows what it must do. Only I’ve broken that now. I give it a name, call it out, give it a right royal rollicking and send it packing because it is not welcome here.
Recently I’ve started thinking about the other side of that piece, how girls find themselves in these situations, how it feels to kind of want to be part of that, but not really understanding why. I’m not talking about the out and out coercion used by Weinstein and Trump (and not even coercion in some cases, just blindly feeling up girls in nightclubs. I once read a story about a woman who was out at a club and a guy just stuck his fingers right up her. WHAT THE ACTUAL?). I’m talking about women who have been damaged by this behaviour and don’t know how to undo it. They don’t know how to realign themselves when all they’ve learnt is that if you want something, you’ll do anything, and anyone, to get it.
I can say #metoo because I’m still living with what it did.