Just a forewarning for anyone who’s read the title of this article and is already jumping to conclusions on its content: this isn’t an anger-fueled, feminist rant complaining about men and labeling them all as evil culprits. This is an article that is trying to shed some light on a serious issue which is unfortunately all too common in today’s society.
I’ve accepted the fact chivalry’s (almost) dead – I understand men hardly open doors for women, share an umbrella when it’s pouring down or walk us to our doors after a date. It’s simply a different era.
What truly saddens me though, is that a man’s lack of gallantry is the least of young women’s problems regarding the opposite sex in this day and age.
On Saturday night, I decided to go out with some friends to the Royal Croquet Club which is currently being hosted in Adelaide during the Fringe Festival. Just as any other young, twenty-one year old girl should, I was having a great night. I had met up with friends, had a drink and listened to the music playing from the main stage. After walking through the premises, my night took a 180 turn.
I regrettably crossed paths with a man, a man I had never lay eyes on before in my life, a man whose name wouldn’t ever ring a bell if I were to hear it. A complete stranger. This man proceeded walk towards me and put both his vile hands on my chest and upper torso, literally feeling my body as if he had the God given right, just because I was in his walkway. “Just checking you’re not an undercover cop?” he asked through his alcohol drenched breath and arrogant smirk, hands remaining firm on my breasts.
Naturally, I froze in shock.
My initial thought: What.The.Hell – get your filthy hands off me you big brute.
This man was almost triple my height and definitely more than twice my weight. What’s more bewildering though, is that I was attached to my friend’s hip the whole time his hands were on me. Not that I should have to defend that – whether you’re alone or not, it’s never okay to be touched by someone if you’re not comfortable with them doing so.
After finally jolting back, he walked off, regrettably without copping not only an earful but a backhander from me. My brain then managed gather its thoughts in a more logical manner. Who was this man? Why was he so openly touching my breasts in an open, public space? What the hell made him think he had the right to do so? Because I’m a woman? Because he liked what he saw and thought he could cop a feel? The following is most certainly dedicated to that vile human, as well as any other man who’s delusional enough to think groping random women is okay.
Our bodies do not belong to men. What’s ours is most definitely not theirs. So, boys, keep your hands to yourself unless you can clearly see we are okay with being touched.
Let’s all wake up to the fact that what I experienced Saturday night occurs on a regular basis. Girls, young and old, don’t speak up anymore when it happens as if it’s the norm. Without realising, these actions are leading to an epidemic where men think it’s okay for women (who are complete strangers) to be touched and prodded around on – and the worst part is they’re doing it with no shame. That’s a worrying thought.
How do men think this behaviour is okay? Women ARE NOT objects. Imagine your daughters, sisters or nieces being in a compromising position like that. Women shouldn’t be seen as an inferior gender compared to men. Women’s bodies are no one’s property other than their own.
Pretty simple, isn’t it?
Here’s a thought guys: don’t put your hands, mouths or any body parts on women, or anyone for that matter, without their permission. Sounds reasonable yes? Okay great, so stop now.
PS. If you random blokes think it’s a turn on for women when you unwelcomingly grope us, it’s not. We. Hate. It.
PPS. Pass the message on, it’s time to make a stand.
Feature pic: BBC