Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Yes All Women.

As you may know an extremely disturbing incident took place on Friday night in Santa Barbara, a young man by the name of Elliot Rodger murdered six people in a mad gun and knife rampage. He also (the day before his rampage) made a video entitled 'Elliot Rodgers Retribution' in which he detailed how he would punish the women who in his life had rejected him. When this horrific story hit the news, and many people went to watch the YouTube video, below in the comments box men actually defended the actions of 'Rodger with equally disturbing responses. These sparked a huge uproar and  '#YesAllWomen' began trending on twitter. In the tag women began detailing their experiences of physical and verbal abuse at the hands of men. I also shared mine and thought that I would further share with you a more detailed account of my experience.

Some time last year I was heading to a blog beauty event and, as always being the non-Londoner I am couldn't find the venue. Of course turning to my trusty iPhone for map directions I began following the little blue dot which led me into Soho Square I soon began to realise that I was going the completely wrong direction. Frustrated and hot and bothered I called Dan ( my boyfriend)  to ask for help, whilst mid conversation a man walks by and touches/smoothes my arm, whist proceeding to say 'Alright Beautiful.' For a second I thought that maybe, it was someone who knew me, however when I turned around I realised I did not recognise him at all.  I was immediately angry with this, not because he had hit on me but because he had touched me. I did not know this man, yet he had actively encroached my personal space by touching my body. I immediately and confidently said "Excuse me, I do not know you so please do not touch me' and began to walk away.  All of a sudden the man is behind me shouting at the top of his voice

" YOU WHAT BITCH you should be fucking grateful I even spoke to you, UGLY FAT BITCH'

The old me would have just scuttled away and allowed him to speak to me like that, after all lots of other men in my life have shouted abuse about my weight at me. This one was no different, he was no different, but this time I was. I screamed back 'You do not own me, you do not know me, so don't fucking touch me' I was shaking so hard, the rage was running through me like hot blood, I was shocked, shocked that a Man honestly thought he had the right to touch me, but also more shocked that no one in that square intervened. Everyone watched the scene unfold, yet not one person asked if I was okay, would they have been the same if he had really lost his temper and physically harmed me? I don't even know. One thing I recall most about this horrific experience was Dan's response to me challenging the man. 'Don't ever do that again, what if he had hit you' he said.
Why is it that it is in the Woman's best interest to just sit there and shut up than to stand up and say no. Why is it okay for a man to tell me I should take the abuse as a compliment because it's the least I deserve at my size. NO. No matter what you look like, what size you are, whether you are butt naked in the street, men still don't have the right to touch you.

When I broke this story down into less than 140 characters I felt relieved that I was able to share this story especially having read so many others similar to mine. Almost immediately after posting this tweet this happened

 photo 4006C0A4-323B-4B71-B6B5-BFD7B2476A23_zpsostjdznq.png


Ladies and Gentlemen, this is exactly why we need the #YesAllWomen hashtag, because even when I,  shared a story about abuse at the hands of a man, another man couldn't resist further abusing me.  We do not need to say 'Not all Men are...' we know that, I know that. Dan is the most wonderful respectful man I know, as are my many male friends. This is the time for us all to listen, a time to learn and encourage the conversation because lets face it, it's about time women stopped getting silenced.

31 comments:

  1. Patricia Moral Solés27 May 2014 13:43

    Well said Callie!!brilliant post x

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so sorry that he thought he had the right to touch you & then verbally abused you because you stood up for youself. No one ever had the right to touch you without your permission. In a way, I understand Dan's response. Maybe because he wasn't there to protect you, which he doesn't need to be but we all know what boyfriends are like. He was worried for your safety but I'm so glad you stood up for youself & didn't let him get away with it. I've never had an experience like that, maybe because if I'm on my own I have a permanent bitch face going on but I do get stared at & have had disgusting things said to me.

    Callie, you're beautiful. Inside & out. Your size doesn't define who you are but if it wasn't for bloggers like you - bloggers who want to show women that they should love their body no matter what, I wouldn't be half as confident as I am now. I love reading your outfit posts but you wear what you want & always look amazing. I want that but I am getting there & I would like to say thank you (: xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. holy hell, callie! proof indeed that the men's rights movement is toxic.


    you go on NOT being silent, and being beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Vicky Frankland27 May 2014 14:06

    I have been felt up without my permission more times that I can count because apparently when your breasts are over a certain size, it is "allowed". All previous times I haven't dared say anything back, especially as those around me think that "large breasted girls should expect to be touched". Like you though I am different now and my reaction when it invariably happens again will be like yours. No one has the right to touch you without your permission.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fantastic and brave post. I remember being in a nightclub, a man tried to pin me to dance with him, I said 'no' and pointed at my then boyfriend (he was talking to friends). He obviously got mad, as a few mins later he came up behind me and jabbed his fingers THERE. I was terrified as normally I would react but this guy was much much taller than me (I couldn't even see his face properly). I was crying when I got home and never been to the club since. Men should not think this kind of thing is right in any way!

    Tara xox
    http://headlinebeauty.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Katherine Gibbons27 May 2014 15:14

    This is perfect! Too many times I've seen men get away with inappropriate behavior because women are too scared to speak up. Being an empowered woman should not be cause for violence or harassment. YOU are a voice for the voiceless. As you said "it's about time women stop being silenced."

    BRAVO!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great post Callie, and the reply from the "Yes All Men" twat just about proves the point the YesAllWomen hashtag was made for!
    I was thinking about this and after reading so many women's stories I was thinking that I was lucky and had avoided these experiences. Then I remembered a time when I was 15 and a boy I had just met at a theme park touched my boob on a ride. I responded with a polite smack in the bollocks, and felt that I had the upper hand, but that boy had no right whatsoever to touch me in the first place!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Leah (Just Me Leah)27 May 2014 17:12

    Great post Callie. I was talking to my husband about this issue tonight. It boils my effing piss that you can't say a true thing about ANY man without them all jumping in to defend the one in the wrong. This is why we need feminism. When things like this happen I'm SO glad I'm not bringing kids into this world. It's too fucked. x x

    ReplyDelete
  9. DanaJRobertson27 May 2014 18:45

    Then I remembered a time when I was 15 and a boy I had just met at a theme park touched my boob on a ride. I responded with a polite smack in the bollocks, and felt that I had the upper hand, but that boy had no right whatsoever to touch me in the first place! http://goo.gl/ai61Qh

    ReplyDelete
  10. Same, makes me so mad!! You should have seen the hash tag Leah, full of horrific comments from men. Just vile! xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks Ash, yeh I understand Dan's response too, he just wants to keep me safe, but the sad thing is that women are taught from a young age that men are dangerous. Thanks for always reading and commenting I appreciate it so much xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. It is disgusting, like you are a prime piece of meat up for grabs! x

    ReplyDelete
  13. OMG! That is absolutely horrific, Jesus, I am so sorry that happened to you. <3

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you Katherine! xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. Well done for standing up for yourself - finding your voice is so empowering. I've experienced fat shaming from both men and women, but have finally started to answer back too! Great post. Massive hugs. Jo xxx

    ReplyDelete
  16. As a 'larger woman' I can completely identify with Callie's post and so many of the comments, but I'm sure this behaviour affects most women unfortunately.
    How on earth has society degenerated so far that woman can now be deemed as pieces of meat, where our pure purpose seems to be for the entertainment and pleasure of men, and as soon as we try to reassert our power we get verbally or physically abused? And this is in First World countries!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Fantastic post. You are my hero xx

    ReplyDelete
  18. It really is awful, even now I'm a little anxious when I'm out by myself especially at night. :/ I shouldn't have to have my brain on overdrive when I see a man in the street & it's getting dark, I also shouldn't have to hold my house keys between my knuckles just in case I need to defend myself. :/


    No problem lovely :D xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. Such a powerful post! Indeed, the time to be silenced is over. It's time we assert our refusal to be objectified, ridiculed, and abused at the hands of ignorant men. Kudos to you for standing up for your self and sharing your experience!

    ReplyDelete
  20. This gave me chills. The entitlement is sickening. So glad you wrote this. xx

    ReplyDelete
  21. Orla Carmel O'Neill29 May 2014 03:34

    This is amazing, I'm so happy you had the courage to scream at him. I don't know you at all but I feel proud (sorry if that's patronizing). I rarely have the courage to do this, usually I back down at the time.

    ReplyDelete
  22. <3 Not Patronising at all! xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hayley Barnes29 May 2014 12:35

    Great post, although it's also not great as a subject matter, just very interesting and so well written. This experience sounds horrific but what's worse is that someone actually responded to your tweet with that. I don't understand how people think. That anyone thinks they have the right to treat people like this. People have to start standing up and discussing what is actually happening because even if nothing changes, at least we aren't cowering away from it any longer!


    Gonna share this post.

    Hailes<3

    Hailes
    Hearts Fashion.

    ReplyDelete
  24. When I was at a festival a couple of years ago I was sitting by myself while my friends went to get some food, and in that time, a pissed up stranger decided to come sit on the bean bag with me, and take my hand in his, interlocking our fingers. I was honestly so shocked and freaked out by it I didn't know what to do, and kind of shook him off and said my fiance would be back in a bit. He didn't seem bothered by that and wandered off eventually. But I decided I didn't want to tell him to bugger off because I didn't know what his reaction would be, despite being near crowds of people, especially as he was drunk.

    I don't know how i'd have reacted if I was in the same position as you. But clearly he took offence to you brushing him off, you were "beautiful" the moment he touched you and then an "ugly fat bitch" after you told him where to go. What an asshole.

    And the abuse you received on Twitter is just pathetic really. It's very easy to type abuse at someone from the saftey of your desk. Internet trolls... grrr.

    And I don't want to sound too creepy, but you are seriously one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, and I wish I could be as confident as you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Unbelievable, holding hands is such an intimate thing as well, so gross! So sorry you went through that. Yeh sadly when people are at the safety away from actual confrontation they will say what ever they like, I don't let it bother me, I just block and ignore these days.

    Oh bless you! That is SO lovely of you to day, you've made my day, but you can definitely be as confident life is too short to not be exactly who you are :) xxx

    ReplyDelete
  26. Yeah I used to get wound up with things said via the internet, but it's a waste of energy really, I bet most trolls wouldn't say boo to a goose!

    I was going to say why do men think they can man handle women without permission, but then I remembered at another festival another woman grabbed my boob as she walked past me. Again I was just too stunned to do or say anything. Maybe it's a festival thing??!!

    I'm glad i've made you smile, if I can make someone else happy then it's a good day in my book ;) I usually just lurk on blogs and never comment, I felt compelled to write on yours xx

    ReplyDelete
  27. Bloody hell that festival sounds like it had some characters! Same I am a blogger lurker too haha, well thanks love, really do appreciate it! :) Have a lovely day xxx

    ReplyDelete
  28. Megan Hussey31 May 2014 16:11

    Callie, what a powerful, beautiful heroine you are. Your story is so empowering and I thank you for sharing it. At a very young age I lost a beloved cousin of mine when she was murdered by a stalker; since then I've been a passionate advocate for women's rights, and never more so than now. I myself have been stalked, and it's even scarier when you know all too well the potential outcome. #yesallwomen!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love that you stood up for yourself -- women are trained to believe we are weak(er), that respecting ourselves is pushy and that requiring respectful treatment from others is unreasonable. A raised voice can be a powerful weapon, literally and figuratively, and you used yours. Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  30. You've been victimblamed.
    This is from my newspaper - it's in danish and I used google translate hence the incorrect english.

    "The situation has, with the exercise of the power of rituals to do when the woman after rejecting approximations are victimblamed and sometimes slutshamed (ie called ugly words) to submit to the 'punishment' that a man claiming to have the 'right' to fold over her, because she will not engage with him. The fact that it is at all possible, due to the existing social structures as well as etiquette between people continued support sexist behavior patterns."

    Not too long ago I experienced something unpleasant as well. I wasn't touched or even graced, but some guys visiting someone in my kollegium bar said, whilst I was passing by, "they only let their disgusting women out tonight."
    I happen to know, because I have eyes, that I am attractive and the comment was based solely on my size 44 and maybe the fact that they were trying to be cool. A year ago I would have said nothing, primarily because I couldn't be bothered to, but I was in a very bad mood that evening, that immediately turned good actually, after I turned around and responded "It has got to suck then.. That not even the disgusting women here wants to have sex with you."

    I spend the following hour brushing them off, because they all of sudden wanted to apologize and tell me how beautiful I am.
    I know, bitches. I know.

    ReplyDelete
  31. when I was younger, twice in my life it happened to me to be harassed seriously, I realized that only after a few months, when both men who did harass me were on newspapers for raping women. One of them was the son of a diplomat so he ran away from the country and was free, the other one I don't know. Both tried to touch me when I was walking on the street during the day. When I realized I was being assaulted I screamed and freed myself luckily I don't even know how. But one thing I still remember is that right after that they started abusing me, telling me I was crazy, that no man would have wanted me. This is how these people act. They put the blame on you and try to make you feel the wrong one.

    ReplyDelete