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
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.