Sunday, 12 November 2017

Lifestyle | Being a Woman in a Weinstein World


Hello Lovelies!

For weeks now the Harvey Weinstein revelations have been swirling around in my brain. I've sat and thought and got angry about it all, only for more and more cases to come out in the press. Really these past few weeks have been overwhelming. The influx of stories of assault that women, men, girls and boys have faced have been heartbreaking and yet at the same time refreshing. Talking about sexual assault is difficult, but I feel like the only way to move forward and help victims is to talk about it more and stop it being such a hushed up subject.


Indeed, something that I've thought a lot about lately is just the complete lack of discussion about sexual assault both as adults and as children. When I was a young child I remember being in a toy shop, when a man came behind me, grabbed my butt and then hurried out of the shop. The experience made me feel many things. For one shame, and another this feeling like I hadn't really understood exactly what happened. I did however kind of know it was wrong, but then being a child I had no real clue the horrible extent to what that man had done. It was just the first time anyone had touched me in that way and it was only really as a teen that I realised how wrong it was. 

From around the age of 11, I began to have lots of men cat-calling me. Cat-calling is something we talk about a lot in society, but so often it is minimised as just being words or a compliment even! But I really do think cat-calling is damaging. When I was only eleven I remember walking past a group of cyclists, only for one of the men (who was middle-aged) to disgustingly comment that I was just how he liked his women. I should note that all of his friends agreed with him, which looking back is completely shocking.

Growing up as a young female teenager and constantly being bombarded with men harassing you on the street really does make you feel threatened. If anything it is just tiring to be sexualised all the time. I am really tired of crossing streets away from builders, and having to deflect pushy strangers by pretending I have a boyfriend. 

What it comes down to again and again is respect. The media has talked a lot lately in particular about how men should treat women in the office place. Some men have complained that they don't know the rules anymore and that anything they do can be misconstrued as assault. What I say to that is that it should be obvious. Whether you're a man or a woman you should always treat your colleagues with respect. Jo Brand, I think summed this all up perfectly when she appeared on Have I Got News For You:

"Actually, women, if you're constantly being harassed, even in a small way, that builds up and wears you down." 

At the end of the day as women we just want to be treated with respect and the same as our male counterparts. Why should a man touch my knee or hassle me for dates in a setting that is purely business? At the end of the day if you wouldn't do it to someone you're not attracted to in the office, then you know it's inappropriate. Of course the same applies to women too. Power should never be used to exploit someone sexually. 


I will leave you with the reminder that we so often have no clue what family, friends or co-workers have been through. Sexual assault is such a taboo subject and we simply do not talk about it enough, and often when we do we only blame the victims or criticise them for not coming forward sooner. What shocks me sometimes is how little we talk about the lasting effect of this kind of assault and just how traumatic it can be. I was struck seeing the horrible video of Harry Styles being groped by a fan at a concert that someone would do something so horrible in pure daylight, to someone they so admired. At the end of the day we need to have a serious discussion about what is and isn't ok, and make it clear what won't be accepted in our society. Too often we hush up sexual assault and minimise it, and too little do the perpetrators of these acts ever face any consequences. So keep in mind as these stories unfold in the press that many of your friends and family have probably had similar experiences and will need your love and care. 

Love Vicky x

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2 comments

  1. this is such an important topic for us all to discuss. Good for you to highlight these issues!
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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  2. Thank you for this post Victoria! I've been meaning to read it for a few days and I'm so glad I did. Sharing your experience (which is terrible to live as a child, and proof is that you still remember it so long after!) and thoughts about sexual assault is a great idea and like you I would encourage everybody, men or women, to share their opinions and stories because it's only when people stop minimising it and realise that this is such a widespread issue, that they will understand that something needs to be done about it. :)

    Julia x
    Last Post: My Autumn Makeup Look | https://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/beauty-my-autumnal-makeup-look-2017.html

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