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For the last 4 weeks I have been involved in training that revolves around women who have suffered some form of sexual abuse/violence in the past.
With 2 more weeks to go…. I feel like I am bursting with information. It has been both extremely informative, extremely emotional, empowering in the sense that the group I am working with are all women with varied backgrounds, who are extremely beautiful souls… however most of all it is becoming more and more a heavy burden to bare!

So absolutely fucking inspiring, working with women in a feminist environment to share our expertise and develop an understanding of what it means to be a victim of abuse! But it is some heavy stuff… the more we learn the more I realise what a wider societal problem this is. I have realised also, how I have held certain beliefs in my life, however never really expressed them…. but now, I have found a group of women who think like me and the message I get is utter devastation.

I’ll explain what I mean with an example:

A friend of mine one day was complaining about public transport. Being on the underground during rush hour meant a whole bunch of smells and personal space is sort of a negotiation between front facing awkwardness or weird bum rubbing with the stranger next to you… The reason why she was speaking about her qualms with public transport on this day was because, on THIS day, it was so jam packed that she could feel at certain points, some guys penis either brushing or rubbing against her. Now, my immediate reaction was rage. My friend on the other hand was semi grossed out by the fact that yeah public transport is crappy because you rub up against people and sometimes you feel penis’s. This perception of her situation worries me….. Like, as a human being, I would know if my vagina or my breasts were, more than once rubbing on a stranger, on my way to work…. This ‘stranger’ in my opinion was committing a sexual offence in my opinion…. But my friend on the other hand, failed to realise this????????? What world are people living in? How is it acceptable to rub penis’s on each other and people to think that this is ok???

Not all situations lie within grey areas such as the example above.

Another example, can be  found in the Ched Evans case. Now, I don’t actually think a lot of people know the real story behind the events surrounding the case but from my understanding. Ched Evans and fellow football player Clayton McDonald were out clubbing one night. They stopped at a kebab shop after their night out and as they were leaving came across their victim, drunk and passed out on the floor?!?! Ched Evans apparently tripped over her which drew their attention to her. The men then took this girl back to the hotel room and both had sex with her and filmed this on video. Ched Evans to this day says that his victim consented to the sexual acts however CCTV cameras clearly show that she was too drunk and pissed out of her mind to give any consent.
Despite the hard video evidence, still society thinks the woman is to blame????

I have one question… Why when a woman is drunk it is ok to try and have sex with her? What kind of a world do we live in where a woman has to fear getting raped if she was drunk???? And….. if she is drunk and IS raped, how is it justifiable in a mans head to take advantage of a limp human!!!! What kind of sex is ACTUALLY pleasurable if it isnt a reciprocal experience?? Do men not enjoy pleasuring women??? If so… Why don’t they just masturbate? I feel like it a terribly sad situation that the number one fear for women is rape… Any ideas what the number one fear for men is? I dont know… That they are caught committing sexual abuse of some kind? [joke]

I wonder what would have happened if the guard in the new series of Orange is The New Black was assaulted by that broom, what feelings would have ensued?? I wonder why the producers decided to not go through with it? What impact would  it have had? On viewers? On women? On men? Interesting….

Now… reading this… one might think, fuck… another man hating *&%^. I’m not actually… At least I wouldn’t label myself as such. If anything I would describe myself as a liberal feminist, meaning I am interested in ideas that promote equality and fairness between the sexes. I am interested in ways in which men and women can empower other women to live empowered lives! I am merely a person, I happen to be female…. but I am concerned with inequalities ascribed to sex and gender. Yes, most of my concerns revolve around women’s issues, only because that is what I am most passionate about… I do have thoughts and feelings towards stereotypes surrounding male and what it is to be a man in society, this body building culture, the high suicide rates, the fact that the majority of reported domestic violence incidents are concerning female perpetrators, no one really considers the effects on abortion when a man wants to have a child… However, I do believe that womens issues are much more pertinent in the world in which we are living now.. and through liberal feminism everyone can be accounted for!!!!

  • If a woman wears a short skirt she doesnt deserve to be raped

  • If she is married she she doesnt deserve to be raped and she is not obligated to have sex

  • If a woman talks openly about her sex life she doesnt deserve to be raped and she isnt asking for it

  • If a woman kisses you in a club she doesnt deserve to be raped

  • If she comes home with you she doesnt deserve to be raped

  • If a woman is drunk she doesnt deserve to be raped

  • If a woman is bisexual she doesnt deserve to be raped

  • If a woman says you are attractive and she is interested she doesnt deserve to be raped

  • If she comes over to your house for a drink she doesnt deserve to be raped

  • If she lies in your arms she doesnt deserve to be raped

Just a few of the things I have been thinking about… Thought I needed to just let it out there. Perhaps another entry will ensue… It would be good to reflect back once the course is over.

Anyways, it is a tough life. And its a very tough life if you are a woman. Many of us dont even realise! For whatever reason. Lets value women more so. Lets start by valuing ourselves, feeling a pride and an achievement for being who we are. Lets realise our worth… Our strength, understand our ‘weakneses’ dont let them get us down… Use them to our advantage or build on them! You are capable, you are amazing, you are beautiful, show yourself, show the world.