The piece details an experience of sexual harassment. Reader discretion is advised.
My, oh my. That is my response to the last two weeks. Nothing in relation to Camila Cabello’s song. It has been busy. It has been testing. There’s one thing I can say for sure, I’m still here, alive and kicking.
During one of the Mondays, I caught the early bus into town for a SIN promo video shoot and decided to wear a dress; nothing too revealing, the only bit of skin that showed was a fraction of my thigh above my knee and while waiting for the bus to college I heard – “are you not cold? You’ve a fine set of legs on you, why don’t you come here and sit beside me?”
I made the mistake of turning around to an man (who I believe to have been intoxicated) sitting on the drenched bench behind me. I’ve seriously lost count of the number of times I’ve been sexually harassed, but you never get used to it. No-one should ever have to. I told him that I was fine where I was standing and his response was “You would say that, wouldn’t you? Come on, come here beside me.”
I panic and close in on myself when this happens. It’s easy for people to encourage you to say something, but try being in that situation and you’ll feel different. Thankfully, saved by the bus is a thing, but he stood up real close to me to the point of contact and asked “Will you meet me again?”
I panicked more, taking a step back in shock before a girl stepped up beside me and chatted to me, almost as if she was a lifelong friend. And I relaxed. Smiled and thanked her more times than I thought I would have a panic attack in those few short minutes. A second-year student studying Midwifery; she is a true hero and the world needs more people like her; people who step in, people who stop sexual harassment before it escalates further.
Clothes are not consent; I felt that it was unsafe to wear a dress, but then reality hit that I can wear what I choose and nothing in my wardrobe acts as an invitation to harassment. Then a couple of days later at work, in a messy ponytail and box-littered uniform, I was approached by another male I believe to have been intoxicated. He had only asked where something was, I showed him because that’s my duty to a customer, but it’s not nice when you’re stuck between a male and a cage, him getting closer and closer and telling you “I’m not a pervert.”
Oh, how I long to see the day where society wakes up and smells the roses and realises how wrong this is. Whether we’re clad in an outfit of our choice or work uniform, nothing should act as an invitation, nothing should be considered an invitation and to quote Morgan St. Jean’s song “It’s not all men, but it’s all women”.
However, the brighter side of this diary brings me to the joy that spring has finally begun and that my novel continues to grow in length, hitting the mark of over 30,000 words now. Pipsqueak continues to wake Dylan up at night due to his habit of biting the bars on his cage and the little acrobatics he does on the ceiling bars. He can actually pull off doing a hamster-splits; it’s super adorable, I didn’t know my little boy was so flexible. I wonder would he be able to teach me the splits, I’d even give him extra seedies (yes, we call seeds seedies in our house) for the job.