… There are oh so many reasons why I think we ALL need feminism. I’ve never been shy about my feminism, but I’ve been reluctant to post / pose for one of the #ineedfeminismbecause blogs/pages/shoots because I couldn’t think of a way to boil down my reasons into something that would fit on a piece of paper.
I went running this evening, and for the second time in the same week, got a some unwanted attention from some guys in a car. I’ve not had much of this before- maybe summer is the hatching period for idiot boy larvae? I have no idea if this was standard street harassment crap or some attempt at body-policing (oh, look at the fat girl running, she can’t possibly feel awkward enough, lets call attention to her and make her feel even more crappy, and like she shouldn’t be out in public). It wasn’t delivered in a hugely threatening or overtly sexual way, but it was definitely NOT sincere friendly encouragement. My fellow runners do that, with a wry grin and a nod as we trudge past each other. The lady I always see walking her huge St Bernard does that with a smile and a ‘Hi’ or ‘Good evening’. Nope, this was lechery or just nastiness, or both.
My normal reaction to this is to ignore them. I have sadly learned that giving any sort of reaction either encourages them or winds them up. However, tonight I’d just started my run, I was looking forward to it, the park was lovely and I was really pissed off with these guys who had just casually shattered my good mood and probably thought they were really cool for doing so. So I gave them the finger. It felt really good to show how pissed off it made me that they decided to impose themselves on me in a public place, unasked.
Then I panicked… I was about to follow them around a corner. What if it pissed them off and they decided to slow down, yell some more, or even get out? I live in a pretty safe city and I was in a place with a few people on a well travelled road so I was quickly able to push aside the worry, and use my pissed offness to fuel my run. But it made me decide to post. I realised just how often that fear stops me reacting with appropriate anger to those who think they have a right to my body when I put it outside my house.
So here you are. My 200th blog post, and you know what humanity? It sucks that this needs saying at all.
(and just in case anyone reading this thinks ‘there is no reason to be scared, feminists blow this stuff out of proportion’ or ‘but what about my right to give people compliments? I am a nice guy, I don’t mean anything by it’ I suggest you go and read this and this before starting to have a discussion with me)