Today, I read that a mother of four has left her children and husband behind after she committed suicide. This follows a sexual abuse trial where she was a witness, and the QC thought that she was lying about what had happened to her when she was younger. A WOMAN QC.
I find this sort of thing on an almost daily basis, now. Women being raped or otherwise abused, because certain men think they have the right or because they think women are worth less than dog turds on the street. My uncle rang this morning and said that a woman where he works (he’s a bus driver) was groped by a male colleague. When she reported it initially, a female manager stood up for her, but then she was told to retract her statement and the manager refused to back her up any more. It turns out this manager has been having an affair with the abuser. The woman who was groped has been told she has a choice. She can go to the police, in which case the abuser would get a criminal record and would have trouble finding another job (GOOD!). Or she can report it internally and get him fired, and it would be on his files and he would still have trouble finding another job (again – GOOD!). Apparently, the victim feels bad about that. Why? Why on earth should she feel bad about it? I wouldn’t! Let the fucker get what’s coming to him!
I’ve been on the receiving end of this kind of behaviour myself, a long time ago. I was young and naive, and was temping in a local bakery. I was washing my hands after using the ladies’ and a man came up behind me and said that he wanted to wash his hands ‘all over you’. I froze, finished washing my (now shaking) hands and went back to work. I said nothing. Until I got home, that was. I told my parents and my dad rang the manager to explain what had happened and that I wouldn’t be coming back. The manager’s reaction? ‘Oh, that was [whatever his name was], he didn’t mean anything by it, that’s just the way he is.’ That’s just the way he is??? What the manager was saying, then, was that he was well aware that this employee of his had often intimidated women and he’d been told several times before, but had done nothing about it. Why? I may be going out on a limb, here (though I don’t think so), but I think he accepted it because he didn’t see anything wrong with it. I’ll repeat that: He didn’t see anything wrong with a man intimidating women and making them feel dirty. Who knows what else this fucker was capable of? And the worst thing is, it never got reported to the police, because all I wanted was to not set foot in there ever again. He, undoubtedly, kept his fucking job. If it had happened now, believe me, things would have been very, very different. I have my kung fu, for one thing, and I would not be afraid to use it. And then I would shout, scream, and gather all the women in the area (it was Portsmouth, if you’re interested) who had ever had something similar happen and have them all walk out of work and march on the streets. And I would go to the police (though, from what I’ve been reading recently, so many coppers accept that it’s OK to grope/rape/sexually abuse women that I’m not actually sure what that would achieve).
I can’t begin to explain just how angry I am, right now. I’m writing this blog entry so that I can let some of it out of my system without punching the wall.
Please, if you give a shit about this, tell people about this blog entry, let everyone know that something has to be done. Women are not objects to be played with. We are not inferior to men. We are human. It’s about time the law – and society as a whole – started treating us as such. Perhaps then, men who think it’s OK to abuse women – and women who may think they were ‘asking for it’ – would think twice.
Oh, and by the way, if you’re wondering if I have an opinion on what the punishment for rape should be, yes, I do. But I’m not naive enough to think a man would ever be castrated just because he thought it was OK to fuck a woman without her consent… Because that would be over the top… Wouldn’t it?