On Saturday I went to buy ciabatta, and up ahead a youngish man put his hand to his crotch. At first I thought he was just scratching himself, then as he got closer, and I realised he was jacking off. I got scared and my first impulse was to run. I felt so small and vulnerable. Then he laughed in my face and blocked my way, and started to unzip.
I lost my temper. I yelled at him – and was suprised at the power in my voice – THAT’S DISGUSTING! He got a fright and stopped immediately, stepped back to let me pass. I shouted at him again and stalked off. But I looked back and he was standing posturing and shouting at me aggressively.
It was a scary.
Then yesterday I went for a walk, and noticed him coming towards me. I crossed the road so I wouldn’t have to pass him. When I looked back, he’d also crossed the road. He had a very ugly expression on his face.
That was more scary. Now he knows where I live. I came home feeling so fundamentally violated – that old button got pressed, that a man can do what he wants to me and if I get angry or reactive he’s allowed to punish me. It’s what happened between my brother and I. Not in a sexual way, but the dynamic is the same.
Still, nothing actually happened to me, and I shall be aware and sensible but presume that nothing is going to happen to me, that I will be protected. I thought I’d dealt with it, until last night I found myself raging at something completely inconsequential. Bastard. The permissions that some men have is so beyond my capacity to understand. I hope that he doesn’t target any young girls.
I’m reading “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, and got to the passage where the young girl Salamander is raped, then goes back, tazers her guardian/rapist and gets her power back. It was very satisfying.
I get very angry with men sometimes, and it’s hard to not make it about all men. It’s hard to just see that it’s only some, and that there are women just as vicious and self-serving and abusive. The thing is, the men are the rapists, aren’t they? They’re the ones who go for the little girls and boys. It is impossible for me to find any kind of forgiveness in my heart or feel any kind of sympathy for those men. I think they deserve to be hounded and captured and put away for ever.
That man unsettled me more than I realised.
It would be nice to hear from some of the good men. I’d just like to hear them say “I’m not one of those. I’m sorry it happened to you. If I’d been there I’d have beaten him up, you didn’t deserve it.”