Edit: The shop owner/manager contacted me and apologised profusely, as has the staff member who did not realise anything was happening. They are going over their policies with me in person next week and hopefully we can make this a situation for change and education.
I’m writing this today and the title is not named after a song. Nor is it ironic or humorous.
About two hours ago, a guy decided that I was just his type and so because of that, he made his way into a shop, tapped me on the shoulder and as I turned around tried to kiss me.
Yes, dear reader. How thoughtful of him. When this stranger tapped me on the shoulder, I second guessed that it could be someone I know and went to greet them as I normally would with a quick hug. On realising this was not the case and in fact that this guy was in the process of sexually harassing/assaulting me, I proceeded to grab his jacket and not let go whilst swearing and generally ripping him a new asshole. I basically went FULL FEMINIST WARRIOR WOMAN on him. I then took him out of the shop and carried on with my words of education and warning (I said “fuck” and variants of that word a lot). He apologised, tried to make friends with me (dude, SRSLY?!?) and went on his way whilst I went back into the shop to finish my purchase.
Now, you would think that’s where this story ends but in fact it doesn’t. At no point in this did the male shop staff intervene. At no point did the male shop staff ask if I was alright afterwards. Actually, no one intervened. A female customer did ask me afterwards what had just happened and if I was okay though. But this is the 21st Century, guys and gals. In a world that still objectifies women, still makes people think that if they like something or someone they can just go out and grab it (literally), still turns a blind eye to something happening whilst it is ACTUALLY HAPPENING.
At this point, I would like to say that I am fucking glad this happened to me. Not because I wanted it to (HELL TO THE FUCK NO!), but because at least I had the fucking attitude and response mechanism to fight back and was able to tell that I was in a space that I could do so despite the fact no-one else apparently responded to it or backed me up. But imagine if I had been unable to fight back. If I had been somewhere else. If I hadn’t had past experience of this (disclaimer: not the first time!!). I could have frozen. I could have been physically violated. It could have been worse. Now please don’t read this as me saying it was nothing. It was sexual assault plain and simple. However, I felt that the actions, consequences and the subsequent apology from the attacker were enough for me to carry on with my day.
The shop? I have emailed them about the incident and waiting to hear back about their policy and hopefully with an apology. Just because I was apparently dealing with the situation DOES NOT MEAN I DON’T NEED OR WANT HELP OR BACK-UP. We’ll see where things go from their reply.
How am I? I’m fine. I am angry. I am a bit perturbed. But mostly I am just thankful.
And women, lesbians, gays, queers, men, trans* people, EVERYONE. Please keep safe. Pass this on. And keep fighting and doing what you do everyday. Because the fucktards won’t win. And maybe, just maybe, we might begin to live in a world where people realise they can’t do something like this so stop doing it all together. Maybe.