*These are general thoughts I have been having over the past few weeks and I have linked them together into one post.
A few weeks ago -someone- said to me, “A man chatted me up in the street, I told him I was fifteen and then he asked for my number.” We laughed about it but it reminded me of an ‘incident’ earlier this year. A man had been following me at the train station, twelve a clock at night and I was on my way back to Birmingham. When an older man asked whether the seat next to me was free, I gladly said it was. This was in the hope he could offer some form of protection.
Too bad he wasn’t the honourable Christian man he claimed to be. Nothing extremely bad happened, but the idea that I might have been fifteen (I was 21 at the time) seemed to encourage him rather then deter him. Thinking back to it now I felt particularly vulnerable that night. Something had happened that had caused me to flee back home in the middle of the night. With war in my student accommodation I needed to be in the warm comfort of my family home. I can’t help but wonder whether this man could sense within me that emptiness and loneliness I was feeling. Deciding to exploit it, there was some unnecessary touching. Somehow I felt it was my fault, I was out late at night, I should have just managed to know that this wasn’t a decent person. He had said he was a Christian. All valid reasons that he should touch me inappropriately (hmmm)
The one thing that came to my mind was the word, ‘property.’ The idea that a man can come to you and talk to you as if you are a sexual object. He can touch you, invade you private space and it’s somehow acceptable. I don’t walk the streets at night especially in my area because I don’t want to feel as helpless as I did back then. No matter how far we go in the world I think there are people who will never stop thinking of woman as property. There’s a word circulating my sister’s school.
Ownage- the desire to own someone else. (In a dating sense but that still doesn’t make it ok.)
It is this idea that leads people to walk up to you and comment on your weight, physical attributes and then dismiss you. Seeing Body Image: Skinny Shaming vs Fat Shaming – The Early Bird Catches the Worm made me think about this. What right does anyone have to walk up to another person and comment on their psychical appearance. It won’t be out of concern, they will almost look as though it is their duty to warn you. I began to wonder, do some people think of women as products. When you see a woman on the street and she’s wearing a short mini skirt and has mascara on, is she advertising herself for male attention? Some men seem to think so. A few weeks ago, bloggers were talking about Suit Supply’s sexist advertising and as a male blogger said, hi don’t advertise to me like this please. There’s no doubt that some men would find these images inappropriate, it’s scary to think that some might.
While all of this whirled around in my head I read this on Monday. Newsflash:Women’s advertising is more damaging then every– the daily femme.
The thing that gets me about the advertisement, is how hard she is trying in it. The breathy way she is singing the song and the fact she is oily or sweaty or whatever. Beyonce is probably one of the most sexy woman in the modern world. (Well I haven’t met everyone.) She an amazing singer, beautiful and has a great career but it still doesn’t seems as though it’s not enough. She still has to appear ready for sex and with her new scent, Heat we can all appear like that.
This has been my thought pattern- if you want anything else to think about here is another advert
When she’s not kissing him, she’s advertising herself. All he needs to do is remove his shirt.
For more analysing- Life in Chains, about the Sugababes video- Shape