No Excuse for Misgendering

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I’ve struggled to finally write this for a couple of months now for the most obvious reason – I’m not a trans woman nor a trans man. My perspective will always e limited as a result of the lack of immediate access that I have to the actual experience of being trans in a predominantly cisgender world. But given that it’s Pride Month, and queer people and allies everywhere are living their truth in their respective circumstances, spreading awareness, fighting for rights and celebrating their queer identities, this is a good a time as any to have a share some of the lessons I’ve learned about interacting with people who are trans.

I would hope that none of this is interpreted as cisplaining because I do believe that cis people need to talk more about the issue of misgendering. A lot of people don’t want to talk about it and it ends up treated like an elephant in the room – also the basis for some unacceptable errors of ignorance to arise. Not only is it unfair to expect trans people to sit through tedious, triggering tutorials about their identity as well as basic courtesy around engaging with trans people on the topic.

The first step to trying to have any kind of interaction about people who are transgender or transexual is the acknowledgement and understanding that it’s not all about you. This does not come from a malicious place or any attempt to bully anyone – it’s simply a precaution that will prevent you from hurting people. If you’re confused, that’s okay but your confusion does not give you a pass for saying insensitive things or hurtful things – regardless of your good intentions. I must also flag, after a conversation about this with one of my friends, that it’s never a good time to flex your brain muscles and try to play intellectual ping-pong where people’s livelihoods and experiences are at stake. Hold back before throwing combustible hypotheticals into the fireworks, let’s chat about the reality at hand since we’re all here already and we have more than enough scenarios to deal with.

The second important lesson I learned is that we need to upscale the EQ as cisgendered people. Before you even get your tights in a knot trying to fit “what being transgender” means into your established worldview about sex, gender, gender roles, religion etc., start with the fact that whoever you are engaging with (assuming they are trans) is human. If someone says (or you can see) that they are hurt by a particular issue and that a particular experience is traumatic for them – it is not for you to decide whether or not those feelings a plausible or valid. Those feelings exist. That reality exists for them. By virtue of you not being able to experience this on their behalf is because you’re already biased towards the lived experience that you know and that you have been exposed to (which is incredibly shielded from half the experiences trans people must endure).

Th final thing invaluable lesson I learned is that cisgendered people need to do a lot more actual labour. The recent times we live in where there’s an increasing pressure on the usage of the correct legal and political terms for people’s identities calls for all of us to do some drastic unlearning – because the status quo as we know has done a good job of crystalizing injustice and erasure into our everyday lives. From clothes, physical attributes, pronouns, generalizations, jokes, idioms, and occupations (and the list goes on) – all of this is gendered in our minds from an early age. And so this makes assuming someone’s gender an ‘unconscious’ act which is almost unavoidable. This is the point in the conversation where most cisgendered people feel it is justified to give up or be lazy.

We have to do the work because, at our expense, people get hurt. And the spectrum of cisgender ignorance is broad – it ranges from ‘benevolent’ subtle errors, malicious subtle errors, to not subtle errors terrorising and all the way to homicides – all of which are FELT. And to expect trans people to wait patiently before discerning where on the spectrum your “misunderstanding” of their identity lies is violent and for many people traumatic. Especially to ‘open-minded, accepting, benevolent’ allies – we are not exempt from this. No one owes us trust that our intentions are good even if you have the credentials, groundwork to prove it or whatever (also do not frantically try to convince a trans person of this), remember the “But some of my best friends are black” line that we scrapped a while ago, yep, same rule applies.

If you want to learn some more about trans rights, advocacy work, people’s stories and support – lots of organisations are out there doing amazing work…

Feel free to visit – all South African: Gender DynamiX, S.H.E, Social, Health and Empowerment Feminist Collective of Transgender Women of Africa and their blog Transfeminists.com, GALA , Sonke Gender Justice.

 

 

 

 

 

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Can celeb sex offenders get away with anything?

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Perpes

Bill CosbyHarvey Weinstein. Kevin Spacey. Usher. Victor Salva. Donald TrumpR Kelly.

If you follow mainstream online news or just social media, you’ll know the common-thread that puts all these celebrities in the same box – allegations of sexual assault. The latest addition to this group, Kevin Spacey, was a particularly close one for me. As a great admirer of Spacey’s work I quickly sifted through the plethora of condemnations from colleagues and former co-stars to get the full story by his accuser Anthony Rapp. 

What upset me further was the number of people who said “we all knew about you”, claiming that they knew about his perversion for younger men (where it was clearly illegal). Why do we not speak up – name and shame?  Do we need a victim before we can speak out about abusive behaviour? 

Given that this is not the first situation in which celebrities have found themselves in this situation, I feel there are just a few conversations I am so tired of having because 1) they’re old and have nothing to do with this and 2) the question about whether or not he will “get away” with it. But I guess they’re still coming up so I’ll share why I feel the way I do about them.

The first kind of old and worn-out conversations we do not need to be having are about the surprise that his sexuality is. We’re discussing a paedophilic case and the shock about his “gayness” is truly not one that we need to be having because that’s no one’s business and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Where I am willing to feature his sexuality into the discussion is in the fact that he used the platform on which he was apologising to simultaneously “come out” and reveal his sexual orientation. What is this meant to achieve? What harms does it perpetuate – one big red flag I see here is a perpetuation of stereotypes of gay people as “predators” or reckless individuals and secondly, he diverts this attention to himself and what he is/was going through which is not only insensitive but selfish and manipulative.

The second discussion around whether he will “get away” with it because of his celebrity status or because to happened so long ago is another that I find incredibly upsetting but no matter how tedious, we need to discuss. If I were to ask people what their idea of justice in this situation would be I’m sure the answers would range from “he should be tried and shunned”, “withdrawal of sponsors from brand association”, to “his career needs to be virtually ended” and many others.

But often people do not realise their own role in this justice. When college boys are found guilty of assault everyone wants their careers ended but when it comes to musicians and actors there’s an exception. We continue to consume their music and films and literature etc.
Not me. As much as I loved and enjoyed Spacey and appreciated his talent… dog box – right along with Chris Brown, R Kelly, Victor Salva and co. (yes, it means I will deny myself the much-awaited Jeepers Creepers 3 and anything else that they will create). It also doesn’t help that Kevin’s apology was half-arsed and self-absorbed. This is not because I expect them to be perfect – in fact, I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of leeway between the expectation of perfection and expecting people to not assault or molest others.

Remember how outraged and disgusted we were at Donald Trump’s recorded, “When you’re a star, they let you do it”? What if I told you we were the “they” who let these perpetrators get away with this. We all need to start taking responsibility for the collective role we play in punishing perpetrators, otherwise we send the message that it’s okay if you’re famous, or influential and to victims that nothing will change if they come out.

MenAreTrash – I said what I said

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Recently, in South Africa, a young womxn Karabo Mokoena was killed and burned by her boyfriend. This had the nation in uproar against this kind of violence that womxn are susceptible to on a daily basis. This incident is yet another reminder of the hard, cold reality that womxn are not safe – with anyone – and not only from strangers but from the people we love and trust.

Many men (and womxn) on social media have shown the need to see the disclaimer, which outlines not including all men in the #MenAreTrash banner, as a prerequisite for people to be taken seriously. This made me particulary mad because I am not here for any men telling us “not all-” and so I wrote down reasons for why we can and should say men are trash without feeling the pressure of having to include “not all men”.

  1. Empirical fact

When we’re out in the street or any public spaces and in  our lived experience in that specific given time and place, these “exceptions” to the MenAreTrash narrative are almost always nowhere to be found. We endure the cruelest, scariest and most demeaning experiences in the presence of dozens of men, yet every time we are groped, beaten in public, or in our homes by people we love – onlookers walk on silently… family members prevent intervention because “it’s not their business”. So, in as long as that “exception” presence is not felt and not impactful, #MENARETRASH.

2. Victim-blaming

When men tell womxn to correct themselves when saying all men are trash, they are shifting the responsibility to womxn. Creating a reality in which not all men are trash is not the duty of womxn. It is the responsibility and duty of men. Instead of being so preoccupied with womxn using the correct wording to provide a satisfactory representation of reality for them, men ought to concern themselves with creating this reality. When we see the change and our experiences reflect this change, our words will reflect that truth. But to expect our narrative to change while we experience the same old violence at the hands of men, is an act of violence in itself.

3. Fragile Masculinity see this insistence of

I see this insistence of womxn to say not all men are trash as an immaculate demonstration of fragile masculinity because womxn expressing their lived experiences must obviously be a direct attack on you (a man). We cannot possibly speak about our realities and not leave room for you in the dialogue. As a man who is not abusive, violent, or passive in the face of injustice – assuming that this is the case – the discussion is not directed at you, so why feel the need to invalidate people’s experiences for the sake of proving that you, indeed, are not trash. To constantly attempt to position oneself as the center of this argument by trying to prove one’s own “good nature” is a diversion from tackling the actual problems and harms that womxn face and a typical demonstration of the selfish narcissism men demonstrate when womxn are victimised.

This banner is to divert our attention to the spoils of society that we need to rid ourselves of – and in case we haven’t been clear, this reason is not because we hate men intrinsically because their make-up is fundamentally evil, but because of the violence nad oppression we have to endure BECAUSE of men’s action or inaction. So fix your trashiness and that of your male counterparts and the systems that protect them, so that we can go back to being happy & care-free as we were in the womb.

4. Exceptions or Benefits of the Doubt

By insisting that we recognize that not all men are trash – potential rapists, killers, abductors, harassers – womxn are being forced to give ‘certain’ men the benefit of the doubt. We’re expected, again, to disregard all instances of people being hurt and attacked by people who “seemed kind”, “looked genuine” and were familiar and close to them and to not assume that all men have the capacity to hurt us. At the expense of our safety, having seen cases where these “exceptions” were harmless and not like the rest, we must be trusting and place ourselves in the danger of being yet another statistic of someone who was killed or abused by someone they knew and trusted.

If believing that men are trash – with no exceptions – is womxn’s way of protecting ourselves, allow us that much. Out of all the things that men have power over, allow us just the right of autonomy to hold our own beliefs and protective mechanisms without constantly trying to dictate how womxn should navigate their experiences (which men can never fully understand nor relate to).

 

 

The Age of State- Sponsored Othering – Xenophobia

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There is a difference between a nation that upholds the ideals of cultural and ethnic pluralism (diversity) vs. assimilation (integration). Sometimes, nations do not know which of the two they truly uphold and value – not just in principle but in practice too.

A nation that upholds the ideals of cultural and ethnic pluralism is one which demonstrates tolerance and acceptance of cultural difference. It views these differences as intrinsically valuable and not only valuable in so far as these differences can be exploited for the advancement of that nation. People are not seen as a means to an end – but are appreciated for their differences and are not ‘othered’ on the basis of those differences.

I believe that both South Africa and the United States of America fall into this category, purely based on the ideals to which they “claim” to uphold and value. This is upheld in our Constitutions, in our laws and foundations upon which we have built our new order. However, in practice, the complete opposite is true – at least, in recent years.

On the other hand, a nation that upholds the ideals of assimilation is one which values people of other cultures in so far as they are able to be assimilated into the dominant culture, beliefs, practices etc. This perspective does not value cultural or ethnic differences intrinsically but values them on the basis of their adaptability to the norm and in reference to how far they have come in terms of “integrating” into the new society.

This is the ideal which is gaining popularity in both the USA and in South Africa recently. The anti-immigration policies and prejudiced attitudes towards (particularly poor) immigrants demonstrate this absence of value for pluralism where it is seen to not be beneficial or profitable for the dominant group. The value of diversity is not regarded as something valuable in itself but must also have instrumental value. Hence arguments against immigrants are closely tied to the materialist notion around the economic burden of taking in more people onto the system (not society, the system).

In South Africa, these attitudes of upholding assimilation are not exclusively reserved for immigrants, but can be seen within the different cultures within South Africa. Most provinces and residential areas are still divided across racial, socio-economic and cultural lines. Acceptance into those communities is often withheld unless one learns the dominant language, or partakes in the practices and beliefs of that community otherwise a degree of intolerance and discrimination, even violence, ensues as seen with the xenophobic attacks.

Some of the most prominent contributing factors to xenophobia include a perceived threat to the cohesion and safety of a shared identity such as nationality or ethnicity, competition for scarce resources such as low wage jobs, housing or in the tragically misogynistic paradigm – women. One of the often ignored causes for xenophobia is also psychologically repressed emotions and frustrations which are projected onto immigrants which include inferiority complexes, desperation, isolatedness, and neglect. It may much easier for people to punish others for sharing these experiences and expecting sympathy and even assistance from those citizens who are already crippled by these similar issues, therefore, treating immigrants with hostility because of this is one of the ways in which people can misplace the anger and frustrations stemming from those issues onto the person who mirrors it to them.

 

A Call to Carpe Diem – International Womxn’s Day Tribute

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Image taken from the American television series, “Westworld”. Feminist critique of the series coming soon.

 

“…I am a part of all that I have met;

Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’

Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. “

From the age of 16, my favourite poem has been Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. What struck me most about the poem is the burning zest for life that the speaker has… his adventurous spirit so restless and irrepressible  even in his old age. Having lived a fulfilling life, the speaker reflects on his experience and looks back not with a solemn nostalgia but with a rose-tinted lens of his glorious youth & how he made the most of his days.

This poem resonated so much with me for years and one of my closest friends and I even attempted to learn it all off by heart. Our selection was a highly unconventional one since most of the popular choices in our class were the more tranquil and gentle poems about forbidden gardens, lost/reunited lovers and seasonal changes or death.

Of course, the speaker in the poem is a man… as are most heroes whose noble and brave life stories are preserved in mythology, folklore and other types of art. My friends and I knew that had we lived in the era in which this poem was written, we most certainly would not have been the target audience. Our roles would not have been the adventure-laden ones with the unexplored lands to discover, conquests to pursue and innocents to defend, save. We were a part of the hidden figures in those narratives, patiently and loyally waiting for our spouses to return from these adventures (Mariana). In these narratives, we’d have no ambitions of our own beyond tending to household duties, or as the glorified mothers, wives or prizes. Or even worse, we would be given the roles of the temptress whose sole purpose in the narrative was to blind him with lust & temptation and to derail the hero from his noble cause … another obstacle he was to conquer in order to further glorify him and his heroic achievements.

And so began my plunge into the type-cast of the angry feminist who seemed obsessed with the way womxn were depicted in the media, in literature, film, art. The one place in which we could reconstruct society and reality, to undo – in one gesture – all the chaotic injustices and inequality with which we struggle in the real world, somehow, in those fictional worlds in which dragons and sea monsters could exist, womxn were still trapped in the rigid confines of societal and cultural norms. So it was instant love when Zukiswa Wanner (who is now my favourite South African writer) said jokingly during a talk she gave at my school, “Behind every successful man there’s what? No, a doormat. Because why must you be behind any man?” It was this joke which had her written off by many of my peers because apparently she had found her own “barely funny” joke more amusing than anyone else did, except me of course.

That’s when I decided to plan my own adventures, noble causes and conquests for thee future. I made bucket lists of places I wanted to visit, causes I wanted to advocate for, people I wanted to meet etc. Slowly but surely, I challenged myself – taking subjects I heard were difficult, volunteered to go second at hiking and abseiling excursions, took a few kicks to the face in karate classes, started community service initiatives, auditioned for the Dance Company and took ballet class then competitive debating and and and… I was living my best life, seizing every opportunity that came my way.

Years later I’m still glad that I made the choices I did and I’m even more grateful that I had all those opportunities made available to me; which is more than I can say for millions of other young womxn in the world today. Just a few days ago, I read about an illegal abortion doctor who’s wanted by the police for practising female foeticide. In an entire 2017, there are still people who view daughters as burdensome and less worthy of life than boys. So of course the normative narrative of heroes,villains, or anyone whose life has been deemed worthy of recognition and immoral glory would be centred men.

So this was reflective day for me. It was a moment to look around at all the platforms I have around me to not only grow myself but to support other young womxn and to encourage them to create their own narratives placing themselves as worthy heroes and adventurers and record-breakers – perhaps by breaking records or perhaps by simply existing, daring to be in a world that says we’re a subcategory to men. to humanity.

We’re here to be more than disposable eyecandy to James Bond, more than Marvel’s damsels in distress, more than glorified pretty muses to de Vinci or yet another obstacle to Odysseus…

Obaa Boni, an exceptionally notable Ghanaian  feminist from whom I draw inspiration quotes in her piece Resolving Existential Angst Through Lemonade: Black Women Are, “I want every Black woman to understand herself not in relation to men or to whites, but in relation only to self existence. Womanhood is not the opposite of manhood. It is not a means to balance the world. Blackness is not the opposite of whiteness, it is not all that whites fail to be” …

I hope we won’t have to  carve through the misogynistic mess in literature to find versions ourselves in characters clearly not designed for us and our amusement. But I hope we become those captains of our own ships and authors of our own immortal narratives.

Asaase Yaa Mma (Obaa  Boni) blog – https://ghanafeminism.com/

Perfecting Self-Love

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I’m currently 20 years old. There are parts of my body that I dislike, such as the sprinkle of acne spots on my back, the slight bulge on my lower abdomen and on both sides of my hips. 

On a daily basis however, I almost never think about any of these. Hardly ever, unless someone points them out to me. However, reaching this point of being completely at ease with myself and comfortable in my skin isn’t something I woke up with miraculously on day. It took years and tons of introspection & internal conflict.These are the messages & lessons which led me to my journey to self love.

  1. You’re enough. Every characteristic you have are all the carefully measured ingredients which make up the perfect you. Those who love you & mean it  are happy with “you” rather than their projected versions of you they want to see.
  2. You don’t owe anyone beauty. When you feel beautiful, that beauty belongs to you & you alone. That a womxn’s beauty is meant to be enjoyed by everyone else but her is a dangerous myth which is objectifying & dehumanising. I learned this from Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Caster Semenya, Brenda Ngxoli, Leslie Jones, Adele and so many others. These womxn showed me that regardless of your excellence and exceptional achievements in life, they are all ultimately quantified by whether or not you’re beautiful. Yet this standard doesn’t apply for men. And so they tried to preoccupy us with arguments about whether so-and-so looks feminine enough, or soft enough or loveable enough… Beauty is not and should not be a prerequisite for people to respect you, take you seriously or value you.
  3. Don’t trust “beauty”. It must never be viewed as an achievement nor an aspiration to be beautiful. Beauty constructs are people’s regurgitations of beauty standards they have been socialised & indoctrinated into (often eurocentric, ableist, or at worst, exoticising & fetishising). In many communities now, those considered the least attractive somehow have the least characteristics in common with the western beauty ideal (straight silky hair for Africans, lighter skin for Indians and pretty much every other race on the planet, double eyelids for Asians), and those who do but are considered beautiful still by those standards are called so with such emphasis that it sounds a tad bit over-compensation-ish. So “improve” or “enhance” your image if you feel it will boost your self esteem because it’s  your body & you’re the captain – but always ask yourself, to what ideals of beauty you are conforming to or are being influenced by. Question always.
  4. Beauty is the lowest form of compliment to offer. It’s nice to hear but so is the adjective “nice”… so so weak. Aspire to be more than beautiful – try  indomitable, resilient, compassionate, inspiring, intriguing… Let these be the first compliments that tumble from the mouths of your admirers or just pure speechlessness. May your presence be so astounding that “beautiful” appears a lazy, lousy description for you. Appreciate sentiments like, “your eyes are bright with warmth and character” or that “your skin shows great self-care” and “your hair style is most creative and complimentary to those lips which utter such profound ideas”. Do not accept – “you’re beautiful” for that is to be complacent & content with your majestic aura being viewed as an inanimate entity. But your beauty is alive, it speaks, walks, sings, builds, crushes. Your beauty is not an accolade, nor a cherry on top. It is not ornamental. Your beauty is a fierce, breath-taking torrent of waves which cannot be merely capped into a single word at a single glance.
  5. Do not downplay your confidence. Confidence from yourself is the best kind of reassurance & validation. When you’re feeling absolutely gorgeous and show it, it threatens those who do not feel the same. Humxns love exercising power over others (i.e. you feel good when you tell someone they look good & they smile in response) so when the power to make or break someone based on the compliments or insults they hurl is disempowering. Confidence in your physical attributes is not something to downplay because of fear of the “beauty or brains” false dichotomy. Please. Just because some people can’t handle both in a person and force themselves to choose one, doesn’t mean we have to do the same. This is a pseudo-compliment – humour it no more.
  6. Realise that the word “beautiful” is laden with power. So many people read through tons of self-help books and magazine articles by pseudo-plus sizes about how to love their bodies. Those who define  beauty hold the power, they reinforce these ideas through the media, art, family opinions, “health” tips and the toys you’re bought before you could even speak. This power isn’t concentrated in the hands of a single entity, its dispersed and anyone can own it but we’ve just somehow bought into this one sided image of what it entails. Challenge & redefine what is attractive, question your own views and who that new definition includes and excludes. Re-adjust it. And then live your greatest life.

A Personal Encounter with Rape Apologists

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I’ll never forget this 16th day of December 2016. I spoke up against a friend’s brother who repeatedly tried to kiss a young womxn on the couch at my gran’s house. Each time he leaned in she recoiled, pushing him away, though never “hard enough nor convincingly enough” and merely mumbled “no, tomorrow”. All the while awkwardly smiling at her friend (his younger sister) in that universal code for “get this creep away from me” without being too obvious that we often exchange at clubs or parties. This boy’s younger and older sister were both sitting on the couch saying nothing. One of my cousins and two other friends were also present and remained mum.

The second time round, I was more persistent. I was met with harsh retorts saying that I should stay out of it and that the girl did not protest. To which I yelled in an escalating frantic frenzy, “Is pushing him away ambiguous? Can’t you all see she’s uncomfortable? What will it take for you to realise she means no? Must she kick and scream? No is no! WHY MUST I STOP TALKING? Because he’s a man? Because he’s drunk? He obviously can’t tell that no is no. Why the fuck are you protecting him? Why did you all sit there like you don’t see her struggling to break away from his grip? How far must he go until you reprimand him, until you take her side? How far?!”

My appeals were met with indignance & were reduced to insinuations that I was a jealous previous lover of the boy or that I wanted that attention for myself. A while later his older sister then conceded that he was in fact wrong but that I had said it rudely and should’ve spoken “properly”.

I erupted in response, “This girl was polite enough and you all ignored her, including him. My rude response was 100 times better than your silence! I wasn’t going to be polite about this nonsense”. And the defence for the accused to be cleared of the disrespectful “nonsense” label was launched.

“He is a man and you should respect him”. “The girl was smiling so she obviously enjoyed it.” “It’s none if your or our business.” “For the sake of peace let’s all be quiet and just have a good time”. “Cousin, you have anger issues” ×20 “This girl is old enough to speak for herself, he wouldn’t do anything to her”…. and on and on and on.

My last words tumbled out of my mouth like alcohol induced retching. “Why do you defend him! Womxn get hurt everyday because you all sit there and let these pigs do as they please and you protect them! I don’t care if she’s old enough, grown womxn don’t get raped?! You all acted like you didn’t see her & you’ll say she was smiling though. And when she gets hurt and you’ll all still be saying “but she was smiling & didn’t say no so she enjoyed it” to protect him. Carry on! Carry on because you’re all such trash!”

So the girl was questioned, aside, by the older sister where she apparently said “she was fine with the guy”. Under immense pressure where her discomfort had been repeatedly overlooked, where I, in her defense, was in the minority, where she would be cast as the false accuser who didn’t protest or complain but “smiled in compliance” & simply played hard to get… she was expected to have been able to say “Yes, I didn’t want him and he was annoying me”. To people who had already made it clear whose side they had taken and would support. She mumbled something which was relayed to me as her concession that “everything was fine”.

Through all of this, I was furious and sad. Furious because the two people who had said close to nothing throughout all of this were the boy and the young womxn he was harassing. His case was staunchly defended by his sisters and friends (all womxn) while he left the house as soon as things got heated.

And I was sad because the girl I was defending had not said anything either. I was angry at myself for taking ownership of that space on her behalf and assuming all the circumstantial factors which made it impossible for her to do so – legitimising my own dominant voice over hers without even consulting her.

Yet, another part of me, in the throes of heated debate, had for a split second considered asking her and decided against it. To further subject someone to explaining what she meant by pulling away and turning her face away from kiss-attempts (reinforcing that as a society NO means MAYBE) was a kind of victim-blaming and humiliation I absolutely refused to part take in. And as I sit typing the last bit of this piece, I’m convinced that my reaction (35min ago) was not liquor-induced and had I the chance to go back – I wouldn’t take back a thing… not my anger, not my tone, not my vulgarity and most certainly not my opinion.