Each time I read an article written by a woman who’s experienced sexual harassment I get angry. There are two, specific things that infuriate me.
First is the oft-professed ‘argument’ that women ‘shouldn’t have to deal with it’. Are you kidding me?
Let’s just define ‘it’, shall we? The ‘it’ in question is behaviour that may be voluntary or involuntary stemming from the male sex drive. The clue’s in the name, people. It’s a sex drive, not a floppy disc drive, nor a gravel drive.
Granted, not a lot is known about why human beings have the desires they have. But in all animals, the purpose of a sex drive is to ensure the survival of the species. Note the word ‘ensure’, not ‘make likely’ and not ‘politely ensure.’
In fact, so strong is the sex drive that it has directly counteracted human evolution by making monkeys of homo sapiens throughout recorded human history. Like a pied piper that can enthrall beyond reason’s limits, from Paris and Helen to Ashley Madison, from Oedipus to Profumo, it’s a tune that takes captives and creates compulsives.
Sexual harassment is just one expression of this drive. Rape is another, and perhaps it is the fear of this that sends women up the ladders of indignation and into the towers of willful idiocy.
How many more women are going to recount their experiences of sexual harassment with surprise? Do they not realise that the sexual dampener of civilising social expectation is slathered over millions of years of rather brutish human evolution. A bit like a subtle lemon icing on a poo cake.
As a result, it’s not that I’m grateful or relieved to walk down a street or get on a train without being sexually harassed. Rather, it’s that I don’t particularly expect not to be harassed. I see our world as wild, ungovernable and in a state of collapse – socially, politically, morally, economically and environmentally. In fact, everywhere I look, I see mores in entropy and society shifting.
I also see sexualisation everywhere – in our advertising, in our clothes and films and literature and yes, in our expectations of relationships. I see this fundamental characteristic of the world in evidence all around me. Yet, it seems, women out there acknowledge none of this when it comes to harassment; the world they inhabit seems to be a construct from an anodyne 50s show.
The dullard conjecture that sexual harassment is a social aberration rather than an honest insight into what’s really there won’t help women. Attempts to stop harassment by marking it as abnormal or regressive belie the fact that from an evolutionary point of view it is both entirely normal and progressive; it’s fit to purpose whether women like it or not.
And then, there are the descriptions of these women’s experiences. Tomes of pacific, victimised, cowed responses to sexual harassment. My particular hated comment: ‘I felt I had to be polite’. You felt fucking what? Was there an abuse clause in the social contract you signed? Coming up against the male sex drive might be an evolutionary inevitability, but meeting it with politeness is as stupid as mooning at heavy artillery fire.
I find this attitude confusing, incongruous because, afterall, women aren’t the weaker sex. I see how they’re capable of aggressive self interest – driving buggies at pedestrians down the centre of pavements and divorcing cheating husbands and bitching destructively about those who threatened them. I see women elbowing each other out of the way at sample sales and lying to get their children into great state schools and stealing parking spaces with offensive driving manoeuvres. So, what happens to women when they’re sexually harassed? Apparently they forget this red-blooded legacy and go completely to tit; add victim and mix. Sexual harassment seems to be the last bastion of the ‘lie back and think of England’ mentality, where women deliberately and repeatedly put themselves at the mercy of their tormentors.
What’s more, women everywhere are missing a trick. Afterall, isn’t there something wildly enjoyable in sexual harassment? Don’t send me hate mail; I’m not interested. Instead, next time a man sexually harasses you, remember I told you this: you aren’t there with him; he’s there with you. You didn’t ask for it to happen, but now it has, own it like Christmas had come early.
I relished punching the face of the man who groped me in the lifts at Covent Garden Tube. I enjoyed the expression on his face – a complete disbelief at what had just happened. I enjoyed threatening the man who tried to touch me up on an overground train. I found it exhilarating to be surrounded by a group of four boys on bikes in Barcelona and to punch my way out of that situation. I loved the surprise on their faces and remember the way their wheels turned to back away from me.
And I have now met quite a few public penises in passing with the words, ‘that looks like a dick, only much, much smaller.’ I enjoy seeing the crestfallen expressions; who has the balls now, bitch? Oh, and by the way, if you bring that near me, I’ll rip it off and choke you with it.
Hostage taking; that’s my mental setting in all matters harassment. I admit, I have difficulty understanding women, like a former boss, who recounted a Tube incident she had suffered: ‘I stood there as he masturbated on me’. You did what? Why? Why didn’t you kick him in the nuts, or smack him in the face? You don’t even have to be a black belt just to walk away.
I find it upsetting that women are failing to own themselves mentally and physically in these situations while they’re busy enfranchising themselves in every other aspect of life.
Afterall, we didn’t evolve to live in a Jane Austen world. We were bred for this one.
© 2015 gvons