Thursday, 19 April 2012

People = shit (part 2)

Some more gems shouted at my friends by random strangers:
"what's wrong with your face? You need the back knockin out of you" !!!
eeeeeeengleesh', you nice lady, you teach, yes? 
"look at the legs on it" 
(That one's particularly charming: 'it'). It's not just men either - one couple had a woman shout
'Your girlfriend's fat'' 
What to do about this stuff? Well, there's the Hollaback! movement, which started in the US, and encourages women to resist this stuff. They encourage people to record abuse and where it happens, to shame offenders, inform other women and lobby public authorities.

There's also a PhD project into women's experiences of being harassed, down at London Met. The call for interviewees has closed, but it's worth keeping an eye on Fiona's page as I'm sure she'll present her findings in some way.

Meanwhile, I remembered a previous bit of abuse I received. I was standing at a bus stop when the guy next to me unwrapped his cigarette packet and dropped all the bits on the ground, despite standing right next to a bin, literally brushing it with his coat. I mildly pointed this out, only for him to step right up into my face and start shouting that I was a 'fucking batty boy'. That's right folks, littering is a a distinguishing feature of heterosexuality, and environmentalism a characteristic of homosexuality!


N. said...

Some more gems:

being called a Nazi, my family should be killed because they were Nazis (only by hearing us talking German amongst each other)Fat c*nt, b*tch, fat people shouldn't be allowed in this bar, Redheads are sluts, I should be 'easy' since I was a redhead, I'm not allowed to come near husbands and boyfriends because my redheas easiness, my freckels are actually poo staines.

Wonderful, isn't it.

The Plashing Vole said...

God, that is utterly horrible. I know the British divide the world according to WW2 history, but still…

I also don't get the redhead/ginger animosity. Perhaps because of my Irish roots (no pun intended) I've always considered red hair to be beautiful. Certainly not as a meaningful distinction between human beings!

This topic is becoming very depressing.

N. said...

It's not pretty, no. But you tend to get used to it. Somehow, I provoke opinions. Can't remember it ever being silent. Not on the streets, not in class, not at my job, etc. I learned to care only about the opinions from the people who are important to me. The rest is not important. By now I laugh about it.

My history teacher told me once the redhead issue dates back from the prosecution of witches. Apparently red hair was listed as being one of 'certain' features of witches. Thank you Maleus Maleficarum. Since then the superstition remained. Today it is more of a degrading factor, than something that steals penisses (says so in Maleus), but still. In NL, they even made a song about it. Losely translated it goes something like this: Girls with red hair, they can kiss, If you want to know what love is, you should be with a redhead girl. Only to continue with some 'fatherly' advice to be very aware of the redheaded woman. It became a huge hit. I wheep for humanity.