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I’m feeling super feministic today, I’m not sure if that’s a word, but it is now. I want to shout from the roof tops about women’s rights and how we need to take urgent action to address these cunting wankers who believe that women’s bodies were made for their pleasure. I was walking back to my car from the gym in grey leggings and a vest earlier this evening and a guy was walking towards me, I recognised him from the local area, and because his son went to my son’s nursery. This guy is about 40, a proper Yardie. He hangs around outside the betting shop all day smoking and drinking from cans. He’s got a gold tooth and plaits and he wears white vests, baggy jeans, and Timberland boots. He thinks he’s hot stuff but everyone else thinks he’s a wasteman. I often see him on my way back from the gym and he always gives me sleazy looks but today as he walked past me he said:

‘Rah, ya pum pum look fat babes’

I wish I could show you a picture of my face. I was utterly disgusted. I scrunched up my face like I’d smelt the worst smell, my face was paralysed with hatred for this man. I couldn’t even find the words to say anything and I just carried on hurriedly walking, sickened with the knowledge that he would definitely be looking at my bum as I passed. I was so angry and I felt completely violated. How dare you make a comment about my vagina? What could possibly make you think that it is acceptable to tell me what you think of my genitals? How did you expect me to respond? With gratitude? By stopping to talk to you? Next time I see him I am going to ask him all of these questions. I’m going to unleash my full feminist force on him, but politely and loudly in the street, like he did to me.

This guy must be fucking mad and I feel like warning the Police about him, because he may not have committed a crime, but that behaviour ain’t normal and it makes me wonder what else he is capable of. I won’t tell the Police though because, well because I just cannot be bothered. What would they get him on, sexual harassment? Would it go to court? No. Would I want it to, on tax payer’s money? No. It would never get to court anyway, because if it did then the Crown Prosecution Service would be having to try thousands of cases a day because this kind of shit happens a hundred times a minute up and down the country to women everywhere, because a lot of men think it’s OK,  they think that our bodies are public property. And this is one of the reasons why we need feminism.

A lot of men think that we should be grateful for the attention, or they think that we are asking for it by wearing tight clothes. In a million years there would never be a time that I would find it acceptable to shout ‘Dick is looking thick hot stuff’ to a man walking past in grey track suit bottoms with a visible dick print. I’d probably think it, I would just keep that thought to myself because I would not want to publicly humiliate the poor innocent man, or myself, and because I wouldn’t instantly assume that he was asking for sexual advances from every woman who crossed his path just because I could see the outline of his dick. That would be utter madness.

It reminded me of a time about a year ago when I was so violated that I cried. I’ll tell you the story of that whole night actually. So my friend Serena does the same job that I do but for a different organisation. We went to University together and have remained close friends ever since. Serena is a couple of years older than me but she looks 25, a red skinned Black woman with sister locks, and a striking face. Serena looks serene actually, she’s one of those really attractive women who is just completely at ease with herself. Serena is also my body goals. She barely even has to work for it, she’s gorgeous. But she’s got shit taste in men just like me.

Serena has a number of POF and Tinder stories that I think are going to have to become blogs themselves, like the time when she got so drunk on a first date that she sucked the guy’s dick on Tower Bridge. Two weeks later they were living together, and a year later they were engaged. Sadly this romantic story of modern day love did not end well. Turned out that he was an absolute fruitcake with massive identity issues and a coke addiction, and she ended up having to kick him out of her house. But it was fun while it lasted.

Anyway, Serena knows me well, she knows my type. She knows my humour and outlook on life. I really trust Serena, she’s my go to person for advice on men. She doesn’t really give a fuck anymore, she’s past caring. She no longer lets the fuckery phase her.  Serena is wise. So I believed Serena when she told me about this guy who she worked with who was my perfect match. I was friends with Serena when I first met my son’s Dad Liam. Liam and I had a long and happy relationship but we were not an intellectual or social match and everyone knew it. Towards the end I would talk to my friend’s a lot about being really unsatisfied mentally, there was a real lack of intellectual stimulation and I was becoming frustrated.

I remember Serena talking about her colleague Mikey and telling me that he was the male version of me. She said that he was everything in a man that I was in a woman. Funny, confident, political, articulate, bright, sarcastic, open, witty, and to top it off she said that he was 6ft 3, mixed race, with a chiseled jaw and curly hair. She thought that we would be soul mates but I was still with Liam and I would not have considered the thought of another man until a long time after we separated, and I wasn’t even sure that we were going to separate at that time, so I just kept it moving.

Years passed and I had finally finished with Liam and was open to meeting new men. I asked Serena if she was still in touch with him and she told me that they still worked together but that Mikey was in a really messy relationship with a woman who was now pregnant with his child. It’s weird because I felt slightly gutted, like fuck, I missed my soul mate and now it’s too late. But of course that’s not how it works, because if they were your soul mate you wouldn’t miss them. It’s like that film Final Destination – Soul Mate Destination. If you are meant to meet then you will.

But yeah, I was disappointed. About 18 months later, in August last year, not long before I met Callum, I had a dream about Mikey. I’d never seen him before but I had this vivid dream about me and him having a really great time, and so the next day I Whatsapp’d Serena and told her and she told me that he was now single. Later that afternoon Serena created a whatsapp group and added me and him. She said ‘Layla – Mikey, Mikey – Layla. Bye xx’ and then left the group.I rated her levels of wing-womanism.

Mikey was very bright and articulate and his messages were always long, with detailed answers and interesting questions. He does the same job as me so we had a lot in common and his brain worked in a very similar way to mine. We got on well. I knew we would. He told me that he had been to hell and back with his son’s Mother. She had borderline personality disorder but she was very stable until she was 8 months pregnant. They were living together but he got home from work one day and she had changed the locks. She falsely accused him of domestic violence and harassment and the Police arrested him that same evening. She later took out an injunction against him which nearly lost him his career. It was all completely out of the blue. It was actually Serena who told me the story. His son’s Mother was also a colleague of hers and so Serena was able to verify that it was true and that she had suffered a breakdown and that Mikey had taken the brunt.

Mikey wasn’t able to see his son for the first few months of his life because the Mother would not allow it, but he went to court and eventually after 14 months he was granted full custody. Mikey hadn’t dated anyone since meeting her and I was the first woman that he had spoken to. He was very open about what he had been through and the effect it had had on him. He was clearly a very committed Dad which is a huge thing for me. Although, and this might sound terrible, but there were elements of that which were putting me off. For example, his parents took his son for the weekend sometimes to give him a break and when he was texting me on his child free weekend he told me that he could barely function, he missed his son so much, he was face timing him several times a day and pining for him to come back.

I understand that he was separated from his son initially, and I empathise fully with all of the struggles he has faced. But you have got to be able to have time apart from your child without completely freaking out. It’s good to have time away from your kids, most of us fucking need it, but it’s not just for us, it’s good for the children too. One of our jobs as parents is to raise our children to be independent of us, they have to be able to function alone in this world. I want to spend the majority of my free time with my son, but I’m also really happy when he spends time developing close relationships with my family and his Dad’s family. I want him to be raised closely by his extended family, alongside me and his Dad, because I think that helps to make a well-rounded kid. I just found it a bit of a turn off that he was making such a big deal about it. Maybe I was being too harsh.

Anyway, apart from that, the initial conversations were going very well and I was really up for meeting him. Actually, as I am writing this I have just remembered something else that was giving me reservations. He wasn’t on any social media and his attitude towards social media was that it’s destructive, immature, and pointless and so he has no intention of ever becoming a part of it.  Usually I would take a man saying that he didn’t have Insta or Facebook as a sign that they have a girlfriend because it is quite rare for people to not use social networking sites, but because of Serena’s connection to him I knew that he was legit.

Now you might think GREAT, I often say that I wish I could find a man who doesn’t use social media, mainly because of the abundance of other women that it exposes him to, but there is something about a man who is completely anti it that turns me off, you sort of have to move with the times whether you like it not, or else you end up getting left behind and it did feel as though he had been left behind. I made a lot of cultural references that he didn’t get and it made him seem old before his time.

Mikey was a bit patronising about it to be honest, as though he was more sophisticated than me because he doesn’t use snapchat, and it also meant that he had absolutely no pictures to send me before the date and his phone camera was broken so I had to go in blind. I do like to be able to stalk a man’s social media before meeting him, I think it gives you a bit of a picture of what they’re all about, what they’re friends are like. It’s just a little view into their lives that you don’t get if they don’t have it.

Regardless of those two minor turn offs, I was more than up for a date with Mikey. We agreed to meet on a Saturday night in Hoxton. I was meeting Serena and Sofia for early dinner and drinks at 5pm that day anyway and so he agreed to join us at 9pm at The Hoxton Hotel, Serena and Sofia were both going off to do other things at 10pm so it gave us the chance to get over any initial awkwardness with them there and then a chance for us to be alone.

I decided to wear my favourite jeans, I only have one pair of them because I bought them in a shop in Amsterdam, but they are insane and I wish I had bought 50 pairs, they hold everything in except for your bum. They do outstanding things for your shape. I actually spent a long time last year sending e-mails to shops in Amsterdam asking if they could ship these jeans to me but alas no, there was no way of getting hold of them. They were part of the reason why I went to Dam in May, I wanted to get a few pairs. You can imagine my horror when I returned to the shop only to be told that they have been discontinued. I feel like crying now just writing about it.

So I wore those jeans with a black V-neck body suit and wedge heels, curly hair, big hoops,and red lipstick. I felt like I looked good. The body suit was low cut but not outrageously so, it was too low cut for work or the school run but not for a bar. I felt comfortable in what I was wearing. I ordered an Uber and I sat in the back taking selfies whilst explaining to the driver that he should not drive past The Emirates Stadium because Arsenal were just finishing a match and the traffic would be crazy. The driver, Abdi, waved his hand dismissively and said ‘I know the way’ and I explained again very clearly that I know the way too and that he must not go past Arsenal because it’ll make me late. Again, Abdi said he understood but I could tell that he did not want to take instructions from me.

I looked down at my phone and a few seconds later I looked up and realised that we were driving down the one way system towards Holloway Road, which is exactly where we did not want to go. I immediately told him that he had taken us the wrong way and he responded by turning left into an even more impossible one way road and getting us completely stuck. I was already 20 minutes late and the Uber app on my phone had changed my ETA from 20 minutes to 56 minutes. We weren’t going anywhere. I was severely pissed off with Abdi and we argued until he agreed to ensure that my whole fare was cancelled. I had no choice but to get out and walk until I reached a place where I could get another cab.

Now remember I was saying that my outfit was appropriate for a bar and not the school run, well it was equally inappropriate attire for walking alone, past hundreds of football fans on Holloway Road. It wasn’t even a particularly low cut top, I just have big boobs, and a small waist, which makes them look bigger. I was walking fast to get through the crowds quickly but the faster I walked, the more my boobs bounced, so my cleavage was prominent. I have never felt so embarrassed and humiliated in my life. The majority of the men actively turned to openly stare, and more than half of them said something. Some shouted obscenities, some shouted that I was stunning or beautiful. A small group started singing ‘Get your tits, get your tits out, get your tits out for the lads’. Some whispered closely to me as I marched past, and some tried to get me to stop and talk. I cannot convey the numbers of men, and how long it went on for. I felt like a prostitute in a window in Amsterdam.

I kept my mouth shut and my eyes straight ahead. I did not want to make eye contact with any of them and I didn’t want to call them out because I did not want conflict. I was by myself. I had to walk about half a mile to get away from the crowds and as soon as I got to a quiet road I burst into tears. I felt so upset and angry that I had to deal with that, that they thought it was OK to make a spectacle of me, simply because of my gender, my bust size and my choice of clothes. If a topless male walked through a crowd of women queuing for a Topshop sale he would not be at risk of being openly sexually harassed by about 60% of the crowd. How could those men possibly think it was OK? I wished I had shouted and screamed and made them feel stupid but it would have served no purpose other than to make them think that women are crazy, I would not have been able to undo the whole lifetime of ideas and education (or lack of) that has led to their levels of sexism.

I’m sure they justify it to themselves by believing that I must have liked the attention. I’m sure it made them feel better to think that the whole scenario had boosted my self-esteem. But it hadn’t. I did not take their sexual harassment to mean that I am an especially sexy woman, I believe that they would have done it to anyone who was dressed up for a night out. I stood out among the football shirts and the Saturday shoppers and so for that reason they assumed that I was asking for it. I took their harassment as a reminder of just how sexually objectified women are and just how vulnerable we can be.

I stood on the corner of a quiet street off Liverpool Road while I tried to call another Uber. I noticed a moped go past me slowly but I didn’t pay much attention until he drove past me again on the other side of the road, again, slowing down as he went past me. The Uber said it would be 4 minutes and in that time he drove past me twice more. I was freaking out. Just as the Uber was arriving he came back, he stopped right by the cab and turned around. I got in and told the driver to lock the door because I thought that guy was going to rob me and he did. The moped then drove along beside us shouting ‘Open your window sexy, I want to talk’ at the top of his voice.

The driver was a young African guy and he was angry as fuck at the moped driver and wound down his window and started yelling at him. This was all still while the car was moving. Anyway, they had their little beef and the moped eventually drove off. I was so happy to be in the cab, I couldn’t believe how vulnerable I was out on the streets at 5pm just because I was showing a bit of cleavage. The driver sympathised and we spoke about how crazy some men are and I felt calm and safe. We finally reached my destination and just as I was getting out of the cab the driver said to me:

‘Why is a beautiful lady like you not married? So much beauty and no ring. Let me take you out, I would do so much for you, give you so much and love you with great respect’

I told him that he was just as bad as the moped driver and got out the car and slammed the door feeling like I never wanted to see another man again in my life. But of course I had to, because I was meeting Mikey at 9pm. I was so grateful to see Serena and Sofia. I told them about my horrendous journey and they sympathised and we ate and drank, and talked about fuckboys and friends and all that jazz, and I was finally able to let go of the anger and rage that I had been carrying around since my journey. I ate, drank and relaxed.

9pm finally came and I was actually really nervous, he couldn’t find the venue and so he rang me for directions, it was the first time I had heard his voice and it was so sexy, deep and cockney, I love a cockney accent on a man. I was really glad that Serena and Sofia were there but he was running late and they were threatening to go and so that made me more nervous. When he walked in I knew it was him. There was a definite instant chemistry but for me there was not an instant attraction. His head was very square, he reminded me a bit of Spongebob Square pants. I’m not saying that to be funny, that was my first thought, he really looked like a mixed race Spongebob Squarepants.

He was tall and athletic, I liked his physique, and he had curly greying hair, which I also kinda liked. I’ve never dated a guy with grey hair but I am 35 now so I’m just going to have to start accepting that shit soon, his was attractive, not fully grey, just flecks but it gave him a distinguished look. As we got talking and I continued drinking, his square face grew on me and I began to see it more like a chiseled jaw. Our chemistry was at crazy levels and we both vibed off each other massively. I don’t even remember Sofia and Serena leaving, I was completely fascinated by Mikey. Once we were alone we sat together on a sofa and our conversation became more intense.

Mikey pointed out that he had noticed how much male attention I get and I told him that I do not entertain it (FYI I’m not some supermodel or even an Instagram model, far, far from it. I’m average, men are just basic, it is literally because I have massive tits and a good bum). I always avoid eye contact, unless they’re hot. I feel men looking at me but that is not my responsibility. He told me that he might find that difficult to deal with if we were in a relationship, and he asked how I would handle it. I told him that there was nothing to handle.

I felt quite offended that he was putting the fact that men can’t control their eyes on to me, as though it was something that I could do something about. Perhaps he wanted me to say ‘I would wear baggy tops’ because will I fuck wear baggy tops!! He can fuck right off. I wear the clothes that I wear, which are actually not at all ‘slutty’ or too underdressed, I just like tight clothes and I happen to have bigger than average boobs. I sweat my tits off at the gym 6 days a week and I do not do that for nothing, but that does not mean that I am responsible for how men react to me. He told me that he enjoyed feeling like he was the man who was with me but that he could end up making him feel insecure. That put me off. I need a man who would not give a fuck and who knows that he can trust me not to fuck every man who looks at me.

He talked again about the situation with his son’s Mother and it was obvious how raw it still was. He said that he was looking for a relationship, I was too. He’d been single since breaking up with his ex during the pregnancy and he was lonely and wanted love and companionship. He told me that he was broody and he asked me if I was ready to have more kids. I said that I wasn’t sure if I wanted more. It would depend on if I met the right person and if I’d been with them for a while, and he said:

‘Oooh, that might be problematic because Ideally I’d like to be trying with you by next Christmas so you are going to have to think about it, no pressure.’

I didn’t know what to say and so I excused myself to go the toilet mid-conversation. It had all been going so well but all that shit about Santa depositing a present in my stocking by next Christmas was too much for me. I text Serena and I said ‘HE’S A FUCKING WEIRDO REEEEEN WTF’. She rang me laughing and told me to chill out, I told her about him trying to impregnate me by Christmas and she said that he was just nervous because he had been out of the game for so long after being hurt so badly. She told me to give him a break and enjoy the rest of the date.

When I got back to where he was sitting, he was talking to a couple, and as I approached he said ‘Ah, there’s the Mrs!’ I told him that I was going outside for a cigarette and he came to join me. I was stood with my back towards the window and he stood really close to me, he was being flirtatious and affectionate and I quite liked it, he leaned in and he said ‘before we go any further I have a few more questions, do you believe in marriage and are you ready for it?’ I said:

‘Mikey, I really do not know. I’m not thinking about marriage, I am dating to find someone who I like hanging out with, I don’t need to think about what might happen in the future. I just want to take each day as it comes.’

And he said:

‘Yeah, I hear that, but do you think that if I were to be that right person that you would consider marriage fairly soon?’

He told me that he really liked me, and he said that the fact that I was Serena’s friend made him know that he could trust me. He said that it was mad because he had been woman free for over 18 months and the first girl he dates turns out to be his perfect match. He said that he was just excited and blown away. I told him that he needed to relax and stop over thinking and he apologised and cracked a few jokes and so we headed back inside and sat down. We spoke about light-hearted stuff for a bit, but Mikey was not able to maintain that for long before asking me:

‘What I want to know is, how do you deal with conflict in a relationship? Because I want reassurance that if I introduce you to my son then I would need to know that you’re not planning to leave, ever. I mean like, obviously if I cheat then you can leave, I would never do that though, but anything else I would expect us to be committed to working it out. For the sake of the kids.’

I couldn’t believe the levels of interrogation, but I felt really sorry for him, he’d clearly been hurt so badly by his ex that he was completely terrified of getting hurt again. He was not ready to be dating. It was absolutely obvious. If I had been in a place where I was desperate and low then I could have easily fallen into one of those deep intense whirlwind things with him only to discover later that we fucked up by not getting to know each other properly before rushing in and it turns out he’s a cunt and we have nothing in common. Deep intense whirlwind things don’t always end like that, but they often do.

I told him straight that he was being too keen and he was embarrassed and he told me that he was going to man up. I was desperate to get out of there but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and so we had another drink. There was so much that I liked about him, but his attempts to fast forward us into a serious relationship on the first night were overwhelming me massively and now the bad was far outweighing the good. I needed space from him.

As we were finishing up our drinks I got my phone out and told him that I was going to order an Uber and he took my phone, sat on it, and then grabbed my face with both hands and stuck his tongue down my throat. Literally, deep, far back into my mouth. It was like the kind of kisses that you have in secondary school, just so much tongue and head moving, I didn’t enjoy it one bit, I was backing away from it the whole time. We were sat on the sofa which directly faces the front door. It’s about 8 feet away from where everyone is walking in and out, and there are hanging lights illuminating the seating area, so we were highly visible. I was not feeling it one bit.

I pushed him off and told him that I did not like public displays of affection. He apologised and told me that he had forgotten how much he loved kissing. He was definitely drunk by this point, I was officially drunk too but I felt sober because of the situation. We got up to wait outside for the Uber and he put his arm around me and kept pressing his face right against my ear and saying things like ‘Grrrrrrr, you are a right sexy tiger though ain’t you babe’. We stood outside The Hoxton Hotel and my Uber cancelled on me and so we had to wait even longer for another one. It was quiet, there weren’t a lot of people around and so Mikey went in for the kill again and started licking around the corners of my closed mouth. This time I wasn’t able to use my excuse about PDAs.

I don’t like having my mouth licked in that way. I like first kisses to be about the lips, gentle biting, occasional tongue touching, but mainly kiss my lips, suck them, peck them, just please do not lick my chin, or my moustache area or anywhere on my face, especially in the street and ESPECIALLY when I’m not even feeling you. I told him that I really do not like this kind of kissing and that I did not want to kiss but he seemed to think that I was flirtatiously joking and so he kept on licking my nose and cheeks and I was getting increasingly desperate to get the fuck away from him without having to go crazy on him, he was Serena’s friend after all.

Luckily my Uber finally called to say that it had arrived, but he was across the road from where we were. I literally ran across the road, I sprinted like an Olympian and he chased rapidly behind me. I got into the cab and he tried to lean in for a kiss and I just put my hand up to his lips and shook my head. He apologised and told me he’d text me when he got home.

He text me about an hour later to tell me that he’d been in an Uber pool with 3 strangers, I told him that it sounded like a good way to meet people and he said:

‘I had a lovely evening, good company, it was an absolute pleasure, if tonight is anything to go by then I’d rather stick to the blind dates. And soz about the snogging, it feels cringe already and I ain’t even sobered up yet. Do love a good kiss. Thanks again, honestly hope I have the pleasure again, gotta crash now though. Nite babe xx’

I just replied ‘Sleep well dude xx’.

I felt really shit, he was a lovely guy who had been so damaged by a woman that he had lost all faith in himself. He headed into the date being worried about getting hurt, and that effected his behaviour so much that he ended up getting hurt. It’s The Law Of Attraction. I really wanted to tell him that I don’t think that he is ready to date, and that he should take some time out to heal, and that I am not the person to give him what he needs at the moment. But I didn’t want to do it then, at 3:30am. I was planning to say it after he next messaged, but I never got the chance because he never contacted me again.

Serena told me that he was embarrassed about how he had behaved and that he had realised himself that he wasn’t yet ready to date. It’s a shame that we didn’t meet each other before all that shit happened that fucked him up but if he was meant to be then he would have been and we would have met back then if we were supposed to. I hope he finds a woman who takes good care of his heart because he’s a really good guy, he was just not the guy for me.

So for all those angry men who like to comment on my insta that I never talk about women doing men wrong, you’ve now got your story, although I must say that his ex was not simply a fuckgirl, she was a woman suffering from severe mental health problems, and that does kind of change the context, but yes, men get hurt too, and I have never dismissed that. Men also have to do the same thing as us and make sure that the hurt does not give them a lifelong distrust of the opposite sex and wait to date until they stop being frightened of being hurt again.

I wonder if those angry men who like to comment on my Insta will also acknowledge the first part of the story, about the shit that women have to face by simply walking down the road. No doubt they will inform me that it was my fault and that if I didn’t want to face the harassment then I should not have worn a low cut top. And again, this is why we need feminism.

I learnt a lot from this date. Women usually date with a view to finding a life partner, and there is a lot of debate about whether we should be vocal about that on a first date or not. On the one hand it is important to be clear about what you are looking for, but on the other hand, we know that men get freaked out if they think that a woman wants too much too soon. Even though I was dating him with a view to finding a serious partner, his levels of seriousness were very off putting and made me feel suffocated, maybe this is how men feel when we are too honest about what we want too soon.

So I guess what I have taken from this is that you shouldn’t lie about what you want but you should go into a first date being free and easy and just see what happens instead of being completely focused on it having to lead to something big. Basically, don’t come on too strong on first dates, don’t go on first dates until you have healed, and don’t lick people’s faces, remember all of that and you should be fine x