Reclaim the Streets

My loves! So this week’s been a bit of a weird one - starting with International Women‘a Day and ending with violent clashes between the police and women holding a vigil on Clapham Common.

Now the latter I wasn’t at and I’m not commenting as I know the media on both sides will skew what actually went down. What I can share is the experiences I have had, and you can take what you will from that. These are just facts.

I can tell you about the times I’ve been cat called in the street walking to work or out on a run. Just going about my business. I can tell you about a time at work where my male boss thought it was appropriate to tell me not to bend over like that as it makes them get excited - I was picking up a pen.

I can tell you about my male boss not taking my panic disorder seriously and telling me to pull myself together and stop being such an emotional mess. He then fired me a week later for being ‘too emotional’.

I can tell you about a time when I was driving looking for parking space and three men jumped on my car shouting obscenities at me.

I can tell you about the many times I’ve been the most qualified person in the room and people have overlooked me and turned to the men in the room to answer a question.

I can tell you about times when a hug from a man turned into an ‘accidental’ grope. so many times ... (and this saddens me as I love a hug!)

I can tell you about the times men have told me how to dress to flaunt my body to make people interested in my music. I can also tell you about the time a man told me I would never ‘make it big’ because of how I look (that last one inspired me to write Breaking Out!)

I can tell you about every time I’ve walked alone - with my keys in my hand, pretending to make a call, ensuring I’m covered up, jumping at every noise behind me - in day light and in the nighttime. Because apparently I have to change my behaviour to stop someone from attacking me. This is not about blame - it’s about changing the narrative. As a woman I have been told that all of the above is my fault, that I need to change my behaviour.

What about my behaviour is wrong here? Am I ‘asking for it’?

Yes #notallmen are like this but #allpeople need to stand up and help end violence, harassment and misogyny. Together we can make things better, I truly believe this.

Love you all, serious post over. Jesus next week I need to keep this light!! Stay safe

VW xx

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