To the man who just touched me up in the supermarket……
Coming up to a woman on a Sunday morning and swiftly grabbing her arse with both hands is frankly, unacceptable. Then commenting with a “looking’ good this morning” just makes it even worse.
I was having a lovely morning. I’d had a lovely lie in and several cups of tea. I’d had a bowl of porridge and watched a bit of sunday brunch. I’d done some work on my blog from the comfort of my own bed and now I was making a start to my day by wandering to the shops in the sunshine to do my weekly food shop.
One simply does not expect to be touched up when perusing the vegetable aisle. It almost sounds comical as I write it. It’s just not something I expect when I go to the shops.
I am a confident woman, and I’m not a prude, but feeling your hands, a stranger’s hands, on my body without my permission made my mouth go dry and made me feel so unbelievably vulnerable that I very nearly put down my shopping basket then and there and left the shop. I’d come back later when you were gone.
But then I thought to myself, hang on a second, what gives you the right to make me feel like this?! What gives you the right to make me feel so insecure that I cannot bear to even stay in the same space as you another second?! So, feeling very shaky, I carried on and finished my shop. Seeing your face at the end of each aisle, grinning at me, as though expecting a response to you touching me and commenting on my body. As though you were expecting me to say, “Hey, you know what, you’ve made me feel so unbelievable violated, why don’t we start a fantastic romance, right here and now?!” ummm….NO!
In the 20 minutes or so in the shop, I felt panicky, I felt small and I felt like all I wanted to do was run away. Now that I am home, and reflecting on what happened, I simply want to say, “FUCK YOU. How dare you make someone feel so insecure and violated?! Nothing gives you the right to touch me or comment on my body unless I GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO DO SO!” I feel angry. I feel like I want to go back and find you, simply to tell you how you made me feel. I want to tell you that you were lucky I am as strong a person as I am, to tell you that the idea of you doing that to someone more nervous or younger than me, say, my younger sister, makes me want to punch you, hard in the face.
I am a strong, confident woman, and you made me feel like a meek little mouse, terrified to make a move.
I’m not entirely sure what the point of writing this post is. Whether it is just my way of processing it. Or whether it is to reinforce the point to every other person out there. Your body is your own. No-one has the right to comment on it (I’m looking at you, body shamers!) or touch it without your permission.
You’re lucky this time, Mr Creeper. Next time, the first thing I will do is give you a good sharp slap.
SamSeptember 25, 2016 at 4:37 pm
Coming from someone who has taken a once male ‘friend’ to court because they felt they reserved the right to touch me despite my best efforts telling him to stop and physically trying to remove their hands from me, all I can say is THANK YOU for talking so openly about this. Unfortunately things like this happen every.single.day, and the more people speak about it and make others more aware, the more confidence we can have to stand up for ourselves. I’m just sorry you’ve been made to feel this way.
rosie.ladkinSeptember 25, 2016 at 7:42 pm
Sam, I am so sorry you have been through this. It’s appalling that these things happen. Im fine now, if anything I feel a lot better after a bit of a rant and getting it out there. It’s not ok. We just need to stand together. If you ever need a supportive ear, you know where I am. Thanks for your comment. Have a lovely evening! R xxx
Anthony CableSeptember 25, 2016 at 8:01 pm
So sorry that this happened to you Rosie. Sometimes I am ashamed on behalf of my gender.
Emma RankinSeptember 25, 2016 at 8:04 pm
Wow, I would of punched him, no chance is someone touching me without getting away with it. You can report it as it is assault.
Hayley NicoleSeptember 25, 2016 at 8:17 pm
I’m sorry you had your lovely relaxed Sunday spoiled by Mr. Creeper! I work in a supermarket and you’d be surprised how many people have no issue with stepping into your personal bubble or feel as though they can touch you despite having never met you before. I completely relate to the part where you wrote “made my mouth go dry and made me feels so unbelievably vulnerable” and feeling panicky, small and like you want to run away, it’s a horrible feeling and I’ve had it a few times since I started at my job thanks to some very odd customers who don’t know what boundaries are. I’ve also had the same feelings due to men/boys shouting “compliments” from their cars at me, though I wouldn’t take it as a compliment at all (as some of them have just been plain disgusting), especially when I’m on my own and it’s a car with three or four boys in it – and even though that’s different to what you’ve spoken about, the feeling of intimidation and being humiliated is awful and it really does stay on your mind for the rest of the day. I completely agree with you and think that some people should learn to keep their mouths shut and their hands to themselves! Haha x