Why are we still not talking about this?

Monday, 27 April 2015
This post is going to be a little bit different. As much as I love blogging about beauty and fashion and the usual lovely stuff, I think it's important that this blog is a platform for me to express myself about issues that affect me. So be warned, and forgive me if I sound like I'm ranting!

On Saturday night, I went on a night out in Sheffield city centre with a big group of friends from work. We're all in a bar, and whilst I'm chatting and dancing with one of my friends, this man sidles up to us and starts trying to include himself in our conversation. He was easily twice our age, and had obviously had a lot to drink.

At first I thought he was harmless, until he slurred, "I can tell you're both single and available, and so am I, so why don't we all have some fun?" Alarm bells started ringing. I politely told him that in fact, both myself and my friend were in relationships, and happy, so sorry, but we weren't interested. He skulked off, and I thought nothing more of it.

No more than ten minutes later, the same guy reappeared at my side. He was actually leering at us, in a way that made me feel really, really uncomfortable. He put his arm around my shoulders and started trying to chat us up again, and when I tried to move away from him, he tightened his grip on me, refusing to let me go. "Come on," he said, "I'm just having a laugh."

As calmly as I could, I said, "Look, I don't want to sound rude, but I've already told you once that we're not interested. Now your behaviour is starting to make me feel really uncomfortable, so could you please leave us alone and let us enjoy the rest of our night. Please."

Polite, right?

Apparently not. I was told to f*** off repeatedly, and called a little bitch and a slut for being so rude. He then proceeded to go round the whole group that I was with one by one, informing them all of how awful I was for saying no.

This isn't the first incident either. On a separate occasion, I'd been told to "go and kill myself" after refusing to allow a guy that I'd met on a night out to come home with me. How many of you can think of at least one occasion where something similar has happened to you?

What I can't get my head around is how this is still an issue. It seems to be an accepted part of our culture. We live in a society where it is okay for women to be shamed just because she has chosen not to go home with a stranger, where women can't or don't speak up about what has happened to them because it is just "what people do" on nights out.

Please, if this happens to you, have the courage to speak up. Tell a bouncer, tell your friends, don't let anyone get away with verbally abusing you because of a choice that you're perfectly within your rights to make.

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