I often wonder why women care so much. What’s the point? Every day I have seen a woman cry and drawn similar, fleeting conclusions. 1) Is she ok? 2) I bet it’s a man 3) That was me yesterday 4) Note to self never wear make up on a day when you’re sad.
I have been a hopeless romantic my entire life. I remember being dumped when I was 16 years old after receiving a handmade card. I had bronchitis at the time and I couldn’t go and see him on Valentine’s Day. I remember those feelings so clearly. I was an utterly distraught teenager. My introduction to men had been vile and cruel and disappointing. I made a decision then that I was never going to look at them in the same way. And in all honesty, I think it rings true today.
Society, along with my schooling years, has taught me many things.
You can’t go out wearing that. Your skirt is too short. You aren’t wearing any make up. You’re wearing too much make up. Why are you saying that? No one is going to marry you if you look like that. You’re getting on a bit. Your body clock is ticking.
Fuck off. Just fuck off.
I left a date after being accused of not making enough effort (I was wearing minimal makeup). I told him to go fuck himself and I walked out.
I ran away from a date as he offered me a spooning lesson after 30 minutes. I didn’t tell him to f himself as I was already half way down the road while he was in the bathroom.
A guy never asked for a second as I told him quite firmly I wouldn’t sleep with him on the first.
I refused to date another guy as he said I had to send him pictures to spice up the conversation. I sent him the link to porn hub and told him never to contact me again.
Society, and experience, have taught me that basically men are impossibly complex and confusing people that actually just want to be loved but have an impossibly bizarre way of getting there. We, women, don’t help the situation as we also want to be loved by these very people we spend our lives chasing for their affection and attention. I know. I’ve done it my entire life. I’m bored of it.
Every man I have ever been with has cheated on me. Every single man apart from one (he is by far one of the best men I’ve ever met). (FYI This isn’t asking for a pity party, this is purely stating facts).
I remember the first time it happened and I thought that I could never be with someone again. Cue the next boyfriend, in quick succession, who yet again became all-consuming and I put him on this glitter-stained pedestal where he was my everything. He fell off it very quickly when I kicked it out from under him (disclaimer…he slept with someone else).
I worked out the other day that the longest I have been single since the age of 18 is 6 months. Six months. 6/156 months actually spending time single. And not even single, I was heartbroken or drinking too much or thinking I fancied the next guy that took me on a date. (I didn’t).
During university I endured, like many of my fellow incredible women, sexual abuse. It was like this power had been taken away from me. Having forever being the advocate that men have the utmost privilege of sleeping with women, some guy violently stole that power one night and made me totally powerless. I can’t have children as a result.
It has taken me years to get over it. And one of the consequences remains that it has only really been until this year that I have truly enjoyed sex. It was always this rather bottomless existence where I would ultimately feel better about myself knowing I could make a man finish. That was me doing it. But then, it happened when they did it to themselves. Or when they slept with… well anyone really. So for years I felt like I was worth absolutely worthless. Sometimes I still do. It’s a very hard feeling to shake off.
As Iliza Schlesinger said “no one has the right to put their hands on you and no means no”. So to that man who is still walking around as if he’s done nothing wrong, shame on you and your hands. You utterly disgust me.
But what took me the longest to get over was how I have continuously let people let ME down. I have done that. Worse… I have allowed people to do that. I have continuously made endless excuses as to why a man hasn’t treated me the way I want. Or more importantly the way I believe I should be.
“Oh but he’s an only child… he’s used to doing things alone”
“But he’s this friendly with everyone”
“But he’s apologised and it won’t happen again”
“He will get better”
“It won’t happen again”
“You can teach someone foreplay”
“I mean the sex isn’t great but he’s funny”
“I need to trust him more”
“Perhaps I’m overthinking”
Girls, enough. You cannot change someone that does not want to be changed. You will exhaust yourself trying. You will change yourself during the process. Hold onto that spark inside of you that made you shine so bright in the first place. Get up for you. Get dressed for you. Wear underwear for you. Put on make up for you. It’s about you. Not about how other people make you feel.
This isn’t a piece against men. It really isn’t. This is about self-reflection and how it has taken me so many years to realise my own self-worth. So thank you to the men who have shaped me into the person I am now to be able to realise that. Even the ones that have broken and shattered my heart along the way. I’m still here! You’re probably the ones who have influenced me the most. But the ones that cheated, that lied, that took or ripped or stole something away from me… Shame on you. Shame on me for letting you. It is time for past me to forget you now.
It’s almost a new year and I’ve started the new year cliches early. But this time, I know I’m going to follow them. How? Because I’ve spent this entire year surrounded by incredibly powerful, independent, caring, loving and beautiful women.
Yes you all know who you are.
Whether I’ve met you for a week, or known you my entire life, I am utterly in your debt. No more excuses. No more entering aimless relationships because they temporarily make you feel good. I already know that I’m great because my countless women have told me so. I hope every other woman out there feels the same way and if you don’t, get in touch, I will happily tell you. You are enough. You ARE.
There are clear differences between being a gentleman and a gentle man… and us women, well, we suggest you all be both. At least try.
I am ready to be with someone who basically wants everything I do. I expect nothing from you, just your honesty, your attention when I’m with you and just make me feel fucking great.
It’s really quite easy. The girls do it all the time.
2 thoughts on “Incase you didn’t know, no still means no.”
The above resonated on so many levels. I have also experienced sexual violence and not only in my youth but as an adult and in fact even by someone who you follow on insta. I built the same pedestals and only after 3 years of trauma therapy have I started to understand the modelling that made exploitative familiar seem like love. Sometimes we don’t even try to change the person we are with, because they are so convincing in their manipulation, their story telling, so exploitative in their empathy seeming victimhood and so artful at mirroring our best parts and desires. that before we even realise something is terribly wrong, we have been programmed not to believe ourselves and intuition. A great read and thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story.
You go girl!