An Unusual Lady

Lilth’s feet pounded the soggy ground as sparkling green grass slipping around underneath her, making her tumble with every other step. Her breathing came fast and labored; her right leg was starting to scream with the cramping muscles. It seemed as though she’d been running forever.

Somewhere behind her a tree crashed to the ground, groaning its death rattle on the way down. Twigs and rocks alike snapped in the way of the great thundering footsteps that traipsed after her through the dense forest.

Her skinny framed dived over one huge tree trunk, her heeled boots making little grooves in the bark; she cursed her choice of inappropriate footwear. Scuttling under another low hanging branch her waist length, blood red hair caught itself around one of its many fingers. She tugged, pulling on it until her head hurt. The footsteps got closer; she watched as the birds flew in a crazed panic, squawking as the trees around them swayed and bent into unnatural shapes.

With one last wrench she pulled herself free and stumbled into a clearing. Everything shone with life, bright pink and purple blossoms carpeted the floor and huge, expanding trees enveloped the sky above her in brilliant blue leaves. The sun just peaked through the odd gap in the branches, punctuating the half light with streams of glowing strips.

She whirled on her heel, the thundering footsteps made her whole body leap into the air as each giant foot smashed into the poor, forgiving ground. She had no where else to run, it had inevitably caught up with her.

“Fuck.” She muttered under her breath. Throwing off the heavy satchel, she hitched up her under bust corset and popped the buttons on the sleeves of her long white shirt. As she crouched to the floor she screwed her left knee into the ground, feeling the water from the earth creeping up the fabric of her maroon colored, tatty jeans.

She fumbled with her gun, ripping it from the holster and stabbing at the safety switch on the left hand side as the creature came thundering into the clearing. The Bluntersnitch snarled, its dog like face set in a look of pure anger and rage. A couple of sharp twigs stuck out of its bleeding hind quarters; a tree held in its mouth like a stick. Seven feet tall and full to the brim with unrelenting, animalistic hatred.

Lilth aimed for the middle of its three eyes, trying to ignore the spittle dribbling down its dirty white fur. She felt the pistol power up in her hands, the vibrating, whirring sensation familiar and comforting in her palm. She let a shot fly, bolting forwards just as the Bluntersnitch charged forward throwing her aim off balance and catching him just at the tip if his left ear.

The monster screamed and picked up the pace. Reaching her in under three seconds it made a fell swoop at her with its mouth, all yellow teeth and bad breath. She jumped, forcing one small foot into the jaw of its mouth and the other found itself on the animals nose. Before she knew it she was swinging through the air, clinging to a clump of fur to land on the Bluntersnitch’s back.

It roared and bucked, tossing her left and right. The gun flew from her gloved hands as she grappled with the creature. With one smooth motion she brought a devastating punch down onto the back of its head, stunning it just long enough for her to leap up and grab one of the low hanging branches that swayed above her. Using all her upper body strength she pulled herself out of reach, just as the creature turned and snapped its jaws at her dangling legs.

She was fumbling with the knife that she kept down the back of her left boot when a piercing whistle rang out across the forest. Both Lilth and the Bluntersnitch turned to stare in bewilderment at the man who stood in the center of the clearing, looking cocky and self important. Lilth rolled her eyes.

“Nice Bluntersnitch you’ve got there!” He shouted across the yawning expanse of space.

“Yep, it’s under control. One hundred percent. I don’t need any help, thank you very much, have a nice day.” She called back staggering with uncertainty across the outstretched branch.

“Oh yeah, looks like it.” The man mumbled to himself. He kicked Lilth’s gun about in the grass and caught it under his toe, flipping it up into the air with the panache of a man who’d long been practicing the move in front of the bedroom mirror. The Bluntersnitch’s eyes flickered from one human to the next, unsure of where it should strike first.

He took a pot shot, aiming it squarely at the giant dog’s behind and hitting his target. He guffawed as blood and a little flesh spurted out from the new wound enticing a pained howl from its owner. It twirled on its feet, churning up mud and grass as it went and lolloped towards him, a bit slower now then it was before.

Lilth let out an a exasperated sigh and watched as the man dodged his quarry, thick brown hair floating dreamily about in the breeze. He had all the trappings of a man with station, nice fancy clothes, a shiny looking blade at his waist and a cape. Who even had a cape these days?

“Aren’t, you going to ask my name?” The man panted as he artfully jumped over a swiping paw and dived underneath the animal’s belly.

“Nope!” She called out, summersaulting backwards off the branch to land in the grass next to him. “Not interested.” Racing forwards, she landed a swift kick to the Achilles heel and skidded to the side as the monster came crashing down next to her.

“It’s Ezrel.” He paused a moment to let her digest this new information. “You are?”

“I’m busy!” Lilth screamed as she ran up the side of the Bluntersnitch’s squishy exposed stomach and wobbled a little as it huffed and panted in pain underneath her feet. She lost her footing and fell, sliding down the belly of the beast until she landed on its throat. Before the animal even had time to think she whipped out her huge hunting knife and buried it into the creature, feeling it breath its last under her feet.

She hopped down from the still warm body, ignoring Ezrel’s outstretched hand and strode over to her satchel.

“You’re quite an unusual lady aren’t you?” Her unwanted companion asked, craning over her shoulder to see what she was rooting around for in her bag. “How did you get tangled up with our furry friend over there?”

“I stole something from him, not that it’s any of your business. Now if you will excuse me I have things to steal, places to get drunk in and bad life decisions to make.”

“Can’t I at least get you something to drink. You must be thirsty after all that … killing.” Lilth hoisted her bag onto her shoulder and gave him one withering look, eyebrow raised.

“You’ve got to be kidding me. Right?” Ezrel grinned at her expectantly.

“Out of my way short stack! I really don’t want to have to break your face.”

“Has anyone ever told you, you have a real anger problem. I could help you work on that you know. I’m a …” He never got to finish his sentence.

Lilth’s fist connected hard and fast with his chin, sending him flying backwards into a bramble bush. She shook off her fist and tugged her hair out from underneath the leather bag strap it had caught under.

These men, where do they even come from. Did she look like a damsel in distress? She looked herself over, the smears of blood and mud didn’t scream save me to her. Shrugging she retrieved her gun from where Ezrel had flung it onto the ground with the force of her punch and slapped his upturned, unconscious ass on the way past.

“See you around, scumbag.”

Demon Housemate

Usually I don’t post this kind of thing. I’m strictly a straight up, fiction only sort of girl so putting up a true story is a bit out of the ordinary for me. It’s just that, I don’t know how to handle this situation. I’m hoping all you good folk out there can give me a bit of advice.

I’ve experienced the supernatural before, the odd tap on the shoulder here and there; probably the product of an overactive imagination and a healthy appetite for the weird. This is something else though and it’s not just me that’s experiencing it. I know I’m not crazy, and I know this is real.

A few weeks ago I moved into a shared house with a bunch of friends. Stuff hadn’t been going well at home and the prospect of a change of scenery was too enticing. I brought the bare necessities and set up camp in the spare room, living out of my suitcase. It was pretty blissful I can tell you.

Before I moved in I’d been jokingly warned of “The Demon” that was supposed to be haunting the place. Like anyone else I laughed it off; what’s a demon going to be doing hanging around a two up two down in a small English town? People had heard weird banging, whistling that kind of thing. I chalked it up to one too many late nights and alcohol messing with their heads.

So, I’d been there about a week when I get a text from one of my housemates asking me if I was in the house. I’d been bored out of my mind at work for the past few hours and told him so. I glanced over at the incoming message as the screen lit up.

I was just in the shower and I’m almost sure I heard someone cough. It sounded close, like just behind me. 

Picking up the phone I glanced around to make sure there was no manager lurking behind the cheap, grey shelving and quickly hashed out a reply.

It’s probably just one of the girls messing about or something. Why don’t you go check? 

There’s no one else here … 

I sat up in my chair a little and frowned. I was pretty sure he’d just heard the grumbling of the water pipes; the boiler or something and told him so. He seemed so sure of it and when I got home he did seem a little on edge. It shook my resolve a bit and I made double sure to check all the dark corners of the bathroom for a few days after that.

I forget exactly how long after that it was but sometime later we hosted a house party. Nothing major just small gathering with a few friends and some good alcohol. I’d brought my DSLR along and we took a bunch of pictures to remember the night by. I’m a huge Facebook addict so, naturally I had to upload them to my page. Sitting crossed legged on my bed in a comfy pair of jammies I went through the picture happily tagging away until something smacked me right in the gut. I lurched forward and grabbed the screen in both hands. Amidst all the smiling faces of my friends was a different face, a black and white face in a sea of colour images. It was the fifth row down, two in from the right. A woman stared out at me with whited out eyes and a sly looking grin on her face. Her curly hair rolled around her cheeks and down her shoulders; I’d never seen her before in my life.

“Shit.” I mumbled. I scrolled back rapidly through all the pictures, there were no other images in the background, nothing the tagging application could have accidentally picked up. I was stumped, I’ve still got no explanation for it. I studied it carefully as the hairs on the back of my neck stood up on end; it was sinister as hell.

Fumbling across the bed covers I snatched up my phone and opened up Whatsapp. The screen flashed as I snapped a picture. I dithered for a moment; I didn’t want everyone to freak out, I mean, we all still had to live there. Fuck it, I need a second opinion. I pushed send and waited for a response. I didn’t have to wait long.

What the hell is that?! 

I re-told the whole saga in detail.

What do you mean that came from the party pictures? I took those … 

I know, I can’t explain it either. There are no pictures on the wall, nothing on anyone’s clothing and we sure as hell don’t know anyone who looks like that. 

…. Great, just what I wanted, a demonic room mate. 

Needless to say, everyone was freaked. I showed the girls who lived with us what we had found and they were suitably bothered by it. Being close friends they often shared a bed in their moment of fear. I envied them, all I had to ward off what ever was lurking around was a stuffed toy that I clung to life a life jacket.

After our “sighting” things only got worse. Stuff started moving about, I lost keys, chargers, my phone, pens, paperwork all to find it in some obscure location a few hours later. The doors to cupboards stood ajar and doors creaked open. I know, there are a million explanations for this stuff; the wind, people leaving the door open, forgetfulness but it always felt wrong you know? Like something was messing with me.

I was left with no doubts at all when I was sitting in the living room enjoying a cup of tea and a chat with one of my house mates. It was casual, we’d had a good day and nothing horribly weird had happened for a couple of days. I could hear a little bit of thumping going on upstairs, someone being a bit heavy footed in one of the bedrooms, the girls were known for their heard of elephants impersonations. I was in mid sentence when one of them barrelled headlong down the stairs, cutting my conversation short.

“Jesus, can they get any louder?” I sighed aloud, frowning. “One day someone is going to go straight through the stairs.” My friend grinned at me and reached behind him to open the door for our companion. The room was silent.

We looked at each other confused. He stood and stuck his head around the door frame.

“What the …” I heard him mutter under his breath; he climbed the stairs two at a time.

I scrambled up off the sofa, heart hammering and stood at the bottom of the dark flight, arms crossed over my chest, my back to the wall. He reappeared after a few seconds, and slowly, almost thoughtfully made his way back down the stairs. He stood at the bottom for a  moment before looking me in the face.

“There’s no one there.”

“We definitely just heard someone coming down those stairs. There has to be someone there.”

“Go check for yourself if you want. I’m telling you there is no one in this house but us.” I wanted to speak but my brain just chewed the cogs. I gazed back up the stairs to the landing that now looked imposing and terrifying, I had to sleep up there, I had to go up there in the dark on my own.  Just as my brain was starting to catch up with what had happened when a bolt of light streaked across the top of the landing. I stuttered and took a step back, I could feel the blood drain from my face. There was no where a light like that could have come from, nothing to reflect off. I noped right out at that point and made up my mind to sleep on the sofa that night.

Whatever we were sharing our living space with was really upping the anti now. Growling, gurgling noises could be heard in some of the rooms, light coughing, prodding and the occasional shove were experienced by everyone, especially if you stayed here alone. Often, I’d stop people mid-flow in a conversation to ask if they had heard the creepy noises issuing from the gloomy upstairs.

I was starting to freak out, I could feel it, like a little knotted ball in the pit of my stomach. We’d had a few friends over the night before, just for a chat, nothing too heavy and we’d got to talking about our demonic friend.

“I’ve seen it.” One of the guys said. I was pretty sure he was winding me up, having a reputation for that kind of humour.

“What does it look like?” I quizzed, no one had seen the picture but my flatmate and I so I was totally expecting him to concoct something out of thin air.

“It’s a woman, young looking. She’s got curly hair to her shoulders, maybe blonde. Her clothes looked kind’a period. I’ve seen her a few times when I’ve slept over here, I can see her reflection in the mirror.” He pointed to the big wall mirror we had hanging in the living room. If you sat on the sofa you could see the doorway and out into the corridor. I imagined this ghostly woman standing in the doorway watching us and shuddered.

The silence was shattered by a sudden crash from the front bedroom. I jumped and my room mate leapt to his feet; it was his room the sound had come from. We all crept slowly forward, hoping that a cat or something had got in through an open window and made that noise. Nothing stirred, the room sat silently, perfectly in tact; all the windows remained fast shut.

It’s been unnervingly quiet for the last few days, we’ve had a few cupboard doors left open and lights spontaneously turning on and off but I guess things might be on the up. I’m still pretty nervous though, writing this up alone and in the dark probably isn’t helping me any. The blue glow of the screen is the only illumination in the claustrophobic darkness.

The front door has just opened and closed. The time on the laptop display says: 2:08 am. It must be one of the girls coming back from a night out, I can’t hear any footsteps on the stairs; nothing, Those stairs are always so loud I should be able to hear her, maybe she went to get a drink.

Fuck, the bedroom door just slammed itself shut, not mine one of the bedrooms down the corridor. I’m pretty sure mine’s locked … did I lock it? I think I did. Something it scuffling, rummaging around on the corridor, it’s fairly loud. I don’t know what to do.

I’ve just text everyone, just to make sure I’m alone.

I’m still out, why? 

Lol, I’m miles away, it’s not me! 

I’m still at work 0.o 

The door handle is moving, I swear to God the door handle is moving. I’ve got that tingling sensation, you know like when blood starts draining from your face? The doors on this floor are opening, I can hear them opening and shutting. Those doors I watched the girls lock are opening and shutting.

I’m one floor up, there’s no way out, no where to go. I’m here, alone in the dark, with it. It wants to come in.

Bar Brawl

I sit with my head in my hands at the bar. The hard wood under my elbows has made the length of my arms go numb; I can feel my own pulse in my temples, thwump, thwump, thwump. I’m getting a headache.

The place is disgusting, I’ve flicked at least half a dozen dodgy looking crumbs off the wood work in front of me, the glass that held my double, straight whisky is murky around the edges, like a fine mist crept across the cold glass.

My daughter sits on the floor next to my bar stool, playing with something in the dirt and drinking something red from her sippy cup. She’s a little too big for it now at six but it saves time and effort and it’s the only thing that seems to placate her these days. She’s not dealing very well with the changes I’ve been making recently.

Maybe it seems odd to you, bringing a child to a dive like this, and believe me, it’s a dive, but I have all these parenting duty things that I need to do. I also need a drink, a good stiff drink that’ll clear my head. Then I can go home and focus on all the things I need to get done. I can’t seem to think straight these days.

The cheap lino that covers the bar is peeling away, bubbling like some great, ulcerating blister where something wet has got under its skin. My long nails chip away at it, bursting its edges and peeling away the rotting flesh; it’s satisfying, like opening a wound that never healed. Something black and sticky lingers underneath it, it reminds me, prods me into a darker corner of my mind that I’ve been trying very, very hard to avoid. Funny how the most mundane of things do that to you isn’t it?

I’ve been waiting what seems like a life time for this little bit of peace and quiet, so when this large, sweating lump of a man heaves himself down onto the stool next to me the anger begins to spark in the pit of my stomach, like two whet stones clanging together down there in the darkness. I wish you’d just fuck off.

I brace myself for what I know will be a dazzling opening line, a “hey-there-good-looking” dash away from cheesy that I am longing to avoid. He drops a giant, bear like hand onto the bar, demanding the bar tender’s attention. It’s hairy, almost black and his fingers are chipped, chapped and dingy looking. Small black particles of dust cling the under slide of the flaps of skin like little lodgers. It makes my skin crawl.

“I’ll take another beer Dom, and whatever the lady’s havin'” He slurs ever so slightly, the hint of a man used to heavy drinking. The years, tell on his voice and I don’t even have to look at him to know he’s a full blown, alcoholic fuck up.

“I’m not having anything, thanks.” I mutter into my empty glass, rolling the last drop around, wondering what would happen if I smashed it over his obviously meaty head. Fuck off, fuck off, fuck off.

“Double vodka, straight.” The man says and I feel that anger burning up, wracking up the heat. Asshole.

“I said I didn’t want anything.” I said a little louder, sounding tetchy and strained even to my own ears.

“Just trying to help a lady out. You look like you need one. Are you really going to say no?” He waves the fresh glass of clear liquid under my nose. The smell hits me like a freight train running at a hundred miles an hour; something black is floating in it. I can see the sweat from his fingers bunching on the slippery surface.

Finally, I turn to face him. His grin is lopsided, the half slide of a drunk. He stinks of course, his red checkered shirt flecked with paint and dirt; a labouring man. I mop of brown hair fell in a slap dash fashion across his pudding face. The slight flush of red in his checks broken up by flecks of a dark, peppery beard. The round swell of his face was a little too close to mine, too intrusive, his green watery eyes gazing intently at me out of all that pink.

“Look, I don’t want it ok? I’m just trying to have a quiet drink in peace.” I hissed under my breath. This dumb fuck will get himself killed if he doesn’t make himself disappear.

“Hey. What’s your problem, huh? Can’t a man get a little respect these days!” He was shouting now, raising his rolling, slurring voice over the sound of the other drunks stumbling over themselves for their next drink. It fell quiet; the karaoke machine still played It’s a Long Way to Tipperary on an endless, grating loop. It’s a long way to Tipperary, it’s a long way to go! That woman has a voice that makes me want to silence her, permanently.

“If you know what’s good for you, you’ll get out of my face.” I snarled, turning my whole body to face him now. He’s shaking a little, with rage or alcohol I’m not sure but he’s definitely unsteady. He’s about to unleash an ungodly verbal tirade when something tugs on my trouser leg, urgent and demanding.

“Mummy, I’m hungry.” My daughter stares up at me with wide, saucer eyes. Their icy, blue depth looking curiously up at me, my trouser leg still clutched in her vice like grip. Her sippy cup hangs from her; red stains the collar of the white dress that she’s wearing. Her brown hair is matted but it still shines in the half light of the bar. The man looks down at her and wrinkles his nose a little at her dishevelled appearance but dismisses her almost as quickly as he acknowledged her existence.

“Your mum’s busy kid.” He shuffles himself closer and I feel a little of his spit land on my cheek. I want to scrap it off and take half my skin with it but I make myself stare him down, refusing to be the first one to crack.

“Mummy. I’m hungry!” She tries again, yanking my leg off the stool. She’s welling up now, great, fat tears forming in her tiny eyes. I shove the man back as I stand up. Luckily for me he’s too drunk to maintain his balance and he falls backwards just enough for me to slink past, grabbing my girl’s hand and I haul her kicking and screaming out the front door.

“HUNGRY. HUNGRY!” God not now, not now.

We hurry around the corner of the bar, down a side alley. The darkness presses in on us, it’s thick and intense, suffocating. The only light reflecting from my daughter’s bright, angry eyes.

I can hear another, stumbling pair of feet pounding after me and I know it’s him. I quicken my steps but it’s too late. A great barrelling force almost knocks me off my feet as he strides towards me, too drunk to stop properly and grabs my right arm in a tight grip.

“Where the fuck do you think you’re going?” he’s practically forcing his mouth into the side of my face, swaying and angry. I’m pulling and tugging, wriggling and squirming to get away. I swear and curse at this huge, unmovable mass; the little girl in my arms doesn’t move. She’s hissing, quietly, but with a force of anger behind it that I’ve come to recognise. Another second passes before the man hears it too.

He pulls away from me, loosening his grip a little. It takes him a second to focus his eyes on her; the small, hissing bundles in my arms, squirming now to get at him like a giant ball of hungry snakes.

“What the fuck?” He mumbles, reaching up to rub his eyes with his free hand. It never reaches its destination.

Before I can stop her, not that I really want to, she’s gone, leaps from my arms and she’s clinging to him. Her head buries itself into his podgy neck, her sharp teeth hitting the mark and red spraying out across the floor and the walls. He wriggles, squeaking like a little pig before he falls to the ground, gripping her around the middle trying to rip her away from him. She’s so strong now.

I watch. I’m used to this kind of thing now, but it still makes me sick. It’s the smell more than anything, the smell and the guilt; maybe a little fear. As I watch the life ebb away from him I wonder, how long will it be before she turns on me, before I become that twitching mass upon the floor, leaking away into the ground.

When he finally gives up the ghost, she stands up, unsteady on her little legs and wipes a big smear of blood clumsily off her vampire lips. I don’t move to pick her up or touch her. It’s like this now, cold and unnerving. She’s smiling, THAT smile. So much for having a good first day in our new town.

“My dress is all red Mummy.” She says cheerily, coming up to take my hand. I can feel the man’s blood squealing under our interlocking fingers. That’s going to need one hell of a dry clean.

Shining out the Clearer.

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Yesterday I committed one of the biggest internet sins; I self diagnosed. To my horror I discovered I had a disease commonly known as Feminism. I’ve been suffering the most terrible symptoms: desire for equality, freedom of expression and a chronic case of “isolating [myself] from mainstream society”.1 No matter how I try I can’t seem to find a cure for this terrible disease, however the more I come to think of the more I begin to wonder if I need a cure.

 

Since the first coining of the phrase “feminist” in 1837 by philosopher Charles Fourier women have consistently and tirelessly been fighting for the right to an equal society.2 Make no mistake about it patriarchy is alive and well, its function within society is still as focused and driven as it has been in previous years. There is well rounded and documented evidence to suggest that this phenomena has been tackled to some extent; to argue otherwise would be foolish. We have obviously progressed forward from the tight constraints of thousands of years of history. However the question that I often find myself asking is: does feminism sill have a place in contemporary society?

 

The only logical answer seems to be yes. Before we begin to look at mirco examples within society the existence of such groups as ‘Everyday Feminism’ and ‘Ten Million Rising’ demonstrate a need for a continued push of feminist ideals. Those who are perhaps arguing that feminism is a dud cause may argue that such groups are minority collectives, obsolete and small in number. At the time of this publication ‘Everyday Feminism’ had 40,514 likes on its Facebook page,3 with a general interest page entitled ‘Feminism’ clocking up 103,549 likes.4 I can assure any doubters out there that there are many people willing to push forward to fight for equal rights and freedom of expression. The idea that it is a “small minority” is now greatly outdated.

 

There are so many ongoing issues that relate directly back to gender issues that I cannot possibly discuss them all here. Therefore I have chosen to focus on a time weary debate and perhaps some of you will groan to hear; women and self image.

 

Some of you may ask why I would want to rake back over something so completely battered to death. Everyone has heard the consistent arguments against photo editing and the exposure of young girls to overly sexualised ideals. All of this is greatly important to me on a personal level. Being a young woman who at least once an annum for approximately six years has had to deal with inappropriate behaviour from male acquaintances or friends, I want to know what it is that has created this phenomena.

 

For a long time I believed as many others will on a first reading of the above statement, that I somehow “deserved” or “encouraged” whatever I happened to be on the receiving end of. We’ve all seen the pictures ‘how to avoid rape/sexual harassment’ in which the voice of wisdom tells us a woman must not dress provocatively, drink to excess or even most absurdly, not to wear her hair in a pony tail for fear of it being used against her in an attack. Instead of arguing against all of these points, I want to explore how society makes us feel as though we need to achieve these things and then strip them away from us.

 

For example, we are taught through advertising, peer pressure and the societal values that we need to be beautiful and more often than not sexualised to boot. We all scramble over having flawless skin, perfect hair, a short skirt, the perfect bikini body and a push up bra, I’m generalising of course but I feel most heterosexual women I have had the pleasure to meet have felt this pressure to conform to societal expectations at some point in their lives. Generally speaking one can argue that this is a form of competition; we must be the most beautiful in order to attract our desired mate over all of the other women he could choose from. Therefore at the core of this I deduce that a great majority of this behaviour is to attract a life and sexual partner.

 

How is it then, that in order to avoid unwanted male attention we must cease to do all of these things? We’ve done what society told us to do in order to find that caring, loving man of our dreams that we so desperately seek. When we find men who are more than eager to take advantage of our susceptibility to conformation suddenly we are in the wrong for simply fulfilling societies criteria? I must look a certain way if I don’t want to die a lonely cat lady but the minute some odd guy begins to bother me someone will always say, “well you must have done something to encourage the boy.” Why would I want to do that? No one enjoys being the subject of unwanted attraction, especially when it pushes the boundaries into stalking. So are people so instant on the fact that I did something to encourage the man?

 

Surely it is derogatory to the man to take this point of view? Is no man capable of thinking for himself? Is no man capable of stopping himself? They all have a brain and reason; in my personal experience there have been multiple times I could not have made it more clear that the behaviour that I was witnessing concerned me deeply. In times past a man has asked if he could “beat up my boyfriend” in order to get me to date him. Anyone in their right mind knows that this kind of behaviour is wrong. As many a feminist has claimed: “no means no,not convince me”, it seems to be this doctrine that certain people find difficult to comprehend. I’m beginning to think that some men do understand this and are simply ignoring it. It may be simpler to just blame the woman’s behaviour but surely this means that a man has no free will. It seems to almost suggest that they are victim to their hormones that we women tease and drive wild on purpose with our tempting sexualised bodies; helpless in the gripping vice of the evil woman.

 

I personally believe that we are all taught from a young age that women can be and by and large are sexualised objects. In almost every advert, in almost every movie, in almost every publication there is a women in a sexual sense playing a part. Has this blurred the lines? Are women now merging into one huge representation, a piece of plastic without a face? Are we all one and the same to these kinds of men? No personalities, no differentiations, just women and women mean sex. We allow this to happen, we fulfil our own prophecy, we allow men to wolf whistle at us, ask to see our breasts and such and pass it off as “banter”, an all too common argument I have heard.

 

Not one to shirk a giant, cheesy quote of deep and meaningful proportions, I feel that this quote from J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers’ to be most appropriate to most situations I come across in life.

 It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

When I read this in terms of feminism and the failing gender equality that I experience I find it to be incredibly inspirational and moving. Try it, I hope you’ll derive the same meaning out of it as I do.

 

In no way are the perceptions I have detailed here relevant to everyone, nor are they meant as an attack on all men. I use the word ‘men’ here in relation to the men I have met personally in my life and not all men.