sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sevenhelz at 01:49pm on 30/08/2011 under , ,
about two months ago. It made me really angry, and still makes me really angry if I think about it.

This was when I was first with the recent ex. We were getting the train to Liverpool to go to a haflah, a belly dance meet. We weren't quite sure of the route and were having a drink on the way, which was fun. I needed to go to the loo on one of the trains. No biggie.

I stepped into the next carriage and knew there were gonna be catcalls at least. I remember clocking one or two nervous-looking women and other passengers, but the main problem - there was a bunch of men sitting around a few tables, could've been a stag night, a rugby team or a bunch of squaddies. Something in me keeps saying it was squaddies, but at that point I was a lance corporal and everything looked like a nail. I was wearing little goth girl stuff ie black leggings and little black skirt, little black top, big black stompy boots (reinforced toes but not steelies - still these are my magnums which are often spotted as army).

So I walked past them. And one of them groped me - I remember the familiar feeling of a hand on the back of my thighs and on my bum. I'm not sure if I hit him, but I certainly yelled What the fuck! -and was grabbed by the waist. He tried to pull me onto his lap, I resisted, and stood up in a semi-fighting stance, yelling some more. Bear in mind there were somewhere between a dozen and twenty of these guys. They were all laughing, but there was a definite edge of tension to the carriage that was not just from my anger.

Replaying this in my head once sober, I really fucking wish the next line had been Who the hell are you?! -because, if they were squaddies, they were in fucking trouble. You don't assault a lance jack, whatever rank you are. You don't molest apparent civilians, because you don't fucking know who they are, and hello? Standards and values, respect for everyone?!

In real life, I walked on past, went to the damn loo, and came back with only a moment's hesitation as I resisted the urge to punch the bastard in the back of the head. And they laughed again.
sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sevenhelz at 05:21pm on 27/01/2009 under
male ex-friend is refusing to even corroborate my statement, let alone expand on it (as he was the only person who might've been ablet o see what the heck they were up to on facebook), due to the fact that he's a friend to these idiots and doesn't want anything bad to happen to them.

let me state now that i don't particularly want them kicked out of uni, however convenient that might be for me. this is partly because anything that does happen, if it does not actually change their attitudes, will certainly be linked to me and probably blamed on me, which could in fact fuel their hatred for women. hence why i've been undecided as to whether to send this to the musical director of the brass band - he might kick them out of band, which would be terribly convenient, but it might make them resent me more than they presumably already do. so. having spoken to head of department, i'm given the option of making life easy for myself and, by moving more slowly, hopefully making life better for the department. i'm trying to go with the second.

male ex-friend telling me he's still a friend to all three of us is remarkably unconvincing, because basically, if you're a friend to woman-haters who won't point out to them that they probably shouldn't hate 50% of the population, you're not a friend to women.
sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sevenhelz at 12:08pm on 26/01/2009 under
Monday 19th January 2009

From roughly 1500 I was in the computer room working on some transcription, and between roughly 1630 and 1800 I overheard a long conversation between A and B about various topics. Early in the conversation they were discussing some pictures they found on facebook, commenting on the attractiveness (although of course that wasn't the word they used) of various women. At one point one said 'Yeah I had my finger stuck up X's a*** in that picture, that's why she looks like that'.

They then spoke about their weekend, and all the people they'd insulted by calling them parts of a woman's anatomy; of the 'cripple' girl on crutches; and of the people they insulted by shouting 'you slept with [insert name here]!' (which is apparently an insult now; or presumably the people they referred to were somehow undesirable - sadly I didn't catch the names they mentioned, though I remember thinking they were female so hopefully we don't have to deal with homophobia, 'only' massive misogyny). They discussed Z, a band they don't like; the rivalry between Z and their own band, Y, is well known. Along with general 'Z are s**t' comments there were personal attacks on players - not that this surprised me, coming from these people, but what was unusual was the lack of criticism of the playing. There were yet more references to parts of the female anatomy (which, used in the context of an insult, tells us that this organ is apparently a bad thing).

I remember specifically one of them telling the other in tones that made it clear this was hilarious, 'so I told her [a certain part of her anatomy] smelled really bad'. This woman had apparently tried to laugh it off and told them 'it doesn't', only to be told 'yes it does, I can smell it from here'. I replied sarcastically, something like 'wow, that's really funny' and they responded in deriding tones that 'it was at the time'.

At some point one of them was using a false facebook account to send vile messages along the same lines - who to, I couldn't tell, but they were concerned that no-one be able to work out who they were, and that no-one who was 'friends' with the false user have any ties with the rival band. Oddly they were also insulting members of their own band, having come up with a nickname for one female player; 'bacon rinds'.

At one point I told him I tried to intervene with the conversation, to which A replied aggressively that he didn't care, 'f*** you'. I stayed out of it after that.

Their language was incredibly offensive. I was shocked, disgusted, and angry about how much hate they apparently have for women.

I think we do need to address the culture among 2nd years of insulting people. I had known that these people and friends of theirs could be very critical, aggressive and unpleasant to be around, but I had not quite realised the scope of it. Personally, I don't want to work with these people now that I know what they truly think of me and mine (ie that I deserve to have a major part of my anatomy and self used as an insult).

I believe this particular conversation is actionable under the Student Regulations, Section 7. The examples of behaviour which may constitute misconduct include offensive behaviour whilst on University premises (1.5 3) and misuse of University items of property (1.5 10). On this basis I believe a tribunal could exclude the boys from social activities such as the brass band, which would benefit me personally. I don't know yet if this is the best course of action.

The various things I've heard since, particularly about the false facebook user but also about how the boys talk to other people, indicate to me that many people know how offensive these boys can be, and do nothing about it. It has been suggested that their band encouraged the rivalry between bands, if it does not continue to do so, and certainly overlooks the more offensive aspects of these characters. It has been suggested that many people find such comments funny, and since the boys are clearly immature it has been implied that I would do best to ignore them; I run the risk of being socially isolated. It has been suggested that the boys may have emotional issues and their attitudes could improve with counselling.
sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sevenhelz at 11:34am on 26/01/2009 under
More updateage.

What I failed to mention in previous posts, conversations, emails and my written statement, is that on Monday after I overheard this disgusting conversation, I sent a long text to a (well, previously) friend of mine in the same band as the two fools who had been conversing. My phone didn't save the text and I've forgotten exactly what I said, but I think I expressed my disgust well enough, and may have asked if the band know about and condone this kind of behaviour. I received no reply.

What I did receive, two days ago, was a text from one of the fools who had been conversing. It reads like this:

Hi [sevenhelz].was speaking to [friend in band] yesterday and he told us how u felt about what me and [other fool] were sayin on mon.id [sic] just like to apologise and i understand how what we said could be offensive.i can see how u must be upset bt i can assure u the full story is not that bad.the girl we were talking about is one of my old friends from back home and we were having a joke.u should be mad at us bt dont be too hard on gareth.he just humours us.x

...

I haven't replied. I'm not quite sure how this affects my sort-of-chosen plan of action. Probably not at all, actually, since it's clear it's not a sincere apology and even if it were, he hasn't understood how much of his conversation was blatantly offensive, or why.

I'm going to email this post to the head of the student panel, I think.
sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sevenhelz at 10:05pm on 19/01/2009 under
Today I overheard two (male) members of the university brass band having a long discussion. They spoke about their weekend, and all the people they'd insulted by calling them parts of a woman's anatomy; of the 'cripple' girl on crutches; of the people they insulted by shouting 'you slept with <insert name here>!'*. Then they discussed a band they don't like - the rivalry between their own band and the one they mentioned is well known. Along with general '<X band> are shit' type comments there were personal attacks on players - not that this surprised me, coming from these people, but what was unusual was the lack of criticism of the playing. No, they stuck to the tried and tested references to women's anatomy and apparently inappropriate secual encounters with presumed undesirables. At some point one of them was using a false facebook account to send vile messages along the same lines - who to, I can't tell, but they were concerned that they not get back to the rival band.

They also commented on the attractiveness of some people in photos, which I wouldn't even comment on were it not for the rest. Naturally it was all about how fuckable the girls were, and how ugly the guys were. These two have some major egos. At one point one said 'Yeah I had my finger stuck up X's arse in that picture, that's why she looks like that'.

My male 'friend' who laughed along is not someone I want to talk to right now. I told him I was disowning him, and one of the people engaged in discussion mistakenly thought I was addressing him - his response was a very aggressive 'I don't care, fuck you'. I didn't get involved after that.


I've emailed a female lecturer about this. I don't know who I can report it to, or what may happen, but I really don't want to work with these idiots** anymore. Not now that I know the full extent of their hate for women. I was shocked and disgusted, and a little frightened. I am still angry. I know now why my band feels so much more aggressive than it used to. I want them out of my band.



* I didn't make out if these were male or female names, and so can't accuse them of homophobia, 'only' major misogyny.
** Took me a while to choose that word.



ETA: Almost forgot this choice nugget; one of them telling the other in tones that made it clear this was hilarious, 'so I told her <a certain part of her anatomy> smelled really bad'. Cue me: Wow, that's really funny. </sarcasm> They: Well it was at the time.
sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sevenhelz at 07:41am on 02/12/2008 under
I was quite annoyed last night. I'm not so annoyed anymore, but the question remains: Why am I so surprised every time someone patronises me that I have nothing to say back? It leaves me wanting to kick them in the face, and maybe burn down the bandroom for good measure.

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