Looking back on your year, were there any weeks that have stuck out to you as a woman? Any weeks which just seem like absolutely nothing could possibly go right? Those weeks stick with you.
Well here’s mine.
I have and still do struggle a lot with the balance in value between my internal self and exterior as a woman. Am I just someone to have sex with?
In recent years, I have learned that as a conventionally attractive, thin, middle-class white young woman means that I have a lot of privileges. White privilege, class privilege, pretty privilege.
This means that I don’t have to deal with so much oppression which other groups face. For this I’m grateful. Plus, “pretty” privilege can certainly be used to someone’s advantage.
The complications between the advantages and disadvantages of being a woman in this society could be debated endlessly. There is obvious inequality between genders exhibited subconsciously by people through subliminal messaging, but men sometimes do get the short end of the stick. However, the further I delve into my young adult life, the more I feel the toll of being seen as a female first, a person second.
More specifically, the pressure of “looking the part” and being viewed as a sexual object.
Being a woman, sometimes it feels like my body is my only value, at least it is to men. Being catcalled, stared down, sexually harassed and never having a fulfilling relationship means I struggle to feel like someone could appreciate my whole self.
Anyways, pity party aside, never have I felt like more of an object to men than this week.
This is going to be another long one, so here we go:
I break things off with my ex-friend with benefits/ ‘flatcest’/ person who I was basically a relationship but refused the labels because I knew the messiness was not something I could deal with anymore. To be honest I felt like shit. I’m telling you now, if you’ve been in a “situationship” with a guy for more than three months and it’s not going anywhere on their end, break it off.
They won’t change their mind. Even if you think you don’t want anything more either like I did, you will. Trust me, you will.
The chat we had was honest, and mature. We wanted different things and that is okay. I wasn’t angry or mad. In fact, I was quite relieved.
I woke up early to cover for someone at their job which lasted until about 2 pm. That gave me enough time to go to the gym and chill before hosting our house party that night. A perfect distraction.
This was “refreshers” week which meant I was supposed to be going out every night. Although to be honest, as a second year, I can’t really hack that life.
I was hoping for a bit of a rebound that night to try and forget about Scott. My main hopes were on a certain guy (Freddie) who I knew was coming, and who I’d met at a house party the week before. I ended up spending the night with him (but I was a little disappointed that I decided not to actually have sex in the end).
When he arrived I realised he was pretty much an asshole, although I wanted to forget about my previous night, and a rebound of some sort was appreciated all the same.
As I kissed him, I knew that I was only getting myself into the same situation that I was in before. I told him I was looking for something a little more meaningful and didn’t really want to be wasting my time.
After a little while longer, (obviously after a little bit of delayed thinking) he said “Yeah, we shouldn’t do this. I’m just going to end up hurting you.”
We ended up having this huge therapy session for him over his deep-rooted commitment issues.
When he got up to leave, Freddie turned to me and said “I’ll message you if I ever figure all this stuff out and want something more”
Doubtful, I simply looked at him and said “I won’t be holding my breath.”
3 am. Was I ready to call it a night in a worse state than I started? Absolutely not. It was straight back down to the party for me and drinking vodka directly from the bottle.
After drinking far too much, dancing in the next-door house basement, and one accidental drunken kiss with my neighbour, I was THEN ready to go to bed.
It was looking more like 6 am by this point.
Tuesday and Wednesday:
The only way I can describe these days is with my duvet. No food, no sunlight. Just me, my bed, and a whole lot of wallowing. I would like to thank my girls for being so sweet at this point because I was honestly such a lost cause.
The only reason I got out of bed on Tuesday was to throw up in the toilet. It ended up happening three times.
At one point, I had such a splitting headache that I had to ask my housemate to get me ibuprofen which I then proceeded to throw up immediately because I hadn’t eaten anything.
But yes, I did really concern my housemates on those days. I was just so down about everything that happened with Scott. And what is worse, was that I knew he was walking around feeling completely fine.
It was the first time I felt like I loved somebody who didn’t love me back. And I really felt it.
A get-your-shit-together day was in session. I went to the gym, showered, did my makeup, and went to the Student Union to look at the Fresher’s Activities Fair and then had an impromptu shopping trip to town.
Clearly, the universe was telling me to get back in control of my own sexuality as, just when I was telling the girls about how I didn’t have a vibrator, Ann Summers shone in front of us as a beacon of hope. Up to 40% off in the sale and a student discount on top of this? Yes, please! It was time to buy my very first vibrator.
And for eleven quid, it was a steal.
So now for the not-so-nice and probably the worst part of my week (TW here).
Club Tropicana is Leadmill’s club night on Thursdays and I was ready for a cheap night out with my housemates.
I made out with a boy in the club. When I tried to pull away, he wouldn’t let go.
I heard him say in my ear “You’re a cunt, but you’re a sexy cunt.”
Ew. Red flag.
Next thing I knew his hand was all over my incredibly drunk friend and I knew this guy was bad news.
We yelled at him to get off of our friend and I told him and his friends to leave us alone.
Looking at me up at down, he gave me a sleezy smile and groped my backside.
I was honestly in so much shock, I just grabbed my very drunk friends and moved to a different part of the dance floor.
He and his friends continued to follow us around the club for the rest of the night despite us telling them repeatedly to leave us alone.
At one point, I shoved one of the boys away so hard that he stumbled backward and my friend threw a red stripe can at them.
Since we were starting to make such a scene, other boys were beginning to step in. But rather than telling the group of guys to back off, they were telling us to relax.
One boy even grabbed my wrist and was staring right into my eyes telling me to calm down.
I wasn’t going to calm down. I was livid.
The security guards eventually caught on to the situation and threw them out. They couldn’t really do more than that, apparently.
We were walked home by our male neighbours and although it was lovely of them to do so, the fact we had to be protected from men by men just added fuel to the fire.
So yeah, that happened.
I ran into both Scott and Freddie individually at the Sports Fair at the SU and really didn’t fancy seeing either of them.
What a great start to my otherwise mediocre day.
Had a panic attack in the middle of a yoga class about being sexually assaulted. Fun.
It took me an extensively long time to walk home because I kept hyperventilating on the way home. I was even considering calling someone with a car to come and pick me up because I didn’t have the energy to get home.
I went out that night for the third time and final time that week. It was fine. Nothing amazing and I left early. Actually, I ended up having a meltdown outside the club when I was on my own because I couldn’t find where my Uber was picking me up from.
I’m just grateful I got home and was ready for actual Uni to start.
Worst. Freshers. Ever.
Edited by Elena Baeza Ruso and Imogen Bowlt
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