I've had enough, we've had enough | Emma Auld
I’ve pulled two of my girl friends out of dangerous and abusive relationships.
I’ve driven 60 miles at the quickest speed that I could to help my best friend who was being attacked by her male neighbour.
I’ve listened to friends cry as they told their stories of sexual harassment.
I’ve been holding their hands as they told others about their first sexual experience.
I’ve heard their stories about their pictures being leaked.
I’ve shared details on how we keep safe when walking alone.
I’ve laid in bed thinking about my own sexual experiences and how they weren’t always consensual.
I’ve not slept through the night without my boyfriend at home thinking about how someone could know I’m alone.
I’ve cried walking home, scared that someone was waiting for me.
If you are a woman you’ve probably shared all these experiences, probably nodding your head and agreeing with every statement. Then you’re probably thinking the same as me, I’ve had enough.
Why do we have to be someone's daughter, someone's sister, someones’ mother to be appreciated in society? Why can’t we as women just live our lives in peace?
We’re told we’re not brave enough, we’re not doing the right things, we should know more about keeping safe when really we should be teaching men that it is not okay to abuse, stalk, threaten and harm women or anyone in that matter.
Don’t come to us with your ‘not all men’ shit because we’ve heard it time and time again and were tired of your excuses and the gaslighting you put us all through.
I hate it, I really hate living this way because recently we’ve seen such a movement for women and we’ve been telling each other we're strong and independent and we don't need a man. Well actually sometimes I don’t feel strong and I’m scared of simple things like walking to my car in the dark and of late nights at work and being alone. It hurts me to admit, I hate not having a man with me if I’m out and about and if you know me you know how much that hurts me to admit. I don’t like to depend on people but I must if it means keeping me safe.
Although, sometimes that isn’t always the case. I’ve been on holiday and standing beside my boyfriend as men winked at me or whistled as I walked by, even though they could clearly see I was with my boyfriend.
Then we get the “it’s only a wink or a whistle, calm down!” As if I’m not allowed to enjoy my holiday or my walk without being sexualised.
If you are making excuses for these behaviours then you need to understand you are part of the problem. This problem isn’t going anywhere until we teach men that they don’t get the right to control us and that we must do more to make women safe.
Once again, it infuriates me that we must have to do these things rather than them being just how we live.
I’m also not going to thank men who treat women with respect because why should I thank you for being a normal human being? Nobody thanks women for living and breathing. So don’t demand that just because you’ve been a good little boy you deserve our thanks. Just keep doing what you're doing.
I’m glad women are speaking out and telling each other their stories and it’s horrible that we have had to come together because one of us was murdered.
But what I would like to also share is your trauma does not define you. If you have experienced a horrific incident or even just something that did not sit right with you, do not feel the pressure to share. Nobody should demand you share your trauma as we all have different ways of coping.
Just always know, there are women who may be experiencing what you’ve gone through so when you are ready to open up, we’ll be there to hold your hand.
Instagram: @auldy _