I BEAT UP A FULLY GROWN MAN TODAY AND NOW I AM TELLING YOU ALL ABOUT IT.
I’ve had a lot of trouble with banks this year. It’s only the end of March, but I have been to 5 bank branches (mostly for the same reason), and I’ve been annoyed to the same degree when leaving each of them.
I was at a branch today (that had free wifi and lovely sofas and no queues and the most beautiful aircon I ever did feel), and I left after hearing that my card was locked because someone at a previous branch didn’t give me a form to fill out. I felt fantastic. Amazing. I love having my money locked in a card that I cannot use.
On my way to the mall where I would later meet my sisters, a bakkie (pick up truck?) carrying 13 guys stopped at the red light where I had stopped. I was catcalled (annoyingly, but expectedly) and then, I was yelled at for “seducing [them]”. In my floor length skirt and tank top, my arms (aka the mistresses of seduction) did some serious damage to these guys.
Nonetheless, I kept walking. Earphones in, head down – you know the drill. Until one of the guys climbed down from the truck and started walking next to me.
He did some more catcalling, perhaps believing that the proximity would help his cause. I ignored him. He yelled at me, called me a whore, called my mother a whore, and asked how I dared to put myself on display and then reject his advances.
The logical thing to do would be to get the hell out of there. Heaven knows why I did what I did next.
I stopped walking, took my earphones out and said, “If you touch me, I will hurt you”. He laughed, and grabbed my wrist.
Then, I kicked his ass.
Look, a childhood obsession with Totally Spies and three years of Kickboxing don’t go unnoticed when an annoyed Shalom finds herself in the company of threatening men. They just don’t.
I pushed him over when I was done, and said, “I told you not to touch me.” He swore at me (and my mother) again, and I walked away.
I’m currently in a café, drinking a chamomile tea and looking like the calmest calm person to ever calm. I don’t look like someone who left a grown man lying in a heap on the ground.
Honesty, though – for how long will girls have to take self defense classes so that they can go to the mall? How long will the idea that men on cars have rights of access to women on the street be perpetuated? How many more people have to kick their way out of a violent encounter?
I am so tired. I am tired of this. I am tired of having to fight because I am female. I am tired of “she was asking for it”. I am tired of “what was she wearing?”. I am tired.
If you’re reading this, you owe the world better. We owe the world better. I don’t know how we’re going to fix this, but we’re going to.