I assaulted someone today.

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.

Perfect.

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.


shalom xo

 

Advertisements

WE’RE ALL SLUTS HERE

Damn, Shalom! Back at it again with the posts about slut shaming!

(the first one is here.)

Celebrity news is not my niche. It’s not. I have very limited interest or time in and for it. I’m not big on hero worshiping people you think are your friends because they let you see into their lives by means of one of the biggest online platforms in the world. I don’t have any kind of allegiance to Zoe Sugg, or Kim Kardashian. At all.  I am, however, interested in slut shaming & double standards. And by interested, I mean fed the hell up.

Now, I’m not sure if you follow the happenings on the internet the way I do, but we’ve established that I spend 90% of my time on here. Recently, Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella (of YouTube and Girl Online (strong opinions about ghostwriting & lies surrounding said book) fame) posted this photo to her Snapchat (?):

Why #WeStandWithZoe was trending on Twitter last night

source: zoella / snapchat

The world’s Most Reliable and Truthful paper TM, the Sun, then did what any good and trustworthy paper would do: they published the selfie in their online newspaper with the Least Clickbaity Title Ever TM:

Capture.JPG

And so it began. The article called Zoe out for “trying to widen her fanbase”(?) and essentially gave her several virtual slaps on both of her wrists for being the sluttiest slut to ever slut. In her long sleeved shirt & Calvin Klein briefs. Yowza. Hide your kids, hide your wives – Zoe Sugg’s belly button and upper thigh are changing the world and hurting your family.

Did you catch the dripping sarcasm? I hope you caught the dripping sarcasm.

The Sun is a very stupid paper that makes me very tired. In my Media and Society lectures, we talk about the tabloid, and how ridiculous it is. Basically. We study the media effects as well, but we spend a good portion of time lamenting The Sun. Sydney @ Love, Sydney is a die hard Zoe supporter, and made this post with all of the right reasons to back Zoe in this stupid stupid time.

Zoe’s fans, friends, and other supporters had things like this to say, and #WeStandWithZoe was trending within a couple of hours:

a.JPG

From this all, we can deduce that the people who had made these comments are body positive people against slut shaming, and believe that “skin is just skin” and that Zoe shouldn’t be ashamed for loving her body, yes? Okay. Now, another picture:

kk.JPG

Shalom! Stop spamming us with this, this — this is unacceptable! How dare you give her any more attention! Kim Kardashian is teaching our children how to be — this! She is objectifying herself! She has only gotten anywhere in life because of her body! This woman is a slut! Her children will see this one day! What kind of a woman —

Okay. You be quiet.

To have such a double standard – does it make sense to you? To quote Zoe’s supporters, ” being confident and loving your body IS NEVER A BAD THING”. Sydney’s post reads,

We should be teaching the younger generations self-confidence, and to love there bodies and that we shouldn’t need to feel like we need to hide ourselves. We definitely should not be teaching them that it is okay to slut shame and tear people down when they do have to confidence to post a picture no matter what they are wearing.

Mmmmm. Okay. Are you picking up a discrepancy between what’s said by supporters and what Kim received? I mean, Zoe’s supporters are enraged because, “why is it so shameful to show skin?” Surely, Kim should have received the same support? The ethos is the same, isn’t it?

I’m pretty sure you’ve picked up my position on this matter. I don’t believe in slut shaming. I have no time for it. I have no time for selective defence. I am not here for shaming one woman who clearly loves her body, and supporting another who does the same.

Stop slut shaming, y’all. It’s 2016.  It’ll be 2017 before you know it, and I’m going to make another post like this. I can bet money on it.

Love and light,
shalom xo

 

SLUT|| the identity series

Recently, I’ve been thinking more about who I am,  why I am that person and what it means in terms of the way that I live. “Recently” is issue sensitive- some I’ve been pondering for a year, and others for closer to eight. Either way, this is what it culminates in: a series of posts concerning something vital to my being: identity.


Okay, so that title wasn’t what you were expecting.

To be honest, it wasn’t what I was expecting either. I had no clue I was going to write this post, until I scrolled down my own instagram profile. (Also, Shalom posting twice a week???? She definitely doesn’t have two serious exams in the next four days, like maths and physics!!! She’s so not procrastinating out of panic!!!!)

I was publically slut shamed for the first time twenty-two weeks ago.

Slut-shaming is a form of social stigma applied to people who are perceived to violate traditional expectations for sexual behaviors, commonly applied to women and girls. Some examples of circumstances where women are “slut-shamed” include violating accepted dress codes by dressing in perceived sexually provocative ways, requesting access to birth control,[1][2][3]having premarital, casual, or promiscuous sex, or being raped or otherwise sexually assaulted (which is known as victim blaming).

(thanks, Wikipedia.)

slut

this is taken directly from my instagram, and the caption was, ” ‘who are you getting cute for?’ MY DAMN SELF. Happy Friday, pals!”

Don’t get me wrong, it had happened before. Just never to this extent and to the point where I was affected enough to change something I did every week (i.e go to youth group) for five years.

I wore this outfit because I felt good in it. I liked the way my legs looked. I love that red sweater because it belongs to a gorgeous friend of mine (Sorry Shivs, you’ll never get that back, ily) and I think of her every time I wear it. I felt great, and I was going out to an event with a group of teenagers (13-19) and all was well.

Until I got told I was “asking for it”. That I was “distracting the younger boys” and “being irresponsible” with my body. Until I was informed that “you’re not supposed to dress like a slut at church”.

Yes, I went to church.

It’s safe to say that after that fateful Friday night, I didn’t return to Youth for weeks. “Matric is just so busy,” I’d tell everyone. It’s whatever. Onto the point of this post:

I was slut shamed because I was comfortable with myself for the first time in a long time and other people were not. I was slut shamed because I am a female and due to my gender I have been sexualised since my birth. I was slut shamed because my extreme “irresponsibility”, which was manifested in the exposure of probably 40 centimetres of leg and my stomach, is not appropriate around “the younger boys”. I was slut shamed for how I dressed and it is bullshit.

Here’s the thing about reclamation, people: once it happens, the people who once used the word in question negatively no longer have any functional power over it.

Screenshot (202) Screenshot (203)

The word slut is being reclaimed. It’s happening,and there is undeniable proof: slutwalks happen all over the world, and Tumblr is having none of anyone’s crap. There’s a thorough description of what slut shaming is and why it’s not okay here.

In brief? I’m the slut of the hour. And I’m 101% good with that.

love and light
shalom x

I AM HERE FOR MYSELF ||the identity series

Recently, I’ve been thinking more about who I am,  why I am that person and what it means in terms of the way that I live. “Recently” is issue sensitive- some I’ve been pondering for a year, and others for closer to eight. Either way, this is what it culminates in: a series of posts concerning something vital to my being: identity.


FreshPaint-22-2015.08.17-09.49.50i am here for myself

A while back, my friend Casey set her WhatsApp status to the following: “Radical self-love. I am here for myself.” The words stuck with me and have been swimming around in my head next to my history coursework and a massive section of differential calculus that I don’t understand. What does it mean to be there for yourself? To be here for yourself? I wondered, and I said that sentence many times in my head before I said it out loud. Until today.

Time: the present. It’s the day after my first exam. I’m at the store, browsing the biscuit isle in preparation for the food coma that comes with the sadness after a maths exam. I stop at the Oreos, consider them, and decide anfainst them. Then, I get cat called. In. A. Supermarket.  Are you kidding me? These men- at least 25- whistle at me and start speaking to me — A HUMAN BEING IN A SCHOOL UNIFORM CLEARLY INDICATING THAT I AM MORE THAN LIKELY A MINOR– and don’t get the message that I’m uninterested.

One of them asks to buy the Oreos for me. I smile and say, “No, thanks.” He says, “Come on, I’ll give you a treat and you can be my treat.” I stop smiling. I say, “No, thank you.” He reaches for my phone (by the way, be very glad that I am behind a computer screen because I am furious) and says, “Give me your number, baby girl.” I say, “No. I’m spoken for and you make me uncomfortable.” He gets upset, obviously, because he throws the Oreos.

Needless to say, I left the biscuit isle.

Anyway, after this incident, I went back to the biscuit isle – BECAUSE I FRICKEN LOVE BISCUITS OKAY?- and two men who work at the store talked to me. In essence, they said: “That guy wanted to buy you a big box of Oreos and you said no, and now here you are buying a tiny pack of biscuits.

I don’t know why, but at this moment, Casey’s words clicked.

I looked at them and said, “I’m good. I don’t need him or his biscuits. Radical self-love, man. I am here for myself.”

It should be noted that I flipped my hair and sass walked away. It was like a movie. It was fricken GRAND.

Long winded Oreo saga aside, my point is this: independence is a huge part of my identity. Whether it’s objecting to cat calling or refusing things from others, it’s all me.

I am here for myself. And I always will be.

love and light
shalom x