Saturday, May 20, 2006

Pressing Charges

It had been a nice evening. I hung out with my friends at a pot-luck dinner, and then went to visit another friend. I was happy, relaxed and heading home, but I made a mistake.

You see there was a Hurricanes game. Not just any Hurricanes games, but a semi-final. I have a rule about going to town when there's been a rugby match. The rule is don't do it.

But I went to a petrol station, it wasn't quite in town, but it was definately on the edge of town. It also had an open McDonalds attached, so it was pretty busy. I was waiting at the counter, mostly ignoring the very drunk guys next to me. One of them was threatening to call the police if their problem wasn't fixed (it may have had something to do with a phone card). They appeared to be done, but they weren't going anywhere. So I asked them if they were done. The guy who had been yelling at petrol attendant said he had, and kind of moved over.

Then he slapped me on the ass.

I turned to him and said "Don't fucking hit me." He replied "You're an angry bitch." After that I asked for his name and he very inexpertly gave me a fake name and offered to pay for my food. I walked out angry; I walked out furious.

Just today I was reading Biting Beever's post about what had happened to her in a petrol station.

Obviously it's not the first time a man's hit me on the ass non-consentually.

Why do I live in a world where the first word in that sentance is obviously? I'm sick of living a world where my body is an object for other people to enjoy. That man saw a womanand believed that my body was his to do whatever he felt like. I'm terrified of what else he would do, how he would act in other circumstances.

I want to do something more.

I don't really know what. I could lay a complaint with the police. I'm not particularly fond of the police, but it's the only way I could find him.

What do other people think? Is it worth the effort? Is it OK to involve the police given that I hate them?

14 comments:

  1. i hear you Maia - a friend of my partner´s used to slap me on the arse on a regular basis - i asked him to stop, he did it again, so i slapped him on the cheek and he never did it again. i hate that i had to hit him and i hate that i had to even tell him not to in the first place.

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  2. Hm. How will the police find him if he gave you a false name? If you think they'll find him then it's worth it. I am glad to hear you challenged him there and then. I think a bit of public humiliation will do him good. I think women need to publicly humiliate men more often who demean them.

    Because I live in Canterbury, I don't go into town on Friday and Saturday nights, full-stop. I purposely avoid going anywhere on nights when the Crusaders are playing. I was invited to a friends birthday party in town a few weeks ago, and I went, but I didn't enjoy walking from my car to the bar (less than 100 metres).

    It's awful - I've lived in a lot of places and cultures, and I've never felt as unsafe in the streets as I do in Christchurch, New Zealand.

    I blame NZs scary, fucked-up drinking culture for this, as well as blatant sexism.

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  3. Oh, how horrible! I'm so sorry this happened to you. It fills me with rage that some people feel entitled to touch women's bodies. I don't know whether it's enjoyment of the actual touching, or enjoyment of the intimidation, or enjoyment of the fact that they know they'll fucking well get away with it, but I hate it. I doubt the police would do shit, to be honest.

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  4. I think that even if you could present them with a name, an address, security-camera footage of the incident and sworn testimoney from a dozen witnesses, the police would laugh at you and regard the crime (and it is a crime - assault) as too minor to be worth bothering with and "not in the public interest" to prosecute (though even if they did, it would likely result in a caution, or at most community service). Which is one reason why such behaviour continues. People just don't make the connection between "hit someone on the arse" and "assault".

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  5. I'm sick of living a world where my body is an object for other people to enjoy

    An unfortunate soul attribute, but I think you'll agree it's one of the best, if you think twice.

    Yeah, you don't need to engage the police force every time someone slaps you on the ass. You need to be able to handle situations like this for yourself or else not go out without a parent or a guardian to supervise.

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  6. Why are you telling Maia that she should learn to deal with being smacked on the bum? How about telling sexist, entitled men to deal with the fact that it's totally inappropriate to smack women? Rather than berating women for feeling intimidated, why not direct your scorn at the men who intimidate them? Why sneer at the victim rather than the victimizer?

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  7. Rick I'm sick of your bullshit. Please don't post on my blog again. If you do I'll delete the comment

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  8. Rick: because he is a jerk who thins the strong should be allowed to victimise and abuse the weak. The reason we have police - and indeed, society rather than a Hobbesean State of Nature - is to prevent that from happening.

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  9. Sophia, IS,-

    Out of respect to the owner of the property I wont correct you or say anything more until Maia says I can.

    I'm zipped.

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  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  11. Good riddance too.

    http://contributionz.blogspot.com/2006/05/public-service-announcement.html

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  12. I think you did a good thing to go to the cops about it. Milt is right, if it isn't reported then it basically didn't happen.

    Just as a side note I do think women need to be more agressive and develop a don't fuck with me attuide. If men sense fear or weakness they are going to take advantage of it. I've had to learn how to develop that living in Korea, and I've found that since I've learned how to put the assholes in their place, the advances have lessened in terms of frequency and severity.

    So while yes, men need to stop abusing women. We also need women to stand up to men.

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  13. you whaattt? gonna lay a complaint for a sexual compliment social tapsmack on the bum

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  14. peterquioxte you are banned from posting on this site, I will delete any further comments. I'll leave your comment up so people can see why.

    Stef: I was at a petrol station at 1am in the morning. I don't think I should have to waste my energy on a 'don't fuck with me attitude' to stop myself being assaulted every time I go out in public.

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