COMMENT: Why we are ALL that lady in the purple dress


When I think back to my first year of college, there is one distressing memory that always stands out: being set upon by a group of drunken male students at a mystery tour.

Having them close in around me until I was invisible from the rest of the dancefloor revellers, then feeling their hands groping whichever body part tickled their fancy.

I was too weak to push them away, and I'll never forget that feeling of helplessness as they all copped a good feel. It all played out in the space of about a minute, before they drunkenly stumbled backwards to release me, laughing and high-fiving.

Do you think anyone took a tap of notice? Of course not, because 'boys will be boys'. It's just part of that old 'locker room' culture, right? The one that Donald Trump would use as an excuse for thinking it's OK to grab a woman by her genitalia like he's grabbing his morning coffee.

hillary clinton smh over it are you kidding me shaking head

A year later, I woke up to commotion in my student house, as two of the girls came home from a night out. One of them had found herself physically pinned to the DJ box at a club by a group of guys who had had the hots for her since Freshers Week.

She wasn't interested, and made that clear time and time again – and they chose to take their frustrations out with physical intimidation.

Then, there was the time I found my backside being groped at a bar. Yer man took quite the shine to my choice of leggings, and he simply laughed at my protestations while being egged-on by his friends.

In the end, I got so enraged that I actually turned on him and went all 'Red Ross'. His reaction? This 'man' had to be physically held back by his friends – he didn't like the fact that I couldn't take the 'joke', and he was actually about to get violent with me.

Angie Tribeca annoyed tbs rude come on

After that incident, I remember momentarily chastising myself for choosing to wear leggings out, instead of a pair of jeans; that I was basically asking for trouble by putting my bum on show in a form-fitting piece of clothing.

Yeah, that thought lasted all of five seconds, before the rage overtook my sense of helplessness and frustration.

Because, you see, I'm a person; not just a piece of ass.

GIPHY Originals wtf what eww are you kidding me

I'm not any great beauty; but the thing is, it doesn't come down to our beauty – external or otherwise. As women, we are the victims of sexual harassment simply on account of our gender – and that HAS to stop.

How many of you read those opening paragraphs and recalled a similar incident from a night out? I'm going to go out on a limb and say A LOT.

And how did that exchange end for you? Did you get an apology? Did someone come to your aid? Or were you left fuming/crying to yourself for a day or two, before you shrugged your shoulders in defeat and put it down to that good old 'locker room' culture?

Yeah, same here. In fact, it's the same for thousands of women all over the world, as evidenced by the 'NotOK' hashtag that has accompanied some truly harrowing stories of sexual harassment – all in response to the 'Trump Tapes'. 

As women we are also daughters, sisters, friends and partners; and it follows that the outrage from men has been just as strong. However, when you read these stories and recall your own experiences, it's hard not to acknowledge that there are a lot of males out there who look at a woman and only see a 'p***y', or at the very least only consider that part first.

donald trump skeptical weird confused debate

There has been a lot of hate-rhetoric spewed by Donald Trump over the past few months, and while much of it is just breeding yet more hatred, his comments and actions have definitely fuelled some important conversations.

Aside from the odd eejit defending this latest trash (here's looking at you, Nigel Farage), there have been some strong responses against Trump's implied stance on sexual harassment – not least actress Amber Tamblyn's shocking personal testimony.

Who knows what will follow, but the conversation is what's important right now – and EVERY SINGLE PERSON who is touched by this issue needs to add their voice to the mix.