Can’t you take a joke?

 

I am 37 years old. During my lifetime, I have been seriously sexually assaulted, sexually harassed, groped and told I have ‘beautiful blowjob lips’. I have been bartered over, whilst present in the room. “Suck my dick, and I’ll pay for your dinner,” “I bet you’re a right dirty bitch,” “You look like someone who can handle a cock,” are just a tiny example of things that have been said to me.

I am 37 years old. During my lifetime, I believed many of these things being said to me were compliments. I believed all the uninvited assaults and harassments were my fault. I believed that objecting to these assumptions about my character made me boring and unlikeable. The times I did speak up, I was silenced with five innocuous words. “Can’t you take a joke?”

I am 37 years old. I have finally realised the power of these words. I want my daughter to understand these words. I want my daughter to understand where the blame really lies when she inevitably hears these words. I want my daughter to not be afraid of these words like I always was.

Many won’t understand that what they are saying is belittling, hurtful and archaic. They may believe that their words are a joke (or ‘banter’, whatever the fuck that means). They may accuse you of being over sensitive and/or lacking a sense of humour. These people lack the intelligence to even begin to understand. They are fucking idiots. However, their idiocy doesn’t provide them with a free pass to go through their lives causing hurt and anguish to other people.

There will also be those who know they are in the wrong. They will use words to see how easy it is to knock you off balance, to make you believe it is your fault for taking it the wrong way. To make you believe you somehow deserved it. They will know that a line has been crossed. They should feel ashamed but whether they do, I don’t know. All I do know is, they will try to pass the shame onto you. They are fucking cowards.

I am 37 years old. For the rest of my lifetime, I will not be afraid of those five words. I will defend my body, my self-respect and my right to object. I will push back against misogyny and sexism with the fierce female determination I inherently possess. I will not carry the burden of shame gifted to me by fucking idiots and cowards and neither will my daughter. I have a voice. It will no longer be silenced by ignorance.

10548067_10152925942771340_5929066606645941827_o

 

Sex education for your five year old: what not to say…

My husband and I made a pact to never lie to our kids. We quickly learned this was an idiotic pact as we informed our children that the local soft play was closed. Again. (How they earn a living, I’ll never know *inserts winky face).

We changed the pact to never giving misinformation to our kids. The pact needed to exist because my husband still thought thunder was created by clouds banging together, despite gaining a physics a-level, and we didn’t want our children to feel aggrieved later in life by incorrect facts they had been told, just to shut them up.

Death? No problem. I stick to the facts. We return to the earth and feed the flora and fauna in the same way it feeds us during our lifetimes. “But I don’t want you to die, Mummy,” my five year old says forlornly. “We all die. But hopefully by the time I die, I’ll be really old and you will have spent a good few years wiping my bottom for me as I won’t be able to use a toilet any more…or not even know my own name for that matter.” See? Facts.

Sex education? Easy. Simple facts. No need to go into details of who has to sleep in the damp patch. Just cold, hard facts. But I don’t have to think about this right now. My eldest is five. She won’t ask about the birds and bees for at least another two years.

Five year old: “Mum…when I grow up to be a lady, I’m going to have lots of babies. *Thinks for a moment* How will I get a baby in my tummy?”

Shit. Really? Shit. Ok. Facts….seed. Seed in tummy. That’ll do.

Me: “A seed gets planted inside your tummy and a baby grows.”

Lame. Really lame.

Five year old: “Do I eat the seed?”

Just say yes. Eating the seed is good…Hang on…NO! NO TO EATING THE SEED! 

Me: “No…ummmm…I tell you what…get your pjs on and we’ll have a little chat about how babies are made.”

Good. Stalling. I like it. Load up DisneyCollectorBR on youtube and she’ll forget all about it.

Me: “You know…it’s not inevitable you’ll want children. Lots of people decide not to. Both your uncles have decided not to have children. Your body. You can do what you want with it…and if that means not having children, then fine.”

Female empowerment. I like where you’re going with this…

Five year old: “So, how do I get a baby in my tummy?”

You carried on talking. Why did you do that? The feminist cause could have waited…

Me: “So…you know girls have…”

Use it’s proper name. Use it’s proper name. Say Vagina. Say it.

Me: “…minnerwins…”

It’s ok. Minnerwin is fine.

Me: “…and boys have windles…”

Well, you’ve said minnerwin now so it’s utterly pointless saying penis. You dick.

Me: “…well…the windle goes inside the minnerwin hole…the hole that bleeds…and puts a seed inside the tummy which meets with an egg and grows into a baby.”

What the actual fuck. The hole that bleeds? Why? Why? Why?

Five year old: “Do the seeds already have names on?”

Amazing question. I bloody love her so much. I love her for completely bypassing ‘the hole that bleeds’.

Me: “No, my darling. The seeds are inside…well…you know the…ball bags under the windle? They’re inside them. There’s no names on them. They’re blank.”

Are you fucking out of your mind? Ball bags? Did her question even require this explanation? No. Just stop now. Stop talking. Get DisneyCollector whatever the fuck her name is on youtube and shut the fuck up.

Five year old: “So…does that doctor that looks at babies on the computer see the name?”

Me: “No…the doctor might be able to see whether it is a boy or girl but the baby comes out without a name, unless it’s mummy and daddy decide on a name before the baby is born. We knew you were a girl and named you long before you came out of my minnerwin.”

Five year old: “Babies come out of minnerwins?”

Fuck.

Me: “Goodness…is that the time? I think it’s time for sleep now. Goodnight.”

Follow The Camel Via Happy Medium Mothering on Facebook.