‘Women are psy­cho­log­i­cally weak’

Woman (UK) - - Talking About -

Sam Brick, 46, lives with her hus­band, Pas­cal, 56.

As a young teen wait­ing at a bus stop, I was ap­proached by a man who grabbed me around the waist, at­tempt­ing to touch my breasts. I could have cho­sen to see this in­ci­dent as a sex­ual at­tack, but I saw it for what it was – a man chanc­ing his luck.

That’s why I haven’t joined in the end­less #metoo sto­ry­telling. To me, the ma­jor­ity of the ac­counts are sim­ply so­cially awk­ward oc­ca­sions – mis­in­ter­preted sig­nals. Women aren’t do­ing them­selves any favours in pick­ing over these in­ci­dents – when men didn’t be­have at their best and when, if we’re hon­est, we prob­a­bly didn’t either.

There is an enor­mous dif­fer­ence be­tween a vi­o­lent We­in­stein-style preda­tor and a guy in a bar clum­sily ask­ing you out or slap­ping you on the bum. But as the days have gone by, I’ve had my Face­book time­line clogged up with at­ten­tion-seek­ing women whin­ing about in­ci­dents that just don’t com­pare with vic­tims of sex­ual war crimes or slav­ery.

Go­ing over oc­ca­sions when we’ve felt un­com­fort­able be­cause the wrong type of bloke ap­proached us is ridicu­lous. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to ac­cept bad be­hav­iour. I poured a drink over a man to cool his un­wanted ad­vances. But I fought back. It didn’t trau­ma­tise me.

And as the cam­paign shows no sign of stop­ping, it’s the men I feel sorry for. I sus­pect most will be ter­ri­fied to ap­proach a woman with­out be­ing vil­i­fied.

Women have al­ways been phys­i­cally weaker – that won't change. But #metoo has shown that we’re psy­cho­log­i­cally weaker, too. For ev­ery woman who has posted a story of their so-called ha­rass­ment, I want to equip them with the life skills that have made me a sur­vivor. If a car comes to­wards me I jump out of the way. If a bloke is a pest, tell him to move on. It shouldn’t make you a vic­tim – un­less you want it to. #metoo? Not me.

‘Men WILL be ter­ri­fied to ap­proach a woman’

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