What I want the men who called me a ‘whore blogger’ and abused me at a football match to know

It was the World Cup final. My friend and I walked into the pub and sat on the table next to all of you. We were chatting away and taking selfies, too busy in our own world to notice anyone around us. Unfortunately, you noticed me. “You’re that blogger, aren’t you?” was the first thing I heard. I turned around to face you all. Five men, I guess in your late twenties. I said hello and asked your names. ‘You told me “blogging isn’t a real job” – words I’ve heard many times before’ None of you wanted to share that information. Instead, you told me “blogging isn’t a real job” – words I’ve heard many times before as a woman who writes blogs about sex and relationships. I smiled politely and turned back to my friend, making it clear we were done speaking. But you weren’t.

I heard one of you say: “So let me get this straight, you f**k people and then write about it?” and all of you laugh. I pretended not to hear as you shouted “dog”, “whore blogger” and other misogynistic names at me. A couple of people asked you all to calm down and just watch the match. But none of you were interested in the football – the game was now attacking me. My friend and I decided to get up and leave. As I did, one of you threw a pint of beer all over me. I stood there drenched and humiliated, holding back the tears as you all laughed and cheered: “Wash the c**t away!”. Shaking, I quickly left the pub and walked back home with my friend, both of us stunned by what had taken place. What happened might have been a bit of entertainment for you on the day; for me, it was a nightmare which brought back memories of an abusive relationship I still undergo counselling for.

The abuse you directed at me is something I’ve experienced many times over, in different forms. Since I began blogging about sex and relationships, I’ve received horrible emails from men and had abusive Facebook statuses written about me. Some have asked if I am “f**king my way up to the top” (which is interesting, because most of the editors I work with are female). I know all too well that harassment is endemic. Whether it’s online or offline – it’s happening to someone right now.
Last week, Marie Laguerre was attacked by a man in France for challenging lewd comments he made at her. Her response has been to speak out about the incident and set up a website which allows other victims to tell their own stories. Franch lawmakers have since passed a new bill against street harassment. ‘Now I’m speaking out in solidarity with her and the women across the world who are challenging harassment head-on, in all forms’ What you did to me left me too shaken up to try and challenge your behaviour on the day. Now I’m speaking out in solidarity with Laguerre and the women across the world who are challenging harassment head-on, in all forms. By putting my face to this I want you to know I won’t be intimidated into silence, nor forced to stop writing. Not least when there are so many others like Laguerre working to make sure you know your behaviour and attitudes have no place in our society.

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/opinion/comment/what-i-want-the-men-who-called-me-a-whore-blogger-and-abused-me-at-a-football-match-to-know/

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