sexism is a social disease.

On my way home from the tube tonight I was assaulted.

I'm ok, calmed down, unhurt. But I was grabbed, by a man, because he wanted my attention, and then he kissed me, his hands still on my shoulders to keep me from getting away. And I froze. I didn't hit him, because I was shocked, and just wanted to get away, and I guess if I had been more scared I may've attacked. But I just felt incredibly triggered and my brain just said "getawaygetawaygetaway".
I was very aware that I was walking to a dark bus stop, on my own. Afterwards, I was very aware that there were guys all over the place- one there, two over there. Another guy, not 5 minutes after the first, started to hit on me- thankfully the boy answered my text and called me, at which point guy #2 moved away.
I'm not easily intimidated. I'm a big girl. Normally, I feel really comfortable asserting myself. But tonight, I felt shaken, and worried, and uncertain. 
And you know what really hammered home?
This doesn't happen with my clients- my clients are respectful of my boundaries. It didn't happen because I was dressed provocatively- I was wearing baggy jeans and a granny sweater. This guy didn't know what I do for work. Nothing.
This happened because I was a girl, in the street at night, on my own.
And that's what pisses me off so much. I was seen to be available for such things because I was on my own. Saying I had a boyfriend did not deter guy #1 by the way. The grab and kiss happened AFTER I had said no, and that I had a boyfriend, and that I had to get to my bus stop. Didn't matter. 
I have NEVER dealt with this in London before.
Oh, apparently in London I'm not allowed to carry pepper foam, or a taser. Nope, just a rape whistle! Or a convertible weapon, like keys, cause I guess they can't prevent you from carrying that. Awesome. I'm going to consider keeping a brick in my purse. 
It's the second fucking one I've dealt with in.. two weeks? And I'm not just angry about the assault. I'm angry about the response I've gotten before when I've complained about male privilege. This is not "poor manners". This is not some guy "wanting to talk to a pretty girl". This is assault. When you say or indicate it's some sort of misunderstanding, you are blowing off sexual harassment. And it is seriously not fucking ok. I'm not "making a fuss out of nothing". I am calling male entitlement out.

Got it? Good.

If you have dealt with assault, or if you're someone wanting to learn what to do if someone says you've violated their boundaries, or otherwise feel you could benefit from resources relating to learning good consent and challenging rape culture, check this out.

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