Boobs. Breasts. Chesticles. Norks. John and Paul. Whatever you want to call them; they’re everywhere you look, and God love ’em, they’re great.
They’re all a bit of fun; they’re soft to play with, they’re portable comforters, and fortunately, I have learnt to love mine (after spending years comparing them to traffic cones and mouses noses throughout puberty) I now feel proud to wear them on my chest, as two protruding examples of my femininity and curves.
Pride. That’s exactly what I feel. If I so wish, I can wear a bikini, or a low cut top, and let them be. Yes they’re ample, but I’m by no means a page three cleavage – wielding babe. So me and “my girls” get on with our daily lives without thinking much of it, dressing them how I wish and never really getting any unwanted attention.
Last night I went for a drink with a beautiful girl I had met here in Bali. We were talking over some wine about our experiences here in paradise, and I was picking her brains, as she has 5 years of Indonesia under her belt already. I was exclaiming at how remarkably safe I felt here as a solo woman, especially coming from traveling Central America, where I felt quite the opposite. She was agreeing, and saying that generally speaking, this is a very safe place to be. So I was quite shocked when she told me that she was once victim of a drive-by groping, on one of the busiest roads in Seminyak, in the middle of the day.
She told me she was sat on her moped in traffic, and a man drove past her, reached out and grabbed her breast hard and purposefully. Not that it should make a difference, however she made a point in telling me she was wearing a big jacket and not showing much skin (however even if she was in a bikini, this behavior is obviously wildly inappropriate and sickening).
I was shocked, as my experiences so far here had been so pleasant. I in no way felt threatened by sexual harassment; if anything quite the opposite. So today, when I had a rather similar experience regarding my very own Danny DeVitos, naturally, I grew even more disgusted.
I moved into my new apartment in Canggu, right by the beach and in the center of everything earlier this afternoon. I’d just finished unpacking and wanted to take a walk around the block, picking up new household necessities such as soap and what-not, before coming back home to nest some more.
It was late afternoon, and as I passed Deus Ex Machina, one of my many new local bars, seeing happy, smiley people walking in for their Sunday night sessions, a big smile spread across my own face, as I appreciated what a lovely part of the world was currently my home.
And as if my internal monologue were being read out in a narrative from a movie, this was about to quickly change. I saw about four mopeds quickly zip around the corner, approaching me, filled with a mix of local teenage boys and girls, presumably on their way back from the beach.
They were laughing and shouting amongst each other loudly, when the bike spearheading the group, suddenly clocked me, and started steering to the other side of the road, the side on which I was walking.
It all happened so quickly, and in a moment of panic as they started getting closer and leaning in, I could only presume they were after my handbag, which was strapped across my body. With that thought I took both my hands and grabbed my bag, anticipating it being ripped from my body any second now. However, instead of feeling the strong jerk of someone pulling at my bag, what I felt instead, was much more upsetting, and much more invasive. I felt the hands of two teenage boys lean in and squeeze my breasts really hard and forcefully, whilst laughing, literally right into my face, before speeding up again and driving on. Not only is this act itself absolutely hideous from a sexual point of view, but on top of that, it really, really, f*cking hurt. My breasts were grabbed in such a rough and aggressive manor, from two boys on a moving bike; it’s hardly going to tickle.
To make matters worse, shrieks of laughter instantly ensued. Stunned, I looked behind me, as the four mopeds of teenagers were looking at me, hysterically laughing as though they’d just spent an evening at an Eddie Murphy show. All mopeds were carrying young girls on the backs, who then proceeded to make the classic “wanker” hand signal at me, inbetween a few middle fingers, which I happily reciprocated whilst my face was, hopefully, portraying the vile sickening feeling I was currently experiencing.
That’s the worst part about all of this. Yes, those boys are loathsome and gross for their actions, and they should be ashamed, and I only wished I had a moped myself at that point on which to follow them and really make a point about how they would feel if someone did that to their mothers or their sisters. But the thing that really, truly left me with a bad taste in my mouth and a heavy heart, was the fact that these girls were so involved, and so entertained by the sexual harassment of another female.
I just wanted to scream at them everything that the Spice Girls ever taught me in my youth about Girl Power, and on a more serious note, that making fun of, and degrading another woman, only allows men and boys to think it’s even more ok to act in such a lewd way. These silly little girls actually made my eyes water with sheer frustration at their stupidity. Everything their sisters from around the world have fought for, and indeed still are, becomes more jovial and trivialised by their behavior of such ignorance and idiocy.
Frustratingly, as they were on mopeds, none of my feelings will ever be known by them, so obviously the only way to vent is to take to my computer and to write down how I feel about what, for them, was such a little joke and a mindless act, but for me, put a total dampener on what was a really beautiful day.
Of course, my immediate feelings towards them were of violence and rage, however I can only hope instead, that the next unfortunate woman they do this to, has the means to turn around and really explain to them why this isn’t funny. Why it’s not laughable to make a woman feel self conscious walking down the street, having taken an innocent walk to the shop, or in any other situation for that matter.
Yes, I am the first to exclaim my love for boobies. I think they are great fun, and should be embraced, loved and appreciated, in whatever shape and size they come in. But that joyous feeling I have about boobs, takes a somewhat dark turn when it comes to sexual harassment. And it sickens me even more to think the next generation of girls are being taken on drive-by gropings by their pubescent boyfriends as some kind of a sick sport. I can only hope that these boys and girls do some growing up, and fast.