Newt In A Tea Cup

{July 30, 2007}   Why, yes, they do bounce. Get over it.

As I finished work at about 2 o’clock today I decided to hang around town a bit, get a few chores done and finish penning a letter to a friend who is working across the country and without e-mail whilst sitting in a coffee shop. There was a fun fair on and I decided to go on a ride because I was stressed and, face it, I’m ultimately a child when it comes to stuff like that.

I go on the Helter Skelter- It’s a bunch of cars that spin around on the spot as they go around the ride and up and down on the wooden slats which undulate.

I’m wearing a long heavy skirt and as I walk up to the ride and sit in I jokingly turn to the guy putting me in and say “I’m not going to flash everyone, am I?” He replies cheekily “I wouldn’t mind.” I laugh- I kind of did feed him that one and I’m used to that kind of flirting. He didn’t go beyond the line I set in my question so I didn’t mind.

And then he starts bouncing, lightly jumping, on the wooden slat. This makes the car I’m in bounce. Thus making me bounce. Thus making- you guessed it, my boobs bounce. Noticeably. He looks down a me and, from his face, the intuition that women develop about this stuff and just the fact I’m not stupid , I know that’s exactly why he was doing it. To watch my boobs bounce whilst there’s nothing I can do because I’m sitting beneath him, strapped into a ride. He keeps on doing this and positions himself behind me. The ride starts slowly at first and he notices me looking quizzically at him – that quizzical, frozen smile look – and he says;

“They bounce quite nicely, don’t they?”

So not funny and so not talking about the plank of wood. So he sticks by me, as the staff is doing- given an extra spin to the car when they slow down and an extra bounce every so often.

I’m feeling seriously nauseous and not from spinning, I’m trapped and my breasts (which have/are growing due to some freaky late puberty thing so having them remarked upon is strange in itself) are starting to hurt. I feel so angry that somehow he’s taken my body and cut it apart like I’m a piece of tissue in a lab and he’s prodding me for a reaction I can’t control and yet can’t stop producing. He turned my breasts and my body into his objects completely disconnected from me. I felt powerless and that in itself is a violation.

And yeah, that’s a risk you get from Living Whilst Female and I’ve had stuff like that before and it’ll happen again. But it still ruined the Fair for me and it still made me, if only for a second, hate my body and the fact I have breasts. And that is wrong.

Fuck him.


Ew, yuck. Glad you have an “arseholes” tag. Sorry to hear about that.
I think that laurelin wrote about this once, how if a woman is street harassed that she often reflexively blames herself for appearing too “sexual”. I know I’ve done it, too.

Kirsten says:

Fuck him.

Too right. No-one has the right to make you uncomfortable in your own body.

tcupnewt says:

I have a feeling that “arsehole” is going to become a rather popular tag…
We all have enough going on with the uncomfortable body front before we even touch down with that kind of crap! Especially at eighteen! (Damn you late development, damn you!)

Kirsten says:

On a side note, a few of my friends have had the crazy late development thing too. They stop growing eventually, I promise.

Richie says:

Urgh. This is why it annoys me when guys claim that women have it easy because they can manipulate men with their bodies.

Liz says:

Yuk, horrible. I’m sorry this happened to you.

Grace says:

Wow Newt, what a bastard! Don’t suppose there was anyone to complain to? Or anyone who would care anyway?

i used to get comments when I was about 17/18, I don’t so much now, I don’t know if that’s because my chest doesn’t look particularly big compared to my hips at the moment, or just that sleazy guys are being sleazy in silence! I still notice people looking, and I quite often get random men saying hello to me – which I would love to believe is just a genuine rare niceness that I wish I was brave enough to bestow on strangers, but given the looks that accompany this hello (and once an extended and awkward conversation about ‘friendship’ and ‘getting to know me better’ despite best efforts to appear busy with ipod AND phone – and this guy had followed me from the library to just round the corner from where I lived at the time which is about 100-125 metres) I know that’s not the case!

Sorry you experienced this Newt, and no doubt you haven’t been the first and won’t be the last that that guy will have intimidated in that way. No one should ever be able to make you feel ashamed of your body, and yet, whether it’s socially ‘ideal’ or ‘desirable’ or not, somehow people succeed in make you/others feel that way!

I’m 20 so by patriarchy’s definition I’ve been “fair game” for a fairly long time. I was thinking about this blog post today and I realized that I police my own movements, so that I don’t appear too sexual even when it’s not my intent. I’m careful about how I take a coat or sweater off (so it doesn’t look too stripper-y), I don’t bend over to pick things up, play with my hair or lick chapped lips, etc. It’s terrible and it’s stupid, but I suppose it’s a defense mechanism I’ve developed to avoid harassment (and sometimes it doesn’t even work).

Michelle says:

Fuck him, indeed. That’s awful!

[…] also the matter of women not having control over who decides to sexualise them and when; Newt tells the story of some guy who treated her like complete shit literally just because she had b…, which doesn’t reall suggest of power or control, to be […]

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