We Too

We Too …

I was 12, I think, I do not remember the date. I had gone through puberty and was developing breasts. It was a Saturday, that I know, because the Hunt used to meet in the village and I was a horse crazy kid that had been out there every winter, seeing the horses.  There was a man who parked his horse box on a piece of land across the road from our house, and I saw him every winter. That day was different, he called me back into the horse box to show me something – but what he wanted was something else. He started to fondle my breasts and told me how pretty they were. I was scared. My Mother had always warned me about Strange Men – but this was not a strange man. I knew him. Then he took hold of me and he was kissing me with his tongue in my mouth … I broke away somehow, I do not remember but I ran, out of the horse box away from the horses, away from him.  I did not tell my Mother, I did not tell my parents, I felt sick, nauseous, all twisted up inside and was terrified that people would “see”.  I don’t know why I felt that way, I just did. We, my parents, my brother and I, went to an ice show that night, something I would normally have enjoyed, but I was like ice inside, I said very little, watched without seeing, wondering if it showed, but nobody noticed. Would I recognise his face if someone showed me his photo? No, I would not – but I remember his name. I will never forget his name.

When I was 14, my best friend and I were adoring helpers of a young man old enough to own and drive a car, and he was restoring one in a garage on the family property.  We would spend time down at the garage helping him strip paint off the car, and for a treat when his friends would come from another town we would be taken to a pub, riding in the back seat of the car, which was a convertible. It was fun. Oh, don’t worry, as we were both under age we were left in the beer garden with a lemonade, just as our parents would have done.  One day that summer he invited my friend and I to go with him to the house and took us up to his room in the attic, what for or why, I do not remember. I do remember him pulling me down on to the bed. I tried to get away, he would not let me go, my friend watched and giggled. I had no idea what he wanted but I was afraid, and I struggled, but the more I struggled that harder he held me down. My friend watched and giggled. I knew it was getting late and my Mother would be waiting for me and I must have started getting hysterical because he let me go. I don’t remember the date, just the year. Did I tell my Mother? Of course not! She would probably have slapped me and told me I should not have been there in the first place.  The young man and my friend would probably have said it was all in fun, but was it? I do not know. Writing this, I now wonder. My friend was a year older than me, she was 15, and we moved from Sussex to Buckinghamshire that summer.  I never saw either of them after that, but I kept in touch with my friend for more than a year with regular letters. The letters stopped after she wrote to tell me that she was getting married. At age 16.

After we moved I was transferred to a new school since it was in a different county 100 miles away. I hated it there, it was a co-ed school and I had previously gone to girls only schools. It was a culture shock!  Teenage boys that were lewd and crude using words that I had to look up in a dictionary – no, I did NOT ask my parents! They made my life hell, knowing that they could get under my skin with indecent questions and suggestions. It was made worse when they joked with each other as if I were not even there and made suggestive hand gestures. There were no physical assaults, but their attitude was certainly indicative of the kind of men those boys would become, and how they would treat any women that they met. Their fathers and brothers were probably the same.

A few years later, I had been working in London and travelling every day and thought perhaps a job in Birmingham would require less travel time so went for a job interview that sounded promising. No, I do not remember the date, or the address or even what the job was about, but I do remember what followed.   The interview had taken longer than I expected, and I missed my train home. The next train was not for another three or four hours. The boss’s girl friend suggested that I go back to their place rather than wait at the station.  We had something to eat, but I do not remember what, and things went downhill from there.  The conversation became background noise and I became more and more uncomfortable, especially when “the boss” started drawing cartoons of an enormous penis with hairy testicles! I said it was time for me to catch the train. “Oh dear, the clock must have stopped, you had better stay here tonight!” They did let me call my Mother to tell her that I would not be home that night, but it soon became obvious that I had been “selected” – but not for the job I expected. The man became angry and aggressive when I resisted – and slapped me.  He left the room for some reason and his girlfriend grabbed me and told me to get my coat, we ran downstairs where she opened the door, pushed me through and said GO!  I went to the railway station and waited there for the first train out and went home. My mother was surprised to see me at the door. Did I tell her what had happened? No.

As the years went by there were many other occasions where my “date” expected more than I wanted to give, and I learned to take precautions so as not to be in a position of risk when I did not know a person well. That did not help the day I had been to a house party given by some friends but did not take my car as somebody else had given me a ride. My boss asked a business associate to give me a ride home. I knew the man from work, and gave it no thought when he walked me to my door, and came in. I asked if he wanted some coffee but what he wanted was to pull me down on to the couch. I played for time and fell off the couch while trying to figure out what to do next, he pulled me back on to the couch – so I pretended to be drunk! I was stone cold sober but playing drunk was my only ticket out of there. I pulled the slider on to the deck open and let my dog in “What are you doing?” He has to go out I told him, or he will shit. Using that word for maximum effect. So, we left my apartment and I walked the dog, turned around and ran up to the door rushed inside and slammed it shut. He pounded on the door yelling for me to open it. I did not.  Did I tell his friend, my boss? No, I pretended I did not remember anything, even who took me home. Do I remember the date? Did I write it down? No. Why would I?

Then there was the time when someone I knew asked if his brother who was from out of town, who I also knew casually, could sleep on the couch downstairs and I agreed. Around midnight, I was woken up by my bedroom door being opened. The brother walks over to my bed, gets on top of me and shoves his tongue in my mouth. This time I was not playing, I bit it – hard! You should have heard him scream. I grabbed my clothes and my keys and ran out of the house and down to a local bar/restaurant that did not close until 2 am.  When I finally made my way back home, he was gone. Did I tell anyone? No. Do I remember the exact date? No.

What would have been the point of telling anyone?  Did I have any witnesses – or did he?  Which of his friends would have refused to back up his story when he had just backed up theirs?

No, the “me too” movement is not the reality – “WE TOO!” is the truth.

© Stephanie Hunt-Crowley

01.10.2018

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Splash screens

Another one bites the dust – I went to a familiar website this morning – and I hate it! Just like others that have been “updated to be mobile friendly” I was met with a huge splash screen that filled my whole laptop screen – I cant imagine what it would look like on my 23 inch monitor.  After having to scroll down past the useless splash screen, and then another and finally getting where I wanted to go to find the information I needed, scrolling past things I didn’t need to read but useful for first timers, my finger had tapped the touch pad more times than I cared to count.   It occurs to me that we need a new name for the problem computer users will be facing as our forefingers become overworked, abused and inflamed. It was back in the days of the Blackberry that the term “Blackberry thumb” was coined for the arthritic thumbs caused by thumb typing. Which term do think would be better “Tapping finger” or “Flash finger” syndrome? Personally I think the second is rather apt ………. when using the second finger because the forefinger needs a rest ……

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Telephone troubles

What happened to all those phone calls – is That Woman not doing her job …. ? I was wondering that myself.  Until this morning ……..

Yesterday I needed to call the USA,  a friend had a family emergency and I wanted to give my support, but the line was constantly busy.  I tried to call another friend, and that number was busy too! Well, that happens, but when the same thing happened with the third call, and the fourth, all different area codes in different States, something had to be up! So I called the phone company and explained the problem.  Yes, they would have it checked out as it could be a fault on my line.  This morning a technician arrived with his truck, and checked my phone line, then we tried to make a US call with my phone, then with his phone. WE had a problem! He made some calls to his company and asked them to check on the problem  – and finally he told me that I was  not the only one! It was a “technical issue” that affected a lot of people !

Later this afternoon I was able to call my friend, yes, the call went through, and I was left wondering what would have happened if  I had not called or if they looked up my number and said …Its That Woman again! 

 

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What was old is new again …..

    That woman has been busy unpacking those boxes and has not been keeping up with her notes.   Then today she hears about the latest flurry of objections to the use of the word “man” in the English language and is reminded of something she wrote over 20 years ago …..

THE EMYNCIPATION OF LANGUAGE

     Does changing the spelling of woman or women to womyn make us any more emancipated? Oops, its the “m” word again – I should say emyncipated.  I have often wondered why women should have to be those who had to change the spelling of their gender classification – why not the myn? Or would it be more fair if the change were to be global and womyn and myn should BOTH be spelled differently? But then, we are back to square one and someone will object to womyn being named after myn. Of course, in this situation myn would have been named after womyn so I guess that might be OK. Since one can also say that the word man is a shortened version of woman perhaps we should find a way of adding to the term “man” in order to achieve true parity.

     Those of a procreative persuasion can see WOMAN as derived from the womb, so should we perhaps call our male counterparts PEMEN? This would definately give us gender equality. Then we could acccept the term HUMAN without further alteration. Otherwise, if we are to object to the syllable MAN, we need to revise the language as we have done for Chairman to Chairperson and refer to the HUPERSON race – but why should it be the SON? This is too male oriented, we could of course ask why not the HUPERDAUGHTER race? Again, we have still not rendered the word gender neutral, perhaps HUPEOPLE? Or maybe we should just go back to Latin – Homo Sapiens. Oops! Homo means man….oh dear, we really must do something about HOMOgenized milk…….

.     Perhaps it WOULD be better to have a woman and a peman – unless someone can come up with a better idea. It would allow us to have women and pemen as Chairmen and repairmen, we would have no problem with manual laborers, managers or even manufacturers. It might help enough to become mandatory…….would anyone like to help me write the manual?

(c)  Stephanie Hunt-Crowley 1997

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I am back !

It took  while ….. After much correspondence and a couple of discussions over the telephone – a miraculous thing happened! The Wi-Fi network reactivated itself!  There was no advance notice, I was told they were “working on” my situation, well – something worked!  It was four full months from the time the network was disconnected. The connection is slow – but it works! Which is much better than sitting in my car on the side of the road, or in the parking lot at a grocery store – and I am now in the process of trying to catch up. I don’t mean just the internet, but my life in general.  For four months I was spending time driving back and forth just to collect my e-mail!  It would also have been the perfect time for taking an on line course during the long dark evenings, but that was not to be. I have to give thanks for the miracle, and now move on to other things! There are a number of things still to write about, and she has a reputation to keep up 😉 !

That Woman has also decided to start a new blog – about her experiences, the rewards and challenges of a major move.  You will find her here ….. That Woman – In France!   She will have a lot to say, so some will continue to say “It’s THAT WOMAN again!!”

 

 

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Another year later

This site has changed a lot in the interim so I may have to come back and do some edit … however, the past year has been a learning experience and That Woman has been plagued with difficulties which prevented her from doing what she wanted to or needed to do – write! Access to the internet was difficult, due to lack of any wired connection and the speed up or down was SLOW!  Then on the night of September 30th, it all changed.  A month later I wrote the following:

As some of you may know, I have been accessing the internet via wi-fi at this house since I moved in here. The phone line is an old analog line not even capable of DSL (Digital). The phone lines will be upgraded to fibreoptic at some point, and in the meantime I leased a wi-fi mobile connection (Airbox)- from the phone company. Sadly, it was working, poorly but working, up until midnight on September 30th but at 6:00 am on October 1st there was no internet access. It took 4 days to find out that it was not my individual problem, not my laptop, not my dongle – the Airbox (which works perfectly 30 minutes and more from my home in specific directions) – it was the network which no longer covers where I live or the surrounding communities. We are now in what is called a “white zone”.

There are a couple of places I can go within 30 minutes (each way) of my home and use public Wi-Fi, or the establishment’s own,  but cannot abuse the privilege by staying too long. I can drive about 30 minutes and sit on the side of the road in my car on the top of a hill where I can get access, or I can drive one full hour plus (depends on traffic or delays) to a location where the manager says I can sit there as long as I want or need. I cannot do this every day.

I now have a paper map on my wall, and with the aid of the website sensorly.com I no longer have to drive around the countryside looking for wi-fi access and am circling 4G access points on the map. I had already started circling the communities with no access – if I had the time to drive around and complete the pattern, I would.

I have written the appropriate letters to officialdom but so far nobody can tell when how or when the fiberoptic upgrade that was promised for 2017 can be completed within the next 3 weeks!

That Woman is getting just a little irritated ……

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One year later …..

Since my last post That Woman has been gradually opening those boxes ….. and during the year that passed, lost access to this blog.  That Woman was not happy but left it for another day and created another blog! That worked well – until today ….. when the lost password link gave me access to THIS blog, so here I am, back again. But, yes, there is a “but” – a very big “but” –  I cannot get into the OTHER blog which was, and is, important and needs to be worked on! Wish me luck!

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