Men and Predatory behaviours

Predatory men – I have recently got back in the dating game and as a gay women in these times have been forced to use dating apps.

What I have been angered by is the amount of men who are on a lesbian dating apps, if this isn’t an example of predatory behaviour by men I don’t know what is.

Even though my bio explicitly states I’m not interested in men they still insist on contacting me and get offended when I tell them about themselves.

Some men even disguise themselves as women on these apps as friends have told me, what is that about??

I don’t believe women go on gay male sites and pretend to be men, correct me if I’m wrong.

These type of men are purposefully abusing women spaces in order to prey upon vulnerable women. This alone should show the the type of low level misogyny that goes on in our society as well as the disrespect and arrogance men have towards women. The fact that men do this shows the confidence they have around their abusive behaviour and no fear about being held to account for this predatory behaviour.

As for the dating apps, why aren’t you doing things to stop this abusive behaviour.

What makes you as a man think it’s acceptable to do things like ‘up skirting’. Touching women without their consent, rubbing up against them on the tube, etc.

These are not behaviours perpetrated by women but are regularly perpetrated by men. This is why I teach what I teach in order to give women some tools that might help them protect themselves in these situations, but women should not have these fears.

Stand Up To Misogyny

So here we are again having the same conversation about female security and the abuse women suffer on a daily basis. The statistics are rolled out again and we all looked shocked and disgusted and talk about change, yet nothing happens. I am so tired and angry of having this same conversation all through my life and fighting this issue on a constant daily basis.

Labour MP Jess Phillips reads out the names of women who die on a daily basis in the house of commons, she needs to be recognised for doing something productive.

But otherwise the usual faces are rolled out in the media and the usual stupid and inappropriat questions are asked which distracts from the issue.

“More young men die on the streets than women on a daily basis”, firstly what the f-ck does this have to do with the abuse and death rate of women. Secondly it is still mainly men doing the killing and thirdly this has nothing to do with the misogynistic abuse and killing of women that is rife in most if not all societies regardless of race and culture.

So women when asked these questions stop apologetically explaining why the killing and abusing of women thats systemic in our society has nothing to do with the killing of young men. These are two separate issues.

Instead ask the interviewer why the fuck they are linking this question to the daily death rate of women, like that fact makes it less important. 

The other trope that is constantly rolled out is, “but not all men are abusers”, again getting women to apologise and justify and make men feel better again by having to say, “no not all men are abusers”. Feel better now men…..

Again another form of taking away and distracting from the issue that it is men that mainly kill other men and men are the misogynists that attack and abuse women on a daily basis, I’m not apologizing for saying that.

Women stop trying to make men feel better and start understanding your patriarchal beliefs and mindsets that keep you in the same position, so instead of holding your abusers to account you justify and mollycoddle them.

Get angry like the women who fought for female equality and voting and start demanding change in your life and what you see around you. 

Stop justifying this shit for men, because this is what happens and is exactly why nothing changes.

Let’s be clear the reason why we don’t have bank robberies 3 times a week or women killing their abusive partners more regularly is because we have severe sentences for breaking these laws.

The question is why do we still not have those kind of severe sentences to protect our women and children

Why does the criminal justice system still insist on making sexual assault and rape laws against women so hard to prosecute.

Why do the police and criminal justice system still treat the women like their on trial.

We then look at the effort put in by the CPS to convict a woman like Caroline Flack of domestic violence but can’t manage to prosecute most men for the same abuses or get justice for the majority of women when it comes to rape cases.

Wounded Teachers

I spent a lot of my childhood and adulthood angry and defensive. I learnt to externalise my pain rather than internalise it. This meant instead of being angry with self I would get angry with others, much to my own detriment.

People who I describe as wounded healers helped me find a better way of dealing with my pain and anger.

M & M is a prime example of a wounded teacher, his songs talk about his  battle with ‘self’ & ‘Self’, the ‘I’ and the ‘me’. He is then able to put this battle in verse which not only helps him, but helps others relate to these themes of anger, depression and pain as well. This can give others the ability to recognise their own behaviours and hopefully encourage them to change or seek help.

Other singers I respect for this is Dave a UK rapper who talks about his mental health, his experiences of being black and growing up on a council estate, he deals with social and political frustrations of poverty and racism. I use examples of singers because I believe music is one of the most potent and accessible forms of art that crosses all boundaries and can cater to all tastes. This allows people to personalise their pain and to feel as well as understand their emotions and wounds that may be causing negative behaviours. 

There are other artists such as 2 PAC, Bob Marley, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye and Lauren Hill’s album ’This Miss Education of Lauren Hill’ are earlier examples of artists but M&M was the first artist who I could relate to on a personal level of anger and self destructive, non politically correct thoughts that he would express through music. While I acknowledge that the way these singers sometime express themselves can be offensive to some, I don’t have a problem with things that may offend as hopefully it can encourage people to think. 

Not being someone who reads a lot, or considers them self an academic, I found other ways to educate myself when it comes to personal experience, I found people who I could relate to. 

Don’t get me wrong education is important but a lot of books are written from theory and not personal knowledge or experience. An example of this would be a scientist writing their theory on drug addiction compared to someone who has personal experiences of the highs and lows of drug addiction. 

I like to describe traumas in terms of wounds and scars, as like a wound you have to care for it to help it to heal and like any extensive wound it leaves a scar. Scars are the physical reminder of the damage caused, because although it heals it never goes away. The damage can also cause imbalance in the body, just like an emotional or mental scar and may need redressing later as some injuries can flare up every now and then but with care you can address the issue to relieve the pain and suffering and keep it from debilitating your life.

The bigger the injury the harder the work for rehabilitation, but as we’ve seen with people who use that healing process to help others heal (as in artists previously mentioned), they can appreciate their scars and injuries after healing as wounds that have made them stronger. 

What it can also do is make you more aware or hyper sensitive to the behaviours that caused the pain and fear in the first place and observe it in others. Scars can also lead people to develop a victim or abusive mentality, but it can also encourage individuals to become a fighter of causes or healer of wounds.  

Those who are ashamed of their scars try and hide them from the world which can cause internal conflict and shame and lead them to repeating the same negative behaviours, we see this in people for example who have been brought up in an abusive household and then go on to being in abusive relationships themselves.  

For some they get angry every time they see their wound or have their scars pointed out to them and tend to hit out at the people who reflect or reveal their wounds. This type of individual can be in constant defence mode and feels the need to protect their wounds. This is done in one or two ways, abusing others or abusing self. 

Wounded healers are needed because people and society can be unsupportive and judgemental and willing to condemn rather than understand and help change, I don’t believe anyone is born evil.

I brake it down into two groups, first being those trying to empathise and understand others, second, judging others without looking at the causes of someones behaviour. This doesn’t mean allowing or accepting abusive behaviours but having understanding and awareness of those behaviours so they can begin to be solved in individuals and overcome in society. 

Sexually abusive behaviours and domestic violence which continue to flourish in the world are good examples of this. Societies as well as some individuals tend to blame the victims instead of properly discussing the abusers and why abusers of these crimes still perpetuate them today. Proper discussions or reasons for why these behaviours still exist are not properly dealt with in our societies, media, homes or laws. 

#Kungfufitness

#kungfufit at Victoria Pk

#kungfufitness – Wanted to give a shout out to the ladies who have stuck with me for a while now. Since I started the group at the request of one of the mums who lived in the area I have seen women come and go. Not being an easy going trainer, I expect full commitment and am not someone who minces their words, some have found this difficult to contend with.

The ladies who have stuck it out have improved greatly from when they first started with me even though they only train once a week. Their commitment has shown improvement in fitness, skill and confidence. They train in all weathers without any complaints.

Originally they only came to improve their fitness levels and enjoyed meeting up as a group, but if I am going to teach kung fu as fitness I also wanted them to learn practical skills of defence as well, which they have done. So well done and thank you #kungfufit ladies.


Herstory – My Continuous Struggle for Equality

When I started down the road of training I was lucky on two counts;

1 – I didn’t think like the average female of my time

2 – I had a training partner and best friend who also didn’t think and behave as the average women of that time

What do I mean by this?

Well women of my era was taught and believed they could not compete or compare to men when it came to training, fitness or strength.

Although I’ve always been good at sports the advantages that are around for women now was not around for me when I was growing up.

Also as I didn’t come from a supportive childhood background I wasn’t encouraged to pursue it either, but I believe everything happens for a reason.

Sporting abilities came easier to me than the average person, I was a fast sprinter, good at competitive sports and was always picked for the school team, most of the girls in my school couldn’t compete with me when it came to physicality and only one girl could compete with me when it came to sprinting. 

I will say however long distance running was never my forte. I loved football and enjoyed the more physical games of the playground and because I was what they called then, very ‘tomboyish’, I spent my time playing with the boys in my school. I would join them in football as well as games such as British bulldog, if you’ve ever played it you know how physical it can be, I would be the only girl amongst my male friends. I discovered very early on in life that I could compete with the boys in my school and very few beat me and most were scared of me due to me being a bit unstable at that age and willing to fight anyone who upset or angered me. I carried this observation and experience through into my adulthood and always saw the strength in women that wasn’t unappreciated in society. We give birth after all.

In my late twenties I decided to do a course in recreational sports and playgrounds. At that time I met a women like me, before that I always saw myself as a misfit in society, and here was another women like me. We got on very well together and became good friends which has lasted even to today, she was my saving grace.

She introduced me to weight training and I also got into kickboxing. We used to push each other to be fitter, stronger and faster, we had healthy competition and didn’t limit ourselves like other women did. We had total belief in our abilities and was willing to compete with any men, both in the gym and our individual dojos.  

What I discovered over the years and through training is the only limitation to your abilities is your belief in yourself. 

Over the years I realised that I didn’t have to follow the patriarchal dogma the most women just accepted and that my differences were good and offered me a confidence that most women I met at that time didn’t have. The patriarchal dogma that kept women back and in their place, making us believe that as women we are not as physically strong as any man. As well as that there were things that women shouldn’t or couldn’t do because it wasn’t lady like, well I wasn’t lady like anyway, and although I may not be as strong as every man I was stronger both physically and mentally than most. I could compete with men when it came to fighting and lifting, I didn’t need to be as strong as every man but strong enough to compete physically and mentally and hold my own meant I didn’t believe in this dogma. I also learnt that strong men confident in their masculinity wasn’t intimidated by me and appreciated my abilities.

However what I have confronted all my life is men who perceived my physical appearance and lack of intimidation, as well as daring to put myself on equal footing or above them physically, would feel the need to challenge me or puff up like a peacock whenever they was around me.

On one such occasion a woman that I was dating took me to meet a couple of her male flat mates. We had met in a bar and there was female rugby on and they were laughing and being disrespectful about the women playing and how they were playing, insulting them and saying they could do better. So I challenged them on their comments and beliefs around female rugby players. They didn’t like this, it would seem they hadn’t been challenged like this before by a woman, so losing the battle mentally tried to win it physically and decided to challenge me by getting me in a bear hug from behind. So I stamped on his toe, I felt him flinch but he pretended that it didn’t hurt so I pretended to stamp on it again but stamped just by it. Let me tell you he promptly let go and flew backwards falling over a chair, the next day that foot was so bruised he was limping, then he tried to make out he was only playing and I took it too seriously, so my question to him was ‘what was you playing at, and why he felt the need to do it’. 

I have always found this with men who aren’t secure of their own masculinity and don’t like that a women may be more capable than them. What I should say is this is mainly heterosexual men and women, the gay community are already outside of these patriarchal norms so aren’t so willing to accept them. Thats why I’m so displease that gay women of today seem to have lost this privilege by being pulled towards heterosexual norms.

The moral of my story is I learnt to fight so I would not be intimidated by any male, as certain men don’t like to be challenged by women intellectually or physically. 

Even when I haven’t won the fight I don’t just put that down to gender but skill and they know I’ve been a good challenge and don’t take me for granted again and I use it to learn how to get better. Isn’t that what life about, facing challenges and learning from them, not fearing them. 

The history of women in sports wasn’t good, women weren’t encouraged to do sports because it wasn’t lady like and they weren’t physically built for sports. An example of this for me was being told to do push ups on my knees because proper push ups would damage my reproduction organs, while encouraging the young boys in the dojo to do full push ups. Once I pointed out I had been doing full push ups for years and have a perfectly healthy baby girl and telling the rest of the women in that class that this is designed to keep you weak and in your place, I walked out.

Nowa days women have come a long way with equality but not far enough, they are still controlled by patriarchal ideologies around training designed to keep them in their place and not on an equal basis to men. 

This is done through body design and muscle structure which affects women’s abilities, we see this with such sporting talents such as Serena Williams who was ridiculed for muscular structure for years and  Caster Semenya who has naturally high levels of testosterone and made to take drugs to reduce it before she can race, while at the same time allowing trans women who have had all the privilege of being born male can compete. Can we not see the hypocrisy here.

As with the fight we had to endure and still endure in educating girls and now we outshine boys in education, means we should not judge our abilities on myths and dogma but judge ourselves according to your abilities and wants. 

I am not saying that you have to take this on board but as a woman don’t denigrate me for not taking this false truth about equality on and not accepting the limited ideologies of femininity placed on us. This we see whenever women dare to enter what was previously seen as male fields like the army. It’s women who challenge the possibility of other women being able to function and excel in these roles. I would ask you not to limit other women’s capabilities because you limit your own.

I will always fight for my equality not only financial, educational or domestic but also physical. Just think how far we could get if we didn’t have these out dated beliefs around female body type, strength and muscle mass.