on tits and ghosts.

There’s this Italian deli near the cafe I work from most days, and I like getting lunch there.

I go to the gym every morning on weekdays and don’t go home to change afterwards, so the owners of the deli had, for a long time, only seen me look my worst; sweaty, greasy hair, no make-up, cheap trainers, old -tshirts I’d previously worn as pyjamas.

I enjoyed their food but started getting a bit annoyed when, after weeks of going there, the men working behind the counter still wouldn’t recognise me, or respond to my cheerful hellos and goodbyes, but would still warmly greet some of the other regulars.

A few weeks ago, I temporarily stopped going to the gym, and so my outfits changed; in came the dresses, lipstick, and brushed hair.

The mood change was sudden, and I was bleakly amused to see that now, the men behind the counter would say hi, say bye, call me bella and remember my orders.

The winks then followed, and so did the lecherous stares, even if I saw them out the deli and in the streets of the neighbourhood.

You can’t win.


A few years ago, I worked for a media company I won’t name. Most of my friendship group there consisted of women, and all of us were in our early twenties, mid-twenties at a push.

One of the men above us — several levels above us, in fact — was a creep. He had clearly decided to focus his attention on a few of us, and would caress their thighs on work nights out, purposely stare at their breasts and grab them by the waist.

The issue was discussed, we weren’t sure what to do, and eventually the women it’d happened to talked to one of our bosses, who talked to him, let him know that people knew, told him to stop. He continued.

He didn’t just continue groping those young women; he also kept on ignoring the ones he didn’t. The relief of not being one of his targets was bittersweet, as it meant that he would pay no attention to us at work, even ignoring us as he walked past our desk and we said hi.

He ended up leaving our media organisation, and went somewhere else. I’d like to think he stopped being a creep when he did, but who am I kidding?


Being sexually assaulted is traumatising at best, life destroying at worst. The men who abuse their power and position in the media, in entertainment, and everywhere else are the lowest of the low.

Something I hadn’t seen discussed in light of recent events is how they treat the women they don’t seek to abuse. In so many cases, men who sexually harass women struggle to register the existence of those other women, the useless ones.

In a professional context, this will lead to women missing on work opportunities, not being considered for jobs they damn well deserve, and not having their thoughts and opinion taken into account, all because of the crime of not being considered fuckable enough by predatory men.

There is absolutely no doubt that one of the scenarios here is far worse than the other, but escaping from the threat of being sexually assaulted doesn’t even mean that women will get to be treated as human beings.

Some days you’re the tits, some days you’re the ghost; you really can’t win.

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