Photo by Garry Knight (garryknight; Flickr CC)
I think it's pretty unfair, how people are always going on about how bitchy women are.
"Girls being girls," they say. "Or girls being bitches." The Germans call it Stutenbissigkeit. I think it's really unfair. Men are real bitchy to each other half the time, too. They have these arguments, where they argue about music or politics or something, and really it's just Stutenbissigkeit, only they're men. It's really exhausting, actually. And then they beat each other up! Men are always physically attacking each other. Girls hardly ever beat each other up. Apart from on Jerry Springer. And we're the bitchy ones?
I was thinking about this at the Slutwalk yesterday. It's not like there were no boys there – there were lots of boys there, lots of straight boys too – but it was mostly female. And it was so… nice. The atmosphere was so... NICE. The police were so chilled out. Someone gave me a bindi. Everyone was nice to each other. I've never been to such a peaceful demonstration in my life. Are women really that bitchy? I think we're pretty fucking NICE to be honest.
We'd been planning on getting a bit violent actually – me and my Australian friend, Diane.
"We need to get people's attention," she'd said to me, a couple of weeks back. "We need to make these bastards realize how angry we are."
"I've got a good idea," I'd said. "We can get a big picture of Dominique Strauss-Kahn and just, like, burn it. Like how the Arabs burn the American flag. We'll just burn him."
"And we need to smash up Alice. If we see any Alice stores on the way, we'll smash them up."
"Okay," I said. "And we can dress up like chambermaids. Hey, wait a minute. Didn't you change from Deutsche Telekom to Alice only, like, three weeks ago?"
"Well, I had to," she said. "They are the cheapest Anbieter. The cunts."
But in between those best-laid riot GRRRRRRRRRRL-style plans and the Slutwalk demonstration came the London riots, and me and my friend Diane realized what law-abiding citizens we were, deep down.
"Let's not smash anything up, huh, Jacinta?" Diane said to me. "Anyway, the insurance will just pay for it all."
"Okay," I said.
So we walked along together, me, and my Australian friend Diane, a friend from England, another girlfriend from Australia, one from New Zealand, one from Sweden. The other Australian girl persuaded me to take my top off and walk along in my bra. She wrote the words bitch, slut, cunt, woman over my body.
"It's a bit hard. writing the word 'woman' on your stomach," she said. "The skin's not quite as smooth down here."
"Yeah, I know," I said. "That's my squidgy Caesarean gut."
I felt kind of awkward and self-conscious with my squidgy Caesarean gut hanging out to be honest. I kept on feeling decidedly non-feminist whenever I walked past photographer with big, expensive cameras. I kept on sucking my belly in and imagining myself on the front page of Bild on Sunday morning.
After the demo was over, we walked past a sign that read: "Jede 3. Frau ist von sexueller Gewalt betroffen worden." My friend from New Zealand, she's just so gloriously non-integrated, I love it. She's been living here for approximately 1 million years, and she still can't speak German. It's like she's trying to physically force Thilo Sarrazin to admit that the Turks aren't that bad.
"What does that mean?" she asked.
"Every third woman's been affected by sexual violence," I said.
"Oh, I belong to that statistic," said the New Zealander.
"Me, too," said the Australian.
"Me, too," said the English girl.
"Me, too," said Diane. I didn't say anything. Diane turned to me.
"You, too," she hissed urgently.
"Oh, yeah?" I said, halfheartedly.
"Yeah, remember what you told me happened to you once?" she said.
"Oh, you mean on the train."
"And that other thing."
"Oh, yeah," I said. "Me too."
"Jacinta," said Diane. "Don't let them push you out of the Betroffen von sexueller Gewalt gang."
"Okay," I said. I put my top back on. The sun was going down and I was starting to get cold.
"Honestly," said Diane. "Sometimes you're just not assertive enough, Jacinta. That's what your problem is."