Yesterday, Bab and me and Ms V (yes I wrote that so it rhymes) went to the park. While Bab was crawling around making as much noise as she could, Ms V and I noticed a couple behaving...a little oddly. The male partner was lying partially on top of the lady involved, and kissing her face, while she lay rigid and kept saying "get off me."
Now I know there's fooling around and pretending you don't want someone's affection, but something about the way she was lying so awkwardly and stiffly just shouted to me that she was uncomfortable. I tried to mind my own business for a little while, and the female partner pushed the guy away and they sat up... but he kept trying it on with her and she kept telling him to leave it. There was just something about the way he was...creeping on her that wasn't right, so, bigmouth that I am, I had to go say something.
I think I approached it as well as I could; I just said
"Sorry to bother you, I don't mean to interrupt, but the lady seems to want you to give her a break."
But his response got my back up a little; he kept saying
"Trust me, she's kidding."
She said, she wasn't, timidly and maybe half seriously, and he said
"It's not like I'm molesting her or anything"
She interrupted that with something along the lines of "pffft."
But he then said it again.
"Trust me, she's kidding."
And I told him no.
"No offence, but I don't trust you. I don't know you, and that doesn't make you a bad guy, I'm not saying you're definitely doing something wrong, but she seems to be pretty serious about you letting up a bit.."
She mumbled that she was joking, looking at the ground, and I apologised for intruding, and for sounding like I was having a go at the guy, and we left.
But something just struck me about that situation as being not right. When he was telling me she was joking, he wasn't looking at me, he was staring at her, as if he was trying to intimidate her to agree with him, and he kept pulling her close to him even though she was resisting. Maybe I took it all wrong, but something about the way he was so overbearing just made me step in, something about the way she was just flatly repeating "get off me"; no giggling, no squirming playfully, just rigid, stiff posture and monotone voice.
I think this little incident says a lot about our culture - and can I clarify I say "our" despite the fact that the couple were Muslim - and the way that women are still viewed as feeble and unsure of what they want by some members of society. More people than we'd care to admit still have that kind of sexist attitude, however they disguise it. These people need to accept that no means no whatever your gender. Because no matter how strongly you say it, if you say it once that should be enough.