So. I’m doing that project for fun – Inktober. And all my pictures are of women from history.
The other day, someone over on my instagram feed jokingly commented that they’d like to see more men.
More men. Well, always a welcome thought, attracted to them as I am.
However, I’m not at all attracted to men who slow down behind me in their vans and shout things at me, making gestures and leering. And yes, I am wearing jeans and yes, I do work out, and yes, the sexiness that is a welcome benefit of being strong and fit does make me look pretty hot.* And your problem is?
It’s hard to ignore the talk about this at the moment, what with the guy Weinstein in America and what is undoubtedly the tip of a vast iceberg of misogynistic bad behaviour that has probably been going on since the dawn of time.
And indeed, my girlfriend and I were swopping tales the other day of what has happened to us over the years, and what continues to happen.
And no, I do not want to come over to your car for a chat. I am going to the Post Office. It’s unlikely that I will change my mind, get into your passenger seat and have sex with you. Back off.
How can this have been part of my life since I was 16? Some days, it is no less scary than in those first days, when I thought it was somehow my fault I was attracting this attention.
Now, let me get this straight. I *really* like men, and the men I know are largely kind, funny, talented, respectful – in fact, deeply encouraging of me and everything I am.** And the men I have chatted to online through my blog and social media have so far been the same (as far as I can tell, through words on a screen). Lovely, thoughtful, beautifully polite, a pleasure to work with and for, and simply share a smile with now and again.
I thank you, men. You are great, and you represent what is good in the world, and give me hope for future generations, even in the face of current politics and power and presidential posturing.
And OK, I’ll redress the balance. Let’s have more men, the sort I love so much. I’ll get to work. In fact, my new series of paintings definitely has several men in it. The beautiful romantic poet above is currently on my mind. Mr Kit Holdsworth. I’m going to paint his portrait, hand-write his book of love poems, and embroider his monogrammed handkerchief. There is a tragedy at his core, and yet a zest for life.
I’m a little bit in love with him, a man of my own imagining.
But he’d better not slow his carriage down and shout at me, or there’ll be trouble.
*I don’t know about you, but I’m going to consider myself pretty hot until the day I die. Self esteem is the way forward.
**And I like to think, somewhat scared of me lest I roast them on my blog 🙂