I wasn't made to be elegant.
Do you know what it’s like to be terrified of entitled men and what they are capable of if they want something? That something being your body, specifically. A man in a room full of women is excited and lucky, a women in a room full of men would be absolutely terrified—surely, you can see that something is obviously not right there? Ever since I was young enough to understand the way "men" work in this world, I have been subjected to the dehumanising and gross behaviour of them. I remember on my 16th birthday, I was in York with my mum. On the way back, a man who must have been at least 65, stared me down whilst licking his lips as we were waiting for the train, before going on to make comments: "Wouldn’t you like to come home with me darling?" "I’ll show you a lovely time sweetheart." Even when my mum physically stood in front of me, he continued. I remember exactly what I was wearing that day, skinny jeans that were too big for me and a massive hoodie—I looked like a child. I was a child. I remember exactly how I felt on the train home after, a feeling that I had felt many times before, and a feeling that would and has stuck with me until this day. It's a horrendous feeling. Imagine fear, helplessness, disgust, a sickness in the bottom of your stomach, and a crawling under your skin all mixed into one. It’s a feeling that too many girls know all too well.
Depression is something I've struggled with for a long time. I've been to many different therapists since I was 13, and I now take anti-depressants to help me cope. Some days are a real struggle to find joy in anything, to even get up out of bed. Some days are amazing and I feel like the most bitchin' power women out there.
If you are an avid Twitter user and follow a lot of people with interests in music like me, your timeline is probably currently flooded with tweets about the lack of female bands and artists as acts, especially headline acts, playing at music festivals. One of the major British Festivals that happens every summer is the Reading and Leeds Festival. The two twin festivals have a joint capacity of over 160 thousand muddy gig-goers every year—so pretty damn big! Last year, the headline acts consisted of Kasabian, Eminem, Muse, Major Lazer, Bastille, and Liam Gallagher. Out of the 27 acts that played on the main stage at both festivals, only six acts had at least one woman as part of the act. The 2016 Reading and Leeds headline acts consisted of Foals, Disclosure, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chvrches, Imagine Dragons, Biffy Clyro, Fall Out Boy, and The Vaccines. One of those acts had women present on stage.
It shivered through my body,
This was the greatest New Year's Eve I've had so far, much better than that time I was 16 and passed out in my own vomit at 10pm.... As the clocks hit 12 I was surrounded by some of the most amazing people I knew at the time, laughing and hugging in the middle of Holmfirth. January was a continued party after the crazy month of 2016 December, spent living life in pubs and at gigs with my best friends.