Stella Ralfini. I think we’ve cut men’s balls off

I feel it’s important to share views on subjects like this even if it divides us, since to me it represents healthy debate. Therefore, without further ado, let me tell you what got up my nose last week.

I was watching a commercial on TV. It showed a man in his place of business, hand a file to a female member of staff. He obviously fancied her, saw himself as the cat’s whiskers but his flirting skills sucked. Although he oggled her with an ‘I’d love to get your knickers off’ look in his eyes, he said nothing crude, wasn’t aggressive and didn’t touch her. Then a banner appeared on the commercial that said ‘This is also sexual harassment. Speak up and now and call this number.’

The woman in the commercial was made to appear weak and pathetic. I felt like shouting at her to take control and give him a piece of her mind if she was offended, but no, that was not the message the Sexual Harassment Squad wanted to pass on.

There is a huge difference between flirting (even when it leans towards crudity) and sexual harassment.  As a professional life coach, I deal with sexual harassment (and sexual abuse) on a regular basis and agree that men who inflict mental or physical abuse on a woman and force her to have sex, either through bullying or threats, deserve to have their balls cut off. However, we are not talking about such men. We are talking about those who have simply lost their way, lost the art of flirting, say stupid things and come across as blunt.

When I was young, we didn’t file lawsuits against builders who whistled at us when we passed, or when men in cars, on motorbikes or Lambrettas honked their horns and paid us compliments. Even on occasions when compliments were a bit near the mark and included phrases like ‘nice tits,’ we just gave them a dirty look and that was the end of it – but I’ll tell you what – men were men and women were women back then. Men didn’t feel awkward looking at us like we were sex bombs, pulling us into an alley for a kiss or pinching our bums.

These days any of the above could be construed as sexual harassment and is one of the reasons men are more wary in their dealings with women. I loved men who pulled me into alleyways for a kiss and wasn’t past kicking them where it hurt if they turned forceful against my wishes, so surely commercials should be aimed at empowering women instead of making us look like wimps who can’t stand up for ourselves?

What I’d like us to do is reattach such men’s balls, and for us women to again become feminine felines with enough confidence to use our talons when the occasion warrants – cos I’m telling you what, those now defunct wolf whistles and honks used to make my day.



Another of Stella’s articles you might wish to read:

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