No means no! Maybe!

The no means no just became not to a simple statement of truth but a question to me when I went to a club two weeks ago.

There, I have been harassed not only once, nor twice, but thrice. Also, I would call it a sexual harassment. I haven’t been touched improper or been „pushed in a corner“. But the way those guys approached me was definitely sexually motivated. Well, they can try! For sure! But if a no comes over the lips, it is a no. I thought so. But it wasn’t. Instead, they were trying to get closer or laughing (about me). One of those guys said: „Don’t be so selfish“. Huh! Selfish?! Maybe it was meant to be a joke but I didn’t get it. A no means a no. To the other one I said: „I am not interested at all. And I don’t want that you are coming over and standing next to me. Go away!“ His answer: „Why? Come on! Come on!“ And I said: „Why? Because I don’t want to.“ He didn’t go. So I did. But just a little later, there he was again. And I said to him again: „What didn’t you get of my ‚I don’t want to?‘ I am not interested at all! A no is a no. So: back off! He again: „Yah, but I am interested!“

Others, I was telling about it, said to me: „You have been to polite.“ Maybe I was. First of all, I was annoyed. I was annoyed that those guys think they can act on me like I would be an object which can be used for their amusement.

The third guy didn’t say anything. He was only following me around the dancefloor. Just, when he was next to me I changed the place and at some moment I thought maybe I am just imagining that he was following me. But all of a sudden, there was another guy in front of me and said to me: „Hey, I saw that this guy follows you around since twenty minutes. If he gives you any trouble and you need help, I am just right over there!“ That was nice, and honestly spoken, it gave me some of my security back which I lost. But my second thoughts of this scenery just made me mad because is it still like, that a woman needs a man to get rid of another man? Or in other words spoken: Is the no of a woman not the same as the no of a man?

What I haven’t mentioned yet but what is of some importance is, that those guys had a different cultural background than I have. At this point, my anthropological thinking got activated. I memorized some scenes I experienced in Botswana and stories Batswana girls have told me. There indeed, a no is not always a no. It can be part of a game and it can be a necessity to find out about the aspirations of a man: is he really into it or just trying to make the best deal out of it?! But what does this mean for my life in Germany? Do I have to accept that these kinds of cultural differences are there and that a no is not a no? Is this part of a tolerance I have to live with? Do I have to understand this?

The thing is, I can understand where the attitude of those men is coming from but I don’t want to understand it. And I don’t want to tolerate it.

I don’t know if I am overemphasizing this whole story but it sticks to my mind since two weeks because those men were trying to interfere in my integrity as a person. If they would have tried once and than accepted my refusal it would have been a totally different story, but they acted like they would be superior, like they have the right to force their interest onto me. Of course, they didn’t thought that far. This is not the point. The point is: a no has to be a fucking no. Otherwise, I could have said: maybe.

"Voice babe of the week"

Hey Babe! What’s gender equality?

I just found one of the previous issues of the newspaper THE VOICE which is comparable to any popular paper like The Sun or BILD-Zeitung. As in those newspapers – at least in the german BILD-Zeitung – there’s a column called something like the “Girl of the week”. In THE VOICE it is called “the week’s voice babe”.

This makes me thinking about the very popular thing to call women “babe”.

I know that this is something like a pet name. I guess it is used a lot in the USA, even for men.
I know it is used a lot in Botswana.
And I know that it’s hardly used in Germany.
Basically, I assume that babe is said to the girlfriend.
In Botswana, this seems to be extented to either girls who are in the interest of a guy or to any girl at all.
It happened to me that guys call me babe, like I have explained in one of my previous entries. People I know but also strangers on the street called me babe or ngwanuza (which is the setswana translation, as far as I know).
I don’t like it.
I freak out if strange guys call me babe.
And I also don’t get along when male friends call me like that.
First, I don’t see the sense in it.
Second, I don’t like how a woman is portrayed when she is called babe.
In my view, a babe is a nice little doll or in the case of the “voice babe” a “hot chick”. In other words: a woman reduced to a sexual object. Beyond that a babe is a little creature who has to be taken care about.
I know that those women in THE VOICE do it because they want to do it. But has anyone considered what is behind that babe-label?
Gender equality is a big issuse, also in Botswana.
Eish…Hey Babe! What’s gender equality?