5 PLACES LORDE COULD PLAY THAT AREN'T TEL AVIV

Oh Lordey. News of your upcoming gig in Tel Aviv (aka participation in the propaganda machine of Israel) is breaking my achy breaky heart. There are hundreds of reason not to go, 400 very good ones, and plenty of places to play right here in New Zealand. Here are my top 5.

1. Reefton, New Zealand
There are a total of 0 children arrested in Reefton every day! Every.dam.day. Those under 12s are walkin' free without torture and interrogation. They’re walking down the street and BAM, they arrive safely at their destination.  

2. Hawera, New Zealand
Hawerians can move freely across their country and go about their lives without racist and violent military checkpoints. Children can walk to school without daily threats of abuse and their parents often get to their places of employment without hours of unjustified delays and checks. Too easy Hawera! 

3. Bulls, New Zealand
The Bulls area of Rangitikei has clean drinking water, a steady and reliable power supply and allows its residents and land owners access to natural resources such as land, and more specifically, food produced from that land. No bull. 

4. Kaiapoi, New Zealand
The small settlement of Kaiapoi grants their local businesses the supply of goods. Many of these goods are essential to daily life and survival. Not only can residents buy things like chocolate and cooking supplies right there in the supermarket, they can also purchase inexpensive but life saving medication. Kaiapoi is ka pai. 

5. My friend Paul’s back yard
Paul is an all right dude. I wouldn't call him a close mate exactly,  but he’s never poisoned the water supply of his neighbours. He’s also never bulldozed his neighbours house in the middle of the night while they were asleep inside it. Yeah nah, like I said, he’s just okay. 

Some cold hard fax

 

HARVEY WEINSTEIN DIDN'T RAPE ME. BUT I WAS RAPED.

2.png

I had had sex twice before. Both drunkenly. Both embarrassingly. Both publicly. Both consensually.

I was 16. I had a crush. He had a party. He was a little older and a lot cooler.

I wanted to sleep with him that night but I was on my period (a topic that was even more taboo than rape in 2008).

The night was spent attempting to flirt, getting second-hand updates on his relationship status and eventually browsing some dirty magazines together in a very un-sexy way - mostly laughing at all the tacky union jack g-strings and fake tits.

I was too young to go into town, so I hung around with the other after-party dregs at the house. I text him that I needed to crash in his bed that night. He replied that that was fine because he would be staying at his girlfriend's that night anyway. Damn.

Disappointed and a little drunk, I eventually climbed into his bed alone (with a fresh tampon in of course, so I wouldn’t leave a stain).

I woke up in his arms, glad that he’d came home, but a little embarrassed because in some cruel twist of fate, I was actually wearing a union jack g-string. Before you judge, no they weren’t very practical period pants, but I like to think it was more of an ironic decision and less of a sexy/tragic one. So I lift the covers to reveal my shame, asking him ‘do these look familiar?’, and as I turn my head to see his reaction two things happen. Firstly I realise my neck is stiff and sore in a way my 16 year old body has never been before.

And secondly, I realise that my crush did not come home that night.

Later that day, after multiple attempts and contortions, I painfully retrieve the tampon from deep deep inside my body. After scrubbing my skin to the bone I lay in the sun in the middle of my driveway and try to convince my friends to run me over with their car. My hair is wet and my body is bruised. I am so ashamed that I want to die. We compromise on McDonalds drive-thru breakfast instead.

We didn’t know what sexual consent was or what it meant. We were just sluts. And when one of my friends started dating my rapist soon after, it made me sick but I didn’t know why. I  just assumed I was jealous. A jealous slut.

 

RAPE ISN'T LIKE WHAT YOU SEE ON TV

3.png

I was 13, he was 14. I was a virgin, he was a virgin. 

I wasn’t drugged, I wasn’t drunk, he wasn’t a stranger, he wasn’t an old man with round glasses, he was my boyfriend. 

It wasn’t dark, we weren’t in an alley, we weren’t in a field, we weren’t in a basement. I wasn’t scared, we were watching a film on the sofa. 

I was there, he was there, his friend was there.

Suddenly his hands were under the duvet. Then his hands were inside me. Then his dick was inside me. Then he got up and picked up objects from around the room. And then the objects were inside of me. 

He was laughing, his friend was laughing. His friend got involved. I didn’t scream, I didn’t cry, I didn’t struggle, I didn’t say no. I just lay on the sofa and thought, why do people do this? I thought sex was supposed to be fun? It hurt, it was uncomfortable, I felt awkward, I didn’t like it, but I was intrigued by it. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do .. do I get involved and get it over with quicker? Do I say I don’t like it and upset my boyfriend? Do I just pretend I like it until I get used to it one day? Whats with the household objects though? Is this us being kinky?

I was 2 years out of year 6 sex education.

They didn’t tell us how to deal with this.

Back then they still happily ignored that anyone under 16 was sexually active. They refused to acknowledge that 13-year-old girls and boys have sexual curiosities, and if that’s not properly informed it becomes dangerous. This day it became dangerous.

I didn’t understand what rape was, I didn’t know I was being raped, I didn’t know that I’d been raped for a very long time. 

The next day I got to school, everyone knew. He had absolutely no shame in letting everyone know what HE had done. Because he hadn’t done it, WE had done it. In everyone else’s minds, though WE hadn’t done anything, I had let it happen. Obviously my fault, I’m the girl, I should be more ladylike, I should conduct myself with more modesty. I was called a slut, a slag, a tramp. 

For the next week, the next month, and the rest of my school life I was a slut, a slag, a tramp. If you’re told that often enough, you believe it. So I acted accordingly.

That’s what was expected of me, that’s what I was, I didn’t know how to be anything else. I was proud of it. I continued to have sex with anyone, anywhere, in front of anyone, whether I wanted it or not. When anyone asked how I lost my virginity, I didn’t tell them about that time. I told them about the next time. Not because I was ashamed, but because I’d forgotten. 

2 years later, I’m 15. I call the police on my boyfriend. He’s cautioned for ABH, kidnap and harassment. He’s not cautioned for rape. 

4 years later, I’m 17. I’ve left school and I have finally found a nice boyfriend after a string of definitely not nice boyfriends. We’re talking about our sex lives; our likes, our dislikes, our experiences. This is the first time I’ve ever had a conversation with a boy about my likes and dislikes, it’s the first time anyone’s ever asked. For some reason, the experience popped up in my brain and I told him about it. I was laughing, I was joking ‘kids, eh!’ He gave me a look but said nothing. 

Later I remembered that look, and there it was. I was raped. I had been raped 4 years ago and I’d only just realised it. I was raped out of my virginity and didn’t know about it until then. Why had I believed my own lie all this time? Why had I allowed people to walk past me every day of my life and call me a slut? Why hadn’t I defended myself? I felt stupid, ashamed, confused; I was questioning everything. 4 years later. Every sexual experience I’d had since then had been a product of my rape. I was submissive, I was an exhibitionist, I didn’t care what happened to me. For 4 years I genuinely believed I was just more sexually liberated than most girls, when in fact I was a product of an incredibly suppressive situation. Everything changed, nothing made sense. 

I didn’t just have one rape to come to terms with, I had 4 years of sexual experiences to untangle. If I’d have known, if I’d have read a blog like this, I wouldn’t have lost those 4 years. I might have been able to live my life my way. I might have been in control of my body. I might have cared about myself. 

11 years later, I’m writing this. I’ve accepted my circumstance and I’m so incredibly grateful that I realised when I did. Now I have sex with anyone I want to, anywhere I want to, in front of anyone I want to. Without shame or regret. I still feel sexually liberated and explorative, but now it’s because I want to be. Not because I’m playing a character created by my abuser. 

My rape didn’t look like the ones you see on the TV.

Please, if you’ve read this and it’s made you question something, or it’s resonated with you in any way, speak about it. As women, it doesn’t serve us well to live up to societies expectations of ‘ladlylike’ and keep our sex lives quiet. Fuck ladylike. Talk to a friend, a family member, a counsellor or a helpline. 

Email hello@theuglygirls.com if you want a girl to chat to or have any questions about what has been spoken about in this blog. Or follow some of the resources below:

Rape Crisis
0808 802 9999
rapecrisis.org.uk

Victim Support
0808 168 9111
https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/crime-info/types-crime/rape-and-sexual-assault

RASAC (Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre)
0808 802 9999
rasasc.org.uk

Women Against Rape
womenagainstrape.net

The Survivors Trust
0808 801 0818
thesurvivorstrust.org

Women’s Aid Federation
0808 2000 247
womensaid.org.uk