Friday, 5 October 2007


My male parent is a chauvanist. He thinks women should never work when they have children at home. When my daughter was very young, I worked part time out of necessity. He criticized me regularly for it, said I was leaving my daughter. He also put a fake baby voice on when I would leave for work, saying, "Mummy, don't leave me again!". Git. My mum even once said he hates women.

He treated me like a boy. Once he'd decided I was a tomboy, that was it. His mind wouldn't change. He decided what I was and has never changed his mind. Even I believed it. I'm not sure I am a tomboy. He tried it with my daughter and went through a stage of buying her nothing but boy's things, until I protested. His partner bought her girls' things alongside his choices.

When I hit puberty, he became a pervert. He leered at me, would "accidentally" rub against me, against my breast, ran his fingers up and down my back to see if I was wearing a bra. He ogled my sister and I horrifically when we breastfed. He did this to me once. The second time I had to yell at him to leave the room. He actually argued with me about it, demanding to watch. He made disgusting sexual jokes and innuendoes. He drew pictures of me and added breasts (my daughter remembers this). I blocked a bedroom door once to stop him coming in but he pushed the block out of the way - I was 21. He kissed my neck like a boyfriend would (it was after this incident that my mother told me she had been warned, when I was a baby, never to leave me alone with him ... but she did, didn't she?? Visits, long stays ...). He looked at the back of my trousers to make sure my bottom wasn't visible through the material and made comments about "around the front".

He never thought he was wrong. My sister and I complained often and long to our mother about his teasing. To hear "You're getting big" and "You're growing up" all the time was mortifying. It made us feel so uncomfortable AND spied on and observed. I understand parents say these things. It's hard to convey the tone of voice he'd say these sentences or to describe the expression on his face, but I must stress that these were not the normal words of a parent amazed at a child's growth. His expression was DIRTY when he said these things. He was perving on our adolescence, telling us boys would be queuing up for it with us. Mum spoke to him once and asked him to stop. He told us afterwards that he had no intention of stopping because he wasn't doing anything wrong, that we were the problem - he therefore didn't care about how we felt, going back to my posts about Objectification and him not seeing me as a person. I remember a similar incident when my sister was about to get married. She was SO afraid of him going on about her growing up (which he had never stopped, just as he said) that she asked me to speak to him. I did, wondering what the point was because he never listens to anyone. He, of course, said "I will say it if I want to". I said, "Please don't, you'll spoil her day." This became an argument. He said he had the right. He felt entitled to say whatever he wanted, no matter what the cost or how much he hurt her. We both repeated our cases and he only behaved himself after the intervention, I believe, of his partner.

He has an excuse for everything. This used to drive me absolutely mad. He is impossible to talk to, sometimes. He's someone you would avoid talking to because he'll give you "a lecture with diagrams", someone once said, when you've only asked him for the time.

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