Here we are in 2017, terrified to leave our homes even remotely glammed up and with only one reason why, acid attacks.
For those who’ve shied from the media the past few weeks, there have been a number of brutal acid attacks sweeping London. It’s no longer the “odd occurrence,” it is now sweeping the city and damaging skin and in turn, self confidence throughout the city. I for one have a number of questions; how is it so easy to come by? Why is it so easy to come by? What is there to gain, really?
Having been an avid reader of Vice, I feel sickened that they would highlight a terrorist of London streets and not have him arrested for his crimes. If you haven’t already seen the video footage, it features a blurred anon, with a covered voice admitting to both stabbing, attacking and acid attacks on innocent suvillians.
Not only did the anon admit to witnessing acid attacks against victims, but also to potentially committing those crimes himself. As aforementioned, I myself, and I’m sure many other individuals, are scared to walk the streets of London because in truth, you never know which Lucozade bottle, could be the one to ruin your life forever. Not only the acid deep into your skin and damage your looks, but also your eyesight, your confidence, self esteem and that’s for life. But what was particularly scarring within that footage is the attacks on his enemies loved ones. His words, “if you live here, you’re involved.” Despite his earlier claims that should you get a job and live the “boring life,” that you’re free from the ‘block war’ it is complete poppycock. No one is safe, not really. By any means, if they dislike the look of you, you’re a target. He mentioned women being into their beauty and acid attacks being a way to hurt that. But his verbal attack on women specifically, dug deeper than any knife crime he admitted to committing. Though that’s not to say they’re not just as terrible, it’s just that it’s as though he sees women as less than. That beauty is all they have to offer and should they not behave the way he likes, they deserve to be stripped of said beauty.
But thats not a good enough reason to damage someone forever and this is where the problem lies. The young woman attacked on her 21st birthday, what was the reason other than a young girl enjoying her new age? There isn’t one, and you know why? Because no one deserves it.
I feel personally triggered and fearful each and every time I leave the house. Mainly because as a woman – what with catcalling, aggressive men acting well, aggressively to you ignoring their advances and not being sure at any given moment, what someone of the opposite sex is going to do to you, should you say no – is terrifying.
I recently travelled to Atlanta and although I adored the city and enjoyed myself to high heaven, my last night was entirely ruined by a man. I’m told that the Atlanta club scene is the place to be and so as a tourist, I greatly submitted to the idea. A twerk here, a shot there perhaps. However, neither of the aforementioned actually happened. Instead, I was greeted within seconds by an arm grab. By a male hand to be more specific. In true London fashion I looked down at the hand in disgust and tried to pry my arm from his grip. He winked and made a kissy face at me, to which I threw up a little in my mouth. Surely that’s not the way to approach women in the real world, I thought. But I’d made it free, I was fine. On to the bar! Or so I thought, because there he was again, and he was determined to make the arm grab approach work this time around. Now, as someone with anxiety I tried my very best to calm myself and look elsewhere. It was at that moment that I thought to myself, “well, they have guns in America.” And just like that, my mind went elsewhere, “remember that girl who got shot when you were in NY for simply saying no?” I was experiencing an outer body experience, now fearful of what might happen to me next despite having a number of friends in close quarters. “Smile,” he said, but how can someone fake happiness when they’re in the grips of a stranger in a foreign country. Needless to say, my night was cut short. Thoughts of potentially being hurt in a club, over simply being uninterested consumed me and well, I had a panic attack. Privy to panic attacks, this was of the worst I’d ever had. I couldn’t breathe enough to even say where it hurt or why it was happening. I just cried. Inside the club, outside the club and on the way home from the club. In fact, the tears didn’t dry until I reached the inside of my friends apartment. Though it sounds dramatic and to those without anxiety, it probably is a tad excessive, but you see my mind went into overdrive.
This is a narrative, even to those without anxiety. It’s terrifying enough being a woman without the added fear of having your mere confidence ruined by a man with little respect for his co-hordes.
You do not own the rights to a woman and their bodies, it is not your right to disfigure, injure or kill a woman for simply being a woman.