Am I being Sexually Harassed?

Where is the line between ‘just a bit of a joke’ and sexual harassment? When are we allowed to finally admit that something is making us feel uncomfortable, or that we feel threatened, without appearing ‘party-poopers’ or ‘milksops’ who do not know ‘how to take a joke’?

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Seriously, can someone explain it to me please?

Yesterday, something happened at the office, which made me feel quite uncomfortable and which I did not like one bit. Someone behaved quite inappropriately towards me and the way he talked was also vulgar and out of place. This person works in my same department, however I rarely see him (thankfully), as he is in another building. He is also married and knows I have a partner whom I have a home with. Moreover, his wife herself also works in our same department too! (In a third building). Could this make his flirting and overt sexual advances any more inappropriate!??

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Anyways, after this episode, I talked to my director and she kind of said it was quite out of place, but to take no notice of it. Fine. This morning, at 7.30am (I was still half asleep), the same guy came over to my office, he closed the door after him, came right up in my face, and tried to kiss me. Now, how’s that for ‘a joke’?

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I was quite firm at that point and even raised my voice a bit, yet he went out slowly after I had signed for something, and continued to talk to me with a weird smile on his face, as though nothing untoward had happened… wow wtf. Is it just me? Am I a stick in the mud? Was it just a joke or does this guy seriously think I would have kissed him??

And before someone points any fingers, no I was not wearing anything skimpy or revealing – NOT THAT THAT GIVES ANYONE THE RIGHT TO TRY TO FEEL ME UP!

Now I’m feeling really uncomfortable. Somewhere where I generally spend 6-9 hours of my time every day no longer feels safe, and this is totally unfair. I don’t want to escalate it because first of all, this guy knows ‘people’ and wont get fired or moved for sure, and secondly because if I said anything, I would be the one appearing in a bad light, because I would be a ‘bitch’ who didn’t know how to ‘take a joke’…

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Heh… I just hope this guy does’nt come over to our building again and that I won’t see him again any time soon…

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Insomnia

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I cannot save you
While the blood rages and the heart moans
I cannot save you
As you look askance at the twisted vines
I cannot save you
Your gaze is too suspicious, your mind is too old

Let go
Of all those moments of rank belittilement
Let go
The gnashing thunder within your veins
Let go
Those tears of madness you are still hiding

You know
They clamor ever hungry for reprisal
You know
Your violent flame is roaring for more
You know
This is the reason why sleep flees

And yet
The pounding surf cannot be silent
And yet
That vortex of hate will not be still
And yet
Your eyes will always spit blood and flame

And that, is why
I cannot save you
Unless you save yourself
And dream

© M_Moonsong

What is so ‘shameful’ about being a Single Parent?

The wise say ‘You can lead a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink’. This could also roughly translate to ‘Society can try to pressure couples with a baby on the way to make a go for it ‘for the baby’s sake’, but if the couple are not good together and not meant to be, they will eventually part ways all the same’. Lengthier, but true.

I see it again and again, two people who would otherwise not continue dating past the third month, try to force themselves into continuing something against their will, heart and mind, just because one of them ‘got’ pregnant. Apart from the fact that it only takes only tiny little contraceptive to prevent this, WHY oh WHY cannot family, friends, and long-nosed push-over’s the world over realize that no matter how much you try to manipulate, stress, and bully someone into doing what is, according to you that is, ‘morally and socially acceptable’, this will not work, unless the two people in question are actually really in love in the first place? In which case, they would continue the relationship naturally, take the baby in their stride (though admittedly, this is not an easy thing to do even when a pregnancy is planned), and evolve as a healthy and normal couple without needing anyone’s pressure or solicitations.

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The worst case scenario is when the two people try to convince themselves that they actually do feel something more than a passing fancy, or a falling-in-lust period, something permanent – since the child is obviously permanent too. You’d think this would be better, as the two would actually be trying to go along – however what this leads to is usually a prolonged period of agony. Sometimes years pass by, the child starts to grow into a sentient being, and soon realizes that something at home is just not right. His parents are different from his friends’. They are not loving towards each other, hardly touch, hardly even speak civilly. In fact, when one is in a room, the other is most often to be found at the other end of the house, if s/he is at home at all. And this takes place if they both, or singly, have not decided to have one or more extra-marital affairs, which is still yet another kettle of fish. Most people seem to believe that all this takes place ‘for the sake of the child’ – really? Do you think a child growing up in this atmosphere of tense unhappiness would be happy himself/herself?

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Others are worried about social benefits, knowing there to be breaches and cases of fraud where people maintain that a child’s father is ‘unkown’, simply to gain a percentage of society’s hard earned cash. Yes, unfortunately it has been known for there to be people who took advantage of the social benefits offered, however does this make it right to put everyone into the same basket? Apart from that, the issue at hand concerns those couples who are forced into a relationship after the beginning of a pregnancy, not those who do not claim parentage.

Why not come out and say it? Single-parenthood, for many, seems to be a shameful smut on the family name, which is why most people simply tell their son/daughter to ‘shut up and take responsibility’. This does not mean ‘pay for your son’s upkeep and schooling and take care of him/her emotionally’, but ‘sacrifice your entire life making yourself and others believe that you love a partner whom you actually wouldn’t spend more than a few minutes with, precluding any chance of happiness with anyone else’. Is this fair? Is this practical? Is this tolerant, understanding and loving? Of course not, and yet, being subconsciously afraid of the stigma, people still do it. Probably I will have to start looking over my shoulder after this article is published – maybe someone will even proclaim that I’m a henchman (or in this case, henchwoman) of endless debaucheries and fornication. Simply put, this is how I see it.

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What on earth is wrong with being a single parent? Both parents could have contact with their child, without the need of forcing themselves into enduring years and years of wasted life ‘shared’ with someone who’s less important to them than their favourite pair of socks! There is nothing wrong with a single parent enjoying a healthy relationship with his/her child. Does anyone tell off widowers/widows who take care of their children alone after a loss? No! Everyone considers them to be heroes for being so brave, strong and efficient and tackling the upbringing of a child on their own. So, why isn’t the same measure used for ALL single parents? The issue, once more, has got to do with the sex-taboo prevalent in many societies. Why let an issue which is present mostly due to lack of sexual education and awareness cloud our judgement and influence the life of many people so negatively?

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We tiptoe around it, trying not to look, trying not to acknowledge this mentality which, unfortunately, is still here in this day and age. Isn’t it time we looked straight at it and tackled it heads-on?

—- A version of this blog article was published on the online magazine EVE here – http://www.eve.com.mt/2015/07/21/what-is-so-shameful-about-being-a-single-parent/

No One

I admit, at first not existing was kind of hard to get used to. 

No one saw me as I crossed the street. No one nodded to me as I passed the store. No dog barked at me while I wandered around the windy park. No one smiled faintly as I stopped to grin at a comic poster. No one even noticed when my skirt blew up so high that my underwear showed.

I guess that’s when I started tackling non-existence as a comodity, rather than a curse.

I didn’t need to get up early. Didn’t need to brush my hair, put on any make up, or even wear decent clothes. No one saw me anyway. I just wasn’t there.

I didn’t need to be polite to the person waiting before me for the bus. Hell, I didn’t even need to stay in the queue. Or pay the bus fare. 

No one scowled at me because I had left the window open. No one muttered because I had forgotten to bring the ketchup on the table. No one told me I was not good enough, when I didn’t know where they had left their car keys the day before. No one pawed at me while wiggling smelly body parts, as I tried to watch a movie. No one even tried to bite and hurt me, because of some ‘remark’ they did not like.

No one belittled me or berated me ‘jokingly’ because I didn’t read their minds and know what they wanted beforehand. No one ‘forgot’ to mention my name or that I even existed when talking to their friends, when in fact I did. Now, I truly was not there, so it didn’t bother me not to be mentioned. There is no one to mention.

I have gotten used to not existing now. I do not even feel bad about it. It is a relief really.

Existing is so much harder.

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The Hypocrisy of the word ‘Tradition’ in Malta

It is intrinsically hypocritical how society sometimes uses the word ‘tradition’ to cloak its most disgusting habits. As though ‘tradition’ were an excuse. Yes, we are the only country in the European Union which sanctions spring hunting. It’s ‘tradition’. Yes, we have ‘karrozzini‘, that is small horse-drawn carriages which clog the streets and pester tourists to slowly view the capital city while riding, jostling and sweating, on malnourished and dehydrated horses at exorbitant prices – it’s ‘tradition’. Yes, many people pen said horses in small unlighted rooms where they have to stay for days on end in the sweltering heat, beat them into submission when they make too much noise, and snap at anyone who dares to say that Malta is not a country which can support such big animals, since we do not have extra land to pasture them and let them graze in (we ARE a fairly small island after all), but hey, it’s ‘tradition’!

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What about all those minorities who do not fit into what the masses still think of as ‘tradition’? How about that monstrously glorified institution – the ‘traditional’ family? During election-times super-inflated posters portraying dear grandma with her knitting, grandpa and his bushy eyebrows, handsome daddy, petite MILFY mommy, a Pollyanna-like daughter, a buck-toothed cheeky son, a fluffy dog and a charming cat, swallow streets, roads, roundabouts and every blank wall imaginable – what about all the single-parent families? What about families where there is only one grandma and one daddy, but no mummy? What about, all the gods forbid, having two parents of the same gender? What about couples without children? Of course, these do not fall within the ‘traditional family’ type the archbishop of Malta loves to talk about in his sermons, so they are ignored like the plague.

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Some time ago, while going to the hairdresser’s after work, I was stupefied and stunned when, as I was passing in front of a private meeting place for a particular Christian group, I saw a notice quoting the Bishop and the Archbishop. I simply had to stop and read it, even though it turned my stomach. No, I am not going to go into details here, suffice it to say that the description of the ‘traditional family’; what it ought to be, and what it ‘has become’ due to the distancing of the people from the church, was simply illuminating.

Honestly, one must not only be blind and obtuse and totally out of this world to not realize WHY people are alienating themselves from this kind of mentality. About bloody time too! How anyone could swallow this type of elitist hatred-inducing bullshit is quite beyond me. Some people just like feeling that they are part of a ‘special’ club I suppose, even though it sucks. It’s like the bullies at school. They usually conglomerate in a group because this makes them feel like they are better than everybody else – the superior race of hypocritical opportunism if you will.

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I am not saying that every Christian is like this, nor that every religion is (though yes many individuals DO view religion in this manner – talk about psychosis), however this mentality of exclusion is unfortunately permeating Malta, and it has been doing this for as long as I can remember. Shall we clap our hands and swallow it all, simply because this corrupt and intolerant mentality is ‘traditional’ – in that it has been unchanging in a long time? Well, apparently as soon as one affixes the magical word ‘tradition’ to something, it becomes untouchable, so… why not?

*Sigh*

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I hope you DO get my world-weary sarcasm here?

My dear Facebook Stalker… I discovered your name!

Yes, even though you blocked me!!

My previous entry on you, which can be found here – https://ddmoonsong.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/letter-to-a-facebook-stalker/, not to mention reporting you to the ‘Maltese Bikers’ community whose logo and name you had used to fake your account, has borne fruit!

In fact, the same day I blogged an entry about you and contacted them, it seems like someone talked to you, coz you deleted the ‘Maltese Bikers’ logo and continued to use that account with no photo attached. Having forgotten everything about your nonsensical and miserably boring existence, I didn’t inquire further in the matter, however yesterday, while perusing my private Facebook message list for other reasons, I noticed that the entries marked ‘Maltese Bikers’ had changed to an actual Maltese name (still with no picture attached)!

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No I won’t repeat the name and surname here as I am not that interested in your identity per se, the fact remains that I was right in thinking you were either one of the Administrators of the aforesaid community, or one of its’ members or affiliates, since the message got through so quickly, so much so that you were forced to take off both their logo and their name.

Taking into account the fact that you not only assiduously followed my fb profile, but also my articles on EVE, I have no doubt that you’ve somehow managed to get hold of this blog… and I’m really happy about it too, since it means you are reading this :0)

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By the way, next time you create a fake account, I advise you to at least use an International name and picture, as they are less easy to trace than local ones. Lol not only are you a chicken, but you seem to be a stupid one too…

Letter to a Facebook Stalker…

Dear Stalker,

I am really sorry to have offended you by unfriending you yesterday. Thing is I had actually forgotten you were a facebook friend of mine, as ever since you ‘friended’ me for the first time and I asked you who you were, since there was no information and no photos on your profile, and you told me you were an ‘admirer’ who knew where i lived and saw me everyday, I never heard from you again until this week.

To be completely honest, I had probably been in a hurry on that day. I think this is the case because otherwise I would have definitely investigated further into the matter. You see, I do not condone stalkers usually, not even ones who ‘admire’ me and know where I live. So I would have probably limited your access to my personal stuff there and then in normal circumstances.

I periodically ‘spring clean’ my facebook in order to whittle out fake accounts and weirdos, I forgot yours was an actual profile cause the nick name ‘Maltese Bikers’ made me think you were a community or fan page, and not an individual. The fact that you ‘borrowed’ the name of an actual facebook community of bikers, as well as their logo for your profile picture page, must have had something to do with it too.

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When you messaged me on New Year’s day, telling me that the facebook poster I had just uploaded, which dealt with religion, did not meet your approval and that, as a writer, I should have researched it better, you were kind enough to provide a link to a private blog belonging to an Icelandic Christian fanatic, waxing lyrical in rude terms about the same facebook poster. I was flattered that you had been so attentive to both my postings of random posters, as well as my articles, since you quoted my freelance work, however puzzled as to who you were. I replied before thinking, and that was my mistake. I should have realized you were nothing more than a coward hiding behind a fake profile and terminated the connection immediately, instead I took the time to thank you for your minute and immediate interest in my goings-on, and tell you that as a writer I did my research, and this is how I knew that personal blogs were not sacrosant in that they are the fallible and personal opinions of individuals, and not known facts.

To conclude dear stalker, after I unfriended you and received yet another private message (a very long one in fact) telling me about how hurt and disappointed you were that I had unfriended you just because you had voiced a polite opinion, I tried to contact you back and give you the actual reason, but found out you had blocked me. Seeing this infinite ironic revelation, I also realized that your facebook ‘name’ had also actually been the copy of an actual community page, using the same logo you had copied as your facebook profile page!

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This is why I sent my ‘reply’ to this community page, privately ofc, surmising that you were either one of its members, or that you were using their trademark name and logo without their knowledge, and that therefore informing them about it was the thing to do.

Be it as it may, I’m sure my message went across, one way or another. I hope you enjoyed stalking two years of my life, and seeing me personally around, since you said you did not live far away and that you also know who I am and my name and surname. If you ever grow a pair of nuts, please do tell me who you are.

If, on the other hand, I start receiving strange phone calls where the caller merely breathes or pants, or if I feel someone following me in the street, I may just as well report the whole matter to the authorities.

Have a nice day :0)

Yours truly

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Kierkegaard’s Theory about Bullying and Online Trolling!!

In 1847, Danish writer and philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote ‘Showing that they don’t care about me, or caring that I should know they don’t care about me, still denotes dependence… They show me respect precisely by showing me that they don’t respect me.’ This was true in the 19th century, and it is still true now. Human nature, as such has not changed. People bully someone they do not understand, or someone they unconsciously feel inferior to, in order to try and increase their own perception of themselves.

This comes through in a very interesting article I read here – http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/10/13/kierkegaard-diary-bullying-trolling-haters/

Some time ago, I too published an article on Internet Trolling and Online Bullying – which can be found here – http://www.eve.com.mt/2014/12/23/internet-trolls-mentally-unbalanced-or-just-plain-bullies/

I hadn’t yet read the article on Kirkegaard when I wrote my own – in fact I just read it this evening, yet I feel that the two taken together make perfect sense. In my article I mention psychologist John Suler on the concept of ‘Online Disinhibition’, that is that feeling of freedom from social norms some people feel when they are writing or criticising something online – in simple words, they think that their comments cannot be traced back to them since they are relatively ‘faceless’, and so they express things they would not say in real life. You could actually say that they are COWARDS.

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Bad Boys, Dynamite and Psychotic Lust

This weekend I re-watched one of my fav 80s Dark Comedies, Winona Ryder’s ‘Heathers’ (1988), where apart from teen angst and high school bullying, we get to see the demise of yet another bitchy cheerleader (yay!), a couple of jock bullies (yippie yay), as well as the sexy bad boy whom personally I would have done anything for (boo-hoo).

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Awww come on admit it, we just love these characters don’t we? Yes, the guy is terminally and technically psychotic, I mean, he WAS a murderer, manipulator and schizzo, and he DID want to blow up the whole school, but considering that most of the students were assholes and that he was right on all accounts, not to mention sexy and slick as hell, how can one not sympathize?!

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Yes, yes, yes, I have a soft spot for Christian Slater – does it really show so much? ;p

Apart from that – now be honest, who didn’t want to kill a couple of people and blow his/her own high school shitty life sky-high a couple of times right? So, yes I totally understand the guy, and if it had been me instead of Winona (Veronica), I’d definitely have been the very enthusiastic Bonnie to his Clyde.

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The three ‘Heathers’ for whom the film is called were 3 stupid bimbos who could have given today’s ‘Mean Girls’, ‘Pretty Little Liars’, ‘Gossip Girls’ and all the other hellcats a real run for their money. I love to watch high school power play in general, but manipulative bitchy girls are so much worse than your usual dumbo jock waving his dick around stuffing nerds into lockers aren’t they? And when they finally get their comeuppance, I cant help but cheer, shriek, laugh, snigger and drool with happiness. I hate these kind of girls with a passion, mostly because in my time as a teen at school I was one of those nerds myself, and though I wasn’t stuffed in any lockers, I was treated badly in other ways by girls who thought they were gods’ gift, just because they had money to buy certain stuff, put on make up, and already had been going out with boys and making out at 13. Well, guess what? Most of them didn’t pass their graduation at all, and more than half were already single mothers by their 15th year. I, on the other hand, was in University when I was still 2 months shy of my 16th birthday.

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*snigger*snigger* Sorry, but this IS a personal blog and I AM ENTITLED to looking back and seeing some stuff now that I am a ‘grown up’. So there! ;p

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P.S What on earth happened to Winona Ryder btw? Haven’t seen her in a new movie in ages 😦

Put on your WARPAINT!!

Tomorrow 25th November is the International Day for the elimination of Violence against Women. I never take selfies or participate in cheesy chainletters and stuff, but this is a gesture of awareness for a worthy cause, and one which may actually help by showing people that certain things are just wrong and not acceptable, so in this case I’m making an exception.

If, like me, you want to show you want to FIGHT AGAINST VIOLENCE AND ABUSE, PUT ON YOUR WARPAINT AND SHOW US!!

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If you want to know more, goto: http://www.eve.com.mt/events/werefuseviolence/

Also, as I am one of the writers for eve.com, I also wrote an article on Street Harassment to raise awareness of the day. You can find it at: http://www.eve.com.mt/2014/11/24/heyyyyyy-lilly/

I urge you all to subscribe to eve.com which is a very informative and interesting website… after all, you can find articles by yours truly there too!! 😀