If I may, a man, in part, a poet, whole, in a matricentral culture born and bred; all women – mothers, sisters, muses, goddesses; in response to the constraint that you appear to feel – culturally induced and encouraged, most likely – unable to react to abuse as instinctually, as expeditiously as required, given the circumstances; dare you prepare in advance a defence, pepper spray, for example, providing you with sufficient time to remove yourself from the ill, intrusive intent of groping men?
For the bullying to cease, unfortunately, a lesson must be taught and learned. Every lesson of worth that I have learned in my life has been taught to me by a woman. Fancying anything from a man – unsolicited – I must win it in battle.
Were I there, a stranger, observing, a man, in part, a poet, whole, without expectation or invitation, I would arise to your defence. Acquiescence is acceptance. Anyone who witnesses abuse, and refuses to act, is twice the coward. The first crime, any feeling but loathing in the witness itself; the second, even a fraction of a second of hesitation in rushing to the aid of the abused.
Words may be a weapon, too, of course, but not as effective as the sting, the burn of pepper spray in the eyes. The men who abuse assume the tacit approval of other men, the accustomed consent of women. Make a stand. Act, first, yourself, in self-defence, then shame the others for their pusillanimity. Raising this issue here alone has excited this heartfelt response from me. To be an artist means never to avert one’s eyes. May others be aroused from the torpidity of indifference, of complaisance, of ignorance. There should be zero tolerance for abuse of any kind.
My best wishes to you, my muse, my goddess,