Climate has changed, but some men’s behaviour clearly hasn’t

Jaws
Jaws
Tents in the Isambard Brunel car park in Portsmouth

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Donald Trump’s had a bad run lately, what with his shocking policies, revelations about not revealing his taxes and now allegations of habitual groping.

For those who might have missed this, a tape has surfaced in which Trump boasts about grabbing women’s genitalia and forcing kisses.

Sexual assault is entitlement at its worse. It’s sick, it’s disgusting and Trump promoted it

He’s now apologised and has said it was a decade ago. He reckons he’s moved on and so should we.

But this man is 70 years old. Ten years ago he was 60. How many people do you know of that age who change their mind about ingrained behaviours and beliefs?

Sexual assault is entitlement at its worse. It’s sick, it’s disgusting and Trump promoted it.

In response to attempts to brush this off, @kellyoxford on Twitter asked women to note their first experience of unwanted touching. She had thousands of responses.

Mine was aged 13, in a very busy pub. I was out for dinner. A person – who I didn’t see – pinched my bottom while I was on the way to the toilet.

Can you imagine my shock, disgust and confusion?

In a world back then of Benny Hill as a sex maniac chasing women in his TV show, Carry On films in which men merrily grabbed and groped anything with breasts (oh how the nation laughed and laughed), and women treated as sex objects were draped over cars and exposed in national newspapers for gratification, I didn’t know what to do.

It wasn’t the only time it happened to me – and my story is all too familiar among women.

That climate has now changed, but some men’s behaviour has not.

My last unpleasant experience? A man pressed up against me as I sat at a table and he leant over me. That was only a couple of weeks ago.

Earlier this year, I was slapped on the bottom by someone I’d only met briefly.

I’ve spoken to my daughters and they know what is and isn’t acceptable.

I’ve spoken to my son too. This is key, as it’s all very well preparing girls, but boys need to be taught too.

They do not own women and they have no right to touch women.

MY DAUGHTER WAS SO HOOKED SHE DIDN’T SECOND SCREEN

Jaws has to be one of my favourite films of all time.

I only know this now, after sitting down to watch it last weekend and experiencing all the thrills and spills of it all over again – the scary music, the fear for those people in the water, knowing what lurks beneath.

It’s a brilliant piece of storytelling which beautifully takes its time to build character.

For a thrilling horror film, it gives visual space to the audience which is – when you reflect on it – rather old-fashioned compared to the bigger movies of today.

And, most wonderful of all, my 12-year-old daughter was so hooked in (excuse the pun) that she actually put down her phone and didn’t second screen once throughout the film.

IF YOU KNOW WHERE I CAN SEE A MURMURATION, PLEASE TELL

I saw a murmuration the other day, at the seafront.

This is a flock of starlings, flying in mass, diving and twisting into one another.

It’s a staggering, beautiful sight, yet I see so few of them.

Is the lack of murmurations a south coast phenomenon, or an indication of a general decline in numbers of these birds?

When I lived in Scotland a decade ago, I witnessed them regularly.

Perhaps the reason I enjoy them so much is their mysterious nature.

After all, you can’t guarantee seeing one, you can’t buy a ticket and show up, they’re not on demand.

It’s their elusiveness which give them such a deep, deep glory.

That said, if you know where I can see them easily, please tell.