Wednesday, 26 October 2011



I called in on College Green, to see how the Occupy Bristol camp was doing. I was just passing through; I'm sympathetic to its aims, but am too engaged elsewhere to get involved. So I felt slightly voyeuristic, a bit of an outsider. Took  a few pics; bloke drumming, people building a sort of ribbony teepee. Reminded me of the old free festivals... A bloke bounded over to me, grabbed my shoulders, and aimed a kiss at my mouth. I diverted it to my cheek. He put his arm around me, and we held a pose for a nearby photographer. Then I left.

It was all a bit unexpected. I felt a bit as though my personal space had been invaded without my permission; which, of course, it had. It didn't feel like a huge deal at the time, and I didn't feel particularly threatened, in daylight and with other people around. But even so. Reading other womens' experiences of occupations, and the marginalisation and objectification of women in them, it seems like part of a bigger picture. And I feel very bad, not so much that it happened, as that I didn't call the bloke out on his actions. Because if you don't call people out, then that behaviour is reinforced. 

So if there's a picture out there with me and the bloke, smiling for the camera, just remember that the camera doesn't take the whole picture.

That's all.