Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Pause for thought

I read blogs for fun and diversion, and it is mostly flippant comments and clever ways with words that provide lots of laughs and keep me coming back for more. Dr Maroon, Fatmammycat and Gorilla Bananas regularly make me laugh out loud with their unique slants on life. The Blunt Cogs crew feel almost like family, and the clever posts of Randall, Dr. Jo McC, Stephenesque and SamPCB are always a joy to read.

I have recently come to realise what a terrific support system having a “virtual” circle of friends can be. On Kim Ayres blog, he was lately talking of his problems with depression, and the sheer kindness and support from other bloggers was humbling. Many had themselves experienced the “black cloud” and were able to offer support and encouragement, and to share their own bad moments. And Binty’s recent post about male rape has given me pause for thought. I didn’t really take it seriously until I asked a group of male friends about it, and after the usual jokey asides, a few of them had some experience of women as predators when they were teenagers. They admitted they were too embarrassed to discuss it with anyone at the time, as they did not want to be considered a wuss. One said he kept quiet because it was a family friend. I was shocked. For teenage girls, the randy uncle/older brother or dad of neighbour, the parents’ friend driving you home after babysitting his kid, are all hazards a teenage girls contends with – and keeps silent about in order to keep family friendships intact; and because girls share these experiences, they are perhaps better prepared to defend themselves against the creeps. Boys don’t have the same support – if they want to be considered macho, the attitude seems to be sex anyway you get it is the goods. However, I can think of nothing more disgusting than being intimate with somebody I don’t want to be intimate with, and I can see how it could colour a person’s experience of something that should be beautiful and memorable. We all remember our first sexual experiences, and for the majority of us it is with a stomach tumbling, bittersweet joy for a younger, innocent self and a past that can never be retrieved.