Monday, January 03, 2011

How I Wasn't Traumatised for Ever

I greatly enjoyed Silverback's post tonight about a woman who is trying to sue Disney because she claims she had her breast groped by Donald Duck. By which I mean an actor in a costume, not a character drawn on screen.

The woman is claiming that she's suffered lasting trauma from this - do read the blog post to find out more.

It made me realise that I have missed several such opportunities to sue.

One Christmas Eve when I was about sixteen, I was walking home from the bus stop late at night when three high-spirited lads of about my own age started talking to me rather drunkenly. One of them made a feeble attempt to grope my breast and then they all ran off.

I just thought "Drunken, high-spirited teenage idiots" and that's all I thought. I was annoyed, but I can't say that I was traumatised in any way. I've always remembered the incident, but that's it - I don't remember it with any feeling of fear or horror - I knew they didn't mean any harm, they had just thought, in their drunken haze "That is a GIRL with GIRL PARTS. Let us demonstrate that we are red-blooded males who know this, thus demonstrating how grown-up and manly we are."

I'm not condoning their behaviour, of course, just saying that I don't think it had any great effect on me.

The following summer, I was walking across Soldier's Field in Leeds in the middle of the afternoon, when a young man lying on the grass decided to show me his Reproductive Equipment. That's all he did - - just unzipped his trousers and waved it around a bit, in the hope that I'd be thrilled, or shocked, or something.

I pretended I hadn't noticed, and walked on. Did it give me nightmares for years? Nope. I did tell all my friends about it though, and we all giggled in a schoolgirly manner.

When I was a student, I was walking along by the Parkinson Building at the University of Leeds, again in broad daylight, when a young man approaching me decided to give me a similar opportunity to admire his equipment.

There were lots of people about and I wasn't scared - I just kept right on walking and wished I'd been quick-witted enough to say something derogatory about its size.

Of course, none of these incidents involved a huge corporation worth squillions of pounds, or I might have suffered lasting CRS from any one of them (and if you want to know what that is, do read Silverback's blog post).

Not that I'm condoning any of this behaviour, I stress. But there are many truly, truly terrible instances of rape and humiliation that happen to women all over the world.

Now, okay, Donald Duck Woman may well have suffered all the things she claims to have suffered and I'm sure her motives are entirely pure and nothing to do with the prospect of a huge cash settlement at all. (Phew, I hope that's covered me).

I think that any women who claim to have been traumatised when they haven't been, simply because there is a large amount of money at stake, are crying wolf so that genuine incidents aren't taken seriously, and they should be very, very ashamed of themselves.


Blogger Ailbhe said...

It is also possible that these things *are* very traumatic for some people. Assuming that because she is suing for money (much more likely to inconvenience Disney and the employee than trying to press assault charges would be) she wasn't really traumatised by the event is unfair.

11:49 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

I must admit that if I were at Disneyland and Minnie Mouse tried it on with me, my most secret fantasy would be coming true. Of course I would be dressed in a Goofy costume. Rather than suing Disney, I'd be sending them a huge bouquet.

...More seriously, a bad lad from my last school was crawling on the local sports centre roof one weekend and fell, breaking his leg. His parents successfully sued the council for his injury!

12:31 am  
Blogger Silverback said...

Many years ago, in my yute, I was having a picnic on Soldier's Field when I saw this stunning girl approaching. In lieu of a chat up line, I offered her a hotdog but to this day, I've never understood her offhand reaction ! I've had PTSD and an irrational fear of hotdogs ever since.

My law suit in the post.

1:53 am  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Of course you've been traumatized, you poor dear. It's frightfully obvious just from reading your blog these past couple of years. I mean, what else could possibly explain it?

Or maybe it's what Mr. Obama calls "the new normal"....

3:36 am  
Blogger Jennyta said...

Well,Daphne, I'm feeling a bit deprived now - no-one has ever offered to show me his 'equipment'! I think I must have led a somewhat sheltered life...

10:02 pm  

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