Seems that suddenly sexual harassment and sexist bullying in schools is being taken seriously in some quarters. I hadn't really thought about it until now, at that age I was rather preoccupied dealing with the abuse I was getting at home (which I'm sure made me an easy target, but so what what - easy targets deserve to be bullied no more than anyone else). But thinking back sexual harassment happened a lot when I was at school. When I was about 12 I remember boys in my class making sexual remarks to me and pretending they were aroused by me as a way of teasing me. At 13 I had moved on to upper school and there was a boy, older than me who sometimes followed me around and grabbed my bum. When I turned on him and demanded he stop he denied that he was doing it and ridiculed me for "thinking he might fancy me" (I didn't - I thought he was trying to upset me). Like Cath I told no-one. I was far too embarrassed about it - but also I didn't know it even really counted as bullying and I certainly didn't know that anyone would deal with it without humiliating me in the process.
And sexist bullying - well it's hard to know what was sexist and what was just "regular" bullying but certainly it was a fairly constant feature of school for me. Getting punched and kicked and pushed around and screamed at by boys was what happened at school. I was bullied a bit by girls too so it's hard to draw a line but of the four bullies I remember the most vividly, three were boys.
Some of the stories coming out in the documentary and recent surveys do seem to me to suggest the problem is growing and I can't help thinking of course it's growing - school boys these days have access to Lad Mags, to internet porn and to a much wider standard of sexism in the media. Hey if Jonathan Ross and Jeremy Clarkson do it on national TV - why can't I?
Photo by Ian Britton from FreeFoto.com.