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16 March 2008

My Own Fault

Nottingham has been tiring but fine. I never slept much as four big baldy headed stag party men decided to have a homo- erotic type fight at 4am this morning in the room next to mine in the hotel. Maybe they discovered they were all gay and wanted to give the room a vigorous make over? Maybe one of the guys didn’t want to get married and decided he liked sailors and it all just kicked off…I don’t know.

The noise and screaming was enough to drive me insane and tearful, lying in the dark at 5am, wishing I was with my husband tucked up in bed in Glasgow.

So there I was sitting in a taxi, tired and grumpy. I had just came off my mobile as I contribute to the Tommy Sheridan Radio show every Sunday and had to sound chirpy and nice, when I was actually exhausted.

I should never have got into a conversation with the Asian Taxi driver…but I did.

The lovely interesting man told me that he was going home to arrange a party for a religious festival celebrating some major Muslim speaker and he was happy.
“It is the birthday month of Mohammed” he explained.

I congratulated him on his religious festival thingy and sat quiet.

He decided to tell me that in his opinion, the reason people misunderstand Islam, is because people don’t get told the facts.

Now I know I should have put my IPod in my ears as planned, but I gave it a shot and said “Well give me a fact about Islam please, I am interested”

His opening gambit was this “Most women are raped because they are not married and they tempt men into disrepute”

Now Dear Reader, of all the people this man could spit this nonsense to – he picked me, and I was a bit grumpy.

“Is that right?” I asked him wide eyed and crackling with seething quiet rage.

“Yes, you see if women are married and wear decent clothes, then they would be safe, because their husbands would always protect them and teach them how to dress appropriately which keeps them safe” he nodded and smiled smugly through his mirror at me.

“Ok…what happens if a married women who dresses very nice is in her home and her husband is a taxi driver and he isn’t there to stare at her and make sure her skirt is long enough and potential rapists are out of reach, lets say he is on the road driving someone and that poor respected married woman gets raped in her home by an intruder, how would that work then?”

The cab driver managed to lurch the car, it was his one clear reaction to my statement.
“Well this doesn’t happen” he merely added.

“Yes, it does, women get raped in their homes quite a lot, not all rapes are drunken women wearing short skirts staggering around the city centre and incidentally that doesn’t give anyone any excuse to the rape them, women should be safe despite what they wear and where they are” I smarted.

“What do you think men do when they see these women in tiny clothes showing off their bodies like that? It makes men feel sexy and they have problems controlling themselves” he started to shout.

“Ok, so you are saying to me that you cannot bear to take your kids swimming at a local pool, because bikini clad women make you want to rape? Or are you saying that men cannot be blamed for getting sexually erect in a city street when they see women in a short skirt and such is this uncontrollable urge they have to pull the short skirted woman up and alley and rape her? Is that what you are saying?” I shouted now.

“Women make men rape them by such behaviour” he screamed back.

“Mohammed would hate you and your stupid words and I am not even a Muslim, I know that if he is such an almighty gracious man he would know you are talking crap and he is possibly ashamed people like you represent his words” I shouted at him, grabbed my bag and got out of his cab.

“You have to pay me now” he argued.

“No, I had to listen to your pro-rapist shit for ten minutes so you can go rape yourself for the cash, call the police do what you want, but you are not getting a penny of my money” I walked away and he drove off at a screech.

I caught the bus to the airport. It was nice and I listened to my music all the way._

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