I’m not going to rant Not this time

I’m not going to rant. Not this time. Yes, there’s another sex pest. Yes, he works in my industry. But I’m not going to rant. I’m going to write dark, delicious stories about secrets, desire and flying women.

But Rachel, his victims were as young as sixteen.

Yes, I am a mother to a teenager and yes, this is a level of disgust I didn’t know I could feel. But I’m not going to rant. I’m tired of ranting. Instead, I’m going to sit in a café and listen to stories that aren’t mine to listen to and notice the ways that people act when they don’t think they are being watched.

But Rachel, there are men on the internet, arguing that these women must be after something.

Yes, there are. There always are. But you know and I know that the victims of sex scandals gain nothing but the sense that they have told their truth. They have their reputations dragged through dirt and judgements laid at their doors so that they know just how low some people think them. So instead of ranting, I am going to sip my mint tea and consider a story line or a character profile and all the fun things that my characters could be doing.

But Rachel, why didn’t they go to the police? I mean if they have nothing to hide, surely the justice system is better than some trial by social media.

Oh come on. You know the problems with the police. You’ve seen the statistics. And if you haven’t, you must be wilfully ignorant of the way in which our country has effectively decriminalised rape. And let’s just remember the names of Sarah Everard, killed by a police officer. Or Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, stabbed to death and then mocked by the investigating officers. Or the racist, misogynistic WhatsApp messages. So, no I’m not ranting. Instead I am thinking about my own stand up and the jokes I might make and the audiences I might make laugh.

But Rachel, isn’t this just trial by social media and isn’t he presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Have you read the article? Have you watched the documentary? Have you failed to be impressed by the layers of evidence that those journalists uncovered? And the whole innocent until proven guilty. You are an adult, you are allowed to make your mind up. There will come a point where charges will be pressed and then we will shut up about it so as not to scupper the attempts of the prosecutors. But until that time,… no, you know what. I am not going to rant about this. I am not going to give this the time of day.

I have stories I want to write. I have dreams I want to dream. I have food to enjoy and company to spend time with. I am not going to rant. I am not going to give you the pleasure of seeing my anger. I am not going to be goaded. I am sitting here calmly. I have turned off my social media.

But Rachel, don’t you think the timing is a little bit off. I mean just as he is making a name for opposing mainstream media, there he is being accused of all things. I mean if they knew about it for ages, surely…

Oh shut up! He is mainstream media. He has been on all our television screens, on our radios and in our cinemas. The timing – the timing is how long it takes to get people to understand why they feel traumatised. The timing is how long it takes to undertake a proper investigation. The timing is not some great conspiracy. The conspiracy is how much energy and effort it takes for women to deal with the constant barrage of harassment and abuse so that we can be told that we aren’t good enough, aren’t strong enough to deal with the real world. So, if you don’t mind, I’m just going to sit here and write something funny and charming.

But Rachel, why aren’t they going after corrupt Tories, or talking about climate change, or addressing the cost of living crisis. Typical celebrity nonsense.

I know how this sounds like you’re on my side, but actually what you’re saying is that the abuse of women isn’t that important. I’ve been to your union meetings where you ask a woman to make the tea, while you discuss the real issues. So,… no, hang on. I’m not doing this. I’m going to play word games and develop metaphors and mess around with language. I am not going to rant.

But Rachel, what about…

No, I mean it now. Stop it. I get it. You find it easier to empathise with predators than their victims. I get it that you think he just crossed a line, but he doesn’t deserve to lose his career. His career. And that you think women like to exaggerate about stuff. And by exaggerate, you mean lie. I get you think it both doesn’t matter what they say because they are just women. And also that it does matter, because men are always being falsely accused. And even if I point out to you that you are more likely to be raped than be falsely accused of rape, you won’t listen to me. So, stop it.

I don’t want to rant.

It’s exhausting isn’t it? The time and effort that I have to put into having answers and showing my working out and controlling my temper. It is exhausting.

I just want to write something, to create my own stories.

And then when I do write something, create my own stories, I’ll be told I’m too emotional. That I’m biased. That I’m just being difficult. That women can’t be funny, inventive, see the bigger picture.

So, just let me write my stories. You don’t have to read them.

Let my find the time to unfurl my wings and fly. My phone is off. My notifications are off. You are blocked.

Because I’m not going to rant.

Not this time.

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