It’s no secret that I occasionally post, let’s say “flirtatious” material on my Twitter feed and I have followers who are less interested in my controversial opinions than they are in my cleavage. That’s ok. Everybody’s welcome and, if I didn’t enjoy the banter, I wouldn’t do it.And it goes both ways. Once upon a time, the banter went a tiny bit further. I contacted one of my Twitter fans, I am single and life really is too short, we had a little chat, did a tiny bit of negotiation and, the next thing you know, I was hurrying into his hotel room in the middle of Glasgow. Darlings, I was terrified, not just because that’s the kind of risky behaviour that can easily end in disaster, not just because I was reaching the culmination of months and months of lustful anticipation but also because he was so much bigger than I expected. He’s a big tall man, always smartly dressed, broad as a door with the physique of an ageing gladiator and he was so eager! He just sat me on the bed and took his clothes off, right there and then – my own personal Poundshop Chippendale! But, when I said he was a big man, well, I had no idea! Now that WAS terrifying. I know you think I’m exaggerating but honestly, I couldn’t get my hand round it. Like a brave girl, I steeled myself for the ordeal ahead and I was so glad I did – even when I kicked over the bedside light and sent it crashing to the floor. Now, the reason this wonderful, happy memory comes to mind is, if course, because of the ongoing Westminster sex scandal.
I don’t want to diminish the stuff that’s coming out. Some of these accusations have been passed to the police and, if they end in charges and convictions, then the men involved deserve whatever is coming to them.
But am I a sex pest? I contacted a man I barely knew so I could know him barely. No other purpose in mind. Does that make me a sex pest?
And Westminster is like any other workplace with men and women spending the day side by side. Somebody is bound to ask somebody out. Flirting will happen. Propositions will be proposed, like they are in every factory, every office in the land. Is that wrong? Have we really reached the stage that what was the normal and acceptable way of meeting someone is now reprehensible and the only respectable way of finding a date is the cold, clinical, sterile, isolated flick of a Tinder profile?
For every man caught up in these sex pest allegations right now, there must be dozens of others who have done exactly the same thing towards women who haven’t been offended – women who would have found it either flattering or boring and dealt with it.
Aren’t those men equally guilty. Don’t those women also need to be apologised to? Because if a clumsy pass is wrong, then is it ever right?