Author, Columnist, Feminist, Repatriate, UK-US citizen. @ToniHargis

Guys — it’s not about you.

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A popular TikToker recently videoed himself coming to the aid of a young woman who was being harassed in a store and couldn’t shake the person off. Seeing her distress, he deployed the age-old ‘friend’ trick of pretending to know her and then escorting her to safety. The young woman seemed to play along, and all was well.

*Caveat — I have no idea whether this was staged, a big PR exercise, or a genuine event, and this isn’t my focus. …


And what you can say in response

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I doubt there’s a woman on the planet who hasn’t been told to “smile” — and I don’t mean for a photo, either. You’re walking along, minding your own business, and some rando on the street shouts, “Smile, love. It might never happen.” You’re deep in thought about the e-mail that needs to go out, and for some unfathomable reason, your colleague thinks a comment about your face is appropriate.

I’m equally sure the instruction has irritated the snot out of most of us on occasion, too — and a 2019 survey by Byte backs me up. The US at-home…


How dare women call it out?

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I won’t spend too much time talking about the sexist who advised Dr. Jill Biden to do the wifely thing now that her husband’s landed the Big Job — drop the Doctor title and pay homage to his accomplishments by calling herself Mrs. Biden or First Lady. That an eighty-three-year-old documented homophobe (not linking) thinks his unsolicited advice would be welcome to a younger woman with more credentials is almost sad.

Almost.

The outrage was justifiably swift and loud, directed both at the author and the Wall Street Journal for publishing such insulting tripe in the first place. But it…


What you’re really saying isn’t helping.

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Recently, I’ve been in a few “discussions” with women insisting that microaggressions against them weren’t a problem. They weren’t offended; they can take a joke. One even referenced “snowflakes” when talking about women who object to such jokes, insisting that since the comment was only made to her, no other woman was harmed.

I’ve been told countless times not to “make something out of nothing” and to “stop looking for things to be offended about.” Seriously, who does that? Who needs to do that when they’re everywhere?

Again, for those in the back of the room — microaggressions are not…


Far From Sympatico

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In a Manchester City football (soccer)game against Arsenal yesterday, striker Sergio Aguero disputed a call made by female ref Sian Massey-Ellis and when doing so, grabbed her by the shoulder in a manner which many women (and some men) instantly recognised as an aggressive power move. Here it is -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYqXUH-cRC8

It was enough of a shocker that football commentators immediately remarked in their post-match commentaries, and then (natch) it blew up on social media. On the few threads I ventured in to, there was gas-lighting galore, along with a huge dollop of dismissal, and it ran the gamut. …


Do Mansplaining

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On Saturday, October 3rd, UN Women tweeted out some advice on how men might avoid Mansplaining. It seemed like pretty good advice to me, and much needed if the examples on Twitter are anything to go by. Seriously, type it in and get a load of what women have to put up with on the reg. It’s a thing.

The advice was not that hard to follow either, as you can see.

Then came the inevitable onslaught. Hoo Boy, it did not disappoint. Well, I mean obviously it disappointed big time, but was oh, so predictable.

First came the deniers


It’s not “nothing”

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After the explosive 2018 findings of widespread sexual harassment and bullying in the UK’s House of Commons, a three-hour training session was developed for everyone at Parliament. Entitled “Valuing Everyone”, it became mandatory for new MPs after the 2019 election.

Although blatant stuff like grabbing bums and slobbering over staffers is no longer tolerated (as much), it seems there’s no letting up when it comes to low-level sexism, or micro-aggressions. Sadly, according to an FOI obtained by VICE World News and reported by Sophie Wilkinson, as of July 2020, 141 Conservative MPs (including the Prime Minister and fifteen Cabinet Members)…


A lesson plan for teachers everywhere.

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Depending on which side of The Pond you’re on, you may have witnessed the battle royale that took place on the floor of the US House of Representatives last week. Briefly, Congressman Ted Yoho accosted Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) on the steps of the Capitol building, informing her that she was “crazy, “out of her freakin’ mind”, “dangerous” and “disgusting”, because hey — that’s how Congressmen let their colleagues know they disagree with their political positions, right?

Here, watch the CSPAN video of her whole speech, because she spends the first three minutes setting the scene.

AOC decided to address…


When you lose your fifty year old dad at the far-too-young age of twenty, it puts you somewhere near the top of the grief-stricken heap with people. Yes obviously, there are worse losses, but you’re definitely up there.

In the summer between my first and second years at university, I went trekking round the then fairly unspoilt Greek islands with a small group of friends. Six weeks of back-backing, then straight back to Uni and a trip home planned for mid-way through the term. I’d spent most of the summer cleaning in a bread factory followed by bar-tending at night…


You may have heard the Feb. 7th New York Times interview with Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer, Donna Rotunno. (Warning, blood pressures may become seriously elevated.) Most of the focus is on her assertion that she’s never been sexually assaulted because she never put herself “in the position” to have that happen. (I know.)

Like me, you may have found your jaw dropping a tiny bit at some of her other comments on sexual assault, dating and consent. If you didn’t, you may not want to read on because I’m about to explode her flawed logic like she did my head.

Talking…

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