The internet is awash with hazy black and white pictures of Maz looking smoking, with 'if you can't handle me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best' printed over her beautiful face in a cursive font. They're always posted by single women. And I want to take this opportunity to say to those single women, stop it. Stop it now.
I fucking hate cats, usually. Like men, they're either ugly, good-looking but dumb to the point of irrelevance, or else transparently cunning. And, also like men, they do that thing where they treat you with indifference, until you withdraw your affections, and then they're all over you like salt on chips.
Nothing will get better, for men or for women, unless we can talk about rape more calmly; unless we can accept and marry into our language the fact that rape is both grotesque and horrific, banal and workaday; unless we can understand that rape isn't always the worst thing you can do, isn't always the worst thing that can happen to you - but that sometimes, it is. Rape, like life, is complicated, and we need ways to talk about that.
I get the feeling that he's typing one-handed, so decide now's as good a time as any to go into silent mode. He gives it one final go. "I shaved today," he says. I see the email has an attachment: a photo, which I open. Yes, he's shaved all right. Everywhere. Instead of a smooth chin or chest, I see gleaming genitalia - Spam-pink with sensitivity and not a hair to be seen...
Imagine a country - a country with a population of, say, 63million people. Imagine that in that country, over 80,000 women are raped and 400,000 sexually assaulted every year, and over two per week killed by a current or former partner. Imagine that in that country one in three girls age 16-18 report experiencing unwanted sexual touching at school and nearly a third of girls in relationships aged 13-17 have experienced physical or sexual violence. Imagine that within that society, in which one in four women will experience domestic violence, half of 16-18 year olds wouldn't know where to go to get support if it happened.