Title: I’m Not Your “Baby”: An Australian Woman’s Tortured Life of Sexual Harassment and Assault
Author: Joy Jennings
Genre: Memoir approx 72,000 words.
In this suspenseful and riveting memoir about a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Australian beach girl, Joy faces the battle of her life against the not-so-friendly bronzed Aussie bloke.
Through her raw, dark stories of frightening sexual assaults, shocking rapes, non-stop abuse, violation and street harassment, Joy Jennings shares of how she tried to make her way in her coastal home town, while being hounded, followed and tormented at every turn.
Her powerfully moving story throws you into a world of tradies, hoons and bogans, who behave in the world’s most vile, vulgar and sexist of ways. With her candid and compelling recollections of being choked to within an inch of her life, having her car window smashed into her face, being stalked and having men rip the very clothes from her body, this memoir will not only keep you captivated, but also astonish you with every page.
Readers will be taken on an unrelenting ride as they share Joy’s emotional journey. I’m Not Your “Baby” will have you fighting for our author who, with a determined heart, never gives up hope of finding love, peace and ultimate happiness.
This is not a story about demonizing the Australian male, but one that humanizes the victims.
Excerpt from Chapter 5:
The disadvantage of being an Aussie beach chick was that when I did go out anywhere alone, I became vulnerable to the onslaught of street harassment from every Australian male who passed me by. It didn’t matter where I went or what I wore, from light summer clothing through to baggy T-shirts and sweat pants, it was as though I had no right to walk the streets without being a target of sexually charged harassment.
It didn’t only happen on the coast. I remember being harassed back in Melbourne starting at around the age of thirteen. The odd car would honk as it drove past, and some bloke would whistle at me, which I didn’t like. If I said anything to either one of my sisters, I was just told to take as a compliment. I tried to at first, but the car toots and whistles increased in both frequency and intensity with every year, and it really started to wear me down.
When I turned seventeen and first moved to the coast, the harassment increased tremendously, and I soon had all manner of men, of all ages, whistling, tooting and yelling out at me. Their comments were sexist, lewd and really quite vile.
“Hey baby, show us your pink bits!”
“Hey baby, wiggle that hot ass. You’re getting us hard!”
The invidious comments weren’t exclusive to Australian men, but they certainly were responsible for the crudest of them. Men anywhere from sixteen to seventy-six were all taking part in objectifying not only me, but many other women, my friends included. The very worst of it would usually come from the young Aussie men in their late teens and early twenties, who had absolutely no idea how to behave in public, especially in front of a lady.
There were also the physical assaults. If I was standing in a busy store or crowded place, especially on public transport, I would have my bottom pinched, my breasts groped, crotches rubbed against me, and propositions for sex and other lewd and vile remarks whispered in my ear. When I was at work, I had guys leaping over the counter to kiss my cheek or smell my neck, and I was hit on continually.
Quite often, I was followed by males who would make disgusting remarks.
Some explicit content removed for the purpose of PG-13 audiences
These so-called compliments were never something I found cute, funny or complimentary, but rather insulting, intimidating, abusive, rude, insensitive and vulgar. No woman deserves it, and it wasn’t something I should have expected because I was born female.
Many leered and snickered and called me over like a dog. Some would grab their crotches and ask me if I wanted some. They whistled, hooted and hollered and made sexual gestures with their hands, fingers, mouths and tongues.
Joy Jennings was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. At seventeen, Joy and her family moved to Queensland where she spent over thirty years living on the Gold Coast.
Following in the footsteps of her father, published author and newspaper columnist, Joy realized her own talents as a writer with the debut of her artfully crafted memoir.
It is Joy’s hope that through her work she can educate women, particularly young women, on how to help protect themselves against sexual harassment or assault and offer her story as an example of the mistakes Joy made in remaining silent. It is Joy’s even larger hope that her memoir will encourage a shift in male attitudes and behaviours, not only in Australia but worldwide, and bring about social change.
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