Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dirty Dancing

Last week an article about a young man who has blogged some helpful hints for women who might be considering something crazy like going out dancing in mixed company, to avoid getting raped in the process, was featured on

The helpful hinter likens women getting up close and personal with men on the dance floor and later refusing to have sex to a store advertising a sale, but then hiking the prices up instead, saying, "It would almost make you want to say "screw this" and rob the store to get your promised discount, wouldn't it?"
Um, no?

After recovering from the anger stroke caused by reading this and other choice quotes, I was reminded of an issue that has been on my mind for some time.

I LOVE to put on something pretty and go out dancing with my friends. I do NOT love being groped by strangers. And despite my best efforts to discourage this kind of behaviour, it seems the two are mutually exclusive.

There is inevitably some guy who thinks it's perfectly ok to approach me by sidling his groin up to me from behind. It's as if, by walking in off the street, we are agreeing to throw away all rules of acceptable conduct. Most people would agree that a stranger approaching them on the sidewalk, genitals first, should result in some kind of legal repercussions, or at least a swift kick.

And yet, once inside a bar or club, many young women I know claim they "don't want to be rude" by firmly telling a guy to please back the hell off, immediately. And, if a guy is deemed attractive enough, (provided she actually gets a look at him), a lot of women actually seem happy to oblige in dry humping to the music.

I guess this is part of the reason why many guys seem genuinely confused when I'm not willing to treat them like a human striptease pole. However, just because some women respond positively to this sleazy approach, is no reason to assume that all women will.

My boyfriend points out that most of these situations go hand in hand with alcohol consumption, and that most guys wouldn't make a move like that while sober. But I feel like, if it were firmly imprinted on their brains that this is not a respectful or acceptable way to treat a woman, it shouldn't matter.

Maybe I just don't watch enough music videos.

Or maybe I just need to accept this behaviour as one of those things I just don't get and stick to swing dancing with the elderly.


Mari said...

I don't know what to tell you Sarah, you should be able to go out and have fun dancing without the neanderthal advances of creepy guys. I would like to think things had improved since I was your age, but that is just wishful thinking. Embarrass these guys. Speak up loudly and say, "Hey, quit touching me!" Make a scene, and maybe they'll learn their lesson.

Sarah said...

Yeah. That's pretty much been my strategy. You should have seen the look on the face of the guy who crouched down and reached through people's legs to try and run his hand up my inner thigh.
I'm pretty petite, but I grabbed him by the offending arm and yanked him face to face with me so he could clearly hear me yell that in no uncertain terms was he to ever do something so revolting to anyone again.
Maybe he'll think twice next time, he definitely steered clear of me for the rest of the evening. :)

Mari said...

Excellent! And you know that basic karate defense move, right? Stomp on the foot, going up to knee him in the groin as you punch up under the chin with your palm. It gives you time to get away- parking lots are scary places late at night. This just pisses me off SO much. When do we get our f***ing equality? When will our daughters be safe? When can we pump a tank of gas or walk around without having to be on alert?

Mari said...

Sorry, guess I got a little worked up!