Society Magazine

Nightclubs: A Culture of Harassment

Posted on the 20 March 2015 by Juliez

The first time I experienced harassment in a club, a man came up behind me and put his hand under my dress and in between my legs. I was horrified. I felt dirty, violated and mortified. As the night went on, however, my feelings changed to anger. How dare he touch me like that without any consent? When my anger reached a boiling point I left the club to get some air and squawked indignantly about what had just happened as soon as I saw my friends. A few minutes later I learned that the same man had grabbed one of my friends bums and then just laughed. It was after this night that I decided to find out more.

It has become clear that my friend and I are hardly the only women to have experienced this. It seems, in fact, that if you go to a nightclub and are a woman you’re essentially guaranteed to get sexually harassed. Women in my community — and likely everywhere — are subjected to this harassment culture of unwanted advances and verbal abuse. Whilst at a club in London, a friend of mine was subjected to a man trying to place his hand into her underwear twice, even after she had yelled at him and another got hit in the face by the man she had just asked to stop grinding on her.

What’s even more disturbing than this upsetting reality, though, is the fact that many young women at my university who I’ve spoken to about this in the ladies room or in the bar queue discuss this issue with a sense of resignation. They expect it and therefore consider it ‘old news’ rather than being indignant, up in arms and certainly not complacent.

Admittedly, the reality of the situation is frustrating, though. It seems the only real thing you can do if you are groped or smacked on the bottom in a club is report it to the bouncer. Depending on how they feel, they’ll either kick the offender out or do nothing. Most women find they have few other options, therefore, than to ignore it or maybe tell said person where to go and ultimately carry on with their night.

The fact that these types of experiences occur regularly  is totally unacceptable, there needs to be more effort made by club security and police to drive this culture out of clubs and make them spaces that women can enjoy without constantly being in fear of harassment. Hopefully one day clubs will cease to be predatory environments where men can seemingly do as they please and women will eventually feel safe to have a good night out.

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