Dear Stuart Part.2: Harassment in Clubs
Dear Hive boy,
I’ve never thought of myself as a ‘crotchy’ kind of gal. Scratch that, no one has ever thought of themselves as a ‘crotchy’ kind of gal; by this definition I simply mean that whilst I concede that crotches are generally impressive and multifaceted works of human biology, they aren’t our best feature - it’s certainly not mine, at least (I’ve been told my eyes are, but that’s irrelevant).
Maybe my ambivalence towards crotches is why I was so surprised when you grabbed mine. It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting when I walked into the club - I was expecting sliminess, you sort of have to be when you enter Hive - but crotch grabbing? Really? Pop a toupee on your head, smack your face till it naturally puckers and I might as well have labelled this ‘Dear Trump’.
I laugh at this kind of thing to get by. Don’t let small japes and not-so-subtle references to our not-so-honourable president deceive you, I was and still am absolutely livid. I wanted to hit you and the encounter still jutters over and over again in my head on occasion, mostly because of its inappropriateness but equally just because it was fucking weird. I shall, for the sake of the reader, set the scene:
Hive is one of the worst night clubs I have ever visited. I say that lightly, because for some reason I’ve been there eight times and that, in itself, implies it isn’t that bad. But it is. It really is. The sweat doesn’t seem to permeate out of people but out of the walls itself, curling around in tendrils, never really leaving the air. I think I might have just loosely described the Blair Witch Project, but I promise there is no exaggeration.
You go there, in my opinion, for the songs; there are several rooms, all different genres, all cheesier than the last. But, you know how it is: you’re drunk, it’s loud, you can’t hear your conscience screaming for you to go home so you can start that essay bright and early tomorrow morning.
What’s worse than the setting and inexcusable - even with the beat of one hit wonders, skrillex and noughties hits pulsing all around you - is the sense of entitlement men get in there. Obviously not all of them, obviously some are fine - like all the men I go there with, for example. But you just get some that live for female discomfort.
I’ve had problems with it before, like the guy who insisted he was ‘protecting me’ at the bar from all the men around me by encasing me in his arms - the sentiments right, the delivery’s all wrong. But you, you just walked past me, tugged on my crotch like you would check a horse’s girth strap, NODDED, and walked away.
Who does that?
What made it better was your friends' response. After you did it and strode of into another cloud of sweat and limbs, things went in slow motion. I sort of looked around, wide eyed and gob-smacked, looking for anyone who saw what you just did who I could scoff and guffaw and bitch with; unfortunately for your friend, it was only him - and he looked as caught off guard as I did.
“In his defence,” He stuttered, “I have NEVER seen him do that before. I Promise.”
Ohhhhh. He promised! That’s all fine then! This angry letter was a hoax, I just wanted to let you know it’s all fine because your pal had never seen you grab a woman’s crotch before you grabbed mine and I was just wondering if you would maybe be down to have lunch at some point - you bring the hand, I’ll bring the vagina.
You can probably guess, but this just made me angrier. It was such a nothing-statement, an unnecessary defence that didn’t actually defend anyone.
But what am I going to do? Explain, not even to you but to your friend, that one reason I personally like going to the toilet in clubs with other girls is so I won’t be caught off guard alone by a guy? Ask politely that he takes into account how I don’t like making eye contact with anyone at the bar of a night club as in the past it has been considered flirting? Remember that I have to continuously ask myself whether someone is trying to push past behind me or whether I’m being intentionally groped? How girls get too drunk at night clubs all the time and there always seems to be some strange man there willing to pick up the pieces for a price?
To be fair, he had never seen you do that before. Who am I to judge, but the woman whose crotch you fancied?
Sort it out, and soon.