Clubbing not open invitation to sexual harassment

Melissa Chua

Going to a club on a Friday night as a young and single woman is like setting yourself up to be touched, grabbed and fondled repeatedly by various sexually-driven men. I hate going to clubs particularly because I have yet to experience a club scene where the men are not physically violating me either directly or indirectly.

I go to a club to have some fun, relax, unwind and dance with a couple of my girlfriends. I feel like guys go to a club with the sole intent of finding “Miss Right Now” because these horndogs do not know the meaning of boundaries! Where can a girl get some personal space on the dance floor without being grabbed from behind and touched anywhere the guy sees fit? What about those guys that think they own you? They come up real close and corner you, leaving you helpless, pissed off and scared. You feel trapped, literally!

I remember once, at some club in Hollywood, I was making my way through the crowd with my friends to find some room on the dance floor. I was trailing behind my friends when suddenly, I felt this hand grab mine. I looked behind me for a face, and starring back at me was this guy with a big grin on his face. He gripped my hand tighter and soon managed to take hold of my whole left arm. I struggled to break free, but the guy had me locked in. At that moment, I was fearful and weak, but I continued to struggle, and finally, I escaped.

C’mon ladies, I know you know what I mean! Why do women have to face these instances at clubs? Why is it a matter of escaping from a danger simply for being a woman in a club? Why do women have to feel like they are in danger in the first place? This is a sad reality. Most women, if not all, have faced this in one way or another in a club environment.

Some people argue that if you wear provocative attire it will most likely provoke attention from men. These people say women who wear skimpy outfits ask for the attention. I can see why people think that because it is true to some extent. Typically, when women go to a club, they dress to impress. Women dress in clothes that exemplify their body, granted at their own level of comfort. When more bare skin is exposed, men usually flock to it thinking it’s an open invitation for sexual pleasure. Ultimately, why can’t women wear whatever they desire? If we have it, why can’t we flaunt it without it being an issue of attracting unwanted attention from men?

I can understand alcohol oftentimes stimulates this aggressive sexual behavior, but being under the influence is not a justifiable reason to completely disrespect and violate a woman. Besides, being in a club (especially a 21 and over club), the majority of the people are probably tipsy, drunk, or somewhere in between. Nonetheless, drunken acts should not validate the right that women have to feel and be respected at clubs, no matter, what their physical appearance or behavior.

I can also understand that by nature, men are sexual beings, but please note; women are too. We simply need to know and learn how to control our sexual urges.

Despite a vast majority of women who I’m sure would agree with me so far, I have no doubt there are plenty of women out there who love this male attention. In fact, I know some who long for the attention because it makes them feel beautiful and liked. For some women, being touched, grabbed or fondled by a male stranger is quite the confidence booster because it makes them feel noticed and attractive.

Even so, men who approach women in these ways can and should resort to other methods because it is demeaning and rude to many women.

I would like to urge the butt-grabbers, the grinders, the ones who corner women or the ones who use force to keep women from escaping their sexual delight, to please: think before you act! Consider that impulsive actions that seem to be so involuntary or heavily influenced by alcohol or peers may and probably is unwanted and disrespectful to a woman.

I want women to be able to walk into a club, have some good clean fun, and leave at their own will, still feeling completely respected by the men in the room. I would love to see the day where women will not be discarded as the lesser counterpart to men, and women will indeed be treated as equal human beings.