Friday, October 30, 2015

Yes, All Women

Last year, Puffy Kracker, a friend, & I went out for Halloween. It promised to be a fun night, a community party & dance hosted by a local service group. Some of our favourite people were attending. We all planned to whoop it up & enjoy!

Friend & I, being members of the theatre group, LOVE dressing up. She looked great in her costume, much younger & sweeter than she actually is 😉

There were already quite a few people at the small venue when we arrived, so we joined some friends who had room at their table. 

& that's when it started.

There was someone else at the table, someone we hadn't met before. So, after introductions, Friend chitchatted politely with him.  He offered to buy her a drink. She declined. He asked her to dance. She declined. 

We went up for drinks & returned to the table. He asked her to dance. She declined. We danced. We visited with other friends. He offered to buy her a drink. She declined.

This is how our evening went. We abandoned the table for other areas, other tables, the dance floor, the bar. It didn't matter. He followed her around, repeatedly asking her to dance or to buy her a drink, despite her repeatedly saying, "No thanks."

Friend is married. He is married. But that didn't deter him from his behaviour, behaviour that made her so uncomfortable that we left early at her request. 

Yes, we had to leave a public event earlier than intended because that man decided to harrass my friend, decided that his desire to dance with her or ply her with drinks was more important, more urgently needed fulfilling, than her desire to have a fun night out with friends.

My rage at him still burns after a year. 

We go tomorrow to the same event. Friend's hubby is able to attend this year, & my first thought was, "Good. Now she won't be bugged & can have fun." & that pisses me off to no end. Pisses me off that, in order for us to have fun, we need male chaperones to keep away the crazies. We, women in 2015, are safer & more likely to have a good night out, because we have men with us.

I know this story is mild... A fun night out spoiled by a persistant jackass is NOTHING compared to some of the horrible things that men do to women, but it is a symptom, a perfect example of the misogynistic society that we still live in. When men want to do something, they do it. It doesn't matter what woman they bother in the process. 

It isn't enough to tell harrassing men that we're married, that we're not interested, "thanks, but no thanks". It isn't enough to wear a ring, not flirt, not dress provocatively, not respond, not tease, not entice. The only thing that works, & this doesn't even work 100% of the time, is to have a man with you, in your presence at all times. 

I hope I live to see the day when this changes, when people raise their sons better, to understand NO, to recognize what is appropriate behaviour.

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