I have gone out far too often within the past several weeks not to be greeted
with friendly hugs from familiar friends and awesome high fives from pals, but
rather to be welcomed by strange hands reaching around my waist and unfamiliar
palms smacking my derriere. These actions happen far too often at way too many
colligate celebrations. A woman will simply attempt to socialize and end up getting
These actions happened to me last weekend. I attempted to get my groove
on at a stereotypical bash. I stood up against the wall, surrounded by the company
of friends, and wiggled along to the rhythms of the omnipresent dubstep. In two
hip shakes I had my first suitor. But unlike in the Victorian era, this caller didn’t
ask for permission to grab my hand, but rather he forcibly got up on me. I extracted
myself from his sweaty clench and told him that his actions were unwanted. Upset,
he staggered off. I re-situated myself and began to dance again. Just as I got into
whatever top 40 song was blaring, the man grabbed me once again. However, this
time I was not so kind.
“You can’t just grab me!” I yelled above the thunder of the party, “You have to ask
first! And if I say ‘No!’ I mean no. It doesn’t mean that you can grab me again. It’s not
fine and it’s not welcome.”
“What do you think I’m a murderer?” He slurred as he questioned my motives “Do
you think I’m a rapist? Seriously, what’s your problem?”
My only problem was him, and the general attitude that this behavior is
acceptable. There are far too many men who view these grope-y, grabby actions
as fine and dandy. They think that they have automatic consent and act without
regards to the feelings of the touched.
Well, one might ask, aren’t you inviting these motions by dressing up, going
out and wiggling about? The answer to that is a resounding no. I have every right to
go out and dance. I have every right to get dressed up. I have every right to have fun.
I should have every right to accomplish every one of these tasks without the fear of
being seized by a stranger.
This behavior is not okay and it is causing so many more issues. First and
foremost these actions are making women feel uncomfortable. Women shouldn’t
have to make up code words, wear clothes they don’t want to or leave social
gatherings because men make them feel uncomfortable. Secondly, because of the
prevalence of these actions, these attitudes are widely accepted and not questioned.
Yet there is a simple solution to these problems. Men need to ask women
before they make a move on her. Women shouldn’t allow themselves to dance with
men who don’t ask for permission.
Men- this action takes two seconds. If you’re rejected it isn’t the end of the
world. Women- if a man dance without asking you first, remember you probably
don’t want to be with him anyways.
So people- please make the college rite more enjoyable for me and for
everyone else. Ask before you grab.