I'm tired. I'm tired of feeling like I can't go out on the town and have a fun night with friends without being on edge. I'm tired of having to keep my hand over my drink everywhere I go to prevent it from being spiked. I'm tired of having to deal with this every single night I decide to go out.
It's not something that happens only in the movies, and it's not something that happens once in a blue moon. It happens no matter what we wear, no matter who we're with, no matter what club or bar we go to. Women can't seem to escape being assaulted, sexually and physically.
Guys, we know what you're doing. We're aware of where you are in relation to our bodies, whether you're creeping up behind us to try to dance or just trying to "slide past us" on the crowded dance floor. We know what your intentions are, and we know your tricks.
1. Smacking and grabbing our asses from behind
It's a bold move that I honestly can't believe you thought would work in your favor. Like, you actually seem to think, "Surely, if I smack this girl I don't know's ass while she's dancing with her friends and has no idea who I am, this will end well for me." It never will. It's disgusting, and it shows that you are, too.
I have no idea who you are. Unless I choose to dance with you and actually seem interested in you so much as touching me, you have absolutely no right. Sexually assaulting me in the club does't show your interest in me to me, but it damn well will result in me smacking the shit out of you and having security throw you out. You never have any right to put your hands on a woman's body, for any reason, unless she explicitly and coherently tells you you can.
2. Trying to grind, even after we move away
It must either be pretty hard to take the hint or you just don't seem to care, and I'm opting for the latter answer. It doesn't matter how crowded the dance floor is, you can tell when a girl actually wants to dance with you and when she wants you to go away. Too many times, guys completely disregard our body language and how we vocalize that we'd rather be left alone with our friends on the dance floor.
I didn't ask for you to thrust your crotch at me, I didn't ask for you to put your hands on my waist from behind. Learn to take the hint and respect women. Learn that you don't have permission to touch me in any way unless I give it to you. If we move away from you after your first advance, learn to ask first and to respect our answer.
3. Physically trying to get something in return after buying us a drink
Your decision to spend your money on us isn't any of our business. We don't owe anything to you if you choose to make the first move, and especially if we don't reciprocate interest. Don't try to kiss me, don't try to grab me, don't try to put your hands on my waist. Don't try to follow me around after I tell you "Thanks, but no thanks." There's an obvious distinction between being polite and being creepy.
4. Catcalling us as we walk by
There's a reason I'm walking away. I don't know you, and you yelling profanities and unwanted comments on my body when I'm more than likely just trying to walk past you to get somewhere else is completely unwanted. It's not flattering, it doesn't pique my interest, and it doesn't make me stop and think, "Hey, he seems like a real polite guy. I should go home with him."
It shows me that you're an animal, that you're comfortable with making me uncomfortable, especially if I disregard your advances. Then, you get angry that I would dare not be interested in you and instead hurl insults at me to save your pride. Learn when a girl isn't interested and when your behavior is incredibly predatory.
It's become normalized that the price of going out is the likelihood of being grabbed or groped. With a crowded dance floor and booze flowing, it's become evident that guys think they can use these things as an excuse to get away with assaulting women. Whether it's putting your hand on my lower back as you walk past me or whether it's blatantly smacking my ass from behind, it's all assault and it's all unwanted.
More often than not, women don't even bother reporting or saying anything about the assault and harassment they experience when they go out. They assume that they will receive the blame for the violation of their bodies because of where they were, what they were wearing, and how much they had to drink.
None of that matters and none of that discredits the fact that you've been assaulted.
Being grabbed in the club and having your drinks spiked at the bar aren't just "part of going out," and they're not acts that anyone should be comfortable with just disregarding. Bartenders and security need to be trained to intervene when they can tell advances are unwanted, and a woman shouldn't be threatened to be kicked out for smacking someone who just sexually assaulted her.
It happens way too often, but it shouldn't. Guys, you need to learn that these behaviors are unwanted assaults on women.