We are taught about consensual sex and what it means, but why does that stop when I walk into a bar or a club?
I can say that 9 out of 10 times that Iâ€™ve been to a club with my girlfriends, I have been groped or touched as have they. Iâ€™m sure the females reading this can think of a particular time when this has happened.
Many students see groping as a normal part of a night out even though it is unwanted.
Do we have a choice to go clubbing and not get touched? Or do we have to put up with it because we want to go to a club?
Sexual harassment is defined as behavior that is unwanted, intimidating or humiliating for the victim. So why does it occur every weekend?
As a female, I should be able to go to whatever club I want and confidently know that men have the basic knowledge not to touch and grope whoever they want, whenever they want.
A recent poll that I conducted with women who go on nights out to clubs and bars, asked them, how many of those nights out have involved a man grabbing or touching them without consent?
The results showed that over 50% of females experienced this on pretty much all of their nights out.
25% said that they have been harassed for at least half of their nights out and only 9% said that under half of their nights out have involved unwanted touching.
“These crimes are normalized by society,” says Katherine Chapman, Women’s Officer at Sheffield University who recently spoke to the Guardian.
“They’re almost encouraged, and are most prevalent among young people.”
There is no way I will put up with unwanted behavior every time I go out. These actions should not be normalized, they should be seen for what they are – degrading.
There have been one too many times where my night has been ruined by a persistent male that cannot take no for an answer. We go out to enjoy ourselves not to be harassed by unwanted attention.
A girl from Glasgow, who does not want to be named says â€œIâ€™ve seen girls black out drunk, lying on the floor and guys still trying to take advantage of her. Or taking photos up her skirt. Itâ€™s just disgusting. The bouncerâ€™s did nothing.â€
The only way forward, I believe is through staff training. Training staff should help them identify what harassment looks like and the right way to deal with it.
Clubâ€™s should also put up posters in toilets and at the entrance condemning this behaviour and to show that staff, including bouncers or door stewards will not tolerate it and they will be looking out for it.
We need to make club consent known from all angles, to speak and show that it will never be okay. That is a start.