by NATALIA HAWK
This is the story of two girls, one pub and a whole lot of harassment.
More specifically, it’s the story of how my best friend and I went to an inner-city Melbourne pub to watch a band with a ridiculously good-looking lead singer and have a bit of a boogie.
It’s the story of how we ended up storming out an hour later because of the physical and verbal abuse we were copping.
Let me elaborate. I’ll set the scene for you. Two twenty-one year old girls, wearing flat shoes and I can’t remember what else, standing on the dance floor of the pub, getting excited every time a new song started playing and it turned out to be better than the last one.
There was not much of a female population in the pub, so we were getting a lot of – unwanted – attention. At first, it was just the casual grope as someone walked past. My bottom was the preferred groping target. Lovely.
Then guys started deciding that it wasn’t okay for me to dance with my friend anymore. That I needed to dance with them instead. Cue The Grab, where they snatch you away or snake an arm around you so that you’re out of your circle and into their arms.
No thank you. I’m having a great time where I am. I have a boyfriend. He’s not here right now, but he’s big and strong and could totally fight you. But the excuses weren’t good enough.
It got to the stage where some guy was so offended by my brush-offs that he decided the best way to get my attention was to continually launch himself at me – with force – until I turned around and started talking to him.
I turned around after he’d purposely run into me for the seventh time in less than a minute. I shoved him away and asked him to mind his personal space. The music was loud, so I might have mimed out a “no-trespassing area” around me.
He called me a bitch. I could still hear that over the music.
There was a security guard watching the entire thing. He didn’t care.
There were, however, two guys who did care. They stood next to us, acting like pseudo-boyfriends, and whenever someone approached me, I pointed to the tallest of the two and mouthed “boyfriend”!
As nice as those boys were, our night was already spoiled. We hugged them and headed home, disappointed with how the evening had turned out.
The most disappointment came afterwards, when I was recounting the evening to two male friends.
Friend One: “What did you expect? You were in a pub.”