Dark skies lit by the musty lamp-posts in streets at 3am are hardly rare, and on Friday nights the pavements are often scattered with a fair amount of stumblers getting home. But it seems that this is more a normality for men, why is it deemed so bizarre for a woman to do so? We are vulnerable, we should get a taxi, we should stay at a friends. What’s the issue with a woman walking back to her own home at night? Even inside the clubs, there’s always a scene of a man flinging his drunk and horny hands onto a random woman walking past, in places he should not touch. We are a night-time prize for men.
Dangers of the nighttime are making themselves clear, and why is it that women should have to take so much more care when out having a good time? When was the last time you saw a girl shove her hands on a guy’s crotch, or heard about the man that got sexually assaulted in the street on his walk home? Yes, it does happen, but not often. Girls are at danger. And why? Because of our pretty make-up, or because of our short dresses?
Well, I can safely confirm that my short skirt doesn’t invite your fingers up it, my tight leggings don’t invite your hands to grab at my ass, and my low cut top does not invite your hands to wherever it is their going. My heels don’t mean I’m DTF. And if you buy me a drink, don’t expect me to go home with you.
I gave you my number, not permission to ask if we’re going to “your place or mine.” I gave you a kiss, not permission to try and drag me into the corner and shove your hand in my panties.
Do some men think that their gender allows them to treat us like playthings? And it becomes even more worrying when drugs are added into the equation. Even places like student towns are riddled with stories of spiking, and although one in five victims of drink spiking are men, their statute and physicality means the drugs sprinkled into the drinks effect them in an entirely different way. Yes, it does happen, but not often. So this is for the four in five that are women.
Young women left paralyzed and crying in a bar toilet shouldn’t be happening, especially to first year students as young as 19. But it happens all the time, and to people we all know. A friend even told me her story:
It was a standard night out with a few friends, I was tipsy after two or three single JDs and Coke. The next thing I knew I was sat on the toilet drifting in and out of consciousness. I remember my head falling back like someone was pulling it, hitting the back of the toilet so hard it sent me back out of consciousness before I woke up to a female security guard shaking me violently and screaming in my face to wake me up. The guards walked me out of the toilets — only I couldn’t walk, so my legs just gave way and dragged underneath my body. It only takes one person, one second, to do something that will change your night and quite potentially, your life.
This incident was left unreported, because she was left feeling powerless. “What could the police do? Even the female security guard said ‘this happens all the time, there’s nothing we can do.’ I felt furious about this. The next day I was suspicious of every man who passed me.”
Again and again women are warned about spiking, to keep their drinks safe, watch them at all times, don’t let men buy them drinks. And again and again, there are no messages to men not to sprinkle their desperate date-rape concoctions into a woman’s drink. The women are deemed to have to be in control, to avoid these psychopaths who think that making you blackout wasted is their only chance to pull, but surely it should be the men controlling themselves drugging the women they choose as their plaything for the night. Where are the clubs and bars precautions against these men, rather than the warnings the women?
Bars should worry about this, not women. Men should be informed about this, not women. There should be distinct measures against this happening, not warnings to women.
A deputy manager of a bar in Bournemouth has even told me “we don’t take any precautions against spiking at all, it’s not an issue” yet I’ve heard endless stories about women being spiked in the town. He even says this after telling me a story about a woman so effected by spiking that “she began having a fit and managed to bite a chunk off her own tongue.”
But that’s all okay, because she shouldn’t have drank something spiked. The man had to right to drug her. Surely. Because that’s what society seems to impose with all these warnings and lack of action. The men who spike feel like they aren’t even in the wrong, it’s such a common occurrence and so ignored that they’re okay to keep doing what they’re doing. And thanks to this minority of men who think they have some sort of God-given right to be assholes and throw drugs into a woman’s drink, we’re left vulnerable in situations in which we should just be having fun.
Women shouldn’t be deemed the controllers of spiking, when they are the ‘powerless’ ones. And something needs to be done.