Love, Sex and All the Rest: Out on the Town

Donald Trump’s aggressive “locker room talk” sheds light on an underlying issue women have been dealing with for years. With the recent release of a video in which Trump states that a perk of fame is his ability to “grab women by the pussy,” we felt that there was no better a time to address the misogynistic, rape-perpetuating behavior that is especially present on college campuses.

Picture this: you’re at a bar on a Friday night with your girls. You see a group of guys across the room buying rounds of shots. Three shots in, one of them has the confidence of Trump and approaches you. “Let me buy you a shot.” “C’mon don’t be a pussy.” “Your ass looks great in that dress.” “I’d like to see you work that magic on me.” “You’re mine tonight.” “Come home with me.” The dialogue continues until he’s convinced he’s won you over. Won. As if you’re his to win. What’s most perplexing is what follows. Your friends are jealous. They whisper “he wants you” as if his attention is an honor and a privilege. You become just as much a player in the male-dominated culture to which he’s been raised to adhere. In a society that validates male-dominant relationships, how do women respond?

“Sorry, I have a boyfriend.”

It’s a common response used by many. Whether it’s the truth or not, it is a comfortable deterrent. However, we shouldn’t feel the need to lie to save a man’s feelings. He’s the one objectifying and manipulating you. If he’s decided to be upfront with his desires, so can you.

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“No.”

A straightforward alternative. Will that hurt him? Maybe. Will he continue to pester you? Maybe. From prior experience, nos often aren’t taken lightly. If a situation gets out of hand, remember that you have the luxury of handling this one in a public space. Don’t be afraid to notify a bouncer or other person of authority. It’s better to say “no” sooner than later.

My mom always says it’s better to be safe than sorry. With that said, it’s good to have the above advice in the back of your mind before a night out on the town. However, we can’t ignore the obvious problem in our society that makes girls prepare for men to aggressively pursue them in a bar when they’re minding their own business. Moreover, what does it say about our society that the most surefire way for a man to leave you alone is by telling him you have a boyfriend? Why do we have to belong to one man in order to be safe from others?

While we used a specific bar scene, this behavior can be seen anywhere. This is not “locker room talk;” this is male privilege talking and reminding us of the work that still lies ahead in order to achieve equality as women, despite all the progress we’ve made. We are not sexual objects and should not be identified as such. It’s not fair and it’s not right and it’s a symptom of a much larger problem in our patriarchal society. We should not be afraid to simply tell a guy we’re not interested and we should not be afraid to tell him to back off. The problem starts to get solved when we speak up. And speak up we will. Take this as our call to action.

Love always,

X & O

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