I am so angry I can't sleep. I could either go over this in my head all night or post it here and maybe it will help someone out there. I posted an article to The F Word blog a while ago about how common it is for men to harrass girls on the street and recounted experiences of close people and my own where much older men have perved on, groped and tried to get people into cars with them. You can read the article as I know a lot of young girls read here and I'd bet you know the feeling of horrible men following you or making lewd comments who must be twice your age.
I finished exams on Friday and had a great time since and tonight my housemates and I went to a student night at a club that is one of the more decent ones, as in the boys wear shirts and there's an outside terrace in a more upmarket part of town. You know I obsess about clothes and planned outfits over the week before we leave for the year as we planned loads of nights out and thought oh maybe it's time to bring out the american apparel purple dress. This is where it all sounds stupid because I always wear their dresses but I've only worn the purple one very few times because black is more understated. The purple is more out there because as I've said before I have a stupidly big bum, my sister is the same but she has boobs so is more curvy but I'm just skinny and somehow the purple dress just makes that worse. When I've worn it before people have been like woah look at her ass but it's more of a symbol for me. A few years ago I had no confidence in myself and didn't think anyone would ever like me and especially coming here and being around so many girls I just hated myself. Now I just think what the hell, actually I can wear what I want I don't need to live up to anyone else and when I bought the dress after seeing it mainly on blogs I could see that it made my bum look massive and never wore it. I'd worn skirts before and people called me fat ass in the street.
But in college a lot of my best friends happened to be black and they said woah you have a black girls ass, that's no bad thing. Friends always make you feel so good about yourself and sometimes it's just the way you've always looked at something and it changes and I thought, what the hell, yeah I have a big bum, so what. So I wore the purple dress once on a themed night at uni for bright clothes at my student halls and even as I was walking round people were saying hey your ass is crazy. To me it's the most normal thing in the world it doesn't look any different to anyone else's but a girl came over and said 'me and my friends were all talking about your ass!.' It's like with red hair, I always felt like I was ugly and everyone would just look down on me because I had almost a lower hair colour than everyone else but maybe as you get older you look at things in the real light and there are so many people who love it. So it's just been a long running joke, just like someone with big boobs, where maybe people would say oh this is selina, look at her ass.
But at least now there are guys out there who love big bums. I don't know if it was the whole 'does my bum look big in this' negative theory before but tonight I wore the purple dress just for the hell of it, because it's the most dressy and generally glam dresses I have, most others are prom dresses or black dresses and it's the end of the year and like even at Girls Aloud it just fitted the occassion. At that concert a poster seller gave us free posters to get my number and a drag queen outside this cheesy club we went to said 'god, look at that girls ass.' Tonight at first the club was crowded and the bar was pushy and after a while as everyone went to different rooms or outside and moved round the club, people started checking everyone out I guess and guys started buzzing round us and nudging each other about my bum. A group of guys were staring for ages and I was trying to dance, but I'm not shy so I kept looking at them and my friends were like oh it's the ass. One guy started talking to me and telling this weird, long joke with this drawing on a napkin but I started talking to his other friends and was like hey, why were you looking at me and my friends. They were medics and were like 'ahh we were just you know looking' and I was like haha no, why were you looking at my ass, and they were all shocked like eeek um how did you know that! But I chatted to a few of them for ages, they were 4th years so a bit more mature than everyone else in the club and generally a decent group of guys.
We went to different rooms and I knew people were looking at the dress and loads of guys kept brushing their hands against me and I don't like that. I hate groping. If you would never grab a girl's boob you should never grab a girl's bum. It's the way a guy moves past you and strokes your waist or touches your back, is that just general ok behaviour or sneaky thrills for pervy guys who think it's ok to touch any girl? I love meeting people in clubs as much as the next person and it is so rare for a guy to start up a conversation, most will touch you first. Is this OK?
If you can see where this is going, the dress was a bit of a joke by the end of the night and as the dancefloor was more sparse guys were pointing and looking. A few guys kept hovering close so I was like hey, whats up and one was saying oh I dropped my passport! So... what's your name? and his friend was like you have a nice derierre! Just stupid things like that, that were funny at the time. But to me I'm not a some kind of freak, I was born this way, this is just how I naturally am and should I hide what I look like? Should I flaunt it? Should you wear something that gets you attention even if it is decent, it's not like I was half naked or even 3/4 naked, I was wearing leggings for god's sake. I wasn't flashing, and in fact I saw more then two girls in the aa u-neck dresses that night, most black but one girl in the bright red. I don't know if I was asking for attention, it's no big deal to me and I love the dress so wore it for me, not to see if I could find a guy or get people to look at me or talk about me.
The ironic thing is that we were just leaving and as we walked through the bar I was at the end of my friends as suddenly someone hit me. People have pinched my bum in the past and I always turn and demand why they did that but this was horrible. The guy had hit me so hard he must have raised his arm right up and whacked me really fast. In an area with lots of people in for that split second I was shocked and embarrassed and turned around to see a big cocky guy dancing and said what the hell? He was really tall and just ignored me and I said excuse me why did you do that really angrily. He looked down and said 'ohh I thought you were someone else, I thought you were her haha' but right then I was angry, really angry. By now my friends were still on their way out and I had stopped and stood there saying that wasn't an accident, why did you just do that. He said look I'm having a great night just go away. How can someone do that, techically groping or harrassing or is it even sexually abusing someone. Physically hurting someone for their own gratification, I just felt horrible. It was no accident, he just thought he'd do that to me beause he could and had some kind of right to. Well I was really upset and went to the bar to ask for a bouncer, where the girl came out from round the huge bar and I explained how some guy had just hit me and she told someone to get the bouncers. They'd been patrolling the club all night and one was next to the guy in a second trying to reason with a girl who had her arm round him. It all happened really fast, I started telling the bouncer what had happened and more bouncers came and the guy sort of went off as I was telling them what happened. I just felt stupid, it was so embarrassing having to say 'yeh some guy just hit my ass really hard' and it just made me sick to think he could go off and carry on enjoying his best night out thinking that he could go and touch girls how he pleased. The bouncers were like the black guy in the grey tshirt? and went off to find him, while my friends were like what? I felt like I had just caused this big drama and basically asked for it, do I have a right to wear a dress that shows off my body without expecting someone to grope it and hurt it? I knew wearing it would make people notice my bum but for at least the first hour nothing happened, it was just I guess when people get drunk and become more confident and think they can do what they want. Surely I have a right to wear whatever I want and not worry if a man will assume it is an invitation. But I felt so foolish and like it was in the end my fault but half of me was so angry and I knew I didn't ask for him to do that, no one else had done that. The boucers came past nearly straight away with him in toe and he walked out with his head up, not looking to either side as they took him outside to chuck him out. Thats when one of my housemates said all his friends are going to beat us up which made me feel even more stupid, like it was my fault and I should have just left it, like I'd endangered them. I was so angry and she kept telling me that his girl friend were going to come and start a fight on me so when the bouncer came back to say they'd chucked him out I told them that his friends were around. That's when a girl walking out shouted at me 'thanks for ruining my last night of uni' and they all went outside and the bouncers were like right, we'll watch you when you leave.
I'm not into debates or pushing opinions on anyone or arguments but I've always stood up for myself and that guy just revolted me. No one has the right to do that to anyone, to even lay a little finger on someone you've never met. The thing that's really upset me is that is it any different to hitting someone round the face? If he'd hit me that hard there he would have knocked me to the floor. But because it was my ass it's almost like that's an OK place. I just feel horrible and feel so strongly about no girl ever coming to harm from a man who thinks he was treat people like that. I didn't ask for him to do that despite wearing a fitting dress, and part of me asks well did you? I keep telling myself that I have a right to wear whatever I want and if every other guy can hold themselves back and even actually be nice, why did he have to do that. What did he think I would do? Be happy? Did he not think that might hurt me, that I might not want some random man to touch me. It was the fact that he hit me so hard that I had to get the bouncer, I felt violated. But his friend made me feel awful, I didn't set out to ruin anyone's night and hate to think that. As we went outside to a taxi the girls were waiting and the guy was there, and he started following us and shouting things while the bouncer pushed him back. It was horrible but I still think anyone should stand up to someone who hurts them. But now it's just making me sick to think what would have happened if his girl friends had waited for us outside and followed us or if he had came back. Is it worth it to stand up to someone despite the consequences? I watched a programme a few months ago about people who were being beat up or abused in the street or on buses and the people that had risked their own lives to try to help them, rather than other people who sat by too scared. I don't ever want to let myself be too frightened to stand up to people who harm others or myself. Does that mean I need to risk getting hurt? Does that mean I should cover myself up and go out with a shy appearance to not send out some kind of 'message' to guys that they can touch up girls? I'm praying that girl really meant it when she said it was her last night here, and that's the same for all of them because what if I see them tomorrow? The only good thing is that I hope he will never touch a girl like that again, never hit a girl, never make a girl feel violated. Why couldn't his friends see that?