A Small Skirmish in the War of the Sexes

Some weeks ago, I attended a dance party known as ‘Devil’s Playground’.

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good gay dance party. I have been biased against straight clubs and bars since I started bouncing at 19, for two reasons. Firstly, violence seems to play a big part in the straight male mating ritual, and alcohol is an evil drug. Gay dance parties abound in charm; men are friendly, agreeable and there to have a good time. They also seem to attract the hottest, most sexually flamboyant women. Girls aren’t constantly hit on at a gay dance party, and can literally ‘just’ go there to dance. Due to the preponderance of disco drugs, there is very little alcohol consumed. People are happy and dancing, not staggering, vomiting, crying and fighting.

(I do not believe there is much n the way of justification for the prohibition against disco drugs. It would, in fact, be better if they were controlled substances, as people could be sure of what they were getting. I do not wish to enter this topic now, as it is a huge issue and the subject of at least one other post.)

It was a seventies’ disco-theme, so I wore my skin-tight, white PVC flares, purple Bootsy Collins-esque spectacles and a matching purple feather boa (it is true; I am quite shy). Quite early in the night, while I was dancing with my stunningly beautiful partner, I felt a clumsy hand seize hold of my arse, and pinch – hard.

The nightclub bouncer instincts, thankfully, do not die. I knew that after I had been grabbed, the offending hand would be withdrawn too swiftly for me to identify its owner. I pretended I hadn’t felt it and waited for the next, which would undoubtedly be bolder. When it came, I turned immediately and saw it withdrawn into a thicket of very young women. Its owner was tall and pretty.

I delicately pushed through the crowd until I was standing in front of her. I levelled my pointer finger at her nose and said, “FUCK OFF!’

I then returned to the company of my partner. The girl soon appeared beside me and, before she could speak, I told her to go away. She kept trying, I caught the word ‘apology’, to which I replied, ‘Thank you – now go away.’

Which she did.

I noticed she and her friends had disappeared shortly after, and I felt bad for her. I do not, however, believe that you can be delicate with people who sexually harass you. You have to draw a hard, unequivocal line.

Some hours later, I was loitering in a quiet part of the club when the girl once more appeared. Her facial expression and body language was lit with a kind of indignant anger. She said, “Now, I think we both know I didn’t mean any harm.” My brain swarmed with responses. The first was, ‘I don’t touch you, so don’t touch me’. This one never works with women, especially when you’re twice their size and weight. Then, I thought to wheel out the feminism (I am still paying off the HECS debt for it, so I might as well try and put it to use). ‘Feminists have fought for hundreds of years to change culture so all people would have their physical sovereignty respected…” I knew how ridiculous this would sound coming out of my mouth, and swiftly abandoned that line of rhetoric as being too intellectual. I was reminded, at that moment, of the dog in the Gary Larson cartoon:

blah blah ginger by Gary Larson (Far Side comic)

I opted for a simple introduction to that mode of thinking, along the lines of, ‘If I touched you like that, I’d be bounced out of here.’ She responded, as she walked away, by saying, ‘And I’d be the first to stop you from being kicked out.’ I was left looking peevish. Worse, I hadn’t made my point.

I know this will come as a shock to regular readers, but I tend to hang on to my frustrations. In the weeks since, I can occasionally feel the frustration burning somewhere down the back of my brainpan like a magnesium flare. It’s not just about someone doing the wrong thing and getting the better of you; it’s also about failing to do the ‘right’ thing, yourself. I hate it when I fail. All this extra consideration has allowed me, on the upside, to finally fashion what I have to say. And, because I have a blog, I can write it down so that two or three people will read it, instead of having to breathe out and let it go like so much CO2 into the atmosphere.

I should have said, “I realise you’re very young, and you probably don’t have a lot of experience, but the thing about a place like this is that everyone; gay, straight, male, female, whatever, is free to do and be and wear what they like. There is only one rule here, and it is that everyone is allowed to set their own boundaries and they have to be respected.”

That said, I did win a prize for best dressed.

2 Responses to “A Small Skirmish in the War of the Sexes”

  1. Sounds like a bad night for everyone involved. Is there something else going on which caused you to be so overly agressive?

    ok I have some other questions, 1) were you sober? 2) Was your reaction somehow related to bouncer interpersonal theory? I mean pinching bum does not equal looming, finger pointing and FUCK OFF. But is this how bouncers are taught to deal with problems, is there no such thing as a initial friendly smile and head shake or mouthing “nooo” to nicely diffuse a possible misscommunicated situation and is every infraction no matter how minor to be met with a metaphorical sledgehammer to the face. Im not being smart, seriously wondering if the stun effect is the best method overall.

    • Thanks for your comment, Matt. I sincerely appreciate the fact that you read my blog and comment as often as you do.
      That said, it was a really good night, except for that yobbo. Yes I was sober, and yes, I think that sexual assault (at the shallow end of the category, but is legally defined as such) does ‘equal looming, finger pointing and fuck off’. Feminists fought for hundreds of years so that all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or appearance would have their physical sovereignty respected.
      I agree with them.

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