When I go out to the bar, I expect cold beer, a lively atmosphere, perhaps some dancing, socialising, and good times in general. I also expect to put up with macho drunkards who get irritated easily, people who will bump into me, and having my personal space invaded. I do not expect to have to run a gauntlet of perverts nor do I expect that people will grope and man-handle me against my will. Yet, this is life for a woman at any crowded bar. I have heard my female friends complain about this phenomenon for years, but have never fully understood, nor witnessed it for that matter. Now I have. Now I get it. Now, I am aware. And, on behalf of men everywhere, I am sorry.
This stems from an innocent night out with my wife and another female friend of hers. At a bar that I thought not to be all that sleazy. It was not a “meat market”. It was not an “untza-untza” club where women and men mutually dry-hump each other on the dance floor. This was an Irish pub, with good live music. The crowd ranged from early-twenties to 50+, quite a range - eclectic you might say. On this night I was the driver and I saw all as if seeing for the first time. The misogynistic behaviour of my fellow man, the blatant disregard for any sort of moral compass, the pathetic desperation of white middle and working class males - my daughters are never going out.
I started the night leaning by the bar, watching the coats, while Steph and her friend danced, I lost sight of them, but when they resurfaced, they were visibly irritated.
“Man I am so sick of these guys, why can’t we just dance. We’re both married for f-sake!”
Having not been able to see what had been going on, while they got another drink, I moved closer and stood with them. Around this time a couple elderly gentlemen struck up a conversation, and it was not more than two minutes in and they were getting touchy feely with me not more than two feet away. Alpha male that I am, I moved in and asserted myself as the dominant male. This did not stop them, some several minutes later after another brief turn on the dance floor, one of these men grabbed my wife by the hand and attempted to pull her toward him. At this I calmly separated the two, and me being considerably larger than this particular individual, nothing more came of it aside from some choice vocabulary shot in his direction by me. I did not like having to become this type of person, but every-time I turned around it seemed I was having to intervene to prevent another pervert from groping or making a pass at my wife and her friend. None of whom seemed overly concerned that I, her husband, was not only present, but only feet away.
I casually observed the behaviour of other men in the bar clutching and groping and was thoroughly disgusted by the sad behaviour of humanity on display. I wonder what gives these types of people the courage to act as they do in a dimly lit crowded bar. Surely, they would not behave this way if the lights were on, or were it less crowded? Do they not fear alcohol fuelled retribution? Surely I was warranted in taking a swing at any number of these douchebags on this night, and were I more of a violent sort I probably would have. I have certainly been threatened in bar situations for far less by drunken neanderthals. Perhaps women, despite all advances in recent decades are still held up to be objects. Perhaps the media’s portrayal is subliminally brainwashing all men into thinking this way. Perhaps it is time to have conversations with our young boys more frankly, that this behaviour is not ok. The Stanford rape case is a shocking example of how far our cultured western society has yet to come. Until then, I will empower the females in my life, and ensure that they are prepared to deal with the sickness of men.
Happily married to my beautiful wife Stephanie, and proud father of three beautiful girls, Aurora, Brynn and Clara. Instructional designer, writing when I find time.