Friday, 8 January 2016

It's murder on the dancefloor

I don't spend much time on crowded dance floors these days. What with being really old and having a toddler to look after.

Most of my friends have children too, so the chances of finding someone willing and able to stay out late on a day when I have a babysitter are pretty slim. If I really want to spend time in a writhing sweat-box then it's most likely to be soft play.

Photo by Derek Raugh via Flickr Creative Commons
One evening lately the planets aligned and my friend and I went out to find out if it was true what we had heard - that people do indeed go forth in the hours after the CBeebies shutdown and have fun.

And nothing much has changed. There we were strutting our stuff in a tight corner of the dance-pit, when a young man steps past me, and decides that it will assist his passage if he brings his hand into contact with the side of my body.

The passing grope

I remember this well. and another old favourite - brushing up against you at the bar. Or worse.

Wandering male hands is a hazard of crowded bars and nightclubs. These small, unremarkable but uninvited touches that men do to women when they think they can get away with it. And mostly they do. Sometimes when you turn around you can't be certain which one it was. You keep quiet or risk accusing the wrong man. If I do reprimand some bloke for touching me on his way past, he'll probably either laugh at me, or ignore me. or reproach me for being touchy about being touched. Either way, I always feel like I'll come off worst, so I never say anything,

It was a tight fit in the dance floor, but it wasn't that tight. He didn't need to move me out of the way. Neither did he look so unsteady on his feet that he needed to grab a passing girl to prevent himself from stumbling.


It's not subtle

This is the peril of going out and having fun. Probably this man/boy wouldn't dream of laying hands on me in the supermarket or at the bus stop, no matter how busy it got. But as soon as I'm on a dance floor, I'm fair game (It's a big sweatbox of inebriation and iniquity, and she probably won't notice anyway).

Well here's the thing, we do notice. It's actually quite hard not to notice some idiot momentarily resting his hand on your hip - I mean, it's your hip. You'd have to be pretty drunk to not notice and I wasn't. You don't have to be drunk (or single) to be on a dance floor. You just have to be someone who likes dancing.

And OK so maybe there's a little bit of me that's quite pleased that at 37-years-old, on a dance floor of 19 and 25-year-olds (I know because the DJ did their birthdays), some random still feels the need to grope me on his way past. But mainly I'm immensely pissed off that me and all those other girls, and eventually my daughter, are considered fair game for grabbing and groping, just because we wanted to go for a dance.

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