Groping hands should go back in pockets
September 22, 2000
It is one thing to walk by someone you see on a regular basis at school
and never acknowledge their existence, but it's quite another to walk by
that same 'nobody' at a party and decide you know them well enough to grab
their extremities. (Basically, that qualifies as their butt, but can be
extended to mean other private property, too.)
It is a rare occasion I decide to be a social butterfly and join some
friends at a party or hot spot. But it never fails. Every time I do make
that choice, I am reminded why it is a rarity.
After surrendering the $5 or $10 at the door, I force my way through
a crowded entrance and into an even more crowded room. At this point, it
seems that guys tend to assume all manners and rights fall to the floor.
They take it upon themselves to grab as many butts that enter within an
Maybe intoxication is an influencing factor in the informality around
other people. I have certainly noticed the difference in self- esteem that
guys present themselves with in the Student Center vs. the confidence they
tend to grow in the presence of a pitcher of beer.
As the anti-social partygoer, I have plenty of observational experience.
I have decided that males have an unconscious strategy. They seem to believe
that because another male is standing next to him, he will not be identified
in a line-up. The male bond is not an excuse to accept bad behavior.
Considering the bitter look on my face, I realize I just made a big
mistake. I wonder why I come to these things, and suddenly remember that
I usually do not and for good reason.
Being groped is in no way a compliment. It is intrusive and demeaning
and I see it happening all the time to all types of women.
It happens to me frequently but more often than not, I see it happen
to other women. Even the most lackadaisical women should still possess some
type of self-respect. The pinch, caress, squeeze or slap should at the very
least, trigger the "look," which is an immediate response silently
communicating, "Don't touch that, it's not yours!"
Now, I am no longer wondering why guys feel the need to do this, but
why most women shrug it off to the reasoning of, "guys will be guys
and it happens to the best of us." That is not a justifiable reason
to lose respect for oneself. And women should not ignore this juvenile behavior,
especially from supposed "college men."
Nor is the consumption of alcohol a reason for guys to suddenly seem
they have newfound power. But we know that after a few drinks, guys will
do things in a bar that they would never do sober or in other public places.
When we laugh and play around, acting like it was a slick move, we encourage
it. If they can get away with it, don't you think they will do it again?
I do not want to be their next target.
My first and most immediate response may be a little over the top but
if I am feeling considerate, the least I will do is shoot him a look telling
him, "If there were not so many people immobilizing my arm, my hand
would have met your face before my eyes did."
I admit I have been told that I have a big butt. But, no matter how
much I impale myself on your space as I pass through the crowded hallway,
does my butt ever become prime pickings or public property? No!
I hate always having to leave a party wondering how many hands have
trespassed on to my butt. Guys should not be allowed to chicken out and
introduce themselves like that.
I would be much more inclined to start a friendship or relationship
with someone who thought first of starting a conversation with me and second
about where to put his hands.
Stacey Mleczko, a junior journalism major, is features editor of
the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.