She smacked a guy who groped her at a club. His response exposed a double-standard that needs to end.
A brave woman in Sheffield, England stood up for herself on the floor of a dance club and not only was her reaction satisfying for many, it brought an ugly double-standard to light.
Harriet Bowley, 21, was at an unnamed dance club when a man grabbed her somewhere around the waist. Bowley responded by turning around and smacking the man who seemed "genuinely furious and shocked" that she would retaliate.
I smacked a lad last night who sexually assaulted me in the club, and he looked genuinely furious and shocked? Norm… https://t.co/fwT7PUQ54D— 🌹harriet (@🌹harriet) 1628363289.0
It's incredible the man was shocked that a woman would respond violently to being groped. Didn't he understand that sexually assaulting her was an act of violence, too? Although she probably wasn't physically hurt by his actions, the mental and emotional trauma of having a man touch you without consent is far more traumatizing than her response.
It's also strange that he was "furious" that she retaliated. What did he expect?
It seems the man thought he was having some innocent fun and was awakened from his sexist fantasy by a slap in the face.
Bowley completely understands the double-standard. "So it's absolutely fine for you, as a stranger, to touch me up without consent but not ok for me to touch you in self defence?" she asked.
So it's absolutely fine for you, as a stranger, to touch me up without consent but not ok for me to touch you in self defence? Okkkk...
— 🌹harriet (@harribowley) August 7, 2021
Of course, there were some men who blamed Bowley for being groped because of what she was wearing. But Bowley points out that she wasn't wearing anything revealing. Even if she was, that doesn't give anyone permission to sexually assault her. Just because someone is showing some skin doesn't mean it's an invitation to be assaulted.
Also the best part about this is I was literally wearing a massive jumper round my waist so wasn't wearing anything 'revealing' at all. Before any idiots start to try justify groping strangers in clubs
— 🌹harriet (@harribowley) August 8, 2021
This guy clearly didn't get the message.
Bowley ended her first tweet with a call to action: "Normalise girls standing up for themselves when they get groped."
A large number of women responded to her tweet by saying they have no problem standing up for themselves after being groped at nightclubs. They shared vivid accounts of times they were groped and retaliated.
I dislocated a guy's thumb because he kept touching my legs every time I walked past and just wouldn't stop.... he stopped after that though 😂
— Beth Wilson (@doodlebeth) August 9, 2021
Had that happen to me a long time ago, a lad grabbed my chest and I turned round and smacked him in the face. Bouncer came over, I told him what happened and the lad got thrown out.
— SOPHIE LUFC 💙💛 (@LilyZach22) August 9, 2021
My sister is a police officer. Someone grabbed her bum in a club and she had his arm up behind his back in one move. Never seen anyone look so surprised.
— hoodedpigwoman (@hoodedpigwoman) August 9, 2021
I taught my daughter anyone touches her slyly in crowded spaces to grab their wrist raise there hand in the arm and shout WHOES FILTHY HAND IS THIS! I also taught my son who to be a gentleman
— Alba in Kernow 〓〓 (@DawnMcCollTR11) August 9, 2021
Honestly never understood this for years I've always stood up for myself in clubs and bars men are generally shocked when I don't take any shit I've have told bouncers when men have been disgusting before and they have been kicked out and banned. This needs to stop!
— Georgia (@GeorgiaLiving90) August 9, 2021
We should always defend ourselves immediately and not keep putting up with it for years. Fight back and then report while he is still on the floor clutching his aching balls.
— Paula $ (@PaulaDollar1) August 9, 2021
I must note that this post isn't celebrating violence in any way. The story simply illustrates how some men feel so entitled to women's bodies that they are genuinely shocked that one would have an aggressive reaction to being touched without consent.
These men were hiding behind the guise that groping is innocent fun and isn't serious enough to warrant a violent reaction.
This post calls attention to a serious problem that needs to be stopped immediately. Men need to learn that just because they're in a dance club where people are having drinks and dancing close together, that it doesn't give them permission to try to inappropriately touch someone.
Groping is sexual assault, case closed. There should be no excuse for it and it should be taken just as seriously as any other form of violence.
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