The year is 2011 and I am off my face at the shots bar – oh, look at that, another story that starts with me being drunk in da club at university. Anyway, there I am, bopping along to whatever Rihanna song was big that year, waiting to order a shot of tequila and a shot of Sours, when this boy, Sean, appears behind me.
I had been getting with Romanian Boy on and off since the beginning of first year. He was a nice boy with a complicated girlfriend issue and I’d kiss him every time they broke up. Don’t say anything; I already know. A year and a half of this later and a couple of weeks before aforementioned shots bar night, we were making out in da club when I told him, ‘No, I don’t want to go back to your grimey house and have sex in your hot tub‘. Fair enough, right? After trying to convince me I was making the wrong decision, he so tactfully said, ‘Fine; I’m seeing someone else anyway‘.
I yelled at him, turned around, and walked away. I thought I handled the situation fairly well. Nothing I said was unwarranted; he had most definitely been a massive bellend. I searched all three floors of the club for my friends so I could vent to them. They were not happy with Romanian Boy’s behaviour.
Steph and Sarah decided that they needed to have words with him. Despite my many objections, my overly protective friends hunted down the slimey boy and waded through his group of friends to give him a good ol’ bollocking whilst I stood on the sidelines feeling awkward as fuck. From what she says, Steph’s chat with the kid was relatively calm and non-confrontational. He even apologised to me. Somehow, though, his housemates, Sean and James, had managed to get themselves involved. Sean had been fairly pally with me, but he was sleazy and I was having none of it. After the third, ‘don’t touch me‘, things escalated all over the place. I can’t really tell you exactly what happened, or how, or why, because I’m not entirely sure what did happen, or how, or why. But, boy, did things escalate. Everyone was yelling at each other, there was pushing and shoving and copious amounts of name calling, and Romanian Boy standing there in the midst of it all, with the meekest ‘what the fuck have I done’ look painted across his face.
So, back to the shots bar. Sean is behind me and behaving like a child. He makes not so subtle jokes about Romanian Boy and pulls my hair like we’re seven years old. Then he pulls my skirt up. All the way up over my bum and fanny. Control pants on show and everything. WHAT. THE. FUCK. I lose my shit. We’re not friends. It’s not banter; it’s harassment. I try to smack him in my rage but there’s so little space to turn around and lift my arms I end up clumsily hitting his nose instead. He sneezes about 6 times and we laugh, order our drinks and go our separate ways.
Two minutes later, I suddenly feel liquid streaming down my forehead and through my hair. Again, I lose my shit. I walk over to Sean, James and Romanian Boy and confront them on the matter. Sarah sees that shit is going down and tries to help me. James throws drinks at both of us. Things escalate. Sean and James shove me. James smacks me across the face. Sean grabs hold of both my arms and backs me up against the wall, telling me to calm down. I glare at Romanian Boy who is standing there like the most spineless little bitch I have ever seen. I am not strong compared to these boys. A random girl sees what is happening and tells them to leave me alone and asks if I am okay. She then goes to get a bouncer. James gets kicked out and barred for 12 months.
Sometimes boys hit girls. I’m not talking about domestic violence or spousal abuse (which goes both ways), but these random and unnecessary fights that tend to happen when you’re out. This story would look completely different if everyone involved was female. When I tell the story, all the emphasis is on the fact that a boy hit me. If it was a girl, it would be less of a story and more, ‘this psycho bitch slapped me for no reason; what a cunt’. If it was a girl who had hit a boy, it would probably be the same kind of ‘pyscho bitch’ sentiment and even less of a story. Why is that?
I don’t have a soapbox to stand on, just a question – why is it still so socially and culturally taboo for a boy to hit a girl? Maybe my understanding of equality is different, or maybe I didn’t pay enough attention during my Anthropology of Gender module, but, isn’t it a bit hypocritical? Feminism is about equality, right? We fight for equal rights when it comes to education, jobs, money and our sexuality; we argue that our biology and physiology isn’t a hindrance to us. So, why is it that we can smack a boy, but he’s not allowed to react to it physically?
Because this is the internet, I feel like I need to add a disclaimer – obviously, violence is never the answer and I am not in any way condoning it. I don’t think that boys should be allowed to hit girls, because, generally, they are stronger. Is that ‘sexist’ to say? In my experience, it’s just the truth. It’s likely I’ve just spouted a load of shit, and now all the militant fourth wave feminists are coming to tie my tubes, but I thought it was an interesting thought, at least. What do you think?
This is purposely provocative and controversial, but, are you still a feminist if you’re outraged that a boy has hit you, and your outrage is at the fact that he is a boy?