A Valentine’s Day Success

This post has a positive outcome that I wanted to share with you! I’ve been a long time patron and friend of the Black Cat, but there is a guy that has come for years specifically to harass young, intoxicated women (no power issue there huh??) He is a stout middle-aged man with wire-framed glasses and a mustache. He gets really close to women ordering/waiting to order at the bar and offers to buy a drink and then gropes you until you either walk away or yell at him or get him escorted out. I’ve had him kicked out on more than one occasion, he’s notorious, and for whatever reason he hasn’t been banned for life.

Anyways, last night was Valentine’s day, and myself and my valentine wanted to have a nightcap and see friends. Low and behold guess who is by himself at a bar at midnight on Valentine’s Day trying to grope women? The scum immediately attempted such with my friend and I quickly intercepted as soon as I saw his hand grab her back and arms as he disgustingly leaned in close to proposition her or whatever he spends his pervy time doing. It’s scary to confront a harasser, but I was not about to let him do that to my friend! I told her to stay away from him and escorted her to our table where she thanked me for intercepting his hands (without even knowing his history.) the perp proceeded to mug my partner and I and smile over at us for the rest of the night until he was about to go, and tried to confront me- or rather insult me to my male partner because he clearly didn’t have enough respect for me to look me in the eye to spit drunken BS. My partner and I both argued with him to leave immediately and made sure he did- it took me standing up in his face- thankfully my heels made me out to be taller than I am- intimidating him to GET OUT NOW.

Even though I’ve dealt with this guy before, I felt validated and relieved to know that my partner had my back and helped me kick out this scummy guy, I definitely appreciated the cis-hetero-male solidarity, an unfortunate rarity. It’s refreshing to have the reassurance that not all guys placate that type of behavior and step up to the task of being model gentlemen and outspoken anti-sexist activists, which is crucial to fighting street harassment. I think many men that do not harass women do not personally witness or encounter it, and are either ignorant of its prevalence, or frozen with shame to step in help fight it. IT amazes/saddens me when a respectful man bares witness to harassment, how sad, angry, confused they look when it’s put into the forefront of their perception. It’s all too easy to demonize ALL men as harassers or potential harassers, fortunately that’s not the case! Men get harassed, men can intercept harassers, and men can change their ways (hopefully!) We need not forget that it’s their battle too for gender equality and a safer community. Women will always stand together at the front lines leading the fight against harassment and misogyny, but let’s hold guys accountable, invite them to rise to the occasion, and include them in the battle too!

Submitted by anonymous on 2/15/2011

Location: Black Cat

Time of Harassment: Late Night (12A-5A)

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.