I’d consider myself a confrontational person. I personally think that it doesn’t get me into any trouble, as I know when to control it and how to use my love of debate and argumentation for the better. Because of this, it also means that when a close friend of mine is in some sort of ‘danger’, I’m likely to step in. And last Saturday, I did.
It was our last ever summer ball at uni. There were drinks, fancy frocks, many a picture and a real happy time. The last thing I expected was to be squared up to by a fellow student – who was male might I add – and likely to be the same age as myself.
Said male, wearing sunglasses inside the tent at night time *rolls eyes*, began to get a little too close for comfort to my friend and I must point out that she is in no way unable to defend herself, but this guy was relentless. After time and time again of my pal asking the guy to remove himself from her personal space, he got defensive, and fast. I wasn’t having any of it.
I stepped in and asked him what his issue was- which he pointed out was in fact with my friend. She was apparently being “all lary”, which I’ve never ever seen her do (<3 you!). I told him to go away, just as my friend had already done at least 10 times, but he got even more angry with me. I explained that he had no right to be annoying my friend in such a manner and it would be wise for him to just move away. He was accompanied by a friend – also male – who didn’t seem to care either.
It was at this point that things took an unexpected turn. He lifted up his sunglasses and asked me if I knew who he was. If anyone has ever been asked this, you know it’s not a true question of asking who they are. It’s a statement of, “I’m entitled and I’m privileged, and you are most certainly not”. I decided not to react to his undeserved privilege by actually replying, “No, I don’t know who you are. What’s your name?”. With hindsight, this probably pissed him off even more but I could not care less.
He began to edge towards me and squared up to me, placing his forehead and nose against mine with some brute force. He asked again and again and again if I knew who he was, and admittedly I shouted this time with the same reply but he was not giving up. Security guards inside the venue were too busy enjoying watching drunk girls dancing up against them to realise that I was in fact in need of their help. My friends tried to pull me away but I was not going to let this guy get away with it.
Still lifting his sunglasses up and down from his eyes, he pushed harder and harder up against my face until his friend realised just how much force he was actually exerting and began to pull him away. I didn’t cry, I didn’t even push back, but I wish I’d waved bye bye in my best sarcastic manner and reported him straight away. However, security would probably have blamed me for wearing a dress and that I was “asking for it”, thinking that in fact I was trying to get with the guy, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
I had no idea what he would have done to me if his friend hadn’t eventually pulled him away. I hope that the pain I’ve felt in my forehead and nose for the last 4 days makes him realise just how embarrassing it was for him to be so scared that he thought he needed to fight me – a 21 year old woman – in order to prove his point.
It’s extremely uncomfortable to be in a position where a fellow student feels like they have superiority over you, particularly when he’s male. I’m not usually one to talk openly about feminism and gender equality, but this event has made me realise how disgusting it is to still be such an issue in the 21st century. How dare he think that he can push me and my friend into giving in, especially with physical force.
It took me longer than expected to write this post as I thought I’d have no issue writing about my hatred for that man. It’s helped me understand that I should actually stand up for myself more often- yes, I’m a confrontational person, but fully expect me to be even more so the next time you see me. Oh, and I might also have a bruised nose.