Archives for posts with tag: women’s issues

During nights out with my friends it has been brought to my attention through talking to them and from two first-hand experiences that going to a nightclub and being a woman equals getting sexually harassed. The way many young women at university who I have bumped into in the toilet, or spoken to in the bar queue discuss this issue is with a sense of resignation, it is to be expected, and is therefore ‘old news’, of course this totally wrong. We should be indignant, up in arms and certainly not complacent! But this is where it gets tricky, as the only real thing you can do in a club if you are groped or smacked on the bottom etc. is report it to the bouncer, who depending on how they feel either kicks the offender out, or does nothing. Leaving us with little option other than telling said person where to go and carrying on with the night.

My first experience of harassment in a club was when a man came up behind me and put his hand under my dress and in between my legs. I was horrified. I felt dirty, violated and mortified. However as the night went on my feelings changed to anger, “how dare he touch me like that without any consent.” With my anger slowly reaching a boiling point I left the club to get some air. As soon as I saw my friends I remember squawking indignantly at them about what had just happened. A few minutes later I had received information that the same man had grabbed one of my friends bums and then just laughed. It was after this night that I decided to find out more.

Having talked about this topic a lot with my flatmates and friends, there is no doubt that a harassment culture exists in Britain’s nightclubs, be it Exeter, London or Manchester, women everywhere are subjected to unwanted advances and verbal abuse. Whilst at home in London one friend had a man try and place his hand into her underwear twice, even after she had yelled at him and another got hit in the face by the man she had just asked to stop grinding on her. The fact that these types of experiences occur regularly and across the country is totally unacceptable, there needs to be a huge drive by club security and police to drive this culture out of clubs and make them spaces that women can enjoy without constantly being in fear of harassment. Sadly until then clubs will continue to be predatory environments, where men can seemingly do as they please and women will continue to feel intimidated and on edge.

I have just finished reading the written version of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s acclaimed and famous speech “We Should All Be Feminists” which she gave at a conference two years ago. Now of course being a Beyonce fan I had heard the excerpts used in “Flawless” and found them not only scarily accurate but also incredibly powerful. It is however only now that I have read the entire thing. Something I am rather ashamed of, as I should have read or watched it last year at least.  Not only because I regard myself as an intersectional feminist but also as I am a young woman. Now that I have though I can say that I have never read something so truly powerful and inspiring and my one wish is for as many people as possible to read or watch it, so that Adichie’s wisdom and hopes for society will be heard all over the world.

After finishing the book I sat at my desk for a while mulling over what I had just taken in. Nothing before this has had such a profound effect on me, and it will probably take a while for it to happen again. If it does. Now as a young, white woman I am very aware of the fact that the issues and discriminations I face are not only very different to those of women from other cultures, ethnicities, religions etc, but also not as extreme either. However when reading this I felt that Adichie seamlessly managed to address problems faced by women from all over the globe, discussing them and giving suggestions as to how society could be improved. Rather than, like many more well known feminist writers do, white-wash their piece of work by ignoring the plights of non-white women.

This is why in my opinion everyone, both women and men should read this book. It is a 50 page or so piece of enlightenment, which teaches you things about gender inequality you did not know before, highlights the issues and normalities that occur culturally which oppress women and also gives a message of positivity. I felt as though Adichie was talking to me personally, telling me that being a woman is nothing to be ashamed of, that I am not a lesser being for being female and that empowerment is the way forward. This is something that I believe all, especially young women need to hear and if I could send a copy of this book to every person on the planet. I honestly would.


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