"The Ginger Girl In The Red Dress"
As a society, we are no strangers to the general misogyny and sexism that pervades over our nightlife scenes, our workplaces and every day public areas. We are accustomed to it and yet we still fight it, and I am in no way downgrading the tremendous and overwhelming support for equality that has materialized over the last couple of years.
However the issue is still very much alive, on a regular basis i receive cat-calls and light abuse off unpleasant fellows as i'm going about my day – and I deal with it. I know that not all men (and women) are like that, so i try to not let it phase me. However my experiences on the fateful night of Saturday October 3rd proved to be an altogether different level of 'are you fucking kidding me!?'
Lets set the scene: I'm ready to get my Saturday night on after a long working week. I'm ready to let my hair down and get my glad rags on. I put on a figure flattering red dress because it made me feel wonderful and confident, and you should never EVER apologize for that.
I was already a little tipsy as i entered the dreaded club, yet I maintained a respectable demeanor. Myself and my friends were met with the same old, but not altogether shocking array of men attempting to grope us as we made our way through the crowd. But that didn't bother me, I was there to have fun.
The night went on as it usually did, sipping Jack Daniels and coke and having a dance, maybe even a harmless flirt with the guy in the sharp suit. It was an average, harmless evening.
That is until we decided to enter the cheesy pop room upstairs. It was all good fun, s-club was playing and nobody cared about looking cool. It was good, harmless fun.
However pretty soon the DJ began to do shout outs for people on dance floor. And as it was quite a small floor, it was easy to see who he was talking about. It began very funny, with harmless comments.
But then he started remarking on the amount of red haired men on the floor. All good banter. But then he asked if there were any red haired women, and my sister harmlessly pointed and drew attention to me. She did this unknowingly of what was going to happen next.
I passed it off, but then the DJ turned his attention to me. He began making remarks about what i was wearing (the tight red dress) and about redheaded women in general. I tried desperately to laugh it off as i felt the eyes of every male turn to me. Then his comments started to escalate and become degrading and dangerous.
"Listen up, if anybody wants a good deep throat see the ginger girl in the red dress."
Everyone turned to stare at me.
The comments continued.
"They're fucking amazing in bed, i'll tell you that lads."
"They'll give you what you want, because they're easy."
The comments blurred together, I was mortified. I felt the eyes of every male in the room stare at me. But instinctively i passed it off, as its been drilled into us to accept that these things happen.
Pretty soon I had groups of guys coming up to me, whispering dirty comments in my ear and asking if i was interested in their mates. They were like vultures taking to their prey. I laughed it off, as i have done every time. And as i'm sure every victim of this kind of behavior has done, every time.
I left the club trying to brush off what had just happened, but i felt degraded and humiliated.
To top things off, despite my constant calls and voice mails to the club, they have neglected to contact me back even after a week since the occurrence. The silence in this instance is deafening.
This kind of behavior is stemmed in night club culture, and although it is unacceptable, it is not altogether unexpected from club attendees. However to be on the receiving end of this harassment from a person employed to represent a club is FRIGHTENING.
And lets not forget, this DJ had outwardly degraded me and offered me up as an object of sexual pleasure for men in the club. It was entertainment for him, and it could have been a dangerous situation for me. As if night clubs weren't seedy and volatile enough as they are, this guy branded me as the "ginger girl in the red dress".
I was a dress, that's all. Who was unknowingly and without her consent, offering up her oral sex skills to the entirety of the club. I'm a tough girl, as are most who experience this despicable and unjustifiable behavior. But that evening could have ended very differently for me - Imagine the situation if i had not been with friends or had been blind drunk and by definition more vulnerable?
I was not "asking for it" that night. I am not my dress nor my hair color and it does not, nor will it ever define me as an object to be sexually gained.
And whilst this is only one story, these occurrences are still very common and very real to those they effect. In both the society in which i live, and around the world. It's all good and well saying "enough is enough" but in reality, will this kind of ingrained behavior ever really meet an end?
Will the glass ceiling ever really shatter? It is hard to have faith in that hope when we are still met by dangerous derogation from even the lowest form of self-righteous halfwits - such as has-been night club DJs.
It is time to speak up about the dangers of night club culture, and by extension, the rooted dangers in our every day culture.
This was written by the ginger girl in the red dress.