We asked girls if they think UWE has a ‘lad culture’ problem
Depressingly, they’ve all been groped on nights out
Ask enough people about “lad culture” and you’ll probably come away with the impression that Bristol’s full of men walking round Syndicate in their tightest shirt, looking for a fight and thinking about the next day’s “gains”.
More alarming than this stereotype though is the fact that a lot of girls aren’t alarmed when men sexually harass them in nightclubs by groping and pinching them and sometimes even worse.
Holly, a third year psychologist told the Tab: “Unfortunately, it’s happened too many times to count. More often than not in my experience.
“It can be anything from a pinch of my bum to a full on grope of any of my body parts. It will happen at least five times a night.”
“I will always turn my head and try and find the culprit, but in big crowds that’s often difficult.
“Most of the time my reaction is met with a shrug dismissing the act. Sometimes I’ll be told I should be flattered by their affection.
“Unless you’re fortunate enough for it to happen right next to a security guard there’s nobody who can intervene. I’ve received apologies of sorts but I don’t think they were sincere. Sometimes they will be incredibly patronising telling me to ‘calm down’ and that ‘it’s just a bit of fun’, when in fact they are committing sexual assault.”
Holly added that many of the people who sexually harass her appear to be extremely drunk.
“I’ve seen people throw up outside some of the more mainstream nights before being allowed in. Most of the people who have touched me up in clubs have been in no state to be there.
“Interestingly, I’ve never had this problem at Lakota, Motion or Basement 45 or other venues that are focused on more underground music.
“People need to be educated about how serious this really is. If a man behaved like this in the street in the daytime he would be arrested,but sadly some people seem to feel it is appropriate after hours.”
Kate, in her second year of Linguistics, told the Tab: “I’ve had my bum full-on grabbed and people wrapping themselves around me ‘trying to get past’ pretty much every time I go out.
“The same goes for all my female friends.”
Kate tells us she usually ignores it, as she’s learned the hard way that confronting these assaults rarely gets anywhere.
“It’s just frustrating because it’s usually guys you’ve given no signals to” said Jess, a first year English Literature student told the Tab.
“It’s frustrating because guys think that just because they’ve had a drink they have an excuse to get all liberal with their hands.
“They’d have the decency to realise it’s not acceptable in the daylight sober, so I have no idea why some guys get it into their heads that it’s acceptable in a dark club after a beer.”
Harriet, a first year psychologist, told the Tab: “it’s difficult to talk about particular incidents because this sort of thing happens all the time. I remember a time when a man aggressively groped me, and when I turned around in shock he winked at me as if I was supposed to take it as a compliment.
“I think the bigger problem is how persistent men can be when trying to get with you in a club. Many men mistake politeness for sexual interest, and it can get to the point where a guy wears you down so much that it becomes more difficult for you not to kiss him than it is to just give in to it.”