Saturday night I went out with my cousin and her friends, whom I like very much, to celebrate her birthday. We went to a big, loud, Boston bar — one of those super popular spots that’s big enough to house both sports and dancing. We were up close to the cover band (playing everything from Greenday to Eminem to Foster the People) and I couldn’t help but notice the Drunk Creeper™ who kept touching women without their consent.
You know the type I’m talking about. The Drunk Creeper™ is a dude who is very drunk and very handsy. His patented move is to come up behind a girl and slide his arm around her waist, so that he can — before she even knows what’s happening — touch her hips and whisper in her ear in that oh-so-intimate of sexual positions. I find it hard to ignore Drunk Creepers™; they set off my internal alarm bells, even from across a dark bar. After watching a Drunk Creeper™ approach-and-grope seven or more women in quick succession, you know it’s only a matter of time before he stumbles onto you.
There’s a standard way to deal with a Drunk Creeper™ that fits with the learned, ladylike rule to always be pleasing, even in refusal. When a Drunk Creeper™ slimes his way onto your body, you start by giving the forced smile/eye roll combo that lets your friends know you are fully aware that this dude is a skeeze, but still appears pleasing to his drunkenly impaired senses. Then you sortof pretend to listen to his inebriated acknowledgment of your hotness and politely decline his advances, slowly disengaging yourself from his grip and moving to a new spot. Then, afterwards, you discuss what a creeper he was with your friends. It’s girl tested, girl approved.
Youtube celeb Jenna Mourey, aka Jenna Marbles, has a different approach: the face.
If that doesn’t work, she has more goofy techniques like acting like a velociraptor, singing, or planking until the guy leaves you alone. These are hilarious in theory, and they may even work in practice, but they still bother me. Basically, the Jenna Marbles’ techniques give you a humorous way to end an interaction without having to be the angry bitch girl who raised her voice and caused a scene on the dance floor. Because, according to the rules of being a lady, you must never, ever, be the angry bitch girl.
Saturday night, I was an angry bitch girl.
The Drunk Creeper™ was dancing in front of me and dropped his jacket on my feet. I kicked it back towards him, which unfortunately caught his attention. He spun around and before he even had time to look at me, grabbed my face with both hands and started to come in for a drunken, slobbery kiss. I reacted with a kung fu parry (all girls should take martial arts) and yelled “Don’t fucking touch me!” He backed off, but everyone around me gave me startled looks.
A little while later, I noticed him dancing behind a friend of mine. I leaned in to tell her to watch out for him because he was a Drunk Creeper™. Just as I finished warning her, he came up behind her and slid his arm across her waist and stuck his face in the crook of her neck. Before she had a chance to react, I grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him off her. I screamed at him to get the fuck out of here and pointed forcefully with my finger. He looked terrified. But then again, so did everyone in a five-foot radius.
It’s never cool to be the angry girl, which is why Jenna Marbles came up with a creative way to take control without having to get angry. But sometimes I think it’s important to be the angry girl. Like, for example, when you’re really angry at a Drunk Creeper™ who is treating women’s bodies like his own property, touching without asking, and who will undoubtedly wake up the next morning with a hangover, but absolutely no qualms about his sexist, predatory behavior. Even though I admire the humor of the approach, I think it’s demeaning to use the “face” to deal with Drunk Creepers™. Why must we be so cautious about expressing genuine anger or disgust in situations like this when it’s so clearly warranted?
Maybe I’m just the angry feminist who can’t laugh it off as “boys will be boys.” But maybe, just maybe, I’m acting the way a person should act when their personal space and potential safety is violated by a drunk asshole.
The predatory behavior of Drunk Creepers™ doesn’t deserve a free pass, and I refuse to be ashamed of being the angry bitch who won’t give it to them.