I’d like to share a story from my last weekend in Prague. Me, Ivan, Paula and Kaa went to a gay nightclub in the city centre. I got my ass and crotch groped and Kaa ended up being punched in the face. Because she stood up for me. This is for all the women who ever had their body integrity violated, and for all of those who ever got to feel the injustices of the patriarchal system on their own skin = most of the women in this world.

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... he meant, that if he’s gay, it’s ok to grab my ass (and other things).

It started as pretty much most of club nights start. We all met at Ivan’s, had a few drinks, listened to some Britney, danced, vogued and then took a taxi to a place called ‘Friends’ (yeah, I do realize it sounds like a paradox now). After we arrived and danced to a few songs, we hit the bar and got drinks. Then I got groped for the first time. Someone squeezed my ass, so I turned around with pure contempt in my expression and looked for the perpetrator. I couldn’t really find one, but noticed there’s a group of guys super drunk behind us laughing and giving my bemused looks. By the way, I was wearing the same long loose white satin culottes as in the last post – not that what I wore matters in this situation (or it shouldn’t). So I figured it was them. Then it happened the second time. I did the same thing, but got a bit angrier. After the third time (and this time more than my ass was groped) I turned around furious, asked them who it was and requested they stopped. The fourth grope got me. I remembered all of the hundreds of other unwanted gropes in my life and realized that I don’t want to deal with this shit anymore. I turned around and asked very loudly: ‘Who of you wants to go home?!’ They just laughed in my face. I went to the bouncer, but didn’t expect much. To my surprise, when I told him what happened he responded: ‘Show me which one it was.’ So I took him to the group and I pointed at each of them. The bouncer then started talking to them. The guys got REALLY aggressive. They started shouting and wouldn’t leave, even after the bouncer ordered them to. While the bouncer was talking to one of them, another grabbed me by my shoulders and started shouting at me, his face about 5cm from my face. To what my friends jumped in and protected me. It was a mess and whole lot of shouting. The guy was pretty much repeating that his friend is gay. I’m guessing he meant that if he’s gay, it’s ok to grab my ass (and other things). What BULLSHIT! Seriously. After that it got really messy and the next thing I know Kaa was down on the floor covering her face with her palms. She got punched in the face by one of these guys. On purpose, with a closed fist. We immediately took her outside and called the ambulance and the police. She thought she couldn’t see. She was bleeding.

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To make the long story short, the guy who punched her got away, so did his friends, the ambulance and police took 30 mins to get there (note we were in the city centre) and the bouncer, even though he meant well, was not enough to handle four wasted aggressive guys. And now a few points to think about (and please do leave a comment, I’d really appreciate your take on things):

  1. How the hell do you get punched for standing up for you friend to a guy who, or whose friends, harassed your friend???
  2. I wanted to teach them a lesson: that it is not ok to grope women just because you can. And I ended up with a wounded friend and a ruined night.
  3. It was a gay bar for god’s sake! Isn’t this supposed to be a place where one moves freely without having to be subjected to blatant chauvinism and aggression?
  4. One bouncer for a hundred people? Are you kidding me?! When I asked the policemen whether there is a law stipulating how many bouncers/security people there should be for some number of people (or size of a place/club), he answered there’s no such law.
  5. How am I supposed to feel safe anywhere when the logic tells me to keep my head down and never complain about gropes, because otherwise someone can get seriously hurt? + then there’s the no justice part. No one got kicked out of the club nor punished in any other way.
  6. All of this happened in the middle of the club by the bar. Tell me: how is it that everyone was just looking at us being shouted at by the harassers? Everybody did absolutely nothing.
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How am I supposed to feel safe anywhere when the logic tells me to never complain, because otherwise someone can get seriously hurt?

If someone tells me there’s no need for feminism in the Western society anymore, I’m seriously gonna lose it. And I’m not talking about choice feminism, liberal feminism and popular feminism, which are similar and all a crock of shit (great book about this: Freedom Fallacy: The limits of liberal feminism). In the club, on the street or anywhere else: it’s not ok to sexually harass women and it’s definitely not ok to get violent. I know that it may sound like a bad idea, but we really need to stand up against this crap. Get each of the harassers kicked out of the club (but do it calmly, try not to get provoked like me), talk about this problem publicly and online of course, boycott clubs where harassment and violence occurs (apparently in Friends this happens regularly, said the police) AND if you ever see your friends harass anyone, please explain to them why it’s entirely unacceptable.

I’m grateful that Kaa stood up for me – not many friends would do that. I’m incredibly sorry about the price she had to pay for this. I’m totally sick of this system. I’m sick of living and contributing to a society which is still looking at women as second class citizens put on this planet to take all the shit and expected never to complain. And I can’t believe I live in a world where a pig, who’s mantra is ‘grab them by the pussy’ (basically what happened to me), is the president of the US (or any other country for that matter). This whole experience: disgusting, infuriating, sad and traumatic. Let me know what you think.

Karl Koast