What should I have done?

I was at a concert a couple of weeks ago.  Obviously, a crowded place, with lots of people very close together.  One particular man was making me uncomfortable.  He then escalated his behaviour, actually rubbing against me, and starting to breathe very heavily in my ear, along with some very peculiar groaning noises.  Obviously, very unpleasant, but I didn’t want to leave the concert to find security, to then get into an argument about whether his behaviour was inappropriate or I was just over-reacting.  So I made my boyfriend change places with me and got on with enjoying myself. 

I still feel a bit guilty about not reporting this behaviour or making more of a fuss.    I felt that by letting it go unchallenged, I was excusing him.  I also worry that by letting this go, he’d continue to escalate this behaviour thinking it was ok.

But I’m still, weeks later, really not sure how else I could have dealt with this except moving away.  It was a loud, crowded venue, so telling him to F*&k off would have probably engaged me in some “I didn’t quite hear that” conversation with someone I really didn’t want to speak to.  Leaving to find security would have meant I’d miss the concert, as well as then starting a “he said / she said” argument that probably wouldn’t have acheived anything.

But at the same time, I’m incredibly angry that this man got to treat me like that without consequence.

I would really value any opinions on what I should have done – I hate the idea of living in a society where the best course of action is just to ignore it and move away, but I still haven’t thought of a satisfactory and constructive way that I’d like to have dealt with this differently. What do you think?

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8 Comments on “What should I have done?”

  1. Perhaps stamping on his foot REALLY HARD.

  2. Emm says:

    A couple of guys started that at a concert once and then they started bumping me and dancing in to me. I tried calmly shaking them off and then eventually lost my temper and gave one a real shove. It didn’t stop them and they upped the aggression but frustratingly, my friends and husband turned on me. It ruined everyone’s night. Something inside of me will never forgive them for not standing by me but 7 years later, I’d tell them to back off and then move right away. I guess there is no solution, just a whole lot of power play.

  3. Ellesar says:

    I was groped in a nightclub (later told that the bloke was trying to ascertain if I was a woman or a drag queen!) years ago and hit the man, but he was about 6’6″ and I could not get at him as I would have liked. My friends just laughed, and it ruined my evening (not theirs).

    I agree with first comment – cause physical pain. Do what our grandmothers did and carry a hatpin – swift jab with that and he will not know what has happened, but he will know that he doesn’t like it. And there isn’t much he can do about it so it strips away his power, which of course is the real issue here.

  4. Ellesar says:

    I should add to that that doing anything at all ‘official’ will usually be even worse – unless the bouncer/ whoever, is extraordinarily enlightened, or knows that the man is a regular perve there is little chance of being taken seriously. In my experience men are very reluctant to acknowledge other mens perving, unless it is actual exposure, in front of or to a child, or a woman or girl that they know.

    • jenniesue says:

      Thanks Ellesar, I appreciate you sharing your story as well. I did feel that an official route would be so much worse. But I couldn’t punch my way out of a paper bag so the pain route didn’t feel too much of an option. I was worried I’d start something my OH would have to finish for me, and things would escalate even further.

  5. Nigel Durbridge says:

    You should have used “The look”. Anyone over 25 has one and in my experience women are particularly good at it. By pretending to ignore it or “Keep calm and carry on” that we are so stiff upper lip about, you are unintentionally condoning bad behaviour. Any form of retaliation, however subtle allows the perpetrator to take the moral high ground. But by using the look, stopping, turn around and face the man directly in the eyes. They do not expect it. It says in one action “I am not playing your game and it stops now!”. Anyone who continues after this deserves security.

    • jenniesue says:

      I do have a “look” that I am quite proud of, but unfortunately it didn’t seem to have any effect on this shameless guy.
      Thank you for the suggestion though!

  6. The Dazman says:

    I could have beat him up for you!


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