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How to react to groping?

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210012 posted 6/18/2014 16:41 PM

Last night I went to a metal show with a friend (we're also kinda dating? at the show we were holding hands and kissed a few times), his friend, and met some of his friend's friends there. We were all enjoying the music, headbanging, jumping around and bumping into each other in the crowd, when one of his friend's friends started touching the back of my thigh. The first touch I assumed was accidental, the second time I scooted away and otherwise ignored it hoping he'd get the message; the third time he went further, groping up my skirt. I jumped, swatted his hand away, glared at him, and moved to put my friend between us. After that, he stopped trying and I was able to enjoy the rest of the show.

So first question - Driving home, I told my friend what happened and he was pissed - at the guy, but also at me for not telling him right away so he could "do something" about it. In part he seemed angry just as a decent person and a friend - angry that due to past experiences my attitude is somewhat cynical acceptance that these things happen and it could've been much worse, rather than outrage. But there was also bitterness and I wonder if he thought I should've reacted differently given that I was there "with" him? Do people here think a woman owes it to her date to react more forcefully and/or immediately tell him if she's groped?

Second question - Today I contacted the friend's friend to ask for a recap of the names / relationships I couldn't hear over the music the night before. I find out Groper is married, and that one of the other women at the show was his wife. I believe she was outside smoking when he was touching me, so I guess she doesn't know what happened. Am I supposed to somehow inform her? I'd have to go out of my way and maybe lie to get in contact - I was barely introduced and my friend doesn't know them either.

Also I'd be embarrassed to talk to either of them again - I'm embarrassed that I just smiled and nodded and didn't pay attention when we were introduced, so then I assumed Groper was single and clumsily drunkenly expressing interest in me; I'm embarrassed by what I was wearing - a tank top and short ruffled skirt, I thought it was cute but maybe I should've worn something less feminine to a metal show; and I'm embarrassed that I was so excited about the music that I was happily being knocked around in the crowd and pushing right back rather than shrinking away.

yearsofpain25 posted 6/18/2014 17:25 PM

Hi 210012. The younger me can relate to your date as I would have dragged my "friend" into the pit and made an example of him. Seen plenty of that groping shit go down at shows in my younger days and we didn't tolerate it. The ass wipe would often come out the other side of the pit "groped" and bloody himself. Often times at these types of shows, sometimes the crowd can police themselves. Sometimes not. I also get wanting to act all macho and like a KISA in front of a date as well.


The older wiser version of myself would not question why you didn't tell me right away. I get why you may have been shocked or caught off guard or whatever you want to call it. I also get not wanting to cause a scene and just enjoy yourself for the evening. The older wiser version of myself would have checked with you to make sure you are ok first and foremost. I would ask you what you wanted me and yourself to do about it and I would respect your wishes...for the most part. Except, seeing how he was my own "friend", and I don't tolerate that sort of behavior, it would be taken out of your hands and you wouldn't have to do anything. I would talk to his wife myself. This is probably how your date should handle the situation.

For you, I would say do what you are comfortable with. If you are not comfortable with getting involved, then don't. This guys behavior is deplorable and if you want to do something about it, then do it. He violated you so there is nothing to be embarrassed about here. You can't always expect to react the way you would want to when being violated. I'm glad that you got to enjoy the show and get into it. Sucks that this unfortunate incident happened to you. Again not your fault and nothing to be embarrassed about including what you were wearing.

Bottom line, you were the one violated. You don't owe anyone anything in this situation except yourself. What ever you want to do is totally acceptable.

Sorry this happened to you.


eta - typos

[This message edited by yearsofpain25 at 5:28 PM, June 18th (Wednesday)]

itainteasy posted 6/19/2014 09:31 AM

Again not your fault and nothing to be embarrassed about including what you were wearing.

THIS. You don't have to make yourself look less feminine. You don't have to wear different clothing.

Groper had no right to touch you at all.

I'm struggling with the part about your date being angry with you for not telling him right away. What does he mean by "do something about it"? Would he have punched the guy's lights out? Would he have simply said "Don't touch my friend again"?

I can understand not saying anything right away, as you were at a concert, and were trying to enjoy yourself, and telling your date had the potential to ruin the show. (if he got into a physical altercation with the groper and you were asked to leave)

The fact is your date knows NOW what happened to you. He can confront his friend anytime he chooses about it. I'm sure groper is going to lie and deny. Especially because he's married.

I know one thing: I'd never consent to being in groper's presence again. Ever.
That's something your date should know, because if groper is a close friend, you may need to move on, unless your date is willing to give up that relationship.

You're right, it COULD have been worse. But what happened was pretty fucking shitty. He had no right to put his hands on your body. And it had nothing to do with your clothes. Or how pretty you are. Or if says you were "sending signals". He had no right.

This was NOT your fault. At all.

Don't be ashamed of yourself, don't be ashamed of your clothing.

You were assaulted. You didn't ask for that.

10yearsafter posted 6/19/2014 13:41 PM

Listen what happened was not your fault. What you are wearing has nothing to do with it the guy was a perv and basically molested you.

I thin you should have told the guy you were with right away. He took you there and most likely felt responsible for your well being, as he should. He probably feels really bad about what happened.

My daughter is a strong independent young woman and she can take care of herself but I have always told her that if you are on a date than your safety is your dates responsibility.

210012 posted 6/19/2014 20:32 PM

Thank you all for the feedback and reassurance. To clarify, my friend/date didn't know the groper any more than I did, it was his friend's coworker and my friend is disgusted and hopes to never see the guy again either.

We talked about it again later, to tell him that I found out groper was married and his wife was at the show too... his initial reaction was a childish joking "you should go find him on Facebook and cause trouble, he deserves it." My reaction was to shudder and remind my friend that "I've done more than enough interfering in other people's marriages, I want nothing to do with this mess." (And I don't use Facebook anyway, seems like a waste of time; and my friend on reflection in seriousness didn't think that was the way to deal with it, he offered to talk to his friend if I want, or ignore it and just ensure we never meet again if I want that instead)

Which I think gets to the real reason I'm feeling guilty and upset over something that's happened (or worse) several times before, even in my childhood... My married boss pursued me, I resisted for awhile but eventually gave in, in large part because I wanted to please him instead of resisting and disappointing and rejecting him - which was causing me a lot of emotional turmoil and stress because I hate conflict. As I spend time here, I'm beginning to accept that my choice to stop discouraging his flirting and touching means I'm responsible for the affair as much as him. So this happens and, while intellectually I know I never acquiesced to the groping, it feels very much the same as the start of the affair- a married guy being inappropriate with me and my reaction is internal anxiety and not wanting the guy to be angry with me and trying to keep everything quiet and avoid conflict.

210012 posted 6/19/2014 22:54 PM

Also I do feel... foolish? overly self-involved and dramatic and playing the victim? to even post about something like this. I figure either every woman has similar experiences and yet most don't make a fuss because it isn't a big deal, or else there IS something I'm doing that is attracting these sort of things to happen, so it is somewhat my fault and so I shouldn't be complaining as if I'm a random victim.

The "worse" I've experienced are: the father of a childhood friend repeatedly grabbing me, intimidating me, groping at me, and making inappropriate teasing jokes throughout elementary and middle school; losing my virginity to date rape at 18, I wasn't even interested in the guy but I was lonely for a friend so went for lunch and to see his place and he grabbed me and did what he wanted despite me screaming at him to stop and trying to push him off; and then once getting very drunk and naked in a hot tub at a party, then my "friend" refusing to give me back my clothes and aggressively persistently trying to have sex with me till eventually I got tired of struggling and begging for my clothes and let him do it.

I've been groped commuting on the subway several times over the years; once, walking late at night a guy in a creepy station wagon slowly followed me in his car, saying dirty things out the window till I got back to my college campus; another time, walking back from class, two guys in a truck kept circling past me and eventually stopped on a side street and vaguely asked for directions then one opened the door and was about to get out when another car drove up and he froze and I ran off; then once a guy approached my car at a stop light and when he got close lunged and made a grab at the door handle, I luckily panicked and hit the locks just seconds before he tried to open the door; this past year, walking home from dinner a guy saw me and tried to start a conversation, I gave a noncommittal short response and kept walking, he followed me for several blocks alternating compliments and suggestions that we go somewhere private together... then of course there's always been normal street harassment- catcalls and honks and dirty comments; also plenty of borderline creepy random compliments and pickup lines when walking around town; also obnoxiously persistent men calling and texting for months after I said no thanks after one date; also drunk guys clubbing and putting their hands all over me while dancing (but I'm not much of a partier, maybe that is normal?).

So I'm curious- are my lifetime experiences about average for an American woman, and if so how do the rest of y'all deal and not let it make you cynical about men in general?

10yearsafter posted 6/20/2014 08:19 AM

Wow! That is awful. I am kind of at a loss for words. You have been abused and taken advantage of.

Have you seen an IC.

UnexpectedSong posted 6/20/2014 21:44 PM

the father of a childhood friend repeatedly grabbing me, intimidating me, groping at me, and making inappropriate teasing jokes throughout elementary and middle school;

That is child sexual abuse. It likely fundamentally changed you.

MissMouseMo posted 6/20/2014 22:38 PM

The idea that you, that women, that we as a society would have innocent people like you who imagine being groped by a stranger at a public event was no big deal is so heartbreaking, sweetie.

210012, it was unwanted sexual attention that you couldn't stop (and shouldn't have to!), and this guy is a creep (and a criminal - you can't go laying your hands on people for ANY reason without their consent! It may not seem like it but it really, really is assault).

I have no doubt that this man was only as aggressive as he could be in public with his wife nearby and he is one of "those men" in private.

If you have it in you, bust him. To try to protect the next woman he might try to grope - or worse.

I'm so sorry.

(A woman should be able to dress as cute as she wants. :_)

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