Last week while sitting in an airport restaurant during a layover, a heavily intoxicated man approached me. He'd just gotten off a flight and was headed to another terminal when he spotted me sitting at the end of the bar by myself (near the entrance), and made a B-line straight toward me.
A whole incident ensued and afterwards I posted about it on our Facebook page. What made this all status update-worthy, however, was not the man's ultimate arrest for public intoxication (because, yes, he was that bad, which is why I left out some of the more obnoxious details about our time together), but how another woman who I can only assume had been traveling on the same flight as this man, never left me alone with him. I wanted to celebrate this awesome act of sisterhood. She stood back as not to escalate the situation, but kept eye contact with me the entire time letting me know something could potentially happen because of the aggressive state he was in.
And it did.
He had cozied up across the bar from me, loudly demanding I tell him he was cuter than my husband (who, yes, I felt the need to name drop early on, because sadly a woman not being interested is not enough these days... she has to be someone else's property in order to turn down a drunk dude's advances *eye roll*). Then finally at one point, only about a minute and a half into him sitting there, he placed both of his hands on my head. I did not feel in any immediate danger, but I know a big part of that was because I wasn't alone. I knew in that moment he had crossed a line and that the other woman was likely alerting airport security.
They came over and this gentleman was given multiple chances by security to go get a cup of coffee before getting on to his next flight, but he refused and just became more belligerent.
The most disturbing part of all of this though? Not the weird drunk airport arrest I watched go down, but rather the comments left on this very positive Facebook post I had written thanking that other woman for having my back.
I was accused of misandry, and overreacting because after all "nothing had happened"…yet. There was a lot of "well, if the tables had been turned and it was a woman who was the aggressor…"
So, fine internet commenter "Nickolai," let's turn the tables.
If you were suddenly approached by a woman twice your size, who was drunk, who had honed in on YOU, and there was no way of talking her out of the plans she had to take you home tonight, you might begin to feel one iota of what many of us feel all too often. But odds are you've never been in that situation. You've likely never felt physically intimidated by a woman, because if you had (as some men have), you would be more empathetic to what I went through and less accusatory of me for using this experience to- what did you say again? -oh yeah: drive up clicks-throughs. Because the ads. They're just everywhere on this blog, right? Remind me to explain to you how the Internet works in a future post.
I'm going to be very blunt. If you were looking for a politically correct "we're all equal" feminist page, you've come to the wrong place. I don't reside in that la-la land. I live in reality. I live in a world where women are overwhelmingly the victims of sexual assault, not men. I live in a world where I don't have the luxury of boycotting date-rape-detecting nail polish, because I have had GHB slipped into my drink before. I live in a world where I am not equally as strong as a 250 lb. drunk dude, and I won't act like I am. I live in a world where having another woman watch out for me, and sadly needing other women to watch out for me, is a just part of everyday life. It shouldn't have to be like this, but it is. And until dudes change that, I will not apologize for "continuing the narrative" that men are usually the aggressors in situations like this. Because it wasn't some second-hand anecdote; it was something that really happen to me last week. If you're pissed at anyone, be pissed at the dudes who are creating this stereotype, not the women who are merely acknowledging what's happening and speaking out against it.
I'm sorry, but watch the video below, and then be "man enough" to admit shit like this does. not. happen. to. you.