Don't Hit On Me: Consent at Bars

    It’s enough. I have sat silently at the sidelines of our college bars and dance floors for far too long without saying it:

   Not every girl wants you to hit on them.

    I know, it sounds crazy right? I mean, look at you—  you’re semi-attractive, in a frat, and she has enough alcohol in her to make mistakes...what’s wrong with getting a little action?

A lot. A lot is wrong with it.

    So…. We are going to talk about consent!

But first, a special point:

I’m not a party-pooper. I swear. I’m a lot of fun.

I’m not saying you have to come up to her, take her hand, kiss it gently then say, “Hello, madam, would you mind if I rubbed my crotch on you?”

This isn’t a ballroom, it’s The Cave, or The Hawk, or a house party, or wherever else you may want to spend your nights off.

    What I'm saying is that even though the setting has changed, the same rules still apply. Consent is not a thing only to be given in the bedroom. It’s an everywhere, everyone, for all time, please-and-thank-you, thing. And for what seems like forever it has been ignored at bars, parties, or anywhere the alcohol flows heavily and the music plays loudly. So here are a few things you need to know to ensure being an actually okay person:

  1. Even though you can’t hear her say no over the bass, she could still be saying it.

  2. If you let it get to the point where her friends having to shift their bodies to form a human barricade, she is not interested.

  3. If she’s not pushing against the parts you are pushing on her, she probably doesn’t want you.

  4. If she can’t stand up, she sure as hell can’t consent.

  5. If she looks at her friends with questioning eyebrows, and they give her a thumbs down, or some other negatory gesture, I’m sorry, you’ve just been rejected by the friends meaning in a few moments she is going to casually slip away and you will have to let her.

  6. You know the song, “Girls just want to have fun?” Well, it applies to lesbians too.

                6a) Here is crazy thing: you can’t tell who is queer just by looking at them!  What? Yes, it’s true.

Not all queer girls have short hair, wear flannels, combat boots, and wave a big rainbow flag over their head. So be wary of the fact that the girl you’re dancing on may be your competition not your ride home.

               6b) When a girl is kissing another girl she is rarely doing it for you. Girls can kiss each other without you cheering them on. They can kiss each other best without a group of men crowding around them staring and inching forward to get in on the action.

Sometimes there is this thing that girls do where they decide they love each other and want to show affection. Sometimes these girls are even dating each other! And they aren’t looking for a third…Think about it this way: if you see a guy and girl dancing and kissing at the club, you wouldn’t approach them, crotch first, then proceed to put your hands around them, would you? That's a sure way to start a bar fight. So don’t do it to girls who may be dating!

7. First and foremost, have fun. If you can’t have fun without force, then you’re doing it wrong. If you can’t have fun without showing respect, you need to ask yourself, “What would Mom think if she saw me now…” most of the time, Mom would be very disappointed.

    Sincerely,

    Your friend and local lesbian,

    Elizabeth Jayne Wenger