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gender & sexuality

Dry-Humped by Rigid Gender Roles

I went out dancing on a whim at Holocene one Friday night. I went to enjoy myself alone in a crowd with loud music. This turned out to be much harder than I expected.
I arrived at the club at about 11:00. After being there for about 30 minutes, I had danced with a respectful Indian guy, and was feeling warmed up. I sat off to the side and rested, taking in the scene and waiting for a song that made me want to dance again. Eventually a good and interesting song came on, so I shimmied back out to the dance floor and got to it.

Within about 60 seconds, I noticed a trio of African men behind me, huddled together and LITERALLY pointing at me and egging each other on to go after me. Being that I dated an African man several years ago, I am well aware of their general machismo and lack of sensitivity to the autonomy of women. Seeing this conspiratorial huddle compelled me to push my way as far into the crowd, away from them, as I could manage. Barely five seconds later, one of said guys zooms up from behind me, puts both hands on my hips, and starts rubbing himself on my ass. No eye contact, no "hey, how's it goin'", no nothing.
I turned around immediately with an incredulous expression on my face, saying, "Whoa!" and repeatedly gave him the hand-slicing-the-throat "cut it out" gesture. As I did so, a lady next to him interjected, grabbing my arm and telling me, "Hey, don't worry, he's cool, he's cool! Trust me."

I looked at her, looked at him, and though I was still very wary, I decided to give him a chance. We danced for a few minutes, and right from the start he was putting his hands all over me so much that I repeatedly had to push his hands away or move back away from him. At one point he asked me what I was drinking, and I told him I don't drink. That really blew his mind, and after I successfully avoided his attempts at uncovering my philosophies about being sober (it was too loud for that anyway), he said he wanted to go to the bar to get something to drink.

He asked if I wanted some water. I told him, "I don't need any right now, but if you want to bring me some water, go right ahead." Then he seemed confused, irritated, and said, "Don't you want to come to the bar?" I replied, "No, I'm going to stay here and dance." For some reason this did not compute for him. He said, "I don't understand why you don't want to come to the bar so we can talk more." I said, "I came here to dance by myself and enjoy myself, and that's what I'm going to do. I didn't come here to talk."

To which he forcefully replies, "Hey, don't FORCE what you want to do!" My eyes got big and I said, "I don't know what's happening here right now, but I don't know you, and I didn't come here to argue with some stranger. I came here to dance and do what I want to do, not to do what you want." He mumbled, "I need to go get a drink."

By the time he was halfway to the bar, I was so infuriated that I had lost all motivation to continue dancing. I shoved through the crowd, past his ogling crew, grabbed my stuff and rode home. What would have happened if that woman had never interjected and let me make my own decision about what I am uncomfortable with? If she assumed that I didn't want to dance with him because he was black, she assumed totally wrong. I saw the ugly potential of my interaction with that guy the moment he started blindly dry humping me from behind, and her attempt to persuade me that I was being "too harsh" in standing up for myself only led to the ugly fruition of that potential. Thanks, lady. Next time I'll tell you to mind your own damn business and let a woman make her own decisions. And you owe me a five dollar cover charge.