By Erin Maduck
The pulsing music invigorates your body and soul. Your attire has been strategically selected, lipstick religiously re-applied, and hair perfectly set. Hundreds of pairs of eyes dart around the dimly-lit space. They scope, scan, stare, compare, and search intently for a match. You can cast any image you want here. You can be anyone you want, because tonight you are chillin’ at one of the many establishments that pathetically promise booze, fun and sexuality.
You are at the bar.
Society accepts certain assumptions regarding the nightclub scene. Men go to zone in on a girl, get laid, and never speak to her again. There is nothing wrong with this, of course-boys will be boys. Why do women go to the bar? They go to see and be seen. Some go with hopes of post-bar action, but many more go with hopes of a post-bar phone call. And although men are acutely aware of this reality, the cycle continues: two o’clock rolls around, girl foolishly assumes that boy is sincere, and girl foolishly catches a cab with him. Girl wakes up the next morning feeling like dirt; guy wakes up either satisfied or apathetic. Although girl accepts that guy has already forgotten her name, she is foolishly disappointed when he does not follow up on their drunken encounter. What does the general population have to say about this? The girl is foolish, of course.
It was not until I combined a multitude of both personal and impersonal experiences that I realized at least one disgusting societal attitude is in desperate need of reformation. Women who go home with guys after the bar are labeled stupid-how can they be so naive? I must clarify, however, women who allow themselves to be treated like meat are indeed (at the very least) basking in a moment of stupidity. But here is where the double standard lies: men who use girls they meet at the bar are called men. And by accepting this truth, society condones it. Rather than simply allowing typical male behavior to reign, perhaps at the turn of the century human beings should be ready to recognize what is inherently wrong with it.
I would never be optimistic or arrogant enough to try and change male behavior. By showcasing a little female perspective, my one and only goal is to provoke thought.
The bar is considered by many to be a place where fair game is the dominating principle. It does not matter what is said in the bar; it does not matter how it is said. And being the intelligent and sex-driven individuals that they are, men tend to take this free-for-all concept to the max. They leave their conscience at the front door and the games begin. At this point we can throw the bar male into one of two categories. There is the guy who uses the same old sleazy lines to get a girl to succumb to him. He tells her she looks especially good, makes meaningless small talk, and then proceeds to pop the “what are you doing after the bar?” question. Then there is the guy who goes to any and every length to convince. He derives several unique, flattering comments, maybe even diving into the pool of personal information that he already knows about the girl. He is such a good lizard that women do not know what hit them the next day. I have an issue with the latter bar male, because it is he who crosses certain moral boundaries. Women are biologically more sensitive than men; women care. Do not insult them with manipulation.
Another thing to note is that even within the confines of the bar, women often place interest in men for valid and legitimate reasons. Men ought to take this seriously and recognize that respect is a much greater tribute than a quick thrill. Unfortunately, they do not. Women are aware of this and, as a result, they are not overly surprised when a man does not follow up on his promises. But they are offended. Smart and dumb girls alike are forced to question their worth when a guy has blatantly lied to them. Whether or not it was the woman’s fault that she was taken advantage of is not the issue. Most signiÞcantly, damage has been done.
Now that I have highlighted the female consequences of post-bar fooling around and false promises, how about the male consequences? A man should rethink some of his selfish male acts because his chances for a real relationship quickly diminish with every cheap sexual experience. This is not because his reputation is marred, but instead because he floats further away from one of life’s greatest skills: learning how to respect the opposite sex. Not to mention, every phone number lost is one less potentially quality person to meet. Who wins now?
People have been quick to excuse predictable and reckless male sexuality and, therefore, have almost promoted it as morally correct. I do not want to be misunderstood-this is not an “all men are evil” rant. I love men. But for all of humanity’s benefit, I think it is time that men face a certain reality. Although it initially appears that there is no fault in manipulation and meaningless bar sex, there are deeper consequences. Someone gets hurt.