I went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans this past month with quite a few female friends. For the most part, we had a lot of fun. We caught beads, had some drinks, did some dancing, and tried some wonderful food. But there is one thing about this trip that almost ruined it: the disrespect some guys showed the girls in our group. Specifically some college age guys. I am in no way saying every college aged male we saw were rude to the females in our group, merely some.
But just one person showing they level of disrespect they displayed is enough to make a point of it to stop. What are these disrespectful things that were done? Well sit back and grab some popcorn.
For one, a large numbered of guys thought, by asking a girl to show them her breast that she is then obligated to do so. This happen multiple times through all the nights that I went, but one night stood out. While waiting to meet some friends at a particular location, we stood on the sidewalk of bourbon street. Within less than ten minutes of waiting, four guys stopped to ask the girls in our group to show their breast for beads. All four times they were refused. Only one guy left without saying or asking anything more rude. The other three all cursed at whichever girl or girls refused them. One guy, after being told no, called the girl that refused him, “a f**king whore anyway.” In which universe is that alright? And let me stress, this guy wasn’t just anyone off the street. He was a well-dressed college student, with a Tulane shirt on.
Another incident was when one “gentlemen” harassed one of my female friends. While me, and the rest of the males in our group, were not with the girls, one guy proceeded to try to talk to them. They said how the guy was good looking and at first polite. He asked for their numbers when he had to leave. He took the first girl's number and left saying, "I only want yours. They rest of you are kinda ugly." He then calls the girl, who’s number he took, the next night; I was with her when he called. My friend tells us how much of a jerk he was to the other girls we were with. We decided to mess with him, by having me answer the phone. I tell him she gave him the wrong number, and had played him. I soon realized this was the wrong thing to say because, he had texted my friend, right after she had given him her number to make sure it wasn’t a fake. He then cursed me out, and threatened to rape and kill my friend if she didn’t meet up with him. I mean is this guy a charmer or what? So much respect and manners for women. Now this young man was obviously intoxicated… but if you try to use that to excuse his actions, let me stop you right there to tell you to SHUT THE HELL UP because that’s not an excuse.
The guys who shocked me most of all, were these two Casanovas, that passed us one night. While, waiting outside a shop for some friends to finish inside, a group of guys walked pass us. One bent down and acted like he was taking a bite out of one of my friend's butt, who’s back was turned to them. While, he did this, another guy filmed it. They didn’t even care. They just blatantly did it in front of everyone. One guy saw that I had seen. Without stopping he patted me on the back, with the friendliest smile on his face, and uttered, “Just having fun. Ya know.” I was in such shock I just kind of stood there. If I wasn’t in shock, I probably would have punched the guy. What shocks me most of all is how they thought I would understand actions. I hope if I wasn’t a gay male and instead a straight one, I would still recognize how incredibly inappropriate and rude that was.
Look I’m not saying all guys are pigs. I’m not saying straight guys are pigs. And there nothing wrong with women who are comfortable willingly showing their breast to people. What I’m saying is wrong is the way some guys see women. They see them more as candy than as humans. This is 2017 guys. It’s time for everyone to start living here, not in the past.