Did you know that 65% of sexualised violence cases are caused by a man we know?
There is this very old myth that harassers and perpetrators are total strangers, with dubious personalities that came from unknown and suspicious places to do bad things to other people. However, sexism is transversal and we must accept the (not so) shocking reality that probably we know more than one perpetrator. We can love our friends, but this doesn’t mean that we should close our eyes when they are offensive and make other people feel uncomfortable and unsafe. It is precisely for being their friends that we are in a privileged position to explain to them why their behaviour is inadequate, offensive or harmful. By remaining in silence or trivializing the situation we are reinforcing their behaviour. Instead, we can choose to have difficult conversations by using careful, empathetic or even funny communication.
Also, it’s worth adding here that for some people nightlife spaces are nice places to have fun. For other people, these are the places where they work. People who work at night are not servants nor key targets for unwanted sexualized attention, they are professionals and they need our respect and gratitude for holding/keeping the space for us to have fun!
Current number of organisations in Portugal: 2
Did you know that only 20.8% of men are identifying sexist jokes as sexualised violence?
So is a stupid sexist joke a crime? It is certainly not but what it does is contribute to the Sexual Violence Pyramid. Unlike the Egyptian pyramids, we know how this pyramid was built.
The Sexual Violence Pyramid shows how behaviours, beliefs, and systems are built on and work in conjunction with one another. The top layers of the pyramid are horrible examples of violence and are recognized normally as violence by the majority of people. It is important to address the top layers but even more crucial to look at the bottom – the roots of the pyramid as if there are no roots there is no tree, isn’t it?
The structural systems at the bottom of the pyramid are roots of sexual violence, they feed and stabilize violence and unfortunately often are not taken seriously. “Oh, it is just a joke, what I can’t joke now?”, “Boys will be boys” etc.
It is possible to shift our normalized behaviours and deconstruct stereotypes only if each of us stops perceiving “a stupid sexist joke” as a silly thing and be aware that often seemingly harmless acts such as cat-calling or jokes may go unnoticed in society while resulting in much grimmer crimes.
Did you know that 63.1% of people of transgender and non-binary people feel unsafe while leaving the club alone at night?
According to our research, more than 60% of transgender, non-binary and other gender diverse people refer they feel insecure in different situations when going out at night. 54,7% of them say they experienced “sexist jokes with sexualized content”, 48,3% “unwanted sexual comments”, 38% “continuous invasion of their personal space”. They identified cismen as the main responsible for their unsafety perceptions and sexualized harassment and violence they experienced.
Transphobia, lesbophobia, homophobia, biphobia and other forms of discrimination towards gender and sexually diverse people have strong impacts on their wellbeing, living conditions, safety, access to rights and participation in social places. All people have the right to be who they are and to freely express themselves without fear and discrimination. Nightlife must be a safer place for all!
If you see a transgender, non-binary or gender diverse person being discriminated against and harassed don´t close your eyes. It is completely okay not to feel like a superhero each time (or any time at all). Being an active bystander doesn’t mean you always should get into a fight or personally confront a perpetrator or that you should put yourself at risk. Instead of confronting the perpetrators you can invite the person to join you and leave the place more safely, or call for help. Stand up against discrimination and take care of each other!
Did you know that 74.8% of women are afraid to experience sexualised aggression in the nightlife settings?
The opportunity to flirt and have sexual encounters is one of the charms of nightlife! However, independently of how horny we are and how much we want to have sex on that night, the interest and excitement must be mutual and the interaction should be egalitarian and respectful. At this point, let’s be clear: a person who is not feeling well is a person who needs help and care! By no chance, a heavily intoxicated, passed out or unconscious person it’s an opportunity for sex. People, and particularly women, are not sex toys!
Nightlife cultures emerged as free spaces to be and express ourselves, to bound and care for each other. This is something very special and we all can join the chain of creating special and fun places for all. If someone is being a target of sexualized harassment and violence it’s not her problem. It is your and our problem. Open your eyes, search for help and choose to act!
2. Sweaty as hell after dancing for hours, you are having a cigarette with your longtime friend. A woman sits next to him and fires a pipe. Suddenly he asks her “why is such a beauty here alone?”. She ignores him but your friend keeps insisting.