Nights out with the lads: Shower shave, put on a shirt. Pints. Go clubbing, have a dance. Get a takeaway. Walk home.
Nights out with the gals: Hair makeup dress heels. Rosé. Dance in a circle, shimmy towards the girl on your left to rescue her from the man dancing too close. Watch your drink so you don’t get spiked. Stop a guy from taking your friend home because she is too drunk to consent. Get groped in the smoking area. Spend 15 mins looking for your mate because you lost her on the way to the toilet and you’re scared she is in danger. Spend another 40 mins drying the tears of your other friend because her boyfriend said she looked disgusting in that outfit. End of the night, round up the squad and pay a fortune for a taxi because you can’t walk home alone.
There shouldn’t be this much of a difference between the two stories, yet there is. Women (and non-binary people) struggle every day to keep themselves and their friends safe. And if something happens, they get blamed for it! Men, look out for your female friends. Learn to recognise bad behaviour, ask your friends if they are ok and what they need from you to feel safe again. Challenge your male friends if you see them harassing, catcalling or bullying a woman. Just a couple of conversations could prevent an aggression from happening. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out White Ribbon UK for more information.
If you can, consider donating money – this year, we are raising money for Edinburgh Women’s Aid, a local charity that do amazing work with women and children. Just £3 or £4 can help someone escape a dangerous situation by paying for a SIM card or a bus ticket!