I discussed the idea for this column with both my well-meaning, but painfully hungover female housemates, and my well-meaning, but painfully sober male friends. I asked the girls, ‘Do you feel exploited by the clubbing industry?’ No. In fact, when I questioned whether they found it demeaning to be used as bait, being plied into the sleaziest of Nottingham’s nightclubs with the promise of free drinks, they just laughed me off with an ‘I’m not complaining!’ – before attempting to drown the (few) memories of last night in a glass of water and aspirin. The guys’ response? An overdue article, they said. Which made me think that this is the exact reason this form of exploitation has gone unnoticed for so long – girls are all too willing to accept it.
Freshers’ Week is coming up. Undeniably, the club bosses of our fine city do an exceptional job of getting all the barely-legals smashed during this fateful week – and getting them to part with equally large sums of money. However, those of us who are veterans to the scene might not be aware that the further up the food chain you go, the more vulnerable you get. Recently, a ludicrously overpriced club that shall not be named, held a sponsored party which offered girls free entry, free drinks, extended happy hour and, if you’re there long enough… a free pair of shoes. I can only assume this is to encourage hardy second and third years to get back into the clubbing spirit. But, it is so strange, so antiquated, and so desperately humiliating, to think that we are being tempted to overspend and glut ourselves on alcohol – with a pair of shoes.
And for what reason? To bring in the boys.
Tell me that you don’t find yourself cringing a little at the thought of that. While there is no shame in what you choose to do on a night out, it should be your decision to do so, and not the seven free shots talking. In Britain, a woman is raped every nine minutes, and male-oriented student websites are grooming their readership to believe that alcohol is the easiest way to weaken their victims. So, with the aforementioned club currently offering a substantial discount on a drinks order for girls only, containing over 80 units of alcohol (even shared between a group, that’s around ten times the recommended limit), it’s no wonder that clubs are packed and so many girls are left wandering the streets after a night out vulnerable to attacks.
But, reverting back to the kitchen small-talk of this morning… I have to sheepishly ask, why aren’t we complaining? Who is to blame for this misogynist trap we’ve all come to accept? Until girls recognise their vulnerability, I’m sure the clubbing industry will continue to teach us that free drinks are worth undressing for; shoes are worth knocking yourself unconscious for; that girls will always be the drunker sex; and that if your night takes a bad turn, no one is to blame but yourself.
“Hannah is a second-year, currently over-caffeinated and overworked by the English and Philosophy departments. Taking hits for female journalists everywhere, she will fight for your right to truth, testimony, and an awful lot of timely chatter.”