Guys, Just Because I'm At The Bar Alone Doesn't Mean I Want Attention

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It was Thirsty Thursday, and I had just gotten off of a six-hour shift waitressing at an Italian restaurant.

I was ready to have a drink (or five), and I called one of my girlfriends to beg her to come out and have a simple girls' night with me.

Finally giving in, she told me she’d meet me at the bar soon.

Of course, I didn’t think there would be an issue waiting at a bar alone for a few minutes, especially at a bar in the neighborhood I’ve grown up in and lived in my entire life.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

As I walked through the door by myself, all the guys at the bar immediately looked at me.

And they didn't just look at me; they checked me out up and down and eye-f*cked me.

I felt like I was standing in the spotlight in my underwear.

Brushing off the embarrassment, I walked over to the bar to order a beer.

Immediately, while waiting for my bill, a short guy in a too-tight T-shirt approached me, calling me every name under the sun except my own.

After the fifth “sweetheart,” I told him I wasn’t interested and proceeded to walk away, looking to see if my friend had arrived.

Not finding her, I stepped outside for a cigarette and immediately dialed her on my phone.

Her cab was late, as usual, and she was trying her best to get there.

Luckily, I’ve known the bouncer for several years and struck up a conversation with him about his family, friends and life.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the guy in the T-shirt approaching me with his friends.

He muttered something to one of his boys and proceeded to come my way, again calling me sweetheart and putting his hand on my shoulder.

I stepped back.

He laughed.

He began to walk toward me again, and this time, I put my hand out to stop him. I could tell he was already beyond wasted.

I was just not willing to put up with his sh*t any longer.

Sure, it seems harmless that a guy tried to pick me up at a bar.

I was a young, pretty girl alone in a bar.

But, it’s not harmless when the same guy followed me outside while I called my friend, proceeded to get too close for personal comfort and then called me a lovely "C U Next Tuesday" when I rejected him for the 20th time that evening.

It's also not harmless when he proceeded to grab my ass at the bar later that evening in front of his friends while trying to look like a big shot.

That's when I lost my temper and had to actually leave the bar.

That wasn’t the first time I’d been nearly sexually harassed while alone at a bar or club.

Numerous times throughout my life, my friends have left me to go hook up with really hot guys or run home after taking one too many shots of tequila.

I’ve been left to fend for myself before.

Every single time — and yes, I mean every single time — I have been approached by a man who thinks that a woman alone is a tell-tale sign he can score.

As a woman, it’s as if I have to fear the times when I’ll be alone for a split second, especially at night and around men.

Whenever I go anywhere, my mother’s main concern is the person I'm going there with.

Why should I ever have to feel uncomfortable in my solidarity because of the way men act toward women alone?

Am I more vulnerable and easier to seduce if I’m riding solo?

Absolutely not.

Women are always being told to be careful about where they go and the people they go with.

If you’re a woman and you go to a bar, you have to always hold on to your drink in case someone tries to slip something in there.

Before you leave, you should make sure that your outfit isn’t “too revealing” or giving anyone “the wrong idea.”

F*ck that.

The truth is, men have it all wrong.

A man who tries too hard because he feels I’m weak on my own and who pushes himself onto me will never be the man who comes home with me.

F*ck, he won’t even be the man who lands my number.

It's exactly like being catcalled.

Ask any woman walking down the street if she actually enjoys being catcalled, and she will tell you absolutely not.

Women don’t want to be seen as objects, especially weak objects.

If a woman is strong enough to enter a bar alone, that stands for something.

It’s not that she’s vulnerable; it’s that she’s strong and independent.

She doesn’t need to fall back on anyone to protect her or to have a good time.

She’ll also be the first one to pour her drink on you the minute she’s disrespected.

This article was written by Alexa Tanney for Unwritten.