The perception of women and how they dress has been an issue of debate globally, as people battle with whether a woman’s position is determined by what she wears or not. Several people have argued that individuals are made by how they look or how they present themselves. A person’s security in any given social setting is related directly to the individual’s dressing in relation to the expectations of that group. This implies that people are judged by not so much that they are, but by what they wear and how they act. Image plays a significant role in determining how people perceive an individual, and this forms a basis of how people relate to others.
In the contemporary world, women have been able to break social barriers and do things that were once considered taboo. For instance, a while ago, visiting bars and night clubs were a preserve of men. On the other hand, women were only expected to stay at home. However, the changing times has seen women going into night clubs and bars in pursuit of entertainment.
The question, therefore, is: Can women go to night clubs and have the freedom and enjoyment they are seeking without being judged? Can they wear what they wish and behave however they want? Social psychologists have argued that gender stereotypes still influence how people interact. In social places like bars and night clubs, women who are seen to be wearing clothes that do not cover them appropriately as seen to have loose morals. Women who dressed in an attractive manner, or “sexy,” had a twice likely chance to get sexual advances from men, than a woman who was dressed decently in a night club.
These stereotypes tend to blame the victims by suggesting that they contributed to their victimization and so they are responsible for what happens. Several researches have shown that men are likely to get a sexual context in many areas, most of them in behavior and demeanor. Extroverted and outgoing women are also found to be on the receiving end when it comes to sexual advances from men, more than their introverted counterparts. If a woman is seen to be talkative and aggressive, it is interpreted to mean that she is available and in need of a man.
Who accompanies a woman when she goes to the bar is also a determinant on how she will be viewed by men. A woman who goes to a night club alone is likely to get men swarm on her and hit on her, as to them, this is a subtle indication that she is “needy” and is in need of a man. The bar, according to most men, is a “Man sanctuary” and every woman who gets inside has stepped into a man territory.
The level of drinking also affects how women are perceived. Women who go to the bar and get very drunk and disorderly are also regarded as “sexually available” by male bar drinkers. Women who got overly drunk were regarded as women in need of sex.
These stereotypes are perhaps the main reason why sexual aggression and sexual abuse are rampant in bars and night clubs. Most of the sexual violence occurs in bars. Most women who visit bars frequently experience at least a case of unwanted sexual advance. This goes a long way to indicate that men have a low regard to women who visit the bars, and especially women who dress in scanty attire or even women who go to the bar and get overly drunk.