HollaBack DC! alerted me to the Facebook event “Grab an Ass Day!” scheduled for tomorrow, Nov. 19. I looked it up. There are over 20,000 confirmed guests and 4,000 more who are maybe’s. I also found a Facebook group called “National Grab Ass Days” with nearly 300 members.
I hope that the 20,000+ people who say they plan to grab an ass tomorrow are joking and won’t. Because, wow, how inappropriate, how illegal (in many contexts), and how upsetting to the person being grabbed if s/he did not explicitly give their consent.
Regularly reading stories from girls and women who have had traumatic experiences where random men grab their ass and other body parts while they’re in public, like on public transportation, makes me extra not okay with this event. Sure, if you’re among friends and everyone agrees (w/out peer pressure) to do this, whatever, it’s your life. But will people really seek consent before grabbing? And an event like this, portrayed in a light-hearted joking way, detracts from the seriousness of sexual assault and the way it negatively impacts people’s lives.
What would be better than Grab An Ass Day is a Don’t Grab An Ass Day. Get a huge facebook group of people who vow NOT to grab an ass that day (unless they have consent) and raise awareness about the problem of unwanted groping and other forms of sexual assault. Hell, why not take it a step further and get people to vow not to commit any form of sexual assault? That would really be a day I could get behind (lol).
(By the way, I posted a message on the Facebook event page saying I hoped people wouldn’t participate and it’s inappropriate etc and someone just sent me a message saying “grab an ass.” No thanks.)