Written by Maisie Turner
Recently there has been a terrifying rise of spiking in nightclubs, which has had lots of media attention and allowed club goers to figure out solutions to what they can to in order to protect themselves from these incidents.
According to the Alcohol Education Trust’s survey, investigating spiking of around 750 16-25 year olds, discovered 15% of women had had their drinks spiked, 7% of men and 17% of non-binary people. Clingfilm over glasses, reusable bottles being filled in clubs and glass covers have been used to target the spiking’s. Unfortunately, it seems as though the perpetrators have gotten wind of these solutions and have now resulted to injecting women with muscle relaxants. It begs the question; How on earth are we supposed to protect ourselves in situations like these? As mentioned previously, the social media coverage of these incidents has gone viral with young women and men all over the country trying to figure out ways that clubs can be allies to young women, making sure that they can still go out and enjoy themselves without having to worry about these risks.
A young woman named Hannah Thomson (@hannahthomsonnn via Instagram) started a petition on the UK government website, asking for legislation to be put in place that would give door staff and security more power to do thorough searches on all guests. She states, “I would like the UK government to make it law that nightclubs must search guests on arrival to prevent harmful weapons and other items entering the establishment.” At first glance, this comes across as a thoughtful way of contributing to the cause, but when you think deeper into this petition, it poses various issues. Marginalised groups are often targeted by bouncers in nightclubs, experiencing unfair treatment based on the colour of their skin. It could be so easy for these searches and pat downs to become weaponised against people of colour and minority groups.
As observed by Instagram user @sharonfromhr, door staff and security’s best interests are often not with the attendees of venues or clubs, but more so the venue or club they are working for, so giving them unlimited access to the body of each guest is potentially doing more harm than good.
In a video titled, “We will not solve unsafe nightlife without intersectionality,” Instagram user @lookingformothermax contributed to the conversation by creating a video discussing how unsafe nightlife will not be solved without intersectionality. Mentioning how when there is a national conversation being had concerning violence against women and girls, there is a lack of concern for women of colour. “As individuals, we all have different lived experiences, therefore we navigate society differently.” Taking into consideration the thought behind more door staff and security with more power, she continues to discuss how often the people being highlighted and going viral are cis white women. Not to say that cisgender white women do not share the same concerns as women of colour do, but that being said there is a stark difference in privilege and experiences for the two.
Therefore, it is so important that women from all levels of society are being highlighted and working together, instead of just one voice speaking for different communities that does not share the same struggles. Representation is crucial for any movement.