‘People Don’t See You if You’re a Woman and You’re Not Really Dressed Up’: Visibility and Risk
Against a backdrop of research suggesting that young women are still expected to engage in active risk management on a night out (Brooks, ‘Guys! Stop doing it!’: Young women’s adoption and rejection of safety advice when socializing in bars, pubs and clubs. British Journal of Criminology, 51(4), pp. 635–651, 2011), this chapter will explore the centrality of understanding of space and visibility to young women’s negotiations of risk and safety in mainstream bars and clubs in Newcastle’s NTE. Visibility comes into play in two distinct ways here—firstly, as in the previous chapter, participants drew on narratives of ‘fitting in’, this time to describe the types of venues that felt comfortable and safe to them. Attending a venue where they felt out of place or ‘different’ to other patrons could leave women feeling exposed, visible and vulnerable, and these spaces were positioned as risky and dangerous. Secondly, women recognised that bars and clubs are spaces where ‘everyday’ experiences of heterosexualised violence are trivialised and normalised, and they managed their dress and appearance in particular ways in order to position themselves as less visible—or even invisible—to try to avoid ‘unwanted attention’ and harassment.
- Becker, S. and Tinkler, J. (2015). “Me getting plastered and her provoking my eyes”: Young people’s attribution of blame for sexual aggression in public drinking spaces. Feminist Criminology, 10(3), pp. 235–258.Google Scholar
- Buckley, C. and Fawcett, H. (2002). Fashioning the feminine: Representation and women’s fashion from the fin de siecle to the present. London: I. B. Tauris.Google Scholar
- Day, K. (1999). Strangers in the night: Women’s fear of sexual assault on urban college campuses. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 16(4), pp. 289–312.Google Scholar
- Doughty, S. (2014). Chronicle Crime Hotspots: City Centre Streets Most Violent in North East [online]. Chronicle Live. Available at http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/chronicle-crime-hotspots-city-centre-7217753.
- Evans, D. T. (1993). Sexual citizenship: The material construction of sexualities. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Fileborn, B. (2012). Sex and the city: Exploring young women’s perceptions and experiences of unwanted sexual attention in licensed venues. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 24(2), pp. 241–260.Google Scholar
- Forsyth, A. J. and Lennox, J. C. (2010). Gender differences in the choreography of alcohol-related violence: An observational study of aggression within licensed premises. Journal of Substance Use, 15(2), pp. 75–88.Google Scholar
- Gleeson, K. and Frith, H. (2004). Pretty in pink: Young women presenting mature sexual identities. In A. Harris (Ed.) All about the girl: Culture, power, and identity (pp. 103–113). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Haydock, W. (2009). Gender, Class and ‘Binge’ Drinking: An Ethnography of Drinkers in Bournemouth’s Night-Time Economy. PhD thesis. Bournemouth University.Google Scholar
- Holland, J., Ramazanoglu, C., Sharpe, S. and Thomson, R. (2004). The male in the head: Young people, heterosexuality and power. 2nd edn. London: Tufnell.Google Scholar
- Hubbard, P. (2005). The geographies of ‘going out’: Emotion and embodiment in the evening economy. In J. Davidson, L. Bondi and M. Smith (Eds.) Emotional geographies (pp. 117–134). Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.Google Scholar
- Jayne, M., Valentine, G. and Holloway, S. L. (2011). Alcohol, drinking and drunkenness: (Dis)orderly spaces. Ashgate: Farnham.Google Scholar
- Lees, S. (1989). Learning to love: Sexual reputation, morality and the social control of girls. In M. Cain (Ed.) Growing up good: Policing the behaviour of girls in Europe (pp. 19–37). London: SAGE.Google Scholar
- Leyshon, M. (2008). ‘We’re stuck in the corner’: Young women, embodiment and drinking in the countryside. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy, 15(3), pp. 267–289.Google Scholar
- Lupton, D. (1999). Risk. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Mackiewicz, A. (2012). ‘New’ Femininities in the Culture of Intoxication: Exploring Young Women’s Participation in the Night-Time Economy, in the Context of Sexualised Culture, Neo-Liberalism and Postfeminism. PhD thesis. University of Bath.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Justice, Home Office and Office for National Statistics (2013). An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales [online]. Statistics Bulletin. Available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/214970/sexual-offending-overview-jan-2013.pdf.
- Moran, L. and Skeggs, B. (2004). Sexuality and the politics of violence and safety. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Rape Crisis England and Wales (2018). Myths versus realities [online]. Rape Crisis England and Wales. Available at https://rapecrisis.org.uk/mythsvsrealities.php.
- Valentine, G. (1996). Lesbian productions of space. In N. Duncan (Ed.) BodySpace: destabilising geographies of gender and sexuality (pp. 146–55). London: Routledge.Google Scholar