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Women's safety



Wasn't sure what to title the thread but as women's safety and the freedom to go out without suffering harassment have been very much in the news recently and the issue has invaded the Corona thread thought it might be an idea to start a new one.

Interesting that nobody else has. This is a predominantly male forum - does that mean as a group we have no interest in the topic or do we feel that it's not our place to pontificate in public on it - maybe for genuine reasons that we feel our understanding of the issues can only ever be partial ?
[Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
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  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 16,809
    Same answer as when this was originally asked. I am not a victim, not a perpetrator, and don't have the solution so nothing more to add.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • morstarmorstar Posts: 4,663
    It’s a good topic.

    Having a wife and daughter, it is one that concerns me.

    Problems:
    Rules have been made by men for too long and don’t properly consider how society is institutionally biased against women.
    Conversely, I find the opinions of men are too easily dismissed these days as we don’t / can’t understand.

    If a load or rules/laws are written by women for women, men may not like them or find them appropriate.

    It needs objective discussion from both sides. I genuinely struggle to see that taking place. Far too emotive.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,312
    Yes I mean I realised cat calling etc existed (just to take one part of this issue) but until my daughters were older I didn't realise how much of it goes on. And also how often it's directed at schoolgirls in uniform.

    A lot of what I enjoy - cycling often on my own, walking often on my own in remote places, going for a run often after dark - a lot of women feel they can't do. I know it's not all women - both my daughters do go out alone in the dark - but I think most women limit their behaviour far more than men due to concerns about safety which is a huge issue.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,755
    edited 22 March
    I thought this was a thoughtful article.

    https://unherd.com/2021/03/why-women-dont-feel-safe/

    I thought the reaction when some people half-jokingly suggested that maybe men should stay in after dark was illuminating. I get why people don't want to admit that it is in fact people like them who are responsible - as though they are almost a separate species - but until that degree of denial is overcome we're not going to get anywhere.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 7,078
    I think the real issues regarding women's safety doesn't get the attention it deserves and that's around domestic abuse. I only found out about this myself recently:

    On average 2 women per week in England and Wales are killed by their partner or ex-partner.

    Two women per week!

    I think if we tackled the violence and abuse of women in the home, then it would also reduce such violence on the streets.
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  • john80john80 Posts: 2,425
    elbowloh said:

    I think the real issues regarding women's safety doesn't get the attention it deserves and that's around domestic abuse. I only found out about this myself recently:

    On average 2 women per week in England and Wales are killed by their partner or ex-partner.

    Two women per week!

    I think if we tackled the violence and abuse of women in the home, then it would also reduce such violence on the streets.

    The problem is that 695 people died in 2020 as homicide in the year up to March 2020. Two people per day! Given that those 2 per week are included in the above there are 12 others that are killed every week. Given that the vast majority of homicides are committed by people that the victim knows or has some sort of relationship with it would seem inevitable that 2 women are killed by their partners or ex partners every week just by the law of averages.

    By all means we should be aiming for zero homicides but the two per week figure above does not shock me. I am all ears for how we stop violence in the home but am not convinced that this translates into a violence on the streets. For sure these guys are violent but when outside the home are they anymore dangerous that your average nutter that is contributing to the other 12 deaths per week. I would argue your average wife beater is more of a chicken when faced with a male of similar temperament hence why they are battering women.

    If you start to look at how many youths are stabbed each day and the ratio of men to women then you could logically concluded that women are getting it easier than your 20 year old black male on a housing estate in London. As controversial as that may be.
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 14,602
    I think John makes a good point about stats as without them we don't know the scale of the problem or what the appropriate level of resources should be. If they don't exist then this is something else that should be addressed.

    The point about young black males is an interesting one, maybe it is just me but I can only name one of them
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,755
    john80 said:

    elbowloh said:

    I think the real issues regarding women's safety doesn't get the attention it deserves and that's around domestic abuse. I only found out about this myself recently:

    On average 2 women per week in England and Wales are killed by their partner or ex-partner.

    Two women per week!

    I think if we tackled the violence and abuse of women in the home, then it would also reduce such violence on the streets.

    The problem is that 695 people died in 2020 as homicide in the year up to March 2020. Two people per day! Given that those 2 per week are included in the above there are 12 others that are killed every week. Given that the vast majority of homicides are committed by people that the victim knows or has some sort of relationship with it would seem inevitable that 2 women are killed by their partners or ex partners every week just by the law of averages.

    By all means we should be aiming for zero homicides but the two per week figure above does not shock me. I am all ears for how we stop violence in the home but am not convinced that this translates into a violence on the streets. For sure these guys are violent but when outside the home are they anymore dangerous that your average nutter that is contributing to the other 12 deaths per week. I would argue your average wife beater is more of a chicken when faced with a male of similar temperament hence why they are battering women.

    If you start to look at how many youths are stabbed each day and the ratio of men to women then you could logically concluded that women are getting it easier than your 20 year old black male on a housing estate in London. As controversial as that may be.
    That's broadly what the UnHerd article addresses. Nevertheless, while murders might be relatively rare, everything else from rape down to cat-calling is not.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,371 Lives Here
    edited 22 March
    john80 said:

    elbowloh said:

    I think the real issues regarding women's safety doesn't get the attention it deserves and that's around domestic abuse. I only found out about this myself recently:

    On average 2 women per week in England and Wales are killed by their partner or ex-partner.

    Two women per week!

    I think if we tackled the violence and abuse of women in the home, then it would also reduce such violence on the streets.

    The problem is that 695 people died in 2020 as homicide in the year up to March 2020. Two people per day! Given that those 2 per week are included in the above there are 12 others that are killed every week. Given that the vast majority of homicides are committed by people that the victim knows or has some sort of relationship with it would seem inevitable that 2 women are killed by their partners or ex partners every week just by the law of averages.

    By all means we should be aiming for zero homicides but the two per week figure above does not shock me. I am all ears for how we stop violence in the home but am not convinced that this translates into a violence on the streets. For sure these guys are violent but when outside the home are they anymore dangerous that your average nutter that is contributing to the other 12 deaths per week. I would argue your average wife beater is more of a chicken when faced with a male of similar temperament hence why they are battering women.

    If you start to look at how many youths are stabbed each day and the ratio of men to women then you could logically concluded that women are getting it easier than your 20 year old black male on a housing estate in London. As controversial as that may be.
    97% of women under 24 said they had been sexually harassed, while 80% of women of all ages said they had experienced sexual harassment in public spaces.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/10/almost-all-young-women-in-the-uk-have-been-sexually-harassed-survey-finds

    From my friends and family I can confirm for them it is 100% of them.

    So it's more than just murders - this is the real problem.

    Regularly the advice is still about what women should do, when clearly the perpetrators are virtually always men.

    Now, what to do about that, I don't know.

    I do know that my wife gets a lot of it when she is out on her own (or with the pram) but never when I am with her, which suggests the men who do it clearly pray on women who are on their own, and also suggests men know they shouldn't be doing it.

    In practical terms, what it often meant is me picking my wife up from stations etc when it is at night.

    It's clearly not a UK problem either. A women filmed herself walking around NYC for 10 hours to see how much hassle she gets - it's quite a lot:
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,371 Lives Here
    Meanwhile, I should add, there are complications.



    This thread for example makes a point that women are often physically weaker than men and this is a reality that is overlooked too often - she goes onto suggest that the reason chivalry was once a thing was to avoid this kind of behaviour (as if a man did affront a women you are being chivalrous for, they should expect some consequences from that chivalrous man)

    Now, I don't quite agree with Izzy either - women ought to be able to go about their business without relying on other men to protect them etc - but there probably is some truth to the fact that a) the solution is likely to be found more in male behaviour and not female, as that has been done to death and b) the men who do do this do it consequence free, and that is the real problem.
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 14,602

    Meanwhile, I should add, there are complications.



    This thread for example makes a point that women are often physically weaker than men and this is a reality that is overlooked too often - she goes onto suggest that the reason chivalry was once a thing was to avoid this kind of behaviour (as if a man did affront a women you are being chivalrous for, they should expect some consequences from that chivalrous man)

    Now, I don't quite agree with Izzy either - women ought to be able to go about their business without relying on other men to protect them etc - but there probably is some truth to the fact that a) the solution is likely to be found more in male behaviour and not female, as that has been done to death and b) the men who do do this do it consequence free, and that is the real problem.
    how about making it legal for women to tool up with non lethal weapons like mace and pepper spray?
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 14,066
    rjsterry said:

    I thought this was a thoughtful article.

    https://unherd.com/2021/03/why-women-dont-feel-safe/

    I thought the reaction when some people half-jokingly suggested that maybe men should stay in after dark was illuminating. I get why people don't want to admit that it is in fact people like them who are responsible - as though they are almost a separate species - but until that degree of denial is overcome we're not going to get anywhere.

    I don't think this is true for all men, and the article mostly relies on it.

    I have walked the streets of London and Liverpool on my own for the past 20 years, at all times of night, rarely giving it a second thought.


    . Even if I do get jumped in Finsbury Park as I walk home some night, there’s some deluded bit of me that thinks I could fight, or at least run. I would feel like I have some control, and risks we think (rightly or wrongly) that we can control are less scary.
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,578
    97% of women under 24 said they had been sexually harassed, while 80% of women of all ages said they had experienced sexual harassment in public spaces.


    Which pretty much means attention from men who are too fugly or too poor to be considered prospective partners, as shown in the video you posted.

    It is pretty much a Western middle class debate, the people shown in your video couldn't give a fig about that and will continue as they've also done... although maybe with less normal blokes on the streets ready to intervene if necessary.
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  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,578



    how about making it legal for women to tool up with non lethal weapons like mace and pepper spray?

    You'll probably get a lot more women being attacked with mace and pepper spray.

    BASI Nordic Ski Instructor
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  • john80john80 Posts: 2,425

    john80 said:

    elbowloh said:

    I think the real issues regarding women's safety doesn't get the attention it deserves and that's around domestic abuse. I only found out about this myself recently:

    On average 2 women per week in England and Wales are killed by their partner or ex-partner.

    Two women per week!

    I think if we tackled the violence and abuse of women in the home, then it would also reduce such violence on the streets.

    The problem is that 695 people died in 2020 as homicide in the year up to March 2020. Two people per day! Given that those 2 per week are included in the above there are 12 others that are killed every week. Given that the vast majority of homicides are committed by people that the victim knows or has some sort of relationship with it would seem inevitable that 2 women are killed by their partners or ex partners every week just by the law of averages.

    By all means we should be aiming for zero homicides but the two per week figure above does not shock me. I am all ears for how we stop violence in the home but am not convinced that this translates into a violence on the streets. For sure these guys are violent but when outside the home are they anymore dangerous that your average nutter that is contributing to the other 12 deaths per week. I would argue your average wife beater is more of a chicken when faced with a male of similar temperament hence why they are battering women.

    If you start to look at how many youths are stabbed each day and the ratio of men to women then you could logically concluded that women are getting it easier than your 20 year old black male on a housing estate in London. As controversial as that may be.
    97% of women under 24 said they had been sexually harassed, while 80% of women of all ages said they had experienced sexual harassment in public spaces.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/10/almost-all-young-women-in-the-uk-have-been-sexually-harassed-survey-finds

    From my friends and family I can confirm for them it is 100% of them.

    So it's more than just murders - this is the real problem.

    Regularly the advice is still about what women should do, when clearly the perpetrators are virtually always men.

    Now, what to do about that, I don't know.

    I do know that my wife gets a lot of it when she is out on her own (or with the pram) but never when I am with her, which suggests the men who do it clearly pray on women who are on their own, and also suggests men know they shouldn't be doing it.

    In practical terms, what it often meant is me picking my wife up from stations etc when it is at night.

    It's clearly not a UK problem either. A women filmed herself walking around NYC for 10 hours to see how much hassle she gets - it's quite a lot:
    I concur in the view that the main issue is the low level stuff as this is what generates the fear. How you deal with that I have no idea though as living in the countryside and never using public transport because it does not exist. I therefore don't have many opportunities to confront individuals hassling women as much as I may like to. I think one step would be to proactively offer self defense classes from a young age to give girls the skills and confidence to handle themselves.

    I do think there is a disconnect between the older generation and the young. If you are 50-60 saying you were sexually assaulted the perpetrator probably used the threat of reputation damage to buy your silence within a society supported that. No sex before marriage and general second class citizen views. The youngest generation have a different problem in that society has moved on somewhat albeit maybe not fully but new issues such as porn and the unrealistic attitudes to women and what males are expecting partners to be into is now a major problem. These young girls are now peer pressured from a different angle to that of the older generation as they consume this content albeit maybe not as frequently as boys.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,755

    rjsterry said:

    I thought this was a thoughtful article.

    https://unherd.com/2021/03/why-women-dont-feel-safe/

    I thought the reaction when some people half-jokingly suggested that maybe men should stay in after dark was illuminating. I get why people don't want to admit that it is in fact people like them who are responsible - as though they are almost a separate species - but until that degree of denial is overcome we're not going to get anywhere.

    I don't think this is true for all men, and the article mostly relies on it.

    I have walked the streets of London and Liverpool on my own for the past 20 years, at all times of night, rarely giving it a second thought.


    . Even if I do get jumped in Finsbury Park as I walk home some night, there’s some deluded bit of me that thinks I could fight, or at least run. I would feel like I have some control, and risks we think (rightly or wrongly) that we can control are less scary.
    I think that's fair, speaking as a now fairly out of shape 40-something with cyclists arms. I think it recognises that the feeling of safety may not be entirely justified. Like all generalisations, I'm sure there are exceptions.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 14,066
    rjsterry said:

    rjsterry said:

    I thought this was a thoughtful article.

    https://unherd.com/2021/03/why-women-dont-feel-safe/

    I thought the reaction when some people half-jokingly suggested that maybe men should stay in after dark was illuminating. I get why people don't want to admit that it is in fact people like them who are responsible - as though they are almost a separate species - but until that degree of denial is overcome we're not going to get anywhere.

    I don't think this is true for all men, and the article mostly relies on it.

    I have walked the streets of London and Liverpool on my own for the past 20 years, at all times of night, rarely giving it a second thought.


    . Even if I do get jumped in Finsbury Park as I walk home some night, there’s some deluded bit of me that thinks I could fight, or at least run. I would feel like I have some control, and risks we think (rightly or wrongly) that we can control are less scary.
    I think that's fair, speaking as a now fairly out of shape 40-something with cyclists arms. I think it recognises that the feeling of safety may not be entirely justified. Like all generalisations, I'm sure there are exceptions.
    I modify my behaviour based on my perception of the risk involved. I'd be surprised if most people didn't, but perhaps I am in a tiny minority.

    Some of the issues should be separated though. For example, there are places in the world where violent street crime is almost unheard of, but sexual harassment is common. I don't see the issues as related even if people perceive them to be.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,864
    edited 22 March
    I have a teenage daughter. Her insight into what she's already had to put up with shocked and disgusted me.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,864

    Yes I mean I realised cat calling etc existed (just to take one part of this issue) but until my daughters were older I didn't realise how much of it goes on. And also how often it's directed at schoolgirls in uniform.

    This. I was horrified at the stories I heard.


    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • morstarmorstar Posts: 4,663
    secretsam said:

    I have a teenage daughter. Her insight into what she's already had to put up with shocked and disgusted me.

    My daughter will be 19 this year. We live in a small town and she has always enjoyed going into cities such as Manchester, London and Nottingham.
    She is now glad to be heading to an out of town uni campus next year as she is fed up with being either stared at or approached whenever setting foot in a city.
    I very nearly ended up in a fight at a festival when she was 16 as three blokes were being totally inappropriate right behind her.
    I’m no fighter and wasn’t looking for trouble but had to step in.
  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313
    being a victim is a cynical way to advance even quite toxic agendas
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,371 Lives Here
    I think the "i didn't know this until I had a daughter" is part of the problem. Now, i'll qualify that in that i'm not having a go at anyone here, that's often how it goes.

    But it does reveal more broadly how clueless men are about the issue - and that surely is an issue in itself? You (or one, as i'm not targeting this at anyone) shouldn't need to have a daughter to know this stuff.

    As it's pretty much a universal experience for women, it says something about what we do and don't discuss that people don't know.

    Then again, I've accused the forum of similar leery behaviour and I get rounded on by various people, so I can see why women don't bother.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,755

    rjsterry said:

    rjsterry said:

    I thought this was a thoughtful article.

    https://unherd.com/2021/03/why-women-dont-feel-safe/

    I thought the reaction when some people half-jokingly suggested that maybe men should stay in after dark was illuminating. I get why people don't want to admit that it is in fact people like them who are responsible - as though they are almost a separate species - but until that degree of denial is overcome we're not going to get anywhere.

    I don't think this is true for all men, and the article mostly relies on it.

    I have walked the streets of London and Liverpool on my own for the past 20 years, at all times of night, rarely giving it a second thought.


    . Even if I do get jumped in Finsbury Park as I walk home some night, there’s some deluded bit of me that thinks I could fight, or at least run. I would feel like I have some control, and risks we think (rightly or wrongly) that we can control are less scary.
    I think that's fair, speaking as a now fairly out of shape 40-something with cyclists arms. I think it recognises that the feeling of safety may not be entirely justified. Like all generalisations, I'm sure there are exceptions.
    I modify my behaviour based on my perception of the risk involved. I'd be surprised if most people didn't, but perhaps I am in a tiny minority.

    Some of the issues should be separated though. For example, there are places in the world where violent street crime is almost unheard of, but sexual harassment is common. I don't see the issues as related even if people perceive them to be.
    I obviously don't know to what degree you modify your behaviour, but I think there's a spectrum: I might not stand in the middle of the street to look in my wallet while talking on my phone, but I don't think twice about cutting through the new housing estate (most houses still empty) on my way home from the station. I think the article is just trying to make the issue more relatable rather than equating the two issues.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 23,210
    One of the best things about the #MeToo movement was the day my entire facebook page comprised my girl friends saying #MeToo. From the oldest to the how-is-she-even-old-enough-to-be-out-alone-now youngest.

    That was a powerful moment as a man just how big the problem was. We need a few more of those sorts of moments that hit every man - not just those of the facebook generation.
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • pinkbikinipinkbikini Posts: 758
    edited 22 March
    Men are [email protected] at bringing up boys. Many don't stick around at all. Many of those that do stick it inflict outdated behavioural views on their sons. Those that don't do that try to be their son's mate. Those that don't do that are terribly bad at talking about emotions. The list goes on. Fathers need to be fathers and talk to their sons to ensure they don't behave like creeps (or worse).

    I find the behaviour on here pretty grim sometimes, and this is actually one of the more thoughtful areas of the internet.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,312

    I think the "i didn't know this until I had a daughter" is part of the problem. Now, i'll qualify that in that i'm not having a go at anyone here, that's often how it goes.

    But it does reveal more broadly how clueless men are about the issue - and that surely is an issue in itself? You (or one, as i'm not targeting this at anyone) shouldn't need to have a daughter to know this stuff.

    As it's pretty much a universal experience for women, it says something about what we do and don't discuss that people don't know.

    Then again, I've accused the forum of similar leery behaviour and I get rounded on by various people, so I can see why women don't bother.

    I'm not sure that street harassment was as common when I was young. That's an opinion shared by my wife. Its like a lot of things - you lose touch with the experiences of other generations and then become aware of them through your kids.

    I remember a few years back when I was coaching my football team having to deal with some lads who were making some pretty horrible comments about the girls I was coaching (then u16). I remember the girls telling me it was typical of lads today - I really think there has been a generational change.

    Of course sexual harassment always existed - I remember I had to deal with a guy who was harassing my now wife when I was away at uni and similar for a friend who was worried her then boyfriend now husband would beat the censored out of the pair and end up in serious trouble - no doubt sexual harassment was worse in many ways - but just in terms of street harassment I do believe that has got worse.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,755
    I would suggest the complete lack of any consequences has something to do with it. It's simply allowed to happen unchecked.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,612
    I remember not long after I started going out with my now wife we were stood at the bar waiting to order and some bloke just casually groped her ar$e like it was perfectly normal. When he saw me glaring he apologised but to me rather than her. He was obviously only worried he was going to get punched rather than considering he'd something wrong. I suggested it wasn't me he should be apologising and he gave it the 'it was just a joke, you're a lucky bloke blah blah'.

    I'm sure I've been similarly dickish at times, especially after a drink or two when younger, but do try to think about what I do and say (having four sisters I would get a kicking otherwise). As an example, if I'm walking behind a woman in the street I'll cross to the other side until I've passed if I can or at least give as much space as I can. If I'm running I'll try to give notice that I'm there so they don't suddenly become aware of someone running up behind them.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,371 Lives Here
    edited 22 March
    Pross said:

    I remember not long after I started going out with my now wife we were stood at the bar waiting to order and some bloke just casually groped her ar$e like it was perfectly normal. When he saw me glaring he apologised but to me rather than her. He was obviously only worried he was going to get punched rather than considering he'd something wrong. I suggested it wasn't me he should be apologising and he gave it the 'it was just a joke, you're a lucky bloke blah blah'.

    I'm sure I've been similarly dickish at times, especially after a drink or two when younger, but do try to think about what I do and say (having four sisters I would get a kicking otherwise). As an example, if I'm walking behind a woman in the street I'll cross to the other side until I've passed if I can or at least give as much space as I can. If I'm running I'll try to give notice that I'm there so they don't suddenly become aware of someone running up behind them.

    So in that instance, and this isn't blaming you by the way as 99% of us would have done the same, the guy gets off with basically no consequence.

    But what's the alternative? You could decide to fight him, but if we're trying to be law abiding that isn't ideal anyway and, well, we're cyclists mostly so I doubt that ends well.

    So then what, you call the police that someone touched your wife up in a bar? I would be surprised if a policeman would take that seriously.

    So he'll have probably carried on doing it to other people.

    So how do you make the consequences of that matter?

    Even if the police did take it seriously you and your wife just want a nice time and don't want to spend it giving statements to officers.

    I guess perhaps the best course, thinking about it, would be to have the bar staff more engaged in this sort of stuff and kick him out and bar him.
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