A woman recorded a random man berating her friend at the bar after she told him she has a boyfriend.
“When some random guy yells at us because your friend told him she has a boyfriend,” TikTok user Olivia (@oliviadicampli) claims.
While Olivia is filming the situation, the man in issue is seen enraged speaking to her friend.
“I don’t give a s* who you guys are,” the man is heard saying. “You… you think you’re better than me because you’re f**** cute? You think you’re better than me because you’re cute.”
“I think you need to walk away,” Olivia’s friend responds.
“‘Just say no’ ‘say you have a boyfriend’- *ends up with this reaction 8/10”
Olivia’s video has received over 1.3 million views and 190,700 views on TikTok. Fellow users have flocked to the comments section to express their opinions on the issue and how frequently these interactions occur.
“Some people don’t understand how often this happens and how scary it can get,” @mp1818 wrote.
“I had a bottle thrown at me because I said I was married,” @abbyramosstanutz said.
“Why am I not shocked at all?!” @rainbow_starz11 asked.
“‘Just say no’ ‘say you have a boyfriend’- *ends up with this reaction 8/10,” @dezamine replied.
Not an uncommon experience
Alecia Lynn Eberhardt published a piece in 2013 entitled “Stop Saying ‘I Have A Boyfriend’ To Deflect Unwanted Attention,” in which she essentially challenges the idea that women are required to make up an excuse to avoid unwanted male attention.
“Male privilege is ‘I have a boyfriend’ being the only thing that can actually stop someone from hitting on you because they respect another male-bodied person more than they respect your rejection/lack of interest,” Eberhardt wrote via The Sydney Morning Herald.
NPR published a study conducted by the University of Toronto in 2014 that found that sexual violence from men toward women was not always linked to their degree of intoxication. Men, on the other hand, are said to prey “on women who have had too much to drink.”
Lauren Taylor, co-founder and director of the Safe Bars program in Washington, D.C., explained how bystanders might “safely intervene” and help lessen these aggressive disputes.
“For example, you might go up to somebody who is being targeted and say, ‘Your friend is calling over there.’ A bystander could also address perpetrators directly and ask them to cut it out,” Taylor told NPR.
Whether or not Olivia’s friend was telling the truth when she said she had a boyfriend, the treatment she received in the pub from a random stranger is intolerable. This man’s attempt to regain power and control of the situation by pestering her in this manner reinforced the already-existing anxiety that many women experience in the presence of men.