Why, as a woman, I am almost never alone at events
I've been asked before why it seems like I never go to events alone or why I will skip an event if I don't have someone to go with. My general response is that I feel uncomfortable going alone. Sometimes that explanation is enough other times people push for a deeper reason, so here is that deeper reason.
As a young female, when I don't have someone to go to an event with, I feel that I get objectified far faster. It's as if when I'm am not with someone, I am up for grabs. Usually the attention is harmless and little more than annoying but not always. I am going to illustrate this with an example from an event that I was at this weekend. I, in no way, hold the event responsible as they had pretty much no way of preventing this but I have spoken with enough female friends to know that my experience is not unique.
This weekend I was a presenter at a relatively large and well-known convention. The first night, my primary partner was not feeling up for the dungeon so I decided to go down on my own and see what was going on and watch some of the scenes. The dungeon was pretty dead because it was still so early so I decided to wander through the different rooms a bit. It wasn't long before I noticed a guy following me from about 15 feet back. I shoved it off as my being paranoid and continued to wander. He continued to follow until I got to a room that had some interesting scenes going on that I wanted to watch for a little while. He then walked up to me and started talking to me. All in all, fine. A little awkward because he used the pickup line 'come here often?' but not really a problem. The problem happened a few minutes later when I said something that he didn't hear and used that as an excuse to grab my waist and pull me closer to him. I immediately responded with 'you may not touch me' and I walked away.
Obviously the incident was relatively harmless to the point that I didn't report it to the event, also I had been so mad that I didn't even look to get his name badge had I wanted to report it. I went upstairs feeling icky and spent the rest of my first evening at the con there. For the rest of the event, I always had someone with me and never once did I have my boundaries violated. While I can't for sure say that my being alone was the reason that he behaved the way that he did, I certainly felt uncomfortable enough for the rest of the weekend to want someone with me at all times.
I know that this isn't the experience of everyone and that not everyone behaves in such a rude way but I wanted to share, with an example, why I don't like to go to events on my own overall. I also know a large number of friends that the same has happened to. Anytime they're at an event with someone else, be that a partner or another friend, nothing happens but as soon as they're on their own, their boundaries get violated in one way or another. I frequently end up feeling like I'm up for grabs (in this specific example, literally) when I don't have someone else with me.