There's a regular at my bar, let's call him Bob for the sake of this post, and he is in his (I'm guessing)early 60's, he's white, and is totally loaded. When Bob sees a girl (usually in their early 20's) at the bar alone or even two girls at the bar together, he will buy them a round of drinks... and then, after waiting a few minutes, will get up and go sit next to them and strike up a conversation. I have watched him do this countless times. Now, Bob is relatively harmless, presumably non threatening, and, well, nice enough guy... so what's the problem?
Well, it's very simple really, Bob is a sexist creep. Let me explain. Last night, Bob came in and there were these two girls (early 20's, black) sitting at the end of the bar and he say's to me "I'd like to buy those girls their first pitcher (of margarita's)." So, of course, I do this, and then he says "I want to make friends with them so that my girlfriend will have friends that are like her when she moves here.. you know the same color." HOLY RACISM!!!!! [Back story: Bob has a 21 year old girlfriend who is of color and is moving here to be with him. More back story, she recently stole thousands and thousands of dollars from him but they've since resolved the issue.] Bob then gets up and plops himself next to these girls, totally interrupting them and strikes up a conversation. The girls, being polite, engaged with him for the next hour, before he left.
There are so many levels to fucked-up-ness to this, it's hard to know where to even start. Let me just scratch the surface. For starters, there is the fact that Bob believes that because these girls and his girlfriend are the same color that they're going to be bff's and have lots in common.... there is Bob's oversexualization of black women (which is evident to me just from talking to him, but probably not very evident in this post, sorry).... And then there is the fact that Bob sees women as property and has the money to buy it. I would like to focus on the later.
When dude at the bar buys you a drink... what is he buying? He is buying you. At a pretty low price... and in Bobs case last night, it was happy hour, so it was half the price. It's one thing to buy a drink for someone, wave, and hope they come and talk to you (news flash: they probably wont, but it's still a nice gesture)... it is entirely something else when you buy someone a drink and then go plop yourself down with them. It goes down to the basic sexist concept of women as property or to the idea that women were put on this Earth for mans entertainment. You might be thinking, well, if the woman doesn't want the mans attention she could just say thanks for the drink and ask him to leave. But, ya see, women have been socialized to smile and be gracious and that guy knows it. He knows that by buying her a drink, she will be obligated to talk to him, because he purchased her. He will purchase her again with another drink. He knows that she now has to perform for him. She has to smile, laugh at his jokes, be non confrontational, gracious, agreeable and appeasing all for the price of a cocktail. Not to mention the fact that the whole time she has to wonder, is this guy going to rape me? The whole time she has to gauge how much of a threat you are while feigning thanks for that stupid fucking beer you just bought her. She did not sign up for any of that when she went to the bar. This, my friends, is fucking intrusive, totally sexist, and totally creepy... especially when as a bartender, I watch you do it ALL the time. That makes you kind of a predator.
And while I'm on the subject dudes....other things that are creepy: Hitting on your bartender. She can't move! She's stuck behind that bar... stuck with you being a total creep. Not only that, she has to be nice to you! You pay her rent essentially and she has to (I repeat) smile, laugh at your jokes, be non confrontational, gracious, agreeable and appeasing. We had a bartender, that when she came into work, if she saw Bob sitting at one bar, she would work the other bar, because she didn't want to be subjected to him hitting on her all night and attempting to lore her in by talking about how much money he has. We get it Bob, you are old and need some young "arm candy" and you think women are property that you can purchase if the price is right.
But anyway, The moral of the story is: Stop being a total sexist creep. If you want to buy a woman a drink, that's totally cool! Just wave and hope that she approaches you. Or, I've got a novel idea! How about you ASK her! A little "excuse me, may I buy you a drink?" may be more effective. It also gives her a chance to say no. And don't forget to tip your bartender. duh.