Friday, January 13, 2012
What would you do?
I was at a party that had a hot tub, toweling off after a good soak. A man and a woman were in the hot tub together. I don't know their relationship--I knew the guy only as a vague acquaintance, the woman not at all--but they were obviously some kind of intimate.
The man tried to push the woman's head underwater.
It was a laughing, silly thing for him--he wasn't acting aggressive, he was acting like a kid giving his little brother a noogie. The woman was a little less amused. She started out gigglingly resisting, but when he tried really hard to drag her underwater, she said "No, I don't want that, stop it." He kept going. They were sorta laughing and sorta not; it still had the tickle-fight atmosphere but it looked to me like he was putting a bit of strength in trying to shove her underwater.
The woman never yelled for help, never tried to get out of the hot tub or hit him, never even stopped smiling, and yet it was clear that she for-serious did not want to get dunked. There was a lot of her saying "ha ha, but no, really, don't do that," and a lot of him responding "haha, nice try, I'm gonna getcha!"
Watching this, I was paralyzed. Part of me was "oh my god, fucking stop this" and part of me was "they're just messing around, maybe she's a little annoyed, this situation does not call for Feminist Batman." I ended up deciding that I wasn't going to interrupt them (heroic, I know) but I was also not leaving the room while this was going on. I sorta gave him stink-eye until he stopped and I stayed in the room until they left the hot tub.
I'm going to toss this one to the audience. Some factors to keep in mind:
A) There are a lot of people at this party.
B) There are two or three other people in the hot tub room, but as far as you can tell they're ignoring the situation. None of them are well known to you.
C) The hosts of the party are in some random other room in a large building, and it might take 10-15 minutes to track them down.
D) This party is slightly extra-legal (ahem) and anything that gets the police called there would be extremely upsetting and legally-risky for a lot of people not involved in the Hot Tub Dunking Situation.
What would you have done?