Spring Break experience differs for women, men

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — While lounging on the beach Wednesday afternoon, Abbie Brincefield’s sorority sister dozed off. Soon after, two men approached the sleeping woman. One placed his head near her backside while the other snapped a photo. Brincefield scolded them and demanded they delete the photo, but they instead laughed and left.

“I feel really objectified as a woman being here,” said Brincefield, 22. “There’s been a couple of times when I’ve felt extremely unsafe because of it.”

The Ohio University student and 11 of her Alpha Chi Omega sorority sisters drove down for Spring Break, but most of them said it wasn’t as carefree as they had hoped. Four members of the group gathered on the sand while techno music blared from the Rockstar stage in the distance. Each of them recounted cases of men groping them, calling them derogatory names and sometimes refusing to take “no” for an answer.

“Usually saying you have a boyfriend will get them away, but that shouldn’t be what it comes to,” said Jennifer Morton. “And a lot of them will say, ‘But your boyfriend isn’t here.’”

Brincefield looked at her friends as she explained that some men will become upset after being rejected by women. Morton only had to think back to the night before to recount such an experience.

“Last night there was a guy who came up to me and asked if he could get my Snapchat (username). He harassed all of us,” the 22-year-old said. “Later on he came back far more drunk — far more something — and he was like, ‘Oh, I remember your face. You’re the ugly one who turned me down.’”

The students said they did not bring any men with them on their trip, but sometimes random men have intervened and pretended to be their boyfriends in order to get other men to leave them alone.

Tom Maigaard, a sophomore from the University of Iowa, said he and his friends came to drink and have a good time. Maigaard said he saw plenty of guys and girls interacting on the beach, but nothing foul.

At a Waka Flocka Flame concert held on the beach Thursday, Maigaard saw girls pull up their shirts, exposing their breasts, and some men reached for their chests. He said that was the most explicit action he saw, which he called stupid and pointless on the men’s part.

“Both sides can be at fault in several cases,” Maigaard said. “If a girl is twerking in her thong next to a beer bong, I mean …

For the rest of this story and many other EXTRAS, go to our premium site, www.MyValleyStar.com.

Subscribe to it for only $6.99 per month or purchase a print subscription and receive the online version free, which includes an electronic version of the full newspaper and extra photo galleries, links and other information you can’t find anywhere else.

mferman@themonitor.com