Unwanted sexual attention in the night-time economy: behaviors, safety strategies, and conceptualizing “feisty femininity”

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Leicester
  • Liverpool John Moores University


Almost nothing is known about “unwanted sexual attention” and women’s navigation of it when in bars and nightclubs. Using focus group discussions, this article addresses that gap. It develops knowledge of the behaviors that constitute unwanted, the safety strategies used to manage them and examines how these practices underpin gender performance in night-time spaces: environments renowned for the dilemmas they pose to women. We then use these data to develop the concept “feisty femininity” to highlight a neglected form of femininity that overtly resists unwanted encounters. This femininity can arguably play a role in efforts aimed at ending gendered violence.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-46
Number of pages23
JournalFeminist Criminology
Issue number1
Early online date30 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Night-Time Economy, feisty femininity, gender performance, resistance, safety, unwanted sexual attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas