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IBar, short for Independent Bar, is a multi-level club with its rooms serving several
purposes: some are meant for sitting and chilling with a drink, others are meant for dancing. The
space is conceived as a place for people to mingle in downtown Orlando, or so says the
Facebook page. The location of the space also suggests a conception: this is in downtown
Orlando where there are clubs every few feet. The sort of individuals occupying the space are
pretty well assumed; people come to drink, dance, and socialize. Their social class may shift the
types of people within this space, however. IBar is good for a reasonably cheap night, but its
probably not ideal for people who prefer (and can afford) a fancy, high class club. IBar is made
to be a highly social space, but the space itself isnt built for conversation. Even the very chill,
relaxing rooms still have loud, booming music that requires you to scream to be heard. This
space isnt built for communication. As can be expected for a club, there is a gendered power
structure and the behavioral expectations within this space differ largely from what would be
acceptable within most other spaces.
The people within this space are separated by their individual friend groups and their
gender. First, you do not often see people by themselves; it is more normal to see someone with a
group of friends. People tend to either stick with that group or merge with other groups,
especially within the dance floor. It is not uncommon for someone to dance with a stranger,
although whether or not this is perceived as rude is based on each individual person and their
own comfort level. While such behavior is acceptable within this space (theres no rules against
dancing with someone you dont know), not each person individually accepts such behavior, and
it is a largely contributing factor to why people come with a group of friends. I, personally,

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would not feel comfortable by myself in this space, but I am completely okay if Im with a group
of people I trust, who I can cling to if I find myself in an awkward situation.
Next, people can be separated by gender, and the gender roles within this space are highly
connected to its cultural practices and behavioral expectations. While theres a lot of friendly
mingling in IBar, theres still the typical scenario where boys go to find girls, and girls go to
avoid boys. As Ive said before, being female affects my comfort level within this space. I
normally dont find unwanted advances to be uncomfortable and Im fine with shooting them
down, but its also much easier to dodge them if I have a friend near me, and its even easier if
one of those friends are male. If Im with my boyfriend or someone who it looks like I could
possibly be dating, I dont even get approached. Theres also the usual scenario of boys buying
girls drinks, and then girls having that moment of do I accept this drink and deal with the fact
that he might want something in return? Girls could potentially flip this power structure and just
get free drinks and bail, which probably happens although its not something Id personally do.
This space and gendered power structure also leads to different behavioral expectations
than what youd see elsewhere. A study done about sexual aggression and ballroom culture states
that opportunistic offenders generally conform to normative restrictions regarding appropriate
social behavior but will exploit opportunities to engage in low-level offensesin this case sexual
aggression, partly because they know they can get away with it (Graham et al.) While
everyones level of comfort with this may be different, as Ive said, its generally a lot easier and
more acceptable to chat up someone and make inappropriate advances at a bar than at a
bookstore. Its also almost expected that people are going to stare and make lewd comments,
while this is something really not acceptable out in other spaces. However, while alcohol may be

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used as an excuse for normally unacceptable behavior, that doesnt erase the fact that an uncalled
for comment is still rude. Its probably not going to be met with sudden gaining of friends.

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Works Cited
Graham, Kathryn et al. Blurred Lines? Sexual Aggression and Barroom Culture. Alcoholism,
clinical and experimental research 38.5 (2014): 14161424. PMC. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.