All the men there (who were aware of it, as far as I know) were entertainingly angry on my behalf, later, although they acted normal and smoothed things over at the time.
The woman who was next to me for most of it smoothed things over both with the drunk dude, and with me when he was out of the room. “Well, he’s very drunk. And he thinks you’re cute, that’s nice. And I’ve had much worse drunk handsy dudes.”
I don’t think this reflects negatively on her at all, it’s just interesting as an example of different perspectives on sexism. It’s easy to be angry about something when it’s mostly hypothetical to you. When it happens to you a lot, on the other hand, you do your best to dismiss it and get on with your day.
The really tiresome thing about drunk people is that whatever you tell them doesn’t stick. It may be easy to distract them momentarily, but they keep coming back to the same ideas. Repeatedly moving away, saying No, you can’t touch me (calmly and neutrally in tone), even physically moving his hand off my leg, didn’t deter him at all. The really tiresome thing is that this common property of drunkenness means that if I had made a scene, even that wouldn’t have deterred him.
This is only semi-related, but– I guess it sometimes strikes people as weird, when I say rude or challenging or uncompromising things in my normal calm tone of voice? Like they find it hard to take what I’m saying seriously. The issue is, I do mean it seriously, I just don’t want to go too far in the opposite direction and sound really aggressive. I thought I was hitting about the right tone of friendly “no”, at least for some of it? I don’t know.