I’ve been going over in my fucking mind about whether I should say something or not about what I saw in that last song and do you know what, I’m gonna fucking say it. I saw a girl, a woman, crowdsurfing over here, and I’m not going to fucking point the piece of shit out who did it, but I saw you fucking grab at her boob. I saw it, it is fucking disgusting, and there is no fucking place for that shit. It is not your fucking body, it is not your fucking body and you do not fucking grab at someone. Not at my fucking show. So if you feel like doing that again walk out there and fuck off and don’t come back. Let’s keep this going, let’s keep this a fucking safe place for everybody and let’s have a fucking good time!
– Sam Carter of UK band The Architects at the Lowlands Festival this year
So let’s say you were at a show, a concert. It doesn’t matter who the band is. It doesn’t matter which venue. Let’s say you are there enjoying the show.
The band is playing, you are grooving along, having a great time, really enjoying it.
Then you happen to notice a young woman near you being groped by a drunk guy. She turns around, maybe she elbows him, hoping he’ll get the message, but he keeps at it. Even after she pushes back and tells him to STOP, he is undeterred.
What if he starts grinding on her?
She’s there alone, does that give this drunken assailant license to touch this woman? If she’s dressed a certain way does that give him permission to touch her?
What would you do? Would you do anything? Would you help? Would you do something to prevent this assault?
Or would you just stand there and stare blankly. Would you pretend you didn’t see it?
It happened at a concert in town just recently. A woman was at a show at a major arena and was assaulted in plain sight and nobody witnessing it did a goddamn thing to stop it. She had to push past this Neanderthal to get out of there and nobody helped her. Nobody stopped this asshole from doing what he did. Nobody helped.
I guess her fellow attendees thought it was okay.
It is not okay.
The name of the person this happened to and the event she was at doesn’t matter because this seems to be a common thing. Women being grabbed, groped, yes assaulted at shows. Security can’t be everywhere, so if you saw this, what would you do? Why do you think nobody came to her aid that night?
Nobody wants to get involved, and hey, it’s just a little harmless groping, it’s a rock show not an opera after all.
Such cowardly bullshit.
In this era where a sex offender can go for decades running a film studio before he is called out on it, in this era when a sex offender can be elected President of the United States, it’s no wonder women aren’t always safe at shows like they should be. Music should build community and something is breaking down when women can get felt up to some scumbag’s hearts content.
Look there will always be shitheads. Drunken “bros” who think they can do whatever it is they want, be it cat calling or god forbid literally assaulting women at shows. We need to call these jerks out when we see them and you don’t have to punch the guy every time to do it.
People , when you see this happening, help. Say something to security. Say something to the clown doing the groping. Stand in the way. Get yourself between the assailant and the victim. All you have to do is stand there, create barriers to this kind of nonsense. Be vocal if you have to. Get your friends involved.
This isn’t about chivalry, it’s about basic human decency. When someone is being victimized, we need to help. Always.
When I heard this person’s story today I was shocked. Not that some jerk felt licensed to touch her, but that in a room full of witnesses, that nobody helped. I’m sorry but that sickens me. It reminds me today to bring my own son up better. To teach him to respect women and show that respect. Respect all people.
As a male I often wonder what it must be like, for one day, to be in a place where half if not more of the people around me are bigger than I am, stronger than I am. How would that color my sense of responsibility to others?
Music is supposed to create a safe space, to elevate ones soul and sometimes women will go alone to shows, just like I do, but nothing is more alone than being assaulted and looking for help and finding nothing but empty stares.
Be the comforting face, take action. Do the human thing. Help her. You’ll sleep better at night.
If you don’t help, I honestly don’t know how you sleep at all.
“Will there always be concerts where women are raped?
Watch me make up my mind instead of my face.
The #1 must-have is that we are safe.”—Sleater-Kinney
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