Sunday, December 18, 2011

"you should have punched him in the face"

[TW for harassment and discussion of real and imagined violence]

Ok, so I've been known to talk about the time a guy cornered and then leaned over me, so I punched him in the face. Whatever. That was an appropriate action to deal with that particular guy in that particular situation. It had the desired effect of getting him away from me immediately.

Fast forward in time to now. I went to the Opeth concert at the Enmore Theatre on Friday night, and holycrap the audience was obnoxious. People were yelling for the band to "play metal", and other people were yelling at the yellers to "shut the fuck up". People also threw a few bottles onto the stage. I'm not sure whether the "play metal" yellers had been listening to the concert... perhaps they were mis-informed of what "metal" is. In any case, the band usually has a setlist they go through. I suppose some bands take requests from the crowd, but getting mad when they don't play your personal request smacks of an incredible sense of entitlement.

Anyway, the final piece of obnoxiousness that I wanted to talk about was the guy behind me who kept touching my ass.

(Seriously dude. WTF was that about? What exactly do you get from lightly stroking the back of my jeans?)

There are two main questions/comments I've got from people I've talked to about it: Did I report it and maybe I should have hit him. (Is my faith in humanity so low that I'm mildly surprised (and glad) that none of my (male) friends have questioned that it really happened?)

I'm pretty sure that if I'd tried to report that to someone (assuming I knew who to tell and could pick out the random dude standing behind me in the dark), I'd be unlikely to be believed or blown off. Assuming I was believed, if they questioned the guy, he'd probably have sudden onset of amnesia, and/or claim it must have been an accident, because it was crowded and everything. Further assuming that authorities decided to believe me, I don't even know what action is appropriate in this case...

The second common response was a variation on "why didn't you hit him?". There are many reasons for this one; he was much bigger and taller than me, so if he hit me back I'd be in big trouble. Starting a fight with someone stronger than you is generally a bad idea. He may or may not have socialisation against hitting women, however I don't know which, and he was drunk, lowering any inhibitions he might have anyway. Secondly, the crowd was already ready to brawl. I wouldn't want to be the first to start that. I just wanted to watch the damn concert without obnoxiousness from the crowd. Thirdly, where would he go after I hit him? We're standing in a crowd thick with people. If I hit him and it doesn't cause him to leave, then he's... still standing behind me. (Say I hit him, and he's not hurt and laughs it off, and stays standing where he is.) That strikes me as an even less ideal situation than the first. Would he try and goad me into doing it again? If I hit him, what would the response of the combination of his and my friends be (knowing that none of them would have been able to see the ass-touching in the dark)? There are probably more reasons than I can think of for why hitting him would have been a poor move on my part. (Many of them went through my head when I was deciding how I'd respond.)

So what did I actually do? I swapped places with one of my male friends, and my ass was not touched by any assholes behind me for the rest of the concert. Personal problem solved. Cultural problem of entitled douchebags really not.

[H/T to Geek Feminism who had a re-post of a piece on just this sort of mater recently]

1 comment:

  1. *winces* Eeek, what a horrible experience (both the ass-touching and the reactions!) I've had similar experiences - going out for dinner with someone and having them continue to touch me/hit on me/make suggestive comments even though I made it clear that the dinner was not a date. Sadly I didn't even manage to make myself leave, let alone hit him (which I want to do in retrospect) because I was feeling scared and "didn't want to make a scene."

    I like that you point out that hitting someone bigger than you, drunk and probably not well socialised is a bad idea - it really is. And yet people still say to you that you should have hit/reported/confronted him. I wish everyone would stop thinking it's that simple!


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