’Tis the summer concert season! Yeehaw!
As you attend your shows, there are a few things I’d like to remind everyone about. Without getting political, it’s no secret that women have been going through quite a lot lately (amongst the everyday spectrum of societal misogyny.) Despite my love for inappropriate stock images, I promise this is a serious entry, bear with me.
The goal of this post isn’t to complain about inequality & women suffrage (I’ll save that for my secret feminist blog), but rather raise awareness as to what may occur at what should be a fun & safe experience. Especially since we all typically attend general admission shows were personal space is already a lost concept once you enter. In that case, accidental touching is inevitable, but we all know by now the signs of non-accidental actions. Be aware of your surroundings & try your best to not punch the girl in front of you because you were swinging too hard to Knocked Loose.
Sexual harassment is defined as “behavior characterized by the making of unwelcome & inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances in a workplace or social situation.” Here’s how we can help stop it at shows!
Notify venue security
Typically every venue’s policy ensures the safety of their attendees. Although each venue handles their internal conflicts differently, you should always:
- Reach out to security first.
- Afraid of inserting yourself into someone else’s “drama”? Try approaching a security guard who’s a good distance away from the incident disclaiming that it doesn’t directly involve you but you are concerned for the other person’s wellbeing.
Simply making security aware of a situation or person could help with surveillance & safety.
- Ask the victim of the harassment if they’re alright before proceeding with any action
- Confront the perpetrator. Calmly ask them to stop as it’s clearly not only bothering the victim, but the people around them. The more people around you who overhear/are aware of the situation, the more likely it is for the harasser to become uncomfortable & cease.
- If they ignore you, encourage someone you’re with to call them out if they do it again.
- If they try to fight with you, you should alert venue security so the situation remains isolated & prevents a breakout.
You’re not a “snitch” or a “tattletale.” You may be saving someone from years of trauma.
I'm with stupid
So, your friend is the heckler. Perhaps it's time to have a reasonable chat with them. There’s no need to immediately attack their behavior since you are their friend. Let them know what they’re doing makes you uncomfortable too. Say what you normally say when your friends do something completely uncool.
- If your friend or the person you're with is more of a problem when they’re drunk, let the bar staff know & they’re allowed to refuse to serve.
- Remove them from the situation before things blow out of proportion
Concerts are an outlet for people to escape their chaotic lives. They shouldn’t create chaos (unless you’re in the pit amirite). Help those around you! Strangers are just friends you haven’t saved from harassment yet! I mean, you already know they have great music taste.
Basically to conclude my spiel: I encourage everyone to speak out against this intolerance. One of my favorite bands, Camp Cope, shared a campaign a few years ago called #ItTakesOne. Although, this campaign was created by Poison City Records based out of Australia, the ideology of its message is just as important universally. #ItTakesOne strives to encourage musicians, audience members, venue staff, etc. to create a safe space at every show & call out sexual harassment when they see it. The lead singer of Camp Cope, Georgia, also mentioned the importance of male participation specifically. “It’s important for men to speak out against other men’s behavior, and to be positive role models for each other.” Sometimes it literally just takes one person to speak against this commonly normalize behavior. Although, this is just one blog entry by a girl in her twenties, but I hope to perpetuate that message & inspire at least one person to speak up.
If you’ve ever been affected by sexual assault or know someone who has, there are people who can help.
RAINN’s National Hotline: 800-656-4673, (more info)
Other Resources: Here
Join us for a dope (& safe) time at Sophomore Slump Fest this September!