Gross Gig Groping Gets Worse

Gross Gig Groping Gets Worse
 Put 1000+ people in a small area and play the music they love at a ridiculously loud volume. Get them all excited, get the adrenaline pumping and get them smashing into each other.
           This experience is commonly known as “going to a gig”.
            What could possibly go wrong in this dark pit of adrenaline filled, drunk teenagers? Yes, you will have to put up with the occasional idiot who, even though has 999+ other people to copy, still fails to clap in time with the music. But surely this should be an environment where you feel safe and share the experience of seeing your favourite bands live in the company of people with similar interests?
           Unfortunately it’s not
Standing in a crowd is one of the scariest places to be- if you’re a woman.
            The two hours that should be spent admiring your idols and dancing to your favourite songs, quickly turns into the permanent dodging of men touching you inappropriately (knowing full well no one will see them and no one will hear you scream over the loud music). When refusing a kiss or reacting negatively to being touched, beer being poured over your head is a given. You then feel you’ll be safest if you stand at the back of the crowd, view slightly obstructed, but at least you’re safe.
            Well, safer.
            15th November 2013, I saw Deap Vally, (American duo). With women empowering songs such as “Walk of Shame” and “Woman of Intention” I fully expected a female friendly crowd. Unfortunately, I was wrong as the men in the crowd fully lived up to their negative stereotype. With Lindsey Troy, Deap Vally lead singer, diving powerfully into the crowd, the aim seemed to be more “grab her arse” than “stop her falling”.
            20th November 2014, The Orwells, with lead singer Mario Cuomo, who is known for his ‘ladies man’ reputation, played London. Their set was full of sexual innuendos (Cuomo thrusting towards the crowd, sticking the microphone down his throat, etc) However, even though this man is clearly OK with sex being included in their shows, even he stopped after “Gotta Get Down” to point out a man getting too ‘touchy feely’ with an underage girl.
Don’t touch girls that you don’t know and it’ll be fine” he publicly announces to this man.
Don’t touch girls that you don’t know and it’ll be fine”. Even the most sex crazed lead singer I know of is aware of the line when it comes to consent. So why is it such a hard concept for other men to understand?
            Going to a gig should be a life changing experience for both genders that you can enjoy safely with no fear of assault. Women need to fight back. Silence is a groper’s currency and without calling these men out on it, they will never stop.  We need to follow in the footsteps of Mario Cuomo by standing up to assault and eventually stamp out groping at gigs for good.


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