Please Stop Molesting Women at Concerts (Staind’s Aaron Lewis, Iggy Azalea)

Lady Gaga crowd-surfing, courtesy of BULLETT Media.

Lady Gaga crowd-surfing, courtesy of BULLETT Media.

As an avid concert-goer having attended my first concert at just 14, music festivals and rock concerts can be scary for any young girl. I fondly remember being swarmed by free Trojan condoms and drunk, sweaty bodies pushing against me at festivals like Vans Warped Tour in 2007. Also, it’s not uncommon for an older man to wrap his arm around me with his beer spilling all over as we both sway to an infamous Heart song. But, what’s most terrifying of them all is the fact that Staind frontman Aaron Lewis‘s recent abrupt stop in the middle of a song to scream at a few “molesting pieces of sh*t” isn’t too far from speaking the truth.

At last month’s Rockfest 2014 in Kansas City, a hard-rock concert with bands with the likes of KORN and Staind playing to more than 50,000 fans, Lewis stopped midway through his song to yell, “Listen up you f*cking as*holes, that girl over there is like 15 f*cking years old and you pieces of sh*t are molesting her while she’s on the f*cking crowd. Your f*cking mothers should be ashamed of themselves, you pieces of sh*t.”

As most reactions to the video have been praising Lewis for calling out this all too common behavior, others have been saying the young girl had it coming for her.

On Loudwire, commenters speculated:

Courtesy of BULLETT Media from Loudwire story.

Courtesy of BULLETT Media from Loudwire story.

Although most of their speculations are true, I find most of their claims appalling.

First off, putting out the idea that it is the woman to blame for this behavior disgusts me. The idea that a woman or young girl can’t go out to a concert and simply enjoy herself through crowd-surfing, just like any other man crowd-surfing, is a totally sexist comment. Just because a woman may have been fully clothed then had her clothes ripped off, or whether she was wearing nothing at all still does not allow someone to invade her body. It’s so sad that I see this type of behavior happen all too often (well, when I used to attend these grungy music festivals), and the fact that women are innocent targets to this behavior is sickening.

“It’s like playing with matches and hoping not to get burned,” another sickening commenter explained. “If those girls were smart enough, they’d think twice before crowdsurfing in a crowd of drunken guys at a rock concert and excepting them all to be supreme gentlemans. Do the girls deserve to be harassed? I think not. But they did put themself in that situation, so I have no sympathy. It’s just another life lesson for them, I guess.”

But, why should we not point fingers to the ones who are committing the molestation in the first place? Did those individuals not openly decide to touch that body crowd-surfing? If a woman in the crowd at a concert comes close to you, through push or pull, mosh pit or crowd-surfing, how about you just don’t touch her? If she is molested, there is no one else to blame but the molester him/herself. Did she ask you to put your hand up her shirt or skirt? Uh, I don’t think so. And there’s no one else to blame but your dirty hand.

Likewise, in light of Iggy Azalea‘s recent confession that she had to stop crowd-surfing because of fans trying to finger her at her shows, this behavior is all too common even in the dance-pop arena.

Dropping by New York radio station Hot 97 in late April of this year, she reveals, “I had to stop [crowdsurfing]… I’m only doing like 2000-seaters, but I still have to have barriers even if it’s like 200 people because people try to finger me… Girls will try to do it more than guys ’cause girls think it’s cool, like, ‘We both got vaginas, it’s fine.’ Doesn’t make it OK.”

Check out the full interview below, though don’t have too much fun with the interviewers who are constantly throwing sex-related questions at her instead of focusing on her and her music–something that reinforces Azalea as something to play around with.

So, as one music-lover to another, or even any innocent concert-attendee, please beware of this sickening behavior. And, just like Lewis was able to call out the molester from the crowd, do not be afraid to call someone out in the crowd as well. Do we always have to wait for the star act to call out this behavior? No. Or at least, we shouldn’t. Because somebody will be thankful you called them out in the first place.

Have you experienced or seen any of this behavior yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts or personal stories on this as well.

#YesAllWomen

References:
Bullett, “Stop Molesting Women At Concerts”
Stereogum, “Iggy Azalea Wants Fans To Stop Trying To Finger Her”

One response to “Please Stop Molesting Women at Concerts (Staind’s Aaron Lewis, Iggy Azalea)

  1. I don’t understand why people think it is okay to do something like that, to molest someone who’s just trying to enjoy a concert. Is it the anonymity of being in a large crowd that makes them think it’s okay to violate someone?

    It ticks me off too that people are trying to blame the crowd-surfers, “You should know better, if you don’t like it don’t crowd surf.” Really? So the women in such concerts who aren’t crowd surfing but still get accosted by drunk guys and girls, it’s their fault for going to the concert?! By that logic all women should avoid all rock concerts, and I think that is just…well I don’t have any nice words for what I think about that!

    Being ‘anonymous’ doesn’t make being a dirtbag okay!!

    Stepping off of the soap-box now…

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