Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quiet, furious rage

Is that title perhaps a bit redundant? I DON'T CARE.

It had been a long week for me, last week was, one that I was hoping would be brightened by a fun filled concert on Thursday. I had tickets to see Blink-182, with Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco. I was excited. It was an excuse to dance (the area I was going to be in was large enough that I wasn't too concerned about moshers this time 'round) and an excuse to visit my sister and an excuse to have FUN.

Overall, I had fun. But there was this one part, this itty-bitty part which has eaten at me like the worst heartburn a person can ever experience.

There were 20,000 people at the concert, and a majority of the people there had lawn tickets. I was one of the people who snapped up a lawn ticket (wrongly) assuming that the view would be reasonable enough to go without a decent seat. I was there by myself, unlike most of the people there. I ended up befriending a girl and two guys (who didn't know each other until we started talking before Blink took the stage).

I ended up in front of this girl's friend, a guy. I was dancing, having FUN, rocking out, generally rocking out more than I usually do at a concert. It was VERY packed, so we were shoulder-to-shoulder, front-to-back across the entire lawn. Every fifth person was smoking, and I was about six inches shorter than all of the people around me. I was very hot and, periodically, I would get dizzy from the smoke and the heat. Breathing problems for the win, yes?

So, I'm dancing to this one song. I could tell you which one if I heard it, but I imagine I'm already blocking this out, because the whole thing just PISSED ME OFF. Because, out of the blue, I feel a hand GRAB MY ASS like it is hoping to take a chunk off.


I stopped dead in the middle of my dancing, rigid as a board, my brain scrambling at what sort of reaction I needed to scrape up. I was on auto-pilot, so my initial reaction was to wave it off as an 'accident' like all of the bumps and slaps and slams I'd been getting up until that point. He leaned in, said "SORRY!" loud enough for me to hear. I couldn't think. What was I supposed to think? Do? Say? It wasn't a mace-level offense, but it was enough to... be worthy of a response.

When the song ended, he leaned in, again. "Sorry! I just like to grab things!"


I am angry and disgusted. My reaction ended up being slowly inching my way through the crowd, away from this man, quashing any major reaction at that moment because what could I do? There was no space to turn around, and the opportunity to hit him like he deserved for the unwanted action had passed. It was too loud to yell at him, dress him down. Part of me wanted to go the pure rejection route, make up some line better than "I HAVE A BOYFRIEND!" because so many people act like that is simply a paper barrier, no more strong than the gowns you wear when you visit the doctor for the yearly physical.

"Wow. My girlfriend is going to love having me fork over the twenty she bet me about tonight," I purred in my head, my voice both sweet and so cutting.

I stayed silent. The anger built as I found myself worrying over my dancing, where I stood, how much I knocked into the people around me. Focusing on things that had been background motion and noise to me seconds before, making me less confident, less able to stick a jump.

I was shot back to earth, furious and betrayed and, worst of all, worst than anything? I felt like a BAD PERSON. As if I had done something wrong, simply by enjoying myself.

Maybe he wouldn't have done that if I hadn't kept dancing into him, my treacherous brain whispered, as if we were in the 1950's and men were still allowed to pass off the blame of any wrong to a woman. Maybe if I hadn't been moving around so much... Even though it wasn't on purpose that I knocked into him, even though I had done nothing wrong, the thoughts built, mounting, orienting themselves inward instead of outward. Anger at myself for enjoying the concert instead of at him for thinking that he could fix things with that stupid apology.

The fury eventually edged that out. It is now hanging out with regret, the horrid regret of not doing anything. My brain shut down and I didn't fight my way back out, didn't get to express how angry I was. He knew he did something wrong, sure, but he almost made it seem like it was my fault. My ass, the way he put it, was simply too tempting to not grab. This is the second time in a week (third, in some ways) that I have been objectified, reduced, made less than, by a person's actions/comments. These incidences have left me dumbfounded, wondering where feminism is, what happened to it, that men are comfortable, again, with reducing women to a pair of tits in a dress or an ass in a pair of shorts.

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