Hard News: Fix up, young men
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And not just the young men, sadly. My direct experience (also at the front of Hermitude unfortunately, an otherwise awesome set) was that they were not being discouraged from- and in at least one case actively encouraged in- the antisocial behavior identified by the females accompanying them. Where is their responsibility to call it out?
It's not acceptable from anyone (I gave a nod to the nearest security person in my case and told them what I'd seen and that they should deal with it. Of course it had moved on by the time anyone arrived, but at least 2 big chaps did come over and assess the situation).
So yes, parents- explain to your young people that's cooler to not put up with that shit from their companions, and if they're nervous about calling it out publicly then try excusing themselves for a loo break and giving the same heads up to security away from their crew.
bob daktari, in reply to
the crowd was different this year, I thought it quite "normal" - as in not so musically focused as previous years
I didn't see any but if there are groups of dudebros - everyone in proximity is potentially under threat, refer to the problems they've been having in Australia at some of the dance festivals in particular. Calling out a dudebro when in a pack is not a wise thing to do
an older woman victim, drunk, out-of-it young men, the women with them not intervening
I'm pretty uncomfortable with the idea that the women accompanying drunk young men are responsible for policing them.
I was shocked at Heather du Plessis-Allan's and Duncan Garner's rather casual attitude to this last night. Where was the person making it quite clear that this was wrong and its not boys will be boys bull shit
James Littlewood*, in reply to
if you are the wrong age, gender, colour or just dress wrong you will be a target for someone
I know you don't mean that a happy vibe requires a homogenous crowd. But that seems the clearest implication of your comment. Obviously, if that's true, it is precisely the problem. And I suspect that the victimiser will always find someone sufficiently different to target.
And yet there may be something in it. I can remember giggling with my mates at one of my first gigs 'cause there was an older hippy guy there dancing *weird*. We kept it to ourselves and out of his way (although in clear view of others, so no doubt we looked like dicks), but it's not hard to see my younger self getting over excited about it.
I dunno. To me, it just has to be about role modelling. The fools who do this are just that: fools. Yes, they need correction, by punishment if need be. But also guidance. "Not like that. Like this." Damn. Sounds like etiquette instructions from the 50s.
Robyn Gallagher, in reply to
I feel like Laneway’s crowd has moved away from hipster & toward.. something else.
It's similar to what happened with Big Day Out. It started out as kind of indie and alternative, but slowly grew to be more mainstream. The last BDO I went to (2008) was the first and only time I had a random dickhead yell random shit at me, and it felt like, ok, that's it for me and that'll probably be it for the BDO soon enough.
If punters aren't having an enjoyable time at a festival, they won't come back. If girls don't feel safe as a festival, they won't go. And if lots of girls aren't going, the boys eventually won't go either.
European soccer had similar crap behaviour from bullies in large crowds. The solution involves identification, criminal prosecution and bans from future festivals.
it is not realistic to expect censure from individuals to be at effective, Blaming the non offenders does not make sense.
It is up to festival organisers, public authorities owning the amenities and the police.
The rest of us should focus on demanding better surveillance and prosecution
Eediot, in reply to
EVERYONE with them is responsible for it if they don't call it out.
Eediot, in reply to
R&V, BDO, Wellington 7's...
thanks Russell - I do love events and will continue to go. I will still have to put with some idiots and their negative ageist/sexist comments (such comments are not ok but much better than touching and threats). Most ageist comments on the day were sweet and not meant negatively at all.
There were older men around us but they didn't get targeted - this is essentially sexist bullying - and as others have said the sentiments are there whether fuelled by stimulants or not. God help their mothers.
I hope our responses gave them some fleeting moments of reflection when they sobered up yesterday or today.
Amy Gale, in reply to
No, I absolutely disagree. These guys have already demonstrated that they have no respect for women and are willing to be abusive. Women are not required to subject themselves to that for some third party's approval.
It is not just young men who act this way and it is not just the young who need to take responsibility for it. When apparently liberal men feel totally happy referring to women as 'chicks' or 'cunts', how are they helping to create a safe world for women? It is absolutely not a new phenomenon for women to be harassed at gigs or to speak up about it. I'd like to think that maybe people are finally starting to listen. The question is - what are you going to do about it now?
James Littlewood*, in reply to
Me too. And similarly uncomfortable with anyone, male or female, enabling them.
But I'm not sure *calling out* shit behaviour is always a realistic suggestion. Peer pressure has a big role to play in this. By the time a group have coalesced around the gig, preloaded, travelled together, normalised whatever indulgences they've chosen and whipped themselves into a lather of hedonistic desires and expectation, the ability of any one of them to stand back and yell "STOP THIS" is buried deeply under ground in the far flung outlands of shameful yucky feelings.
And, should that response emerge, they risk the very thing they're looking for: belonging to the group.
Russell, I recall you were part of the "Not OK" campaign. What were the learnings from that? What worked?
It's not up to assaulters' friends to stop this, whether they're female or not. It's up to the event organisers to set and enforce a code of conduct that keeps the attendees safe and happy. If you can get kicked out of the cricket for playing drums, surely you should get kicked out for harassing strangers of whatever type.
Eediot, in reply to
I think you missed my point. It's absolutely the offender's responsibility but it should be called out by anyone who witnesses it. In at least two cases I saw yesterday it was being tacitly endorsed by the females accompanying them.
And their male friends. And all the bystanders. Why highlight the female friends, who were no doubt reluctant to be targets themselves?
It's not women's responsibility to police men.
If I could add its not just women reporters and its not just at crowded alcohol fueled events. Anywhere there is a camera we are a target for this abuse. Anywhere any time. They could be male or female and will get in you face and yell “FHRITP.” Its really not funny or clever or even a real thing. Its a phrase made up by a wannabe “comedian” and its just offensive and confronting for anyone on the receiving end.
If a camera crew turned up randomly to their place of work and shouted “You’ve got a tiny penis” in their face how funny would they find that?
Russell Brown, in reply to
It’s not up to assaulters’ friends to stop this, whether they’re female or not. It’s up to the event organisers to set and enforce a code of conduct that keeps the attendees safe and happy. If you can get kicked out of the cricket for playing drums, surely you should get kicked out for harassing strangers of whatever type.
If only it were that simple. You're deep in a crowd of thousands and, as Jean noted, even people a few metres away probably had no idea what was going on. There's a behaviour code already in the Laneway terms and conditions:
Your Behaviour: you must ensure that you and your invitees act in an orderly manner when attending the Event Site. Promoter may refuse entry or evict you or any of your invitees if you or any of your party are behaving in a disorderly, offensive or inappropriate manner.
That's why I wrote about how important trust is – and how utterly damaging it is when that trust can't be upheld.
And it's why I feel like my culture is being invaded. These boofheads won't be going to music festivals when they're my age, or even in 10 years' time. They're barely even there for the music.
I think demographic, security, cultural cues, lots of subtle stuff, contribute to crowd behaviour. If promoters made "how can we make this event a great experience for women" their guiding principle, I reckon they could do a lot. As a happy side-effect, such an atmosphere would be good for most men too.
While I agree that men should deal with men's shit before women, sometimes confronting offenders leads to more violence. That is a big reason why you don't see it happening in practice. Men's violence intimidates other men too. Institutional problems deserve an institutional response.
Nick Russell, in reply to
No, that's what I meant at all.
I cut my teeth going to gigs in England in the early 80s. These were emphatically not safe spaces. The risk of violence breaking out was kind of part of the thrill, but then I was young, white, male and 6 foot 2. God knows what it would have been like if I wasn't. You had Crass preaching equality and tolerance, but that was about it really, at least for the gigs I went to.
Happy to say that in my limited and privileged experience, going to gigs now is far more civilised. But still, dickheads will be dickheads.
The cost of fixing that might be that security needs to have more of a presence than people are currently used to :-/
I wonder, though, whether it's a change in behaviour we're seeing, or a change in its visibility and acceptance.
Russell Brown, in reply to
Russell, I recall you were part of the “Not OK” campaign. What were the learnings from that? What worked?
The really effective part of that campaign was how joined-up it was. It gave both victims and abusers steps to take and information with which to take those steps.
Then there was the new onus on the police to take family violence seriously. And, of course, having other men say it literally wasn't okay. It all helped de-normalise family violence. Not end it, but, I think, embed the idea that it wasn't normal or acceptable behaviour.
“After a 12-box of Billy Mavericks, those sort of things aren’t being processed properly through my head,” explained one of them.
More accurately, after a 12-box of Billy Mavericks, this man gives himself full uninhibited permission to be himself, and himself is really not a very nice person. If there were a certainty of genuine, serious consequences for such actions, we'd see an astonishing reduction in the ability of 12 Billy Mavericks to make people like him behave badly.
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