This past weekend, Teen Vogue writer Vera Papisova attended Coachella as the guest of SAFE, a sexual-health app that lets you show potential partners your current STD status.
While the writer enjoyed most of her experience such as “accidental sun-kissed naps on the lawn, forgetting to think about what I looked like while I was dancing, the mile-long zombie march through the desert from the designated “entrance” to the actual entrance (bring cash and take a pedicab), and, as one friend described it, “running into people you didn’t even know you knew.” The lineup was incredible, the weather was milder than usual (so I’m told), and of course there was the much-discussed Beychella—which I can confirm was life-changing.”
At the same time, the writer had the unfortunate experience of being grabbed or rubbed on 22 times in a 10 hour period. She described one interaction as:
One guy followed me across the field to the Mojave stage, where I was meeting a friend to see FIDLAR. When my friend left to see another band, I stayed behind, and this guy came up behind me and whispered, “You’re a goddess” and then rubbed his hands on my hips and butt. I knew it was the guy who followed me over earlier because I recognized his Pablo merch.
A second male ruined her front row space for David Byrne and photo opp:
On Saturday, I was front row at the Outdoor Theatre, leaning against the metal grate to take an epic photo of David Byrne to send to my dad. Someone behind me grabbed my butt with both hands. I didn’t see who it was, and I felt so uncomfortable that I gave up my front row spot and moved to the back of the crowd where I would have more space behind me. I never got the picture.
While what the writer endured is not totally surprising, it is disappointing to hear of the consistently unacceptable behavior of the male gender. Once the pattern became apparently, the writer asked each female she spoke to of their experiences, and 54 out of 54 reports similar interactions.
While we would be naive if we think things would change notable after this article, the more attention kept on this topic and #metoo is a good thing in this writer’s opinion.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can seek help by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). For more resources on sexual assault, visit RAINN, End Rape on Campus, Know Your IX, and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
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