Erica Hudson is a journalism junior and Mustang News columnist. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints or editorial coverage of Mustang News.
When I went to my first rock concert, I was groped. I was 16 seeing Taking Back Sunday at The House of Blues. An incredibly drunk male hung his head on my shoulder, and as I tried to push him off, he moved his hand toward my pants. I elbowed him in the neck.
Looking back, I have no idea how I had the courage to do that. This man looked like he was in his 30s. And I don’t want to hear victim-blaming. I don’t want to hear “it happens when you’re drunk” comments. You should be able to handle your alcohol at a concert. You’re not there for the drinks.
I understand that concerts can be incredibly intimate spaces in the way that you are shoulder-to-shoulder with people all around you. Concerts can create an atmosphere that is very uplifting. However, proximity in space does not give you consent to touch my vagina. If that were the case, then it would give me consent to punch you, for it would warrant behavior that is incredibly unnecessary and irrelevant to the space being occupied.
I am not speaking against those who crave a more sexual atmosphere in a party setting, or even a concert, if that’s your kink. But you better get consent before you even think about doing that.
Think about it this way. If you have the desire to touch the curves of my body, you can manage a sentence asking me to do so.
I have problems with the phrase “I love consensual sex.” It’s not much more complex than if sex didn’t have consent, it couldn’t possibly be sex. It is rape.
I’m not sorry if that wilts your fragile idea of entitlement to someone’s body based off who you think you are. I’m not sorry if that takes away power from you. My body is constantly made a battleground. Your unwanted touching contaminates my entire being. I freeze up and lose my power and sometimes, I really have to work to gain it back. Sometimes we cannot gain it back. Sometimes, it takes months to gain back. It can take longer. And I’ve only been groped. I have the privilege of not being traumatized over any sexual, physical or mental abuse in an intimate partner relationship. This doesn’t invalidate my experience, but it is only the beginning of the problem for some.
I am comfortable speaking about this. I am comfortable fighting to get my body back. This doesn’t make me better than anyone, this doesn’t make the experiences of those who have not spoken up any less real or valid. That is not what I am trying to convey. What I’m trying to say is that those who violate others spaces of being, bodies or feelings of safety need to wake up. If you derive power from this, you need to reevaluate the way you live your life. Power should never come from the objectification and degradation of other human beings.