February 9, 2018
Consent And Respect Are Sexy
Earlier this month, you may remember a widely publicized incident that went viral when footage of a young American woman by the name of Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller was filmed attacking a man after he groped her at a New Zealand music festival. She was walking around Rhythm & Vines in Gisborne topless with glitter covering her breasts accompanied by a female companion when out of nowhere an unnamed man ran up, groped her and ran off.
She has since defended both her controversial revealing outfit and her reprisal attack. Speaking to Daily Mail and other news outlets, she explained that she does not regret her actions and hopes the clip will inspire women to stand up for themselves and feel confident in their own skin.
“I stand by my actions and hope that I’ve inspired women to feel comfortable in their bodies, no matter how they look, and to stick up for themselves when anybody says otherwise or tries to deny you the right to protect your own body.”
Ms. Annello-Kitzmiller also shared a heartfelt online message on her personal Facebook page which was a 6-minute video explaining that she wanted to normalize the naked body.
The sad reality is that this is not an isolated incident and happens more often then people realize. Rave culture itself was built upon love, respect and acceptance. Whether you’re a male or female, everyone is entitled to the freedom of expressing themselves in any way or form. At the end of the day, no matter how someone chooses to dress it is not an open invitation for assault or unwanted touching/attention. We as a community need to work together in combating this problem by protecting and looking out for one another. Also addressing and stamping out harassment that is considered both criminal and predatory. A stranger in life, is a neighbor on the dancefloor.
Music Festivals like Shambhala in B.C or Electric Forest in Michigan are notable examples of companies that are taking the next steps to change because the organizers have gone the extra step to make everyone feel safe and comfortable. At Shambhala, which I attended for 3-years I would always see both woman and men were comfortable enough to walk around topless or completely nude – there were signs throughout the whole grounds reminding people with regards to consent and that “yes means yes” and “no means no” or “consent is sexy”. Not to mention, there was a safe space specifically designed for woman. With Electric Forest, they have ‘Her Forest’ which is a women’s only group camping program that is a collaboration between all those who identify as women and those who celebrate their enjoyment of and equality in the forest family.