Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stand up, fight back (european tour with xTrue Naturex): Haarlem, NL

'Only the lonely know the way I feel tonight'-Roy Orbison

We went out and celebrated Tes' birthday at the Pitcher last night, and played our first official show of the tour. Got to meet her mom and a fair amount of her friends and everyone was so sweet! Fun times were had, Daft Punk was played and most importantly Tes had an awesome birthday!*

During that night though a womyn from one of the other bands repeatedly came over to the table to talk, which was fine, but at one point was aggressively telling me I needed to climb over the table and stand with her. Feeling kind of freaked out because she was clearly drunk, I went over there to talk. She didn't know my name so she kept calling me "Mr. American" and proceeded to ask if I liked "blondes or black haired" and if I preferred "aggressive or introverted girls". I said I didn't know, and so she then asked if we were going to "my place or yours" at which I laughed and said neither, I'm staying with my friends. She tried to coerce me to go home with her for about 5 or 10 minutes while rubbing against me, the whole time me standing with my arms crossed and facing away. I could feel my face getting redder and was becoming increasingly uncomfortable, so after politely and clearly telling her "No" more than a dozen times she finally left me alone. So later on in the night I was talking with Chonga, and as she passed by on her way to the bathroom she full on slapped me in the back of the head. As funny as it was, I don't like being hit. at all. And the fact that she was trying to coerce me to sleep with her earlier on while being incredibly inebriated made it even worse. On her way back I motioned her over to talk. I explained to her I don't play shows to hook up with random people, and that her hitting me was not ok etc. She apologized, but I sensed she was still trying to be flirty and maybe apologizing just to start another conversation with me... or maybe since she's Dutch and english is her second language she didn't fully understand the tone I was using. either way, she came up to me 3 times after that to apologize and that she didn't mean to create that sort of "ambience" for me.

My first reaction to this was laughter, even though it upset me. and we all have been making jokes about it since then, which is fine also. but Keegan brings up a very good point: If the genders were reversed in this situation, meaning if a man approached a womyn he didn't know, or even knew the name of, and said those things and reacted the same way it would absolutely not be tolerated. I'm sure most people, as shitty as mainstream bar culture is, wouldn't allow that to happen. But... since it happened to a male-bodied person, perpetrated by a female-bodied person all of a sudden it's a big joke, and the 'Man' in this situation is lucky, a player etc. Maybe this problem can be considered insignificant considering how often womyn are disrespected and humiliated in this way, but I still feel it's worth bringing up. And maybe I'm just grasping at straws thinking that my opinions and experiences can actually change the way people at bars behave.. and maybe those incidents are bigger than a simple issue of sexism but rather a larger societal problem. Either way I don't like it, and I (nor anyone else) should have to tolerate it.

Other than that staying with Tes has been incredibly fun! Hanging out in her immaculately clean squat, eating delicious food, petting her kitty, dancing and watching R. Kelly and Hungarian rapper videos (remind me to post a link later!).

Heading out to Amsterdam either tonight or tomorrow for another show. I'll keep you updated!

for love and liberation,
mike xvx

*This morning I played "it's not your birthday anymore" by Morrissey and she loved it!}

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