Monday, June 17, 2013

Waiting For Security to Come, or, BOYCOTT ROSKILDE

“When I was fourteen,” my friend suddenly confided in me, “a gigantic guy climbed on top of me and wouldn’t let me go. He wanted to rape me. I didn’t fight him back sincerely, even then, because I was afraid I would hurt him.” I clamped my eyes shut and bit my lip in a sudden shockwave of acute anger and humiliation; her story sounded all too familiar. Far, far too close to home. I tensed my eyelids so hard I began to see things. I was probably red. I was probably shaking. I wouldn’t really know. Here we’d been friends all this time, and ten years after the assault, she finally felt emotionally safe enough to tell me. Not that I blame her; repression and denial are perhaps the most common means of dealing with an existential mini-death like sexual assault. Thanks to the privacy and safety awarded by the Internet chat we were using, I could cry to my heart’s content, snot and make up streaming down my glistening face—but I didn’t cry. Not really. There was no contending my broken heart. No amount of tears could satiate my own horrible story from just last summer and its conjoined and prolonged sense of failure and humiliation. No cascade of salt water and make up could fix that tender hole in my heart that throbs and recoils when I think about the status of women.
            “Last year,” I began, “my boyfriend Brett took me to a music festival in Denmark to see The Cure,” which has been one of my favorite bands for half of my life. “Of all the music festivals in Europe, it has the lowest rate of violent crime, including rape and sexual assault. It’s considered to be the safest festival in Europe. But it’s not. It has the lowest rate of reported violent crime because there’s no one to report it to.”
            “What’s the festival called?”