If you're a woman who loves live music, you know the sad truth about going to shows: you might very well encounter sexual harassment. Whether it's a drunk concertgoer who doesn't know how to take no for an answer, or men who exploit the cramped conditions of a crowd to cop a feel, or the far more sinister predators that stake out shows, sexual assault is unfortunately a real, lived experience for concertgoers who are vulnerable because of their gender or sexual orientation.
Yesterday night, a woman who attended yesterday's Death Angel and At The Gates show took to Facebook to write about a man who sexually harassed her in the crowd. Theresa Tang had been anticipating this concert for weeks, she wrote, but it was marred by a man who groped her repeatedly while she was in the front row during At The Gates' set.
She recounted with detail how the man – whose face she was unable to see – molested her and also prevented her from getting away (the following description might be triggering or upsetting to read for some, so proceed with caution):
I was pinned against the barricade, unable to turn or move away, while this fucker continuously pressed against me, groped my ass almost all the time (except when he moved his hand up to grab my waist and finger my bra line), held the barricade with one hand while using his other hand to push my breasts against his arm, kept trying to wrap his arm around me and kept touching my arms and stroking my elbows despite my attempts to push and elbow him away.
"Look, I get that it’s not easy navigating touch when you’re packed like sardines in a crowd," she continued. "But this guy ruined the later half of the set for me because all I could think of was how much I wanted to turn around and kick him in the balls."
She also explained in a comment below her post that "there were security around but I don’t think there were any near enough to me for me to signal to or catch their eye at the time."
Tang ended her Facebook post with the caveat that she was "not looking to form a lynch mob about this and I know that not everyone is this shitty," and in a message to Bandwagon, Tang noted that she did not want people to get the wrong impression of metal gigs or the people who attend them.
The heartening comments on her Facebook post should help dispel any misconceptions, though – the number of metalheads expressing their outrage at Tang's harassment and leaving messages of support and solidarity should be enough to let people know that there are plenty of folks in Singapore's metal scene who do not tolerate sexual harassment.
Read Tang's full Facebook post below: