Outside Lands 2017: Sexual Harassment and Lorde

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This weekend I attended my first Outside Lands – an annual music festival hosted in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

For 72 hours, I was the only girl in a group with 10 guys. I was also the only person not on GHB, molly, and/or LSD.  I had a grand old time, but by day three of  my solo sobriety, I was a little tapped out.

Disclaimer: I just wasn’t in the mood for drugs this weekend, but I dabble on rare occasion. I don’t judge people for gettin’ down. But if you do judge, I don’t judge you for judging.

Around 6:00 PM, I was over it. I told my buddies I was bouncing.

On my way out, Lorde was on stage near the exit. I stood and watched her sing “Royal.” I’m not really into Lorde, but I’d be damned if I passed up the opportunity to say I saw, “Lorde Lorde Lorde.”

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Photo: BroBible

When I left the park, it was still daylight – bright, foggy, and white. The streets of the Sunset District were empty. Every once in a while, a mid-thirties couple would walk by. Aside from that, it was rather ghostlike.

I marched a few blocks away from the festival. I was hoping to stroll down Irving St. to score some pho. Unfortunately, before I could even make it from 35th to 31st, I ran into some pale dude who wouldn’t get out of my way. He seemed a little wired and a lot slow.

After following me despite my frequent and obvious pace changes, he blathered about how he couldn’t get into OSL because his wristband blinked red. He asked if I were coming from OSL. I informed him I was in fact leaving because I didn’t feel like being around people. Translation: GO AWAY. He didn’t take the hint. I found a street with people walking around, turned onto it, and dismissed him with a, “Welp, have a nice day.”

While the Sunset District is usually a mellow, residential area, I was sketched out and no longer in the mood for the trek to Iriving St. I decided to uberPOOL back to my house. No pho for me. That creep had no idea how much he had just inconvenienced my life. Now my only option was delivery – AKA limited food choices with extra fees. He should at least compensate my delivery charge.

As I cursed that bumbling lummox for costing me an extra $5, I plopped down on the curb to await my freshly ordered POOL. It was five minutes away.

When the wait time got down to minute four, a different man – some chunky, chump with graying hair on a bike – came by and started rambling at me. He kept trying to ask me personal questions. He was convinced he  knew me from somewhere else. He repeatedly asked if I had a boyfriend. I told him I didn’t want to talk and that it wasn’t his business. He told me I was messed up. He said I had problems. He claimed “those other times” when he had supposedly seen me, I was upset and “messed up” for ignoring him.

He asked me where I was from. He guessed NYC, Boston, and Brooklyn. He claimed I was lying when I said no to all. He demanded I tell him where I was from, so I said, “Mars.” He laughed, “You one of those girls? You like that other girl. But you not as thick. I’ll have to see you stand up.” I told him he was making me feel uncomfortable. He kept talking and eagerly began asking if I had been drinking.

My phone was glued to my hand, and my eyes were glued to my phone. I anxiously watched as my Uber inefficiently traversed the map, moving in a manner reminiscent of a hopeless game of Snake. The  minutes kept increasing. FUCKING OSL! Where was my chariot? The longer I sat there, the more he talked, and the more uncomfortable I felt.

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When my Uber was two minutes away, I started to feel an adrenaline rush, the kind you only feel when you truly sense danger. The situation was escalating. He was starting to murmur theories about what sex things he thought I was into, what type of guys I like (which tbh, is kind of funny seeing as I am literally writing an entry for a sex blog right now). An Indian couple passed by, he said, “I bet you into those Indians. Too young though. You like ’em older, huh? You like – mur mur mur.” I tried to tune out most of what he was saying, but his hostility was rising. I didn’t know how to keep him content with the verbal abuse and away from the physical. I tried ignoring, engaging, and then ignoring again to distract him. I needed to bide my time until the cab arrived.

One minute left. My Uber appeared just in time. I jumped up, walked away, and disappeared into a yellow sedan. Had it taken much longer, I’m not sure what would have happened.

Once safely seated and buckled up, I turned to the two other girls in my POOL and in a grunge-girl rage asked, “Are you from here?” They said no. They were from Berkeley. I continued, “Well -!” and gave them a synopsis of my brief encounters. They responded with some accounts of their own.

These events are all too common.

This is literally what it’s like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcoX9aCDeiM

http://fusion.net/video/229604/aziz-ansari-master-of-none-walking-home-women/

Our Uber driver urged us to all get pepper spray.

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Photo: Know Your Meme


Conclusion?

Forget the spray tan, and get your pepper on.

But seriously. The struggle is real.

Be careful.

Be safe.

Get mace.

4 thoughts on “Outside Lands 2017: Sexual Harassment and Lorde”

  1. I am so jealous you went to OSL! Such a great line-up this year.

    Sorry to hear about the creep, though. That sounds terrifying. I heard from a friend that things felt a little unsafe in general in the streets nearest the stages. She was working at a parking fundraiser and witnessed lots of unusual bizarre behavior.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was soo crowded! I was exhausted by the end. There’s always next year 🙂

      Yeah! it waaas unusual. I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on where I should and shouldn’t feel safe in SF, but Sunday was an odd day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a tough time with crowds. I’m a fast walker and therefore get extremely annoyed by wanderers and slow-moving crowds (and, let’s face it, all crowds are slow-moving).

        My friend recounted a bizarre story about a guy who approached them in the parking lot where they were fundraising to report that he was mugged at gunpoint. She said the guy seemed high on something and wasn’t making sense. He didn’t have a phone so they called the cops for him and the dude said, “Tell them I’m wearing a black shirt and black pants.” There was so much wrong about this… i.e. 1) why would the cops need to know what HE is wearing??, and 2) The dude’s pants were blue, not black. She felt really unsafe and wondered if it was a ruse for him to hold her at gunpoint.

        I stayed in my own neighborhood all weekend and am now really glad I did!

        Liked by 1 person

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