Like many, when I was a younger I bared the confusing growing pains of teenage life that sometimes felt unbearable so I turned to music as a solace and began to fill the void of emptiness with adoring band members, eventually caving in to ‘stan’ culture which was, for the most part, harmless fun. But like a double-edged sword, Stan culture has a darkly twisted side where young teenagers feel that because they obesely love someone who doesn’t really know them at all it means they own that person and that it gives them to right to sexually assault them.
Band members, celebrities or anyone with some kind of elevated fame have always been victims of sexual harassment/assault and I’ve truly never understood what compels anyone to see a person who’s helped change your life and think “wow you’re so cute let me completely violate your human space for a second to show you how much I care about you.” This issue is ongoing but was most recently brought to light by Brendon Urie, frontman of Panic! At The Disco, who had to ask his fans to stop sexually harassing him at shows.
he’s still trying to be nice about the way he says it but he’s so uncomfortable pic.twitter.com/qo0k1E4pSY
— jennifer (@godblessbrendon) February 2, 2019
“I went in for a hug and a girl like, kissed my neck. And it was… yikes dude, the neck kiss is so intimate too- which is an extra ‘fuck you’ to me, you know what I mean?” the vocalist said during a Twitch stream. Because of this videos have began to surface of fans trying to touch Urie innapropriatley with the Panic! Fanbase sharing their disgust for people who attempt to sexually harass, or generally do gross things to their idol.
… nasty pic.twitter.com/wDGxP5uXn2
— raquel (@Ruhquel) January 31, 2019
It raises a bigger discussion that has to be had; artists are not your property. Although you may feel like you have an emotional connection with them because of their music and you might even like the same things as them, at no point does that justify you violating their personal space. Whilst the glimmering lights of fame may blind you from the reality of the situation, artists are very much normal human beings who just happen to have amazing musical abilities but should still be held to the same ethical standards and rules as everyone else.
Friendly reminder that you CAN sexually harass a male artist. Just because they have a dick and the stereotype that they all love sex DOESN’T MAKE IT OKAY TO TOUCH THEM ESPECIALLY WITHOUT CONSENT.
— Ivy (@gothiccpizza) January 16, 2018
Overall there definitely needs to be a higher degree of etiquette for how we treat others at concerts because the number sexual assault cases at concerts is only growing, infact The Guardian reported in 2018 that one in five people are likely to be assaulted at a UK festival. It’s not just singers who are victim to it, due to the grotesque over sexualisation of typically women in today’s society that aims to demonise them to nothing more than sexual objects to ‘conquer’, concerts have transformed from a safe haven for music lovers to a cease pit of perverts.
Thankfully there’s causes that fights against the unnerved pervs of the community with organisations like Safe Gigs for Women battling on the frontline for safety against sexual harassment at gigs. But change happens from the inside and being more visually alert of your surroundings or doing something about it is the first step to change in this instances.