Teen Vogue's Report About Sexual Harassment At Coachella Is So Upsetting
I've admittedly never been to Coachella (a true feat as a native Californian) but, as far as I'm concerned, I feel like I've been there. Why? Well, because every April my social media feeds get flooded by pictures of shirtless dudes and girls in trendy two-piece outfits having the ~time of their lives~ eating watermelons and dancing to their favorite songs. But a new report by TeenVogue.com claims that the festival might have a dark side that isn't being captured in the cute Instagram pics flooding my feed. No, instead, TeenVogue.com's report about claims of sexual harassment at Coachella suggests that, despite the happy pictures, female festival goers are consistently subjected to an endless stream of sexual assault. Elite Daily has reached out to Coachella for comment on the TeenVogue.com report, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
The piece was reported by TeenVogue.com's Features Editor Vera Papisova who claims that throughout the 10 hours she spent at Coachella, she was groped an alarming 22 times. And that experience isn't unique to Papisova. She spoke to 54 women at the festival and all of them claimed that they experienced a form of sexual harassment or assault while at Coachella.
One telling experience was shared with Papisova by a 16-year-old girl named Reagan. “Just the way people touch me when you’re walking through a crowd. Why are you touching me there? We’re trying to have fun and fit in here,” she told Papisova. “It’s scary, and you can’t trust the random people around you to help you. And with those bigger men, it’s just harder and it's scarier to say something to them because they might get angry and violent. Like if you’re not nice, they might hurt you.”
Papisova relayed a similar story — she was called a "heinous bitch" by a man whom she refused to kiss in the VIP section.
At the end of the day, music festivals shouldn't be places women go to feel victimized. In fact, there should be no place that makes us feel that way.
The problem, of course, is not unique to Coachella.
As Papisova notes, "sexual misconduct is unfortunately a common experience at festivals, with one survey finding that more than 90% of female concertgoers have been harassed at a music event."
The problem isn't even just unique to our nation. Papisova explained that this is an epidemic hitting music festivals around the world. "In 2014, according to the BBC, two men were arrested for allegedly raping a woman at the Reading Festival in England," she wrote. "In 2016, The Washington Post reported that attendees at Sweden's Bravalla Festival were given bracelets with the reminder: 'Don’t grope.' The bracelets were issued in response to several reports of alleged assault at the event. In 2017, the same festival's organizers said they would cancel the following year's event after more than 20 sexual assaults were reported. It had been the largest music festival in Sweden."
It's time for people to start looking out for one another.
In her piece, Papisova recounts yet another claim of being sexually assaulted in which nobody appeared to help her:
In another instance, I was waiting in line for the bathroom and heard Tyler, the Creator start his set on the main stage behind me. A stranger walked up to me and said that he loved my leopard-print suit. I thanked him, and he proceeded to say he’d love to get in the bathroom stall with me. When I told him not to talk to me like that, he exclaimed, "Whoa, that's a lot of attitude for a no-name model." Nobody around me did anything to help.
Yep, that's right. According to Papisova's claim, not one person in that crowded festival appeared to help out this woman who was so being harassed.
"One of the difficulties of not having proper cell phone service is it can be hard to find your friends (generally the only moments where I felt safe or comfortable throughout the weekend), so that means you have to rely on bystanders," she explained. Speaking out in defense of others is always important but it becomes doubly important when the person doesn't have the means to call their friends in for backup.
Luckily, some women are starting to stick up for each other.
While this has been an issue for decades, young women are finally stepping up in an effort to look out for each other. Papisova mentioned in a tweet that she had to edit out a quote in her piece that cited the story of a young women who, along with her friends, saved a girl "from a bad situation."
Sexual assault is a terrible and disgusting epidemic that our nation is unfortunately faced with but the good news is that it's one we can take steps to eradicate forever by stepping up and saying something when we see that a woman is being assaulted.
Do your part!
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