The Faire-y Files: Please Don’t Hump My Leg

29 08 2017

This isn’t a happy one guys, so if your intent is feel-good, snarf-coffee-out-of-your-nose endeavor, your journey will likely end in fail.  My day job (for those new to the ranks) includes tales from my job as a full time glass artist who sells her work at Renaissance Faires in multiple states.  

I don’t make shit from my job up.  And although I’m hesitant to describe this particular “Faire-y Tale” in detail, I think we as a society have a real problem with consent, bodily autonomy, and believing people when they say “the actions of this or that person really freaked me out.” I am lucky in my tribe of people, that they not only took me seriously when I said, “Hey… so this happened and I’m still grossed out… can I get your thoughts?”  And their reply to a man was, “What. The. Fuck.” In fact, all 4 men in my tribe that I told had that reaction and that (their collective reaction) plus the fact that I’m still thinking about it two days later probably indicates that it is A Thing. 


My writing about it is not only for cathartic purposes, but in the hopes that this in of itself is a teaching moment not just for the person who did it (although whether he will read it or not I have no idea) but for people who may be on “the fence” about what constitutes acceptable behavior between two individuals.
I don’t like feeling socially forced into giving people hugs.  It’s something my mom can attest to (Hi Mom). But it’s an accepted way of how a person (especially when one works at Faires) is greeted by people that one hasn’t seen in a year.  I’m not thrilled by it, but it’s part of the shit sandwich I’ve decided to eat as my meal ticket in this lifetime.

I granted a hug to a requesting (older white male) party, he made some comment (I couldn’t even tell you what it was, probably something about looking nice, since that’s the usual run-of-the-mill-compliment I get at Faire) and then proceeded to thrust his pelvis against my leg three or four times. Jokingly. Of course. Because leg humping is always acceptable followed by the siren song of “I was just kidding” when I called him out on it.

I stepped back, and said, “Hey.  See this line I just drew?  You just totally crossed it.”

“I was just kidding.”

“Not funny. Because halfway attractive women don’t already face tons of unsolicited comments and actions, or things done to them or aimed at them without their consent on a daily basis.”

“Geez. Ok… I’m sorry.”

And then he cuts his eyes to my booth helper (my age, female) for her reaction.

“Not okay.” she says.

“I’ll probably never get a hug again.” (And I have no idea at this point whether his tone was sincere or still “joking” because I was in fight or flight mode and I had picked the former.  I’m not a stupid college kid anymore, when the latter was the default. SJW? You bet your fucking panties I am, and I will take it as a freaking compliment if it means one more person never gets thrown into a situation where they must decide “fight or flight” because their bodily autonomy is suddenly run over by somebody else’s “joke”.

Arms crossed, voice sounding like a frozen tundra that leaves no person alive, “No. You won’t get a hug again. Ever.”

My body, my effing rules, pal.  I hope the day comes when I can just relay funny shit on here, and not repeatedly climb on my soapbox, beating my SJW drum in the hopes of waking one more convert to the tribe of “Consent.” Unfortunately, that day isn’t today.

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5 responses

29 08 2017
Patricia Harding

You’re a better woman than me I would have done much worse. Good job!

29 08 2017
Michelle Hartz

Sucks that you had to do that. Thank you for doing that.

29 08 2017
Kate Soehnlen

You have every right to be pissed. Honestly, I might have slapped him if it had been me. That is, once I got over the shock. What an unmitigated ass.

I’m sad that you had to experience that. I truly hope it never happens again.

Kate

On Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 6:42 PM, Musings from a Glass Artist wrote:

> M. Sotherden Art Glass posted: “This isn’t a happy one guys, so if your > intent is feel-good, snarf-coffee-out-of-your-nose endeavor, your journey > will likely end in fail. My day job (for those new to the ranks) includes > tales from my job as a full time glass artist who sells her work a” >

29 08 2017
M. Sotherden Art Glass

Thank you. It will probably happen again unfortunately because I work in a field where we are seen as part of the attraction of the zoo, and therefore, it’s like sticking your fingers through the bars of a monkey cage. But I’m glad I found my voice. That’s taken 40 years. *sigh*

2 09 2017
Dad

My heartaches for you that this happened.

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