Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.

Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby S-s-sara » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:58 pm

My Burning Man trip was incredible. But it was the trip cross country with strangers that made it and not the event. This year was my first year and I find that I would like to re-do my burn because I am convinced that all of the uncomfortable and awful things that happened happened only because I wandered alone the majority of the time.

So please, please, read this list with an open mind.

The less graceful side of burning man; things I wish I didn't experience as a virgin:

1. Three people in my camp got slipped drugs the first day. Now, while now none of them mind getting fucked up(and I don't mind either) no one likes getting roofied or slipped ketamine.

2. Vulgar and dirty language towards children. Look, when you're fucked up no one gives a shit if you yell at scream and speak your mind; its Burning Man after all. But I saw way to many people yell vulgarities and sexual things toward children -young children- and their parents. Its fine to want to express yourself, but these people looked visibly uncomfortable and frankly, I was too. Self expression becomes unacceptable when it infringes upon another persons right to feel safe.

3. Inappropriate touching. Like I said. This was probably because I am a girl and was wandering around solo most of the time but there were a few times I was approached by people who just started aggressively grabbing onto me and tried to "adjust" my clothes.

4. Burning man is an overwhelmingly stimulating event. I was constantly on sensory overload and as a result I decided to go the week mostly sober. And I loved it that way! I went nuts a few times but I mostly made my experience as chill as possible. There is nothing wrong with that. But never have I felt ashamed for not mixing several different drugs with way to much alcohol until the Burn. If people want to stay sober let them and don't give them shit for twenty minutes about it. I didn't mind it the first few days but after a while I got the feeling that most people felt like I was doing something wrong by not going nuts 24/7.

6. To the group of ladies who wanted "didn't want to fuck us up [because] this is Burning Man [and] I am supposed to be nice". Yeah I really felt the love when you physically threw my friends and I away from your art car. I am so terribly sorry that I brushed up against it. If you want something to stay pretty, don't bring it to the playa. If it gets messed up don't shove people into other people/ moving crowds out of anger.

5. Finally, this one is not so much bad as pretty hilarious. I feel like the giant orgy tents should be labeled a bit better. I walked in on two gay orgies, one I thought was a bar, the other was labeled as a maze. I have no problem with sexuality , please don't misunderstand, I just felt bad for making the two guys giving each other head uncomfortable. :P

Anyways those are my thoughts. I had a lot of good experiences too I just think i underestimated the insanity of it all.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby Dr Helix » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:32 pm

S-s-sara wrote:My Burning Man trip was incredible. But it was the trip cross country with strangers that made it and not the event. This year was my first year and I find that I would like to re-do my burn because I am convinced that all of the uncomfortable and awful things that happened happened only because I wandered alone the majority of the time.

So please, please, read this list with an open mind.

The less graceful side of burning man; things I wish I didn't experience as a virgin:

1. Three people in my camp got slipped drugs the first day. Now, while now none of them mind getting fucked up(and I don't mind either) no one likes getting roofied or slipped ketamine.

2. Vulgar and dirty language towards children. Look, when you're fucked up no one gives a shit if you yell at scream and speak your mind; its Burning Man after all. But I saw way to many people yell vulgarities and sexual things toward children -young children- and their parents. Its fine to want to express yourself, but these people looked visibly uncomfortable and frankly, I was too. Self expression becomes unacceptable when it infringes upon another persons right to feel safe.

3. Inappropriate touching. Like I said. This was probably because I am a girl and was wandering around solo most of the time but there were a few times I was approached by people who just started aggressively grabbing onto me and tried to "adjust" my clothes.

4. Burning man is an overwhelmingly stimulating event. I was constantly on sensory overload and as a result I decided to go the week mostly sober. And I loved it that way! I went nuts a few times but I mostly made my experience as chill as possible. There is nothing wrong with that. But never have I felt ashamed for not mixing several different drugs with way to much alcohol until the Burn. If people want to stay sober let them and don't give them shit for twenty minutes about it. I didn't mind it the first few days but after a while I got the feeling that most people felt like I was doing something wrong by not going nuts 24/7.

6. To the group of ladies who wanted "didn't want to fuck us up [because] this is Burning Man [and] I am supposed to be nice". Yeah I really felt the love when you physically threw my friends and I away from your art car. I am so terribly sorry that I brushed up against it. If you want something to stay pretty, don't bring it to the playa. If it gets messed up don't shove people into other people/ moving crowds out of anger.

5. Finally, this one is not so much bad as pretty hilarious. I feel like the giant orgy tents should be labeled a bit better. I walked in on two gay orgies, one I thought was a bar, the other was labeled as a maze. I have no problem with sexuality , please don't misunderstand, I just felt bad for making the two guys giving each other head uncomfortable. :P

Anyways those are my thoughts. I had a lot of good experiences too I just think i underestimated the insanity of it all.



Well S-s-sara I am sorry to hear about this. Nobody wants to feel pressured or uncomfortable. I would respond with a few observations:

1. The drugging of your friends. You don't say how that happened. At a bar? At your camp? If it was at a bar, I hope you alerted the Rangers as to which one. Doesn't mean they did it, but they might see if a pattern develops. I don't do drugs and i stopped drinking in bars unless i know the folks myself.

2. Swearing at chidren. Inexcusable and also something to alert the Rangers about. Self expression or not, there is a line and they crossed it. Since you were alone, I don't ask you to try to do something but don't shrug it off either. Find help (Rangers) and let them deal with it. Certain behaviors cannot be tolerated.

3. The touching falls under the same guidelines. If you ever get cornered by some miscreant, look for help or just yell. There are a lot of us that would respond immediately. I have pulled women out of some tough situations before and wouldn't hesitate to come to your aid. You are not as alone as you might think.

4. As far as the drinking, hey, it's your burn. Who was calling you out for not drinking or drugs? How would they know? I think you might be a bit sensitive to this. Take it in stride and do your own thing.

5. As far as the art car incident, who knows? I have a small MV myself, and see both sides. The number of people who have used my car (without my permission) to: sit in, try to fuck in, pee in, (yes, pee in!) try to drive it away, get mad when I ask them to get out, etc, is astounding. I have had it kicked, jumped on and punched. So Art car owners can be a bit touchy sometimes. Doen't make it right, I'm just pointing out some rationales for their behavior.

6. I got nothing here. Just step away from the orgy ma'am, step away. I bet they didn't lose that much momentum.

Hope your experience is better next year. See you on the playa.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby jkisha » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:22 pm

Sometimes I wonder if I was even at the same burn as some people who post their experiences.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby trilobyte » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:48 pm

I feel the same way, jkisha. I don't doubt that the experiences happened, just hasn't happened in my world. Most of those things sound like something where something should have been said or done at that time. Aside from the people manning a camp/bar/art car, there are rangers everywhere (well maybe not *everywhere* but in pretty close range). Not law enforcement, they're the BRC peacekeepers. Great people, incredibly helpful if you need to get them involved.

The walking in on orgies thing sounds all kinds of awkward. As a rule, if the entrance to a dome is not open and you don't know the people/camp... don't go in. If the entrance is open, then it's not really a 'walking in on' scenario, since those participants probably had an idea that random strangers may show up. In any case, I'm sure they were fine.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:23 pm

At least one person on this board has been dosed, and my husband was dosed at Decompression one year.

I did have a happy year directing men to Jiffy Lube in 05...

Edited to add: Yes, Sara, a good scream out would almost certainly have brought you rapid and effective help.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby Drawingablank » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:35 pm

jkisha wrote:Sometimes I wonder if I was even at the same burn as some people who post their experiences.


+100

While I acknowledge that everyone's burn will be different - this seems 100% opposite the behavior I witnessed / experienced.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:40 pm

Drawingablank wrote:this seems 100% opposite the behavior I witnessed / experienced.


While I'm +1 as well, I'm wondering how much of it has to do with the fact that the OP was stone cold sober the whole time. As... I.. was.. far from it. :lol:
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:42 pm

Sadly, my experience in ESD indicates that there are some really fucked up things that happen at the burn. (Most of this stuff is stuff that was on the radio or a story someone told me, so it's not direct experience.) i just feel that it's unfortunate that anyone, much less a virgin alone, had to experience so much of the bad things.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby tattoogoddess » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:57 pm

Gees kid! I have not heard much like this from people I know who have gone. Im sorry that happened to you.

The way I see it. I don't think I will get shit in my drinks. Im to ugly for anyone to roofie. If they do it will be to remove me from the bar to attract more people to come in :)
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:10 pm

That's why you want a cup with a lid. Sippy cup, maybe. If it has a handle you can carabiner it off your belt or backpack.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby jkisha » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:36 pm

This burn was pretty much a drug and alcohol free year compared to most. I was adjusting to some new medications and didn't want to risk taking too many recreational medicinals, so I don't think that she was sober the whole time had much to do with it.

junglesmacks wrote:
Drawingablank wrote:this seems 100% opposite the behavior I witnessed / experienced.


While I'm +1 as well, I'm wondering how much of it has to do with the fact that the OP was stone cold sober the whole time. As... I.. was.. far from it. :lol:
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:39 pm

jkisha wrote:This burn was pretty much a drug and alcohol free year compared to most. I was adjusting to some new medications and didn't want to risk taking too many recreational medicinals, so I don't think that she was sober the whole time had much to do with it.

junglesmacks wrote:
Drawingablank wrote:this seems 100% opposite the behavior I witnessed / experienced.


While I'm +1 as well, I'm wondering how much of it has to do with the fact that the OP was stone cold sober the whole time. As... I.. was.. far from it. :lol:

Even when I drink out there, I don't get particularly drunk. No, it might have been far worse for her if she had been using.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:41 pm

And maybe I don't drink much in a chaotic environment as one of the methods I used to keep from being vulnerable as a young woman.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:44 pm

jkisha wrote:This burn was pretty much a drug and alcohol free year compared to most. I was adjusting to some new medications and didn't want to risk taking too many recreational medicinals, so I don't think that she was sober the whole time had much to do with it.

junglesmacks wrote:
Drawingablank wrote:this seems 100% opposite the behavior I witnessed / experienced.


While I'm +1 as well, I'm wondering how much of it has to do with the fact that the OP was stone cold sober the whole time. As... I.. was.. far from it. :lol:


True. May or may not have. My point was that when you're one of the ones running amuck amuck amuck.. you notice less of the gritty details that are going on around you as we all know.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:46 pm

Fair enough.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby Drawingablank » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:58 pm

Well I don't mean to make light of the OP's misfortune, it just seems to read more like a shopping list of everything bad that could possibly happen.

1. I suppose this does happen but it is rare.

2.Seriously as a parent if I saw someone yelling sexual things towards children they would have soon needed medical attention. I think most burners feel the same way and every child I saw there got treated like royalty.

3. I didn't witness any of this. Hugging is one thing, but being inappropriate is quite another, and seriously even the most petite person can issue a a kick to the nads effectively and it will pretty much stop most in their tracks.

4. Seriously? Folks gave you crap about being sober? My wife was sober all week and no one even gave it a second thought.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby hookahdude » Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:33 am

Drawingablank wrote:Well I don't mean to make light of the OP's misfortune, it just seems to read more like a shopping list of everything bad that could possibly happen.

1. I suppose this does happen but it is rare.

2.Seriously as a parent if I saw someone yelling sexual things towards children they would have soon needed medical attention. I think most burners feel the same way and every child I saw there got treated like royalty.

3. I didn't witness any of this. Hugging is one thing, but being inappropriate is quite another, and seriously even the most petite person can issue a a kick to the nads effectively and it will pretty much stop most in their tracks.

4. Seriously? Folks gave you crap about being sober? My wife was sober all week and no one even gave it a second thought.


I tend to agree with you.
Especially #4 I call bullshit on. It sounds like you either surrounded by douchebags or overly sensitive..
#1 - Possible
#2 - Never saw it once
#3 - Not female - hard to comment - but if it happened to my wife - and she gave me the look - the Rangers would have to pull me off of the offender and treat the remains as MOOP...
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby Minxy » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:12 am

I have either experienced or witnessed all of these situations. I just attempt to extract myself gracefully and move on to another adventure and forget about it. Unless it's something that seriously needs addressing, I try to not let it ruin my Burn.

Hope you did have fun on your first year anyway, S-s-sara!
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby Fiver » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:55 am

I can't really speak of the other things in the list, but as for kids.

Anytime I (or my group) saw kids running around it was awesome. Never really saw any at night, or at least late at night, but lots during the day. Anyway, they were treated like kings and queens if we ever saw some. Never offered them anything beyond a high five and a smile. I'm not a parent, but I can understand the paranoia some parents must have bringing little kids into that environment.
Whenever we saw kids we just cheered them on.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby S-s-sara » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:09 am

hookahdude wrote:
Drawingablank wrote:Well I don't mean to make light of the OP's misfortune, it just seems to read more like a shopping list of everything bad that could possibly happen.

1. I suppose this does happen but it is rare.

2.Seriously as a parent if I saw someone yelling sexual things towards children they would have soon needed medical attention. I think most burners feel the same way and every child I saw there got treated like royalty.

3. I didn't witness any of this. Hugging is one thing, but being inappropriate is quite another, and seriously even the most petite person can issue a a kick to the nads effectively and it will pretty much stop most in their tracks.

4. Seriously? Folks gave you crap about being sober? My wife was sober all week and no one even gave it a second thought.


I tend to agree with you.
Especially #4 I call bullshit on. It sounds like you either surrounded by douchebags or overly sensitive..
#1 - Possible
#2 - Never saw it once
#3 - Not female - hard to comment - but if it happened to my wife - and she gave me the look - the Rangers would have to pull me off of the offender and treat the remains as MOOP...



I have to say I wasn't being oversensitive. It didn't really bother me until one day when I left my water at my camp- yeah I know, dumb! -and a bunch of guys offered me lemonade. I asked if it was just lemonade - no alcohol - and they said yes. I was so dehydrated I chugged it and it was so sickeningly sweet that it wasn't until after I finished that I felt the bite of the booze. Having blood sugar problems, being dehydrated, and booze just don't mix. It was a shitty thing of them to do. So yeah, I think I was just generally surrounded by douches.

As for the rest of them, I have to say I didn't know about the rangers until very late in the game. Most of this happened early on in the week. I probably could have responded better to all of them but I was alone and operating under sensory overload most of the time. :P

I realized mid-week that the other side of the playa was far more mellow and once I removed myself from where all the bad shit seemed to be happening it was a great time. :)
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby S-s-sara » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:10 am

P.S. I am also pretty young so the folks I was around were the early 20-somethings who wanted to get as fucked up as possible. I think that had a lot to do with the "WTF, why are you sober."
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby BBadger » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:22 am

S-s-sara wrote:I realized mid-week that the other side of the playa was far more mellow and once I removed myself from where all the bad shit seemed to be happening it was a great time. :)


Which two areas are you speaking of here, so I can possibly avoid or seek them out?
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby Dr Helix » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:53 am

S-s-sara wrote:
hookahdude wrote:
Drawingablank wrote:Well I don't mean to make light of the OP's misfortune, it just seems to read more like a shopping list of everything bad that could possibly happen.

1. I suppose this does happen but it is rare.

2.Seriously as a parent if I saw someone yelling sexual things towards children they would have soon needed medical attention. I think most burners feel the same way and every child I saw there got treated like royalty.

3. I didn't witness any of this. Hugging is one thing, but being inappropriate is quite another, and seriously even the most petite person can issue a a kick to the nads effectively and it will pretty much stop most in their tracks.

4. Seriously? Folks gave you crap about being sober? My wife was sober all week and no one even gave it a second thought.


I tend to agree with you.
Especially #4 I call bullshit on. It sounds like you either surrounded by douchebags or overly sensitive..
#1 - Possible
#2 - Never saw it once
#3 - Not female - hard to comment - but if it happened to my wife - and she gave me the look - the Rangers would have to pull me off of the offender and treat the remains as MOOP...



I have to say I wasn't being oversensitive. It didn't really bother me until one day when I left my water at my camp- yeah I know, dumb! -and a bunch of guys offered me lemonade. I asked if it was just lemonade - no alcohol - and they said yes. I was so dehydrated I chugged it and it was so sickeningly sweet that it wasn't until after I finished that I felt the bite of the booze. Having blood sugar problems, being dehydrated, and booze just don't mix. It was a shitty thing of them to do. So yeah, I think I was just generally surrounded by douches.

As for the rest of them, I have to say I didn't know about the rangers until very late in the game. Most of this happened early on in the week. I probably could have responded better to all of them but I was alone and operating under sensory overload most of the time. :P

I realized mid-week that the other side of the playa was far more mellow and once I removed myself from where all the bad shit seemed to be happening it was a great time. :)



So what I see is after you have qualified some of your initial statements, is that you had some experiences that were less than stellar. Hopefully you learned from them and will be coming back to the Burn next year a little wiser. Welcome to the club. I am much older than you S-s-sara, but my first playa exerience was a learning one for me as well. Next year will be so much better, so start getting ready now. See you there!
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby ohmu » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:12 pm

Probably two things prevented me from sharing or understanding your experiences:

1) I'm a guy, and nobody will ever try to dose me or feel me up (or if they wanted to feel me up, they only need to ask nicely). Being a woman is kind of a double-edged sword, and always has been. On the plus side, guys are nice to you because they want to fuck you, but on the downside, many are nice to you only because they want to fuck you (and if they read certain books, they're mean to you because they want to fuck you).

2) I camped in the outskirts, and I suspect that most douchebaggery happens close to the esplanade, close to the music and lasers and jaeger. If I were a douchebag, I wouldn't walk more than an 1/8th of a mile away from that scene to douche out on someone. Because fuck those skanks, bro, we're missin' the party!

Like in any city, I assume things must simply go on right under my nose.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby Nipple » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:24 pm

ohmu wrote:Probably two things prevented me from sharing or understanding your experiences:
2) I camped in the outskirts, and I suspect that most douchebaggery happens close to the esplanade, close to the music and lasers and jaeger. If I were a douchebag, I wouldn't walk more than an 1/8th of a mile away from that scene to douche out on someone. Because fuck those skanks, bro, we're missin' the party!


I think this is a bit of an oversimplification. I could just as easily say, "I camped on A... the people that arrive and set up in the outskirts are just there for the weekend."
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby graidawg » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:31 pm

In the middle of all the bad things that may have happenned remember all the great things that happenned. like i was trudging back to barbie death camp exhausted when a guy by the side of the road offered me an artic blast from a paint sprayer. OH MY it was wonderful and gave the boost i needed to get back to camp. I never saw him there again. Thaks dude i should have given you a hug instead of a thanks before i walked away.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby Savannah » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:39 pm

So . . . . are you sorry you didn't sell the ticket for 2K? :D
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby Sic Pup » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:19 am

ohmu wrote:Probably two things prevented me from sharing or understanding your experiences:

1) I'm a guy, and nobody will ever try to dose me or feel me up (or if they wanted to feel me up, they only need to ask nicely). Being a woman is kind of a double-edged sword, and always has been. On the plus side, guys are nice to you because they want to fuck you, but on the downside, many are nice to you only because they want to fuck you (and if they read certain books, they're mean to you because they want to fuck you).


I take exception to that statement but I think that comes with maturity.

Speaking only for myself, I'm an older guy and that's not why I'm being nice (although I don't see that and wanting to fuck you as being necessarily mutually exclusive).


...and also because I know you probably want nothing to do with an old coot like me.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby Sail Man » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:51 pm

Drawingablank wrote:2.Seriously as a parent if I saw someone yelling sexual things towards children they would have soon needed medical attention. I think most burners feel the same way and every child I saw there got treated like royalty.


+1000 I have never had any burners be anything but way cool to me and my son when we are out and about. This was his 4th burn, he was 8 this yr and people were so positive about him being out there.
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Re: Respect: The Bad Parts of 2011

Postby Milayna » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:45 pm

I'm planning on going solo in 2012, and while I assume this sorta stuff can happen on the playa, just like any other city, it would be nice to try to avoid it as much as possible. You say there was an area where most of this seemed to happen? Could you specify?

Also, I will say that I'm quick to scream if I feel threatened, so if any guy tries to grope me I won't hesitate to sound off like a siren. It sounds like there are many nice burner gents willing to help a girl out :)
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