Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby TomServo » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:43 pm

Not to add fuel to the fire....and I'm sure I'll be vilified by someone for saying this...but, "Rape" is a heavy word. The act itself, the lowest of the low..and also an sticky accusation. I was accused of "Rape" in High School. The girl who made the accusation, was my ex girlfriend. The only problem was..we never had sex..consensual or otherwise. Her motive? I have no clue! We broke up because I couldn't spend as much time with her as she wanted. BUT, because of that nasty little word, I lost some dear friends... I spent well over a decade, with a sick feeling every time I recalled that experience.

Now, when I hear that accusation..and it's only happened once in my immediate circle..I don't just automatically question the accused..but the accuser as well. It's fucked up...but so is being falsely accused of rape. It's something that hangs over your head, guilty or not, for a long time.

so, anyone...feel free to jump to conclusions!
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby BBadger » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:52 pm

Do we really need to dredge up this thread again? It's bad enough this is like the 5th incarnation of the exact same subject.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:52 pm

with the technology available in non-invasive sub-dural FMRI scanning, you can tell if someone is lying from 50 ft. away.


seriously.


so this may be a moot point in the very near future.


seriously.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby TomServo » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:00 pm

BBadger wrote:Do we really need to dredge up this thread again? It's bad enough this is like the 5th incarnation of the exact same subject.


I dredged it up JUST for YOU! well..no..I didn't, but if it annoys you..
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:30 pm

It was stinkyfoot who did the dredging. I think in celebration of his/her 100th post.

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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby BBadger » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:57 pm

Well the silver lining on this dark cloud is that it's better to dredge up this thread than the inevitable new thread that usually gets created with the same copy-and-paste story.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:27 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:It was stinkyfoot who did the dredging. I think in celebration of his/her 100th post.

A troll is born?

I have decided it would have been funnier if I had said: Did you get a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers for the dredging?
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby Mosin » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:16 pm

Burning Man is Pro Necropost Culture. :|
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby Isotopia » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:36 pm

I guess that settles it.

Rape it is.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby stinkyfoot » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:48 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:It was stinkyfoot who did the dredging. I think in celebration of his/her 100th post.

A troll is born?



I was a troll on the internet long before you knew about trolling on the internet. But no, it was not me who did the dredging. This is such a retarded thread but I can't resist the chance to do a little creative writing.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:06 pm

Then there must have been a post removed. And that means it was likely very trollish.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby FeetOfClay » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:25 pm

I read the OP's blog, and I got the distinct sense that what she shared, she shared in earnest and from a place of genuine emotional pain.

I know everyone is talking about how old the post is, how it has been rehashed and reposted ad nauseum, debating whether or not the OP was actually raped.

From what I've read on her blog, it does sound as though she was violated by a person who took advantage of her altered state. I, for one, would never dare to claim that I can decide whether a person was "raped" or not. I was the victim of a sexual assault some years back, and the OP's blog post elicited empathy from me. As for whether she needs to "get over it", or how annoying it is to keep reading it, I say: FUCK OFF.

If it raises awareness, makes any persons feel more willing to come forward about rapes on Playa, then I would tolerate seeing it year after year.

As a woman who is attending BMAN for the first time, and completely alone, I WELCOME any posts that raises this issue for intelligent discussion. Of course, most responses to the OP's post (and to my reply here, I am sure) will be nothing but snark, sarcasm, and sexism. Again, I will say what I said when I first joined e-PLAYA: for me, internet message boards are still REAL-LIFE...the event in the DESERT will still be REAL-LIFE. As "cool" as it apparently is to be snarky and ridicule strangers, when a person is honestly sharing a traumatic experience, have a little respect.

Go ahead: let the ridicule begin. Just fodder for the FOES list :twisted:
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby BBadger » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:39 pm

And yet all of that has been said many times before in the original, and subsequent copy-and-pasted threads of the exact same OP. What more is there to say? More redundant sympathy? More "rape is bad" lip-service before the "you put yourself in a very compromised situation" statements?

Yadda yadda yadda, feel what you want, but it doesn't need more air time here.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby some seeing eye » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:04 pm

Is Burning Man a pro rape culture as described by the original poster? No.

Is it important to discuss every year? Yes.

On other threads along these lines and at on playa workshops, the Bureau of Erotic Discourse has been a resource.

I would say that Burning Man has a very strong anti-rape, pro-community culture. But every year, there are arrests for sexual assault and there are surely unreported instances. Like the rave culture the original poster mentions, everything at Burning Man seems rainbow vibes and unicorns, but then if you are hurt, it feels crushing. I've personally come across friends at the event who really were in no position to consent, and brought them back to our group of friends to ground out.

Keep in mind that the Burning Man environment is very emotionally intense, you may be exhausted, you are at a slight altitude, intoxicants, and all those can challenge good decisions by you and those around you. We preach self reliance, but in my experience if you need help in any serious situation, ask, and I would say 19 out of 20 people will stop what they are doing and help you.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby FeetOfClay » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:42 am

Is Burning Man a pro rape culture as described by the original poster? No.

Is it important to discuss every year? Yes.

On other threads along these lines and at on playa workshops, the Bureau of Erotic Discourse has been a resource.

I would say that Burning Man has a very strong anti-rape, pro-community culture. But every year, there are arrests for sexual assault and there are surely unreported instances. Like the rave culture the original poster mentions, everything at Burning Man seems rainbow vibes and unicorns, but then if you are hurt, it feels crushing. I've personally come across friends at the event who really were in no position to consent, and brought them back to our group of friends to ground out.

Keep in mind that the Burning Man environment is very emotionally intense, you may be exhausted, you are at a slight altitude, intoxicants, and all those can challenge good decisions by you and those around you. We preach self reliance, but in my experience if you need help in any serious situation, ask, and I would say 19 out of 20 people will stop what they are doing and help you.


^This! :D This quote says it all, and I could not agree more! Great advice and awareness being shared.

All this talk of intoxicants and being in compromised states make me REALLY glad that I no longer use any drugs/booze, and that my first Burn will be a sober one. Yet another reason I've chosen to camp with fellow sober burners. I respect the fact that most people will NOT be sober at the event, and i think it's great that each person has the freedom to define the role of substances, if any, in their own Burn. Of course, I still need to stay aware to make sure no one doses my drink (which could happen to anyone) or that I set boundaries with asshole drunk guys (especially later in the week, as i have often read), but increased protection against sexual coercion is just one more benefit of burning sober.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby gyre » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:51 am

It's hard to judge averages from anecdotal experience, but sober or in control is not rare.

Sexual coercion was a higher risk in 96 or 97.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:02 am

Feet. That's why I've been recommending the sippy cup for years. Any cup with a lid. (and handle for carrying...) And it's okay to say no to people offering you drinks. (Not that I really think this is a surprise, but like the man said, this should be discussed every year...) And yes, people are very likely to come running. I think. It hasn't happened around me, so I can't say for sure. On the other hand everyone I know on the playa treasures the experiences of the burn and don't want it tainted.
I'm sorry that Bureau of Erotic Discourse doesn't seem to be as active as it used to be. At least not on this board. And tribe is echoing corridors these days.
I really don't know what to say about the behavior of people in response to the op. I don't know if this is the woman I managed to offend on some level that I don't understand, but I think it may be. Which makes this painful for me, or at least awkward.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby gyre » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:21 am

I think there is an earlier thread posted under an earlier name.

It's still unclear to me what actually happened.
She was responding on an earlier thread for a time.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby BBadger » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:20 pm

I can't find the original 2006 one, but its reprise was in this post, and pretty much covered everything that needed to be said--again.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby Mosin » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:33 am

BBadger wrote:I can't find the original 2006 one, but its reprise was in this post, and pretty much covered everything that needed to be said--again.


In other words here we go again. Again.



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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby organizedchaos » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:37 pm

Hi SF Burner girl,

I am writing here because maybe uselessly I would like to give you my 2 cents on this situation.

I was in a very similar situation about 2 years ago. I was traveling through Thailand alone (I had been traveling alone for about 6 months) and a friend that I lived with in Spain was also going to be there. He and I had never had sex, and had gotten drunk together many times before. I was in a foreign country, and was finding it a bit more difficult than lets say other westernized countries to make friends in .. so I was beyond glad when I learned that he would be there.

We went out drinking, and drank lots of Thai whiskey.. which is IMO stronger than what I am used to. In the state I was in (extremely drunk, but I remember what was going on) I knew I shouldn't try to walk back to my hostel alone in the dark and went with him and his friend back to their hotel. Looking back, I knew I drank more than I would have had I been with people I had just met - because I had that sense of trust that with him I would be safe.

When we got back to his hotel I passed out on the floor with a pillow while the lights were still on and my friend was smoking. Some time later I woke up in his bed without my skirt or underwear on. He was on top of me and his friend was sitting next to him watching. At that point I tried to push him off, said no several times, but I was so drunk that I really wasn't in control. I think that, had I been more sober and a little more insistent he would have stopped but as it was a few minutes later I passed out again.

When I woke up again his friend was on top of me.. same basic story as the first time, and I passed out again.

The next morning I almost didn't want to believe what happened. I let him put me in a taxi back to the area I was staying in, and sometimes still communicate with him on Facebook but never saw him again.

The bottom line is, yes, I did not consent. And it sucks that he took advantage of me in that way. But frankly, I take responsibility for what happened. If I trusted him and was wrong, then that's unfortunate judgement on my part. If I got so incoherent that I couldn't scream or effectively communicate, that's irresponsibility on my part. Bottom line, I should have known better. We all take risks every time we get drunk. Getting black out drunk is not a god given right. It's something you should only do if you know the consequences.

Hope this help some. I'm not a guy, I'm not judging, I do understand how it feels for that to happen and I sympathize. But it doesn't mean that you don't take any responsibility whatsoever in the situation, and people here questioning you when you say that certainly doesn't make burning man a 'pro rape culture'. Honestly, I find you implying that offensive, short sighted, and a broad generalization.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby wh..sh » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:04 pm

Sigh... it's really sad to read about these unfortunate experiences.
Beyond shit and giggles, protecting yourself has to be the top priority.

I have to say, I have this new found respect toward ALL my male friends, for being the real men they are!
Excuse me while I fondly remember my male friend who talked much about "being aware of your environment".
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby some seeing eye » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:55 pm

The B.E.D. people offer pre- and on- playa resources at

http://www.facebook.com/groups/137537096279257/ and
http://bureauoferoticdiscourse.org
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby FeetOfClay » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:35 am

The bottom line is, yes, I did not consent. And it sucks that he took advantage of me in that way. But frankly, I take responsibility for what happened. If I trusted him and was wrong, then that's unfortunate judgement on my part. If I got so incoherent that I couldn't scream or effectively communicate, that's irresponsibility on my part. Bottom line, I should have known better. We all take risks every time we get drunk. Getting black out drunk is not a god given right. It's something you should only do if you know the consequences.


Organized Chaos:

while i think it is good, and very self-aware, that u take responsibility for getting extremely drunk, please (for your own sake) do not minimize what these two men did to you. technically, it was rape. getting passed out drunk: somewhat reckless. taking turns penetrating an unconscious person? rape.

this man was your friend; it was reasonable for you to assume u could be drunk in his presence without being raped. he and a friend took turns having sex with an unconcious person. i really can't see any circumstance under which that could ever be okay.

seriously--call those men out on what they did. it was illegal, unethical, and predatory.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby wh..sh » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:55 am

FeetOfClay wrote:seriously--call those men out on what they did. it was illegal, unethical, and predatory.

I agree. Even though you take responsibility for your actions that unfortunately put you in his presence, these guys are rapists and there is no question about it.
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby some seeing eye » Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:06 pm

Jezebel is a Gawker Media outlet, so it has a certain approach. But they picked up on a big Reddit thread, Reddit itself having its own culture, relevant to this discussion.

Rapists Explain Themselves on Reddit, and We Should Listen by Katie J.M. Baker http://jezebel.com/5929544/rapists-explain-themselves-on-reddit-and-we-should-listen

Just a quick look is sad, heavy and wrenching but here is the Reddit: Reddit's had a few threads about sexual assault victims, but are there any redditors from the other side of the story? What were your motivations? Do you regret it? http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/x6yef/reddits_had_a_few_threads_about_sexual_assault/

(we return to our regularly scheduled programming of bacon, feathers and tickets...)
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Re: Rape at Burning Man: Is Burning Man Pro Rape Culture?

Postby trilobyte » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:57 pm

Guys, the OP in this thread has not been active on the site for nearly a year. This thread was long dead before stinkyfoot claims not to have resurrected it recently. I'm putting a fork in this one.

If you're looking for some great information and education about rape and sexual assault on the playa, please take a look at the Bureau of Erotic Discourse. They go way beyond the call of duty, offering sex positive workshops on increasing sexual communication. Have fun, be safe.
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