Treatment of Women at BM

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
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dr.placebo
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Post by dr.placebo » Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:02 pm

As one of the BED folks I'd like to thank folks here who have kindly mentioned BED.

We are a small grass-roots group that tries to reduce sexual assault and harassment on the playa. We are positive about sex, neutral about gender and orientation, and quite negative about harassment.

In 2005 and 2006 we gave workshops on communication, posted the potties (see below for the 2006 version), and gave out a lot of buttons. We'll be back in 2007 for sure.

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Post by dragonfly Jafe » Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:37 pm

...and hopefully I'll attend one of the B.E.D. seminars (being that we will likely be volunteering to host one or more sessions, that shouldn't be too hard!)
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
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Post by Bee » Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:22 pm

sounds like a good project. good for you :)

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Post by scorpio80 » Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:43 am

Thank you everyone for replying... I still haven't gone through all the posts, but it was nice to read about other's experiences at BM...

Oh, and I just wanted to make it clear that I was not topless at BM, and still had all the oglers... I was in bikini tops and felt really uncomfortable in them. I had wanted to go one day topless, but due to my bad experience with some (not most of the men, but enough to make me put off) I didn't.

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Post by Dr. Pyro » Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:00 pm

Scorpio80, the only question that I have is how is the default world as awful as you seemed to make it sound? What I mean is, that Burningman is generally good and the reason for that is that in the default world you get men staring at your breasts, acting like yahoos, having water sprayed on the unexpecting, etc. I've never seen anything like that the other 51 weeks of the year, and if I did, the people would be jailed for assault. It seems to me that in your mind's eye, the utopian concept of what paradise would be isn't in Black Rock City. I agree. It isn't anywhere else for that matter. So I'm going to live with an imperfect world and an imperfect Black Rock City and recognize that it's probably as good as it is likely going to get.

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Post by scorpio80 » Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:28 pm

Dr. Pyro:

Don't get me wrong. I looove lots of things about Burning Man!!

I don't know how to explain it. I know that BM isn't and won't ever be perfect. It's just I thought that being in such an open and artsy environment, nobody would really care about women being in bikini tops or topless. We could go walk around the playa dressed however we wanted, and nobody would bother us. I mean, I expect there to be some yahoos making comments and rude gestures, but it just bums me out that I saw it everywhere this year...

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Post by Barbie » Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:41 pm

This was my 4th year---I was a stripper for over 20 years--yes 20years-I started when I was 18 and quit last June. Stripping teachs you alot about men, mostly how to tell them NO!! If you are uncomfortable say something if you don't feel like you can say STOP or NO Or leave me the fuck alone---go ahead and walk away your not beening rude THEY are--IF someone grabs you---make some noise ask for HELP we will help you!!! My 2 year a guy was in our camp and I was trying to get people to go with me to ride the roller coaster--this guy said he would come along on our way there he kept trying to get me to get off the main roads and cut thur camps I was'nt going for it--finally I ditched him---he was waiting for me hours later when I got back to camp--I had one of our bigger guys tell him to get lost... don't be afraid to ask for help or to leave----and don't try to be nice about telling them FUCK YOU GET AWAY FROM ME
we all give you permission to say NO when your Uncomfortable

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Post by pyrogypsiequeen » Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:23 pm

[quote="Schwa"]yeah the creep factor was a downer again this year... and it gets old trying to have the same conversation about respect with these assholes... after this year i'm definately in the camera ban camp...[/quote]

Ditto,...the ickyiness, removes the feeling of sacredness,...I just hope we can retain the energy of this without the newbies involvements being too aggressive, others of my circle have been harrassed in very abusive ways. This is a new wave of burningman viewers, I can't call them true burners if they dont promote peace and love within the community. There are so many burners that care deeply about the community...much love and light to you and yours!!!

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Post by helitack » Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:23 pm

Peace and love?
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........................SHOW ME YOUR BALLS..................

Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:44 am

Where do I start...

You are all right in a sense, I have found that this "Ogling" thing is usually done by someone who is a first timer and has not yet "got it". We have had a larger than normal rush of firsttimers due to the media explosion we have gotton recently. I too have had to walk up to men who were secretly taking pics of topless girls in center camp. My thing is to walk up to them and proclaim as loudly as I can that taking pictures of people without their permission is not allowed, and can I see your media badge. It is our community peoole and as in all societies you have to make newcomers welcome yet keep them respectful and inform them when they are doing something that is not allowed. Stand up for yourself at burningman and walk right up to the perp and give him a piece of your mind. Trust me there are plenty of men (and women) who will come to you're aid if you yell out or scream that someone is bothering you. You have to help us spot these guys, cause we can not see them. Make their presence known to all and don't be afraid. We will take him to the side and either school him or wipe the playa with his ass. But "YOU" must speak up don't just sit therre and be a fucking victim.



you're bestest pal,

the rebbi




PS. I understand you perdiciment because the same thing happens to me on the playa mostly because I usually go naked except for a loin cloth, I get all kins of women who come up and smack my cheeks, or pinch me on the ass, or whislle, or make rude comments like "like let's see the goods honey!" or "Show me your balls!" however I am usually happy to oblige.

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Post by mdmf007 » Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:39 pm

like it or not an easy lay at BM and a constant orgy is what people think BM is about.

I try to explain what BM is about to my friends but uinless you go there words do not do it justice.

Give newbies a break all they know is what they hear.
later
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Post by helitack » Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:49 pm

mdmf007 wrote:like it or not an easy lay at BM and a constant orgy is what people think BM is about.

I try to explain what BM is about to my friends but uinless you go there words do not do it justice.

Give newbies a break all they know is what they hear.
later
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Post by Taz » Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:56 am

lurker wrote: There is no woman at Burning Man who goes topless or nude who is not aware that the nude female form, unlike the nude male form, is an object of 'forbidden' public display. That, by it's very scarcity in the mainstream, it will excite a reaction completely disproportionate to that of male nudity.

Nude/topless women should not have to suffer being fondled, or touched or worse without their consent. But they have no right to demand that they not be ogled, or thought about, or even called after. Particulary since very few of them have any problem talking about, thinking about or ogling the various nude/topless men that they see. They may be more restrained in their loud commenting, but they are no less prurient in their thoughts.

Part of this stems from a skewed attitude towards sex as exhibited by men, and part from a skewed attitude exhibited by women. Many women want to be free to display their sexuality, to expouse a more primal side of their nature. But many seem unaware that some of the same feelings that motivate them also motivate the reactions of male viewers--namely, the forbidden nature of female sexuality.
Lurker, I couldn't agree with you more.

Scorpio80, there is a double standard when it comes to nudity. Basicly because in this culture, and many others women are assigned to the sexual object role just the same as men are assigned to provider, soldier roles etc.
I think that many women are content with that role as they actively endorse it. Despite the fact that sex workers are always protesting the oogling, rudeness , and degredation etc. associated with their jobs they depend and exploit the prospects to maintain their livelihoods. Did you think they could make a living at it catering to other women?
I think that some women would even protest the reassignment of this role to their male counterparts. I know of women that kick their husbands out of the kitchen.
Yes ,I believe that you or anybody else is naive to believe BM is some kind of utopia. It's a blend of the best and worst that society has to offer. But I see the openess of their true nature to be a blessing rather than curse because all these rude people who are acting as such because they ditched the social restraints normally imposed on them by society makes it easier to recognize them. It's better that the devil be known than not. If only Larry Singleton would have revealed his true nature to the world then he might have avoided the tragedy he and others had sustained.
You sound like a nice person. If you do decide to attend BM again please visit our camp. Our women feel free to walk around topless or nude without harassment.

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Ron
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Post by Ron » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:23 am

mdmf007 wrote:like it or not an easy lay at BM and a constant orgy is what people think BM is about.....
For a good chunk of the population that is what it's all about. One of my campmates was wandering the playa with a herpes sore the size of a quarter on his lip and still getting laid with a different woman every night. Amazing what being 6'0' and 200 pounds of solid muscle will get one....

Ron

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Post by Kinetic IV » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:58 am

Ron wrote:
mdmf007 wrote:like it or not an easy lay at BM and a constant orgy is what people think BM is about.....
For a good chunk of the population that is what it's all about. One of my campmates was wandering the playa with a herpes sore the size of a quarter on his lip and still getting laid with a different woman every night. Amazing what being 6'0' and 200 pounds of solid muscle will get one....

Ron
I know herpes is common, but still I consider that downright irresponsible and flat fucking wrong. Did he say anything about it or at least warn them? And if he did oral on them he could have given them one hell of a problem....

Goddamn that pisses me off. Be responsible, if you're having an outbreak get some Valtrex if you can or at the very least control yourself until you've cleared up. Damn....that is just so wrong. So fucking wrong. Friend or not Ron, I'm sorry but that just totally pisses me off.

I would apologize for overreacting but I know someone who had sex with a guy who had it, he didn't tell her, and now she's had hell for over 10 years now dealing with it. One night of fun, 10 years and counting of problems....and all because someone was too goddammed chickenshit to either speak up or keep their lips and their hips in check.
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Post by Cabanasprings » Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:10 am

Kinetic IV wrote: Did he say anything about it or at least warn them? And if he did oral on them he could have given them one hell of a problem....

I would apologize for overreacting but I know someone who had sex with a guy who had it, he didn't tell her, and now she's had hell for over 10 years now dealing with it. One night of fun, 10 years and counting of problems....and all because someone was too goddammed chickenshit to either speak up or keep their lips and their hips in check.

Please warn your friend about the dangers of having one night stands with unkown partners. Thank you.

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Post by Kinetic IV » Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:23 am

This happened right at the start of our friendship.....so I didn't get the chance.

She also has other "issues" that made it a little more complicated and easier to be taken advantage of that made it worse....

I'm strange I guess. I believe in being honest and upfront about stuff like that. Damn...it's not an easy situation to deal with or discuss. But if you're having an outbreak and damn sure know it but you continue on...shame on you, regardless of the situation.
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Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:27 pm

Ron wrote: Amazing what being 6'0' and 200 pounds of solid muscle will get one....
Apparently muscle between the ears as well...
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Post by AntiM » Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:18 am

Uh, a herpes sore on the LIP is not the same virus as genital herpes. Unappealing, and sucking face and oral sex should be avoided, quite true, but while cold sores are a type of herpes, they aren't THAT type of herpes. If I weren't half asleep, I'd remember which simplex was which.

I should know from cold sores, had them in a line up my cheel and big enough to reach from my lip to jawline. Abreva Rocks!

Still, euw.

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Post by Kinetic IV » Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:41 am

A friend of mine has herpes and after she told me I went out and brushed up on the subject. I would strongly suggest that people take a look at this article on genital herpes from the CDC in Atlanta that covers the various methods of transmission for the virus.

http://www.cdc.gov/std/Herpes/STDFact-Herpes.htm
HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be found in and released from the sores that the viruses cause, but they also are released between outbreaks from skin that does not appear to be broken or to have a sore. Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. Transmission can occur from an infected partner who does not have a visible sore and may not know that he or she is infected.

HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, but it more commonly causes infections of the mouth and lips, so-called "fever blisters." HSV-1 infection of the genitals can be caused by oral-genital or genital-genital contact with a person who has HSV-1 infection. Genital HSV-1 outbreaks recur less regularly than genital HSV-2 outbreaks.
My point here is that yes one can transmit the virus through oral contact with the genital regions. It's kinda rare...but it's considered medically accepted fact that it does happen. I can also list several other sources of info if anyone disputes the article I referenced. Taking this into consideration, couple it with the stress of being in the playa environment, people partying and such and you're immune system can be weakened slightly....add in a chance encounter / exposure and the possibility of a successful transmission is not as far fetched as you might think.

Edit: spelling check. Sheesh.

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Re: Treatment of Women at BM

Post by joel the ornery » Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:54 am

scorpio80 wrote: I know this post must sound completely lame. I just think that sex-wise BM is not much different from out in the "real world." Women are still gawked at and treated like sexual objects only.

It is just really frustrating to me. The less clothes I wore, the more I was treated like a piece of meat. Previous years I had worn tank tops and this year I graduated to bikini tops. I had been thinking eventually I might go topless, but now I'm completely put off and do not think I ever will.
i am acutely aware of your circumstances, and you have all the empathy that i can muster... but in the end, my concerns lie in the plight of the divorced caucasion heterosexual middle aged men, specifically me.

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Post by AntiM » Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:27 am

Well K, actually we're agreeing. I was just being nitpicky about which was which, people hear "herpes" and freak out, and that may well be the right response. Hell, chickenpox and shingles are herpes.

An open cold sore is so uninviting, I can't imagine agreeing to any type of oral contact. These buggers are so painful how can anyone manage any kind of sexual arousal is beyond me. I turn into a snarling she-bear when my lips turn to crap. Sadly there don't have to be any open sores for transmission, even the "tingly" stage is a hotbed of contagion, so infected folks can fool unsuspecting partners. And the bastard virus can remain dormant for years fooling the unsuspecting host.


A good comprehensive site:
http://www.herpes-coldsores.com/

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Post by unjonharley » Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:15 pm

The difference between herpes and true love, herpes is forever

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Post by helitack » Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:23 pm

There are most definitely benefits to being 6' and 200 lbs of solid muscle...
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Post by Ron » Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:58 am

Kinetic IV wrote:...
I know herpes is common, but still I consider that downright irresponsible and flat fucking wrong. Did he say anything about it or at least warn them?
He told me he informed them, it's not like I was there for all the details, after all. But remember, he had a huge sore on his lip and wasn't wearing a full face mask. One would have to be either blind drunk, or just blind, not to have seen it.

Like I said I was amazed that so many women were willing to sleep with him, even with it. Not really pissed off, but amazed...

Ron

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Post by anghasch » Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:37 am

this was my first year. i came alone. i had an amazing time. i am not into being naked but some of the costuming i had was suggestive. i was approached on many different levels. what was unwanted was discharged immediatly with a few kind but firm words. i try to show no weakness. people like that like to pray on the weak. no situation got out of hand and there were other people that were kind and made sure of it. i did get into a few heated discussions about the very same thing. some "got it" some didn't. if it gets that bad, remove yourself. there is no reason to stay around trying to make them understand. people are different, that's what makes the world go around for better or for worse.

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Post by Aze » Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:37 pm

One of the first days of my first burn, I was on the Esplanade and saw a woman in an amazing costume, bare breasted, on a 10 foot tall bicycle. With her get up and body language she was putting herself out there, so I figured this is a good opportunity to take a "here's a crazy Burning Man thing I saw" picture. When I pulled out my camera she gave me the "No No" hand signal (finger wagging side to side) and said "no pictures".

I was completely taken aback at the inconguity of this woman putting herself on display very publicly, and simultaneously being annoyed about being photographed. In the default world people who put themselves out publicly get photographed, and it seemed absurd to me that a woman would be offended by that.

Of course over time I got to understand that Burning Man is indeed different from the default world in that way: there is an unspoken (and spoken) understanding that people can make spectacles of themselves and not have that be recorded. After I got over being shocked and outraged, I started getting permission before taking pictures and all was fine. And this last year I mostly left the camera and enjoyed the event without pictures.

The reason I relay this story is the importance of the communication that woman did in saying "no pictures". As a newbie I really didn't know I was doing anything offensive by taking that picture until I was told so.

Similarly, I would bet that many men who make rude comments would think twice about doing so if women would respond with "That is rude" in a clearly non-playful, disgusted voice. Or even "You're acting like a pervert" if it's particularly offensive. If they are shaming you verbally, they deserve to be shamed verbally.

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Post by Taz » Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:23 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:Scorpio80, the only question that I have is how is the default world as awful as you seemed to make it sound? What I mean is, that Burningman is generally good and the reason for that is that in the default world you get men staring at your breasts, acting like yahoos, having water sprayed on the unexpecting, etc. I've never seen anything like that the other 51 weeks of the year, and if I did, the people would be jailed for assault. It seems to me that in your mind's eye, the utopian concept of what paradise would be isn't in Black Rock City. I agree. It isn't anywhere else for that matter. So I'm going to live with an imperfect world and an imperfect Black Rock City and recognize that it's probably as good as it is likely going to get.
I agree with you totally except for one aspect. I do think it can get even better the same as the real world will only it will take a lot of time, a lot of patience, a lot of courage , and a lot of work.

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Post by Hyoseph » Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:11 am

I can't speak for everybody in my situation, but I can at least say for myself(23 year old white american male) and the people that I'm bringing to the playa this next year that not all the newcomers are twisted perverts who come to screw like rabbits because there's lots of half(or completely) naked hippies and ravers running around. To be honest, I am disgusted by the people who make the entire 'self expression' aspect of the event so uncomfortable. To go a bit further, I think if I had my way, those same predator dirtbags would suffer an increasing number of horrific rebar accidents. But that's just me.

I Say - If everyone's concerned about Critical Tits being an open field of camera-wielding dirty old farts(no offense meant to the not so dirty old farts) then I would say make the area a camera free zone. Holy crap, Batman? No cameras? Why would we want to do that? If nothing else, it's a reason to have it again the next year. Instead of saying 'yeah, I've got the whole thing on film' people will say 'looks like I know where I'm going to be next year' Sure people will watch, it's a parade, that's what happens, but this way the whole camera fear/creepiness will be gone.

I Say - If you don't want pictures taken, say no. If that doesn't work, get creative - Mirrors, middle fingers, black-letter signs, dust clouds(this is the desert after all) or just plain walking up and blocking the lens. My personal favorite is to let the pictures be taken, remember what the guy looks like, then walk up to the Playa-Police and say that you have reason to believe that an independent photographer is taking pictures for resale without your consent.

I Say - If somebody decides to start acting like Burning Man is one giant brothel, institute the 4-40 principle. If a guy grabs on you and you don't like it, grab back. The human male's testicle requires four psi of force to crush into a squishy little nothing. The average american woman's hand is capable of forty, easy. That's what I tell all my friends. Then again, if you happen to be standing next to a friend of yours that's 6'0" and carved out of stone, then there's always that option.

Anyway, I think I'm done ranting for now, time to see what everyone else is talking about...
"We're going too fast to slow down now" - Gen. George S. Patton
"I drank what?" - Socrates

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Post by Taz » Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:08 am

Scorpio, I want to add further that I do not approve of young men acting like yahoos. It's certainly rude and if they physically grab or molest you unsolicitedly then that definitely is crossing the line and you have the right to restrain them.
On the other side, I can recall what it was like when I was their age and first seen attractive young women walking around in their see-through blouses. I was totally captivated. I followed them all around trying to think of some conversation opener. Now that I'm much older I've learned to deal with it otherwise. The point is that, at that age , you'd have to expect them to be that way no matter where you are.
There is a way to rid of them however. Suppose the word got out to everyone that Burning Man was attended by only prude, Puritanical women. I can guarantee you that every male yahoo will disappear from there overnight. But I don't think that's what anybody wants.
Let me explain it to you the same way I did a few years back. I'm from the Golden State. We came into full bloom by one event- the Gold Rush. Everybody was coming here entertaining the fantasy that they were going to strike it filthy rich, live the life of Riley, and walk among the rich and famous. Only a few did. The grand majority fell far short of that vision including John Sutter himself who died poor. But those that stayed after the hype discovered a new treasure in this state. It was one of the most fertile in the country. It feeds the reast of the country as well as the world.
So I'm going to let those gold diggers try their luck. Everyone wants to take their spin at the wheel of fortune. But when they finally come out from that dark, dangerous hole in the bowels of the earth after realizing their bleek prospects at scoring it big, I'm going to tell them ,"Yeah , I know you came here for the gold. Now that you've got that out of your system , why don't you stay for the rest of the state. It's got a lot more to offer you than just a spin at the lottery."

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