Secret Pop

May 8, 2003

The Sexism of Punk Rock Concerts

The night runs long for me. I just got home from a long drive, following the NOFX concert, where I was moshed to the point of rib-cracking and where I discovered that it doesn't pay to be a girl in more venues than one might imagine. At a punk rock concert, guys will totally bruise and jostle you if you're of the fairer sex. They would never dream of leaning on some strange dude, but wear a barrette in your hair, and all of a sudden you're an ottoman. One sweaty, shirtless cretin who threw his entire weight on my shoulder and head as he got down from a ledge, responded smugly to my objections by shrugging and saying, "Sorry, but we're at a punk rock concert," as he pushed forward into the sea of fools. Stay tuned. There's a cat fight in the next scene.

Fête Sauvage

Though the details are tedious, you should know that this next episode began with me. Then, a drunk chick started something ugly with my sister, and she and I ended up practically dismantling the girl. The pushing turned into hair pulling, name-calling, and even a little inadvertent boob-grabbing. Gods! -- if I could only have gotten a punch in! I have fists to brandish and a surprising amount of ready-for-action rage. But the logistics of that kind of brawling leave little room for a well-placed wallop. Much as I wanted to sock that girl in the teeth. But I know my sister landed a few good ones. One in the eye, for certain.

My sister yanked off the girl's hairpiece (a retro, blonde fall that was set atop a sadly sparse little ponytail and a mass of bobby pins), and I literally tore her shirt to pieces. I realized as her boyfriend was pulling her away that I had my finger looped through her earring and that I was about to tear it out. I let go. I'm no barbarian.

All told, I took a stray fist in the eye, and my little sister got hit in the nose, but I'm sure we were not the worse for wear. We were the vanquishers. The scoundrelly she-devil later came up and apologized to my sister. Her boyfriend apologized, too. Perhaps out of fear that we would taunt them again with our vicious flailing, but mostly because she wanted her hairpiece back. It had long since been thrown to the moshing wolves. I picked it up off the floor in the immediate aftermath of our scuffle, and I thrust it into the air like a trophy -- like the head of the enemy or a severed ear. Then, my sister took it from me and tossed it. By the time we left -- hot, sweaty, and pumped full of the indignance of the righteous -- the blonde girl and her boyfriend were still scouring the floor for it. But I guess we're all friends now.

I have a big, raised welt of a bruise on my forehead that I don't remember getting. It's funny how certain injuries never manage to take hold in memory, while others hang on relentlessly, unwilling to ever be forgotten.

Rally Point

I can offer high marks to the bonding properties of battle. You've got my back. I've got yours. Our hearts are pounding. We're sweating and screaming. We're high-fiving our way through a wash of venom and vitriol. And after it's over, we can recount the whole experience to each other in high-pitched, triumphant exclamations.

But the high is brief. The adrenaline carries a crash component that makes it hardly worth the effort. That's why the drive home is strangely silent. The cold night air is refreshing good fortune, and the danger sign has been dimmed to darkening.

I'm very thirsty.

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