It should go without saying that it’s not OK to touch people who haven’t consented to being touched — even if we really, really want to touch them! — and yet here I am, writing a blog post on THIS VERY TOPIC, inspired by some Danish dude who thought it appropriate to slap Beyoncé’s ass.
The ass-slap heard round the world (kidding but seriously, it got A LOT of media coverage) occurred at the singer’s May 27 concert in Copenhagen, Denmark. Bey was interacting with some front-row fans during a song; when she turned to walk away, a man reached out and spanked her.
Apparently, he forgot that he was not her football coach. Or perhaps, as multiple reports about the incident suggested, she was simply too “bootylicious” for him. (UGH.) Maybe he wasn’t ready for her jelly. Clearly, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity that presented itself. I mean, she was right there! In front of him! With an ass! What was he supposed to do — NOT slap it?
Bey reacted like the pro she is, stopping briefly to tell the offender that she would be having him escorted out by security, then carrying on with the show.
Now, this guy obviously acted like a dick and most people understand that. (Well, some people understand that. Others JUST DON’T GET WHAT THE BIG DEAL IS I MEAN HE DIDN’T HURT HER AND ANYWAY IF SHE DIDN’T WANT A RANDOM STRANGER TO TOUCH HER SHE WOULDN’T BE SINGING SEXY SONGS AND PRANCING AROUND ONSTAGE WEARING NEXT TO NOTHING, AMIRITE?)
At this point I encourage you to imagine me sighing audibly because that’s totally what I’m doing.
Really, though, I’d like to highlight not that this one Danish guy is a dick, but how his actions perfectly illustrate the way women are treated in our patriarchal culture.
Our bodies are not our own. Instead, they are the property of the public at large — on display at all times, there to be assessed, judged and commented and acted upon. Like objects.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a world-famous singer on stage or an ordinary gal on the street; if a dude wants to touch you he will, consent be damned.
And if a dude does touch you, it’s your fault — for wearing what you did, for being too sexy (sorry, bootylicious), for “leading him on.” For existing in public while female. When it comes to doing things to women’s bodies, men have absolutely no control over their behaviour.
Except that’s bullshit. All of it.
Men can control themselves perfectly fine. Women’s bodies are not objects. And everyone knows it’s not cool to touch another person’s body (ESPECIALLY the bathing-suit areas) without having his or her permission to do so.