Iggy Azalea's Reminder to Female Fans Is a Wake-Up Call About Rape Culture
Everyone's favorite Australian rapper may have dropped a new album, but there's something more serious going on. Iggy Azalea opened up on New York's Hot 97 Wednesday morning to remind fans how it's "not okay" to try to sexually assault her on stage. She said that he has had to stop crowd-surfing, and install additional barriers, even at tiny, 200-person venues to prevent assaults. She also wears "two pairs of underpants, plus a pair of skin-color tights, and then my pants, as like a protection barrier."
Why does badass rapper Iggy Azalea need so many physical barriers to sexual assault?
Because her female fans try to finger her.
That's right, women are culprits of sexual assault onstage and in the crowd, and this means that rape culture has hit maximum saturation. Straight men are usually blamed for perpetuating rape culture, and they do more than their fair share to perpetuate the "she probably wanted it if..." excuses, but in Iggy's interview, one of the commentators tries to explain away the assaults saying, "I have fingerpopped some strangers before," as if his rapey actions at a kegger would make Iggy (or any other woman) feel better about sexual assault. But as much as I would love to blame straight men, we are the problem this time, too, women.
No performer should feel like their safety is threatened onstage. Period. I don't care if they come out buck naked with an arrow painted on their stomach, you have paid to see them perform, not to rape them. If they decide to get in your face, high five you, or crowd surf, that is a choice they have made to have limited contact with you, and you need to respect that. Just because you paid a couple hundred bucks to get into Coachapaloozaroo never gives you the permission to violate someone's person without their consent. Period.
And the sad part is, even after this "reminder," I don't have faith that fangirls (and boys) will get their act together. As soon as I heard Iggy's account of assault, I was immediately reminded of the Danny Brown incident last May. In case you forgot, a female fan performed oral sex on Danny Brown at one of his concerts while on tour last summer. Although he never called the incident an assault, his tour-mate and friend Kitty Pryde wrote a piece on VICE clearly defining the incident as a "a sex act on another person without their consent." And honestly, since he didn't stop rhyming for a second to say either "it's fine for you to suck my dick onstage" or "nope, we're not doing that," I have to agree.
Even Beyonce has had to deal with fans being assholes, and she has a security team fit for the queen of a small but respectable European country. At a concert in Copenhagen last May, a fan slapped Beyonce's ass during "Irreplaceable," and she responded by threatening to have him thrown out, then returned to the song, right on beat. It's important to note that this fan was a man, but nonetheless, one of the world's most successful pop stars shouldn't have to worry about her space being violated when she runs to the front of the stage. And neither should smaller acts like Iggy Azalea.
So, fans of all genders, shapes, and sizes, this summer we are making a pact to be remotely decent human beings. I don't care if you're rolling on Adam or Molly or whatever 1950's-named drug becomes popular this summer, you still are accountable for treating performers (and your fellow music junkies) like people. Keep your hands, mouths, and other body parts to yourself, and let's all try to survive summer festival season.