Tasha Reign: Yes, Sex Workers Can Be Assaulted Too
There is this patriarchal, mysognistic way of thinking that if you are a sex worker, then you therefore can not be sexually assaulted. The double standard transcends culture, age, and country. And it’s bull shit.
This way of thinking is like saying, “If he is a UFC fighter, anyone can go up to him and fight him.”
But we would never ever say that, would we? Well, my friends, on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 8:15 p.m., in Section 119, Row 16, Seat 9 of the Forum, at Kanye’s concert, I was sexually assaulted.
I vividly remember every single detail of the incident due to the trauma, but also because I filed a report with Live Nation, and am anxiously awaiting to hear back from them as they look into this matter. For what it’s worth, their spokesperson has told Galore, “We take all guest reports seriously, and are investigating this incident.”
The good news: I have money, I have anger and I have an agenda. My agenda is simple: Those who don’t practice consent should be educated and have consciences to their actions, those who own a hugely successful corporation need to implement regulations that educate their workers on what sexual assault is, how to handle it, and ultimately have their supervisors work in a way that is in support of the victim.
What was I wearing? Thought you would never ask. Long black Rab & Bone jean shorts that I just purchased at the outlet mall, black on black converse, a black T-shirt and a black leather jacket.
One of my best friends of 15 years had invited me to go to Yeezy himself’s concert at the Forum in Inglewood! Ahhh, so exciting. I couldn’t be more excited, as Kim Kardashian is my idol. Plus, I love Kanye, I love the individuality he stands for and the power he holds when he performs. I felt so grateful.
My girlfriend, let’s call her Carla, and I had two drinks before the concert and some yummy fries at a place called Public School, which I am now obsessed with in, Culver City, a really cool city that I never go to. After that, plus a quick pointless pit stop at Fed Ex to print tickets, which we didn’t need because everything’s online anyway, we were off to the races. Yes, we were finally on our way to my man Kanye! Of course, we made another stop for a quick photo op with his poster cutout of himself in front of the venue.
Then, it was entry time, Carla and I rushed to our seats and awaited the King of Rap’s arrival.
As we sat, I saw out of the corner of my eye three men, dressed stylish and appropriately for the concert, they looked like they were excited and there to have a good time as well.
Meanwhile, completely immersed in the music and dancing to my own beat, not looking, engaging or noticing anyone else I listened and danced to myself. All of sudden I felt a brushing against my ass, my right cheek to be exact. I immediately looked at the hand next to mine and assumed it was clearly a mistake from being too close to one another. It was not VIP, but it was also not the “mosh pit” so it was entirely possible that a man too close to me brushed his hand while dancing to the music on my right ass cheek, right?
From that moment I took my right hand and firmly covered my right cheek, so that if it was to happened again I would know that it was not an accident. It did, but this time, it just hit my hand, because that was there and I felt flustered, so I continued to stay aware and vigilant, although it was done in a very contrived way.
I went on to scooting over as much as possible without asking people to move around because it seemed to me that there was no room. Then all of a sudden I noticed the people next to me were not standing, and I was confused, because everyone was standing, but then of course it all made sense.
Seconds later from behind me, like a fucking nightmare out of hell, this disgusting, total fucking stranger had his hand aggressively grabbing up my leg, on my ass and in between my leg, and on my groin. In an aggressive, unbelievable, inexcusable way, this man had ruined my night and sent me into a complete shock.
I turned around and shouted “what the fuck,” and he just fucking smiled.
I ran to the nearest security guard, a lady to whom I passionately and angrily relayed the account of what happened.
She asked me what I wanted her to do about it.
I suggested she go over and address this situation in the way that I only could assume such a huge corporation would handle it. She did, but then walked away from my assaulter as he argued he didn’t know what I was talking about. She then whispered something to him — no idea what — and casually walked back and told me, “He’s been warned.”
I screamed back,“ NO NO NO, YOU NEED TO GET HIS INFORMATION, I AM TAKING HIM TO COURT, THIS MAN JUST SEXUALLY ASSAULTED ME, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?”
She then, in the rudest way possible, told me that she too was a woman and to calm down, what did I want her to do about it after all…
I told her to get someone over there to get his information down and to get his ass kicked out and to handle it properly. From there, it was all too late, the security guard had let him escape, he was gone. But why they couldn’t immediately pull up the cameras and see where he exited is beyond me, if he had a gun they would have… right?
I told her I would now need her name, although at this current moment you better believe I know what she looks like and could identify her from a line up, she refused — and I mean refused — to give it me. She said, “Why do you need my name?” I told her that it was necessary to complete a report I was going to fill out, that I needed to show that at 8:15 p.m. I reported to you, the security, I had been assaulted by the man in seat 10.
She still would not give me her name, then instead got her supervisor over to me and he was a polite and efficient and led me to the reporting desk where I filled out my claim and had the chance to speak with the man in charge of these accounts. He told me that they have four concerts next week and he would try to get in touch. I confirmed that no matter what they found, I would hear back about this. He proceeded to tell me, “If they find anything” he would give me a call.
He then continued to let me know, “When people drink at these types of events, sometimes people feel like they can do these sorts of things.” Can we say #RAPECULTURE? I told him that serial killers feel like they should kill too… and that I wrote down all three seat numbers, so they could easily look up who bought those tickets.
I then pointed out that everything was on the security cameras, and I had a witness. He said in a nonchalant manner that he would see what he could do. I have his personal number that I had to ask for after he told me I could contact him, and my tickets by my bedside.
I will fight this until 1 or 2 things occur: My assaulter is punished accordingly, with something on his record identifying him as someone who sexually assaults women (although I wish he would have to go to mandatory consent classes), OR 2. I want Live Nation to implement a new type of training for their so-called security.
Is it oddly shameful to write about this? Yes. It shouldn’t be, but I am still a woman and that’s the way we have been brainwashed and socialized.
Do I think this is important? Fuck yes. My voice is the voice of a sex worker, the voice of a woman, and the voice of someone who wants to see change in the way we handle these cases.
I will keep my Galore readers informed on the outcome of this process and want you to know that I stand with you. That no matter if it’s a pussy grab from Donald Trump or a rape in the back alley at Stanford University, we are women, we need to stand together and use our VOICE.
I want NO MONEY. But I will do EVERYTHING, and I mean everything, in my power to make my message clear and to make my message heard.
1. You as a human have NO RIGHT to force yourself sexually on another individual without CONSENT.
2. As an institution or corporation you have a responsibility to enforce the law, to enforce consent and deal with it when it’s not used, and to actively support the victims whom were hurt on your watch.
P.S. I cancelled almost everything Halloween themed this weekend that involved group activities except for work, where I have a personal body guard who has a vested interest in my well being, because I am so scared for my rights, body, and life. Hopefully this fear will pass.
XOXOXO, LOVE TASHA