I think most folks close to me know I do this thing where I “stand” my ground when I am waiting in line somewhere and a man basically tries to walk through me, assuming I will move out of his way.  It happens a lot and I don’t necessarily believe it’s intentional, it’s just a subconscious expectation that you move out of his way because society has taught him this.  It’s sort of like seeing the oncoming car speeding towards me while I play chicken and hope it stops short of crashing into me.  My personal goal is for me to not move and if he crashes into me, so be it.  That’s on him.

Last night I went to see U2 at Gillette.  I was standing in the merchandise line waiting to get my Joshua Tree T-shirt 30 years after the fact.  The line was super long so anyone who wanted to be on the other side of it to get food or beer needed to basically find an opening to walk through it.  During this 45 minute wait, many people walked through me and the person either in front of me or behind me.  Annoying, but they had no choice.  At one point, a man came through from behind and he put his hand on my back to indicate his crossing since I didn’t see him cutting through.  But it was no ordinary “tap” to get my attention.  It was a full hand on the small of my back which lingered entirely too long – like in a slow dance.  It was intimate and familiar, as though I were “his.”  But he was a stranger and the small of my back is an erogenous zone I save for romantic interests.  I expect to never be touched there by anyone unless relations have been established.

I know some people will argue this is very mild and I am nitpicking compared to the laundry list of sexual offenses women experience every second of every day.  But having been one of those women who has experienced far more intense male sexual assault, I can still argue this was not ok.  It didn’t feel right to me.  It was a violation.  And the people behind me saw it and said the same thing.  I very much appreciate their validation.

But why do I need anyone’s validation?  I know this was an intimacy stolen which I did not volunteer just because my back happens to be there.  It wasn’t right.  And it was small so it’s the kind of thing we experience all the time and aren’t supposed to register because we gals always know how much worse it could be.  I’m a tough gal too and can handle myself with the little indiscretions.  Trust me, I have yet to go to a concert by myself and not be “accidentally” felt in some way that is questionable.  To have escaped those situations on so many occasions is a tribute to being a bit of a sleuth on my part but mostly just a lot of luck that I was never followed to my car because no one else has ever been looking out for me in those situations.

Where am I going with this?  I am not sure yet – it’s got rich content with multi-blog potential.  Yet, I think it’s somehow tied in with some online male commentary I saw about the U2 show last night where these few men were complaining about U2 being too political.  1) Are you a new fan?  Do you not know their origins?  Were you not around for “Sunday Bloody Sunday?”  Unaware “Pride” is about MLK with a little Jesus on this side?  Anyone who goes to a U2 show knows it will be “political” if that’s even the right word for it.  2)  I found it far less political than I hoped it would be.  I find myself yearning for Bono to take some kind of stance on Trump and the state of America and think he has been rather benign and timid on the subject.  He alludes to it in the way Obama dealt with the Russians by a no teeth, token sanction.

That said, the show last night had several references to strong women and a nod to the LGBT community.  For instance, they found enough strong women in history (which they called “herstory”) to fill a video for the encore of “Ultraviolet – Light My Way.”  They also had rainbow colored lighting span across the audience during “Beautiful Day” which was a cool way to honor the LGBT community.  One reference was made about Trump building a wall as “Exit” was introduced.  Even still, I didn’t find any of this terribly political.  It was kind of like a strong Martini diluted with cheap alcohol and water.   That is absolutely not a knock on U2 in any way as I thought they were amazing as always.  But have you seen them perform during any of the Bush years?  They called the White House every night mid performance.

So was it the references to strong women?  Wronged women?  Muslim women?  Gay women?  Were those too political?   Were they bringing it to your attention you shouldn’t be touching women intimately in lines because that’s just what you do and you think it’s polite and maybe even a sexy compliment?

Who cares, right?  I certainly do.  I feel like by writing on this topic, I am collecting tidbits for a time capsule because one day, we will have lost all of our rights and need some evidence that we ever had this time.  We will have been muted…carted off to camps segregated by reproductive ability or lack thereof.  In fact, if you look at the tenor of dating websites currently, there are a lot of men and women on there with profile updates denouncing contact from Trump voters.  That kind of thing could eventually impact their ability to procreate en masse without force.  You laugh right now and wonder if I am off my medication.  But you laughed a year ago at the possibility of a Trump presidency ever happening.

These “silly” men we easily dismiss at the bar harbor deep resentments.  They think celebrating strong women is too political.  These are the same men grabbing the small of your back and the same men who may be jolted upon realizing we don’t want to have their babies anymore.  They do have the ability to mobilize for what they want or else we wouldn’t have Trump in office.  We think being dragged by the hair or thrown over the shoulder of a beefy guy is cartoon fodder until it’s not.

It starts with the small of your back.