Male metal fans make obnoxious demands

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
February 21, 1997

There’s safety in numbers.  That’s the only explanation I can come up with as to why a stadium full of 95 percent men would work itself up into a collective dither, trying to get the few women in the venue to expose their breasts.

Hey – ever hear of Playboy?

If any one of these lumbering morons was at a beach, or even a bar, there’s no way he would walk up to a girl and scream, “Show your – – – -!” at her.

But it’s become a recurring cry at rock concerts, particularly at those such as heavy metal shows that attract mostly young men.

At Metallica’s recent Rosemont Horizon gig, the predominantly male crowd created its own entertainment prior to the band’s entrance by screaming that mantra at an uncomfortably rabid frequency to the few women in the audience. (The person working the lights abetted them by projecting the spotlight on various women.)

The scenario wasn’t cute or funny. It was obnoxious and, from a woman’s point of view, frightening.

“Boys will be boys,” a guy sitting behind me shrugged off.

Yeah, well it’s about time they grew up to be men.

And it’s time women stopped fueling those degrading fantasies:  To my amazement, a handful of females acquiesced to the boneheads’ demands. Some teased the guys and fondled each other for the audience’s voyeuristic pleasure. Two did more than just flash their chests. They stripped off their shirts and bras, and waited for applause. Another woman who refused to play along was booed before being pelted with plastic cups.

The security guards and police officers in attendance did nothing. To their defense, they had their hands full working on crowd control. But I doubt the reaction would have been as passive if a man had taken off his pants and Jockeys.

“The law is the same for men and women,” said Rosemont Police Lt. Joseph Peterson.   “But when you have a crowd of 18,000 people, our main objective is to keep everyone safe. If someone flashes and no one comes forth to press charges, there’s really nothing we can do. If we see people exposing themselves and they’re causing trouble, then we can bring them outside and talk to them. If someone presses charges, they will be arrested for public indecency, but that rarely happens.

“It’s like smoking. You’re not supposed to smoke in the venue but people do, and it’s very difficult to find out who’s doing it unless someone is willing to come forth and press charges against them. Unfortunately, things like this go on at rock shows. If you don’t want to be offended, you should go see Tony Bennett or K.C. and  the Sunshine Band instead.”

It’s unfortunate that music fans should have to make such a choice.

Comments (1)

Join the Discussion

Psssst! Your E-mail address will not be published.

Name *

E-mail *