“It is important there be consequences, and sometimes making someone accountable is a form of justice”
This video is from a Parenting Resource website, but for now it’s the best way for me to (have someone else kinda articulate) what’s been going at Mister Tramps the last three weeks – particularly the first and most recent of three inexcusable yet, for some reason, tolerated behaviors and clear displays of harassment.
The first time totally interrupted the end of Mitch’s Wednesday show and resulted in a physical assault and water flying everywhere. I’m still not entirely sure about who the woman is that cause most of the disruption, but Lea’h Sampson(Co-Host of The Coven – a “women’s only” “woman empowerment” “women supporting women” comedy mic/show here in Austin) seemed to be friends with her, and she got in on the attack as they were leaving.
The second time Michael Swenson went over his time to berate, criticize, and threaten me, on stage, while making disturbing and demeaning remarks to me for the rest of the night.
And the most recent time, last night, Lea’h Sampson took it upon herself to corner me in the women’s restroom about 10 min before the mic was supposed to start (while I was feeling safe and fixing my hair) demanding that I talk to her, while aggressively questioning me as to why I hadn’t approached her already.
After I unsuccessfully attempted to communicate that I didn’t even know she was there, and that I came to the mic to relax and unwind (she has a tendency to never stop talking/yelling long enough to hear a response to her rapid fire queries) and not for whatever she was trying to accomplish, I made verbal and non-verbal cues that I wanted to get out of the restroom.
Here’s a fun fact about me: I don’t like being cornered, especially when the person(s) cornering me seem to be on the attack. It brings flashbacks and triggers and it’s no fun. I wasn’t at that point when I first made a move for the door, but once she made a clear move to block me, the tunnel vision and ear ringing hit, and I panicked while I made three unsuccessful attempts to open the door while she forcibly blocked it shut.
They say you Fight, Fly, or Freeze – and at that point I was focused on flying – at least to my safety spot, in public, in the room the mic is in.
I failed opening the door so many times because hadn’t realized that I was in the kinda situation where I would have to use my entire body and strength to escape a situation that felt dangerous to me. I can handle people yelling at me, I’ve had literal years of enduring verbal abuse, but being blocked or forcibly held down/back/away from safety is not okay. It’s not a good sign.
It’s a personal boundary that has been stolen from me and violated hundreds of times and a source of my trauma for over a decade. The fact that it was a woman who was doing this made my exploding hyper-vigilant brain spin even more as I eventually escaped and bee lined to my booth.
Lea’h Sampson followed me, of course, which was fine now that I was out in the open, and she then spent well over 5 minutes embarrassing herself and women everywhere by continuing her verbal attack that was in no way meant to be a dialogue.
Why was last night the first time an employee AND/OR the first time a comic not only acknowledged the harassment, but eventually got her away from me because they actually attempted to stop the abusive and disruptive behavior?
So many of you have just sat and watched, for some reason I am the one ignored after I get attacked (and yeah, it’s an attack, I don’t care how many of you try to turn that into me playing a victim – that’s what these have fucking been), I hear about the conversations you have about it when I’m not there, but no one is saying anything.
No one is stopping it.
No one asks the people causing a problem to leave, and I am left not only trying to process the vile that was just dumped on me, but I also get this sinking feeling in my gut while I wait out and see if I will be the one banned due to this behavior – because that’s totally a thing here in Austin Comedy (coughcough Chad Fisher/Arielle Norman/Coy Hopper/Mikey Swenson/The Gatsby) – or if f I will be unable to perform the mic due to someone else’s inability to control themselves and their emotions, while I keep a constant eye as to where my attackers are so I know the safest routes to get to the bathroom, the patio, or my car.
Do y’all understand or even aware that I am legitimately afraid of Mikey when he is a certain level of drunk, and he is making certain disturbing and red flag comments while glaring at me with the same glare Justin used to have before he’d rape or beat me?
I’ve told a handful of people that if I wound up alone in a room or empty parking lot with him when he’s in that state (the state he’s been in the last two times I’ve seen him at Tramps), I would legit be afraid that I am in extreme danger of him assaulting me.
The hate he has for me runs deep, and there’s a look in his eye and content of his remarks that are major indicators of DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! The scariest part of that is that of the handful of people I’ve told, all but one have replied with “Yeah, I’ve kinda seen/heard/observed what you are talking about…”
Yet, he brings those red flags on stage and yells it at me for all to hear the warnings and…!
Worse? There are laughs.
But fuck it, ya know?
Because still, I rise.
However, y’all should be fucking ashamed of yourselves.
Sitting back and watching, encouraging this behavior, allowing this behavior, and never once checking on the person who keeps getting public displays of hatred directed at her when she was quietly minding her own business is some weak ass, sheep ass, shit.
Baa, Baa, Baa…
Rosalind Wiseman, Author & Educator, shares advice for parents on how to help their daughter handle other girls gossiping, excluding, and following a queen bee
It would be nice if we could just make girls be nice to each other.
That’s, unfortunately, not going to happen,
because some girls have more social power; some girls are really charismatic; some girls want to use that charisma to have power over other people and feel like they can abuse other people.
And you know, lots of times, they’re going through a phase of this and they will become decent human beings if their parents hold them accountable or their peers hold them accountable.
So while it’s inevitable that girls are going to go through this process, it doesn’t mean they have to go through it alone. It means that you can be behind the scenes and that you are guiding your daughter through the process where whatever rules she’s playing, whatever thing that happens, you have got two things you’re focused on –
One is you’re teaching her to be able to handle conflict with dignity for her own worth and maintaining the worth of other people and that she’s managing herself competently in a really, really difficult conflict.
When that happens, your daughter is going to be okay.
Because she’s not only going to be okay, she’s going to be better, because she’s going to get through this and be able to say,
“Wait a minute, I know what I stand for no matter who is around me.”