It’s not a lot to ask for a culture of respect and equality to be upheld in the doof scene when most of us are there to feel exactly that.
But the scene is changing, and like storm clouds crawling over a sunny sky, a negative energy seems to be seeping into doof weekends, overshadowing progressive thoughts and actions.
Those weekends away, the ones that remind us all the backwards shit in the world doesn’t have to flourish, are attracting entitled ego strokers and politically incorrect fools.
For the first time in my life, I walked away from a doof feeling more disconnected and worried about the world than before I arrived.
It wasn’t as though love didn’t echo through the many souls that gathered for the event.
But, as the weekend began, it wasn’t long before my friends and I felt like we’d walked into some backwards bar from the 1800’s, hearing words we’d all but forgotten were still used freely by some people.
It was the many guys wolf-whistling and calling out ‘Oi, sluts!’ to groups of girls walking by. It was the way the heart dropped when we lost count of the amount of people calling each other ‘gay’ or ‘faggots’, both jokingly and insultingly.
As the weekend carried on, beautiful moments turned into sadly vulnerable moments, and the love and connection that certainly existed became hard to pay attention to.
Smiles and connection were replaced by angry cooked faces and uninterested attitudes.
One minute we were sharing a warm conversation with a stranger on the dance-floor, and the next we were watching a pack of pumped up, muscly men lurk around a group of girls, squirt water at them and then arc up in their faces and threaten to fuck with them for being “pussies” because they got annoyed and didn’t “take it like a man”.
By the middle of the weekend we were emotionally depleted. A group of my gay friends had been called faggots, insulted for wearing dresses and asked “are you gay or something?” … as if it were a bad thing.
After walking around topless I felt assaulted by the amount of uneducated hungry eyes staring at my boobs, commenting and objectifying them, explaining it’s “hard to resist” when they’re being teased. I even experienced the audacity of one man to reach for them.
A lot of the time ridiculous excuses were used: These people were too fucked, they just didn’t realise, or the women’s outfits left them no choice but to stare and grab.
These situations took place all weekend. They simply aren’t rare anymore.
The doof scene is changing.
There’s a growing culture that believes we’re all there only to get cooked and wear costumes, forgetting the part where we show a little love and R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
A doof is a place where its attendees want nothing more than to help each other grow and learn.
And, while there’s only so much our sensitive souls can handle, sometimes it takes a little more than a heart-to-heart to change a mindset.
So, the next time I see that shit go down I’ll definitely be calling it out.
We all should. It’s the only way we can protect these spaces and ensure they remain a sanctuary for love, connection, and healing.
It’s the only way people will learn.
It’s the only way we can uphold these spaces and allow respect and equality to thrive.