Crossing the line!

Crossing the line!

Ahhh … the Joys of an Open Session! πŸ™

Imagine that you are playing a few tunes with the lads at your local session & someone sitting next to you, suddenly grabs your hand - in the middle of a tune & says your not playing it right & starts moving your hand in what they deem to be the correct manner …….. pray tell, what would be your reaction?

Now imagine that you are actually a teenage girl & this bloke is a complete stranger!

Well, I kid you not, this is exactly what happened at our session last night.

So, would you be surprised to learn that this girl was very upset by this experience and that the bloke was immediately ordered to leave the Bar, by both the girls Dad & the Pub Owners?

I reckon he should count himself very lucky, that his nose is still in one piece today!

Fortunately for us though, nearly everyone who joins in with our sessions up here, displays enough musicality & common sense to be made welcome & is usually encouraged to return, at their earliest opportunity.

However, I guess you can’t win ‘em all!

Cheers,
Dick

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Was he playing at the session too? Or just sitting there?

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Should have got a slap IMHO.

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A "slap" is not the answer. But I’d be worried about the rest of his behaviour, if he can do that. I wonder if he’s known to the police?

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I don’t know that I wouldn’t have punched him.

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Yeah, but as you know, I’m a much calmer, less angsty person than you, Silver. πŸ˜€

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The man need to be taught some manners!

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I would have jerked my bow (I’m guessing this was a fiddle) out of his hand, stopped playing, and then at the earliest opportunity, switched seats with someone else to get away from him. It keeps some fights from breaking out. Although, I’m sure he could easily find some way to start one.

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Sounds mentally unstable. I probably would have reacted by slapping him or putting my bow in his eye.

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Well folks, she was actually playing the Bodhran, but I purposely didn’t add that detail because, quite frankly, it really isn’t important.
The point is, he invaded her personal space.

Yes Sean, he was playing a bit too, but as there were only 3 melody players last night, one Bodhran at a time was quite sufficient. Our own resident Bodhran player has the wit to know this, that’s why he did the decent thing & gave her his seat & drum to play with.

Cheers,
Dick

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Something which I find difficult (which makes this chap’s behaviour even more inexplicable to me) is what often happens in a teaching situation. When I’ve been teaching someone fiddle, I’ve frequently found it useful to physically move the student’s hands, fingers, arms, whatever. But it does feel awkward when you do it. I’m not aware that it feels any more awkward if the student is a bloke, woman or youngster. It just feels awkward anyway. So, unless you’re teaching … well, I couldn’t do it, anyway. Not that I would, if I could.

Did this chap feel that he was in a teaching situation? If so, it seems bizarre that he would think so … 😏

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Wherever it would happen EB, I feel you are still invading someone’s personal space & I’d imagine that in any teaching situation, you would probably ask first, before manhandling a student, whatever gender or age.

However, in the relaxed atmo. of a session, I think it’s fair to say that this girl could be excused for thinking it was perhaps just a little on the creepy side, when this strange man grabbed her hand & proceeded to wave it up & down on her lap.

Even if he had been trying to force verbal tips onto her beforehand, surely common sense would have told him that actually grabbing her, was clearly a step too far.

As far as verbal tips go, in a session, I would suggest that they should only ever be transmitted, if specifically asked for & if not asked for, then, however well-meaning a person might feel they are, they should have the sense to …… STFU!

Cheers,
Dick

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You would ask first in a teaching situation.

And it’s definitely creepy in a session.

Not sure I agree with you about the verbal tips. There were a few times early on that I got some unasked for verbal tips and advice that were invaluable. I’ve only done it myself, I think, twice. Once was after the session was over, about a specific tune, and the person concerned was grateful for it. Enough to book some lessons, anyway. The other time was my "tactful" way of saying STFU to someone who just didn’t know the tune.* πŸ˜‰


* turned out they’d learnt it off this site. Hmmm …

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Good thing her dad was there, I’m sure he set this bonehead straight.

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Interpreting body space issues is a tricky one, especially where different nationalities can have very different understanding of what is and isn’t ok.

The case in question is without doubt out of order, but it is not certain from the description that the guy in question wasn’t just being drunkenly insensitive, rather than molesting.

From me he’d have got a bollocking for interrupting a musician while playing, touching another person’s instrument and handling someone without their permission. To be honest, anyone would be entitled to object in the same situation - not just teenage girls.

(I personally have to watch out because I handle people all the time while teaching judo ("No! Your foot needs to be there…" - grab, move…) and I need to be careful that I don’t do the same automatically off the mat too. Especially under the influence… On the mat, it is expected of me since I am the trainer.)

Anyway, I wasn’t there and I don’t know any of those involved…

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I hope she continue’s playing in spite of this, sounds like your group’s reaction was swift, proper, and to the point

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Sounds like it was handled well.

The young lady needs to learn how to rebuff that sort of thing effectively, as unsolicited and completely unwanted male attention is unfortunately rather common in pubs.

From me he would have gotten a loud and unmistakable "stop it" and if that didn’t work, a strategically placed elbow. (My session mates have seen the elbow in action, much to their amusement.)

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Well!

If I had been there and the young lady (a) was not surrounded by large protectors and (b) seemed placid at the prospect of having her intimate apparel invaded (obviously not a given), I might just have taken her hands with bodhran and tipper clasped within them and pushed them kindly but firmly deep inside her blouse, saying, "You *do* realise they sound much better muffled?…"

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πŸ˜‰ is called for here, perhaps…

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Don’t cross the line, nick!

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My idea of an appropriate response would have been to fill his pockets with superglue and stuff his hands in them.

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There was one session I was playing in where a slightly skeezy guy started chatting up another female piper. She wasn’t interested. He then started standing behind her and putting his hands on her shoulders, which she wasn’t happy about, but she didn’t do anything. I finally snarled at the guy, saying, "I don’t think she wants you doing that, pal. Get lost." He did. A bit later, I said to a couple of the blokes in the session who had been sitting across the table: "Can you believe that arsehole." They said, "We just thought it was funny."

Uh, cheers, guys.

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>> πŸ˜‰ is called for here, perhaps… <<

No, Nicholas. *Not* posting crap like that in the first place is what is called for.

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I agree.

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In this situation the guy was totally out of order, from age, sex, and etiquette reasons.
We did have a guy come to our session with a newly-purchased bodhran, and sat there with it on his knee, tapping it with one end of the tipper ( in time, he was a percussionist in a samba band ). So, at a quiet moment, I took him aside and gave him the 2-minute crash course ( like I’m an expert, LOL ! ). I didn’t say "Don’t do it", I said "This is how they do it". I wasn’t trying to push him away, but he didn’t come back.

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"My idea of an appropriate response would have been to fill his pockets with superglue and stuff his hands in them."

That is greatly priceless, i’m so stealing that from you :P Ahh, the creativity πŸ™‚

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Ok, several offenses here!

How dare, how dare, how dare he stops someone in the middle of a tune? That could have been done so many different ways. Like, sitting out, then when the tune is over, asking "Hey, may I use your bodhran for a moment, i’d like to show you something that you may not know."

It obviously wasn’t a teaching situation. I’ve been in teaching situations at sessions, and being in the middle of the tune sure isn’t one. I have had someone show me how to hold a bodhran and how to wave my wrist, but in courtesy.

Other teaching situations have been with guitar. That first time someone took my hand and tried to place it on the right frets was awkward. It is in a very very personal space. The only reason i’m comfortable with it now is because i’m use to it, and at times, expect it. Or maybe I asked "Hey, how.. how you doin’ that?" Now if she had asked, that would’ve been different. But she didn’t, so it was uncalled for.

Girl, boy, man or woman, space is space, and hers was invaded.

And the danger it put the instrument in. Unexpectedly being grabbed while holding an instrument, likely over a hardwood floor? NOT FUN!

Had it been my sister(still too young to think of someone as a daughter) a quick "Aye! What’s your problem?" and if that didn’t get his attention… *stands up* "Aye man you trippin’, get ya’ hands of her."

Man, some people just ain’t gots no kindof manners no more.

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A tricky one, this, but even if his intention was to correct the technique he went the wrong way about it.
I’ve had people comment on my guitar style when playing tunes, some positive and some negative, but the one I’ll always remember was during a session when someone shouted to a rather inept bodhran player: "Either keep proper time or f**k off".
It worked.

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I’d buy a beer for the dad to celebrate his restraint in not putting that guy through a wall, which would have been my first thought, if someone had done that to my daughter.

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I have lessons occasionally with a teacher who sometimes puts his hand on mine and repositions my fingers… but it’s a completely different situation. I’m paying for his expertise, he knows a lot more than I do and it DOES convey the message under certain circumstances. None of those seem to apply in the OP

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Another father here, of a twelve year old female fiddle player; normally reasonably peacable but if you’re a stranger and you touch my daughter like that, you’d better be running by the time I get to you, and you better be able to run faster scared than I can mad.

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My daughter has a fierce right hook , uppercuts, knees and elbows , not to mention head, teeth and claws and she’s not afraid to use them! in fact a verbal warning from my lass normally does the job. So to anyone who considers crossing the line…dont. 😎

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If this was inside a pub/bar then nothing about it surprises me. I don’t see anything sexual in his motives, he was thinking he was showing her what he thought was the right way of doing it. Sure, isn’t everybody a Bodrahn expert!

When drink is taken boundaries often get ignored, I have seen the strangest things at sessions over the years thanks to drink.

Sure the father has a right to be annoyed, but maybe he has a question to answer also, whats he doing bringing his kid into a bar for in the first place? at no time, under any circumstances is a bar a proper environment for a developing person, regard of who’s company they are in. People get drunk in bars and their moral standards drop, bad language is heard, defenses are dropped. Not the correct environment at all for a kid.

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As it happens compaq, this girl had already explained to this bloke that she was getting lessons, so that should have been his signal to butt out & leave her alone.

I’m pretty certain there was absolutely no sexual motive, especially given the fact that her Dad was standing just a few feet away, at the bar.

Sadly though, some tutors out there, like some instrument makers I have met, feel so insecure that they feel they just have to criticise all others in their chosen art. Let’s face it, any teacher who thinks they know it all ….. should give up, before they do any more damage!

As for this young lady being in a Session Pub …. I wouldn’t mind getting a Β£! for every teenager that enjoys a Session at every Fleadh around the country, never mind the ones who attend their local sessions each week. I really don’t see anything wrong with someone of 18 or 19 playing in their local session. I’m sure that’s where most teenage musicians learn many of their tunes & how to behave in a session.

What really p*sses me off though, is the way so many sad little pathetic people use drink as an excuse & a very feeble one in my opinion, for all their misdeeds. The courts & gaols are full of them. If drink makes you do stupid things, then Duh ……. stop drinking!

Cheers
Dick

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Quite right, Ptarmy. George Orwell, countering the usual argument, said that if pubs were not fit places for women and children (women were often not allowed in his day) then they weren’t fit places for anyone.

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Typical. A female is badly treated by a macho male then we get all the ‘macho’ online males here bragging about what they would have done to sort it out!

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"at no time, under any circumstances is a bar a proper environment for a developing person, regard of who’s company they are in. People get drunk in bars and their moral standards drop, bad language is heard, defenses are dropped. Not the correct environment at all for a kid."

Well they’ll likely haul my butt in for poor parenting then, as my stepdancer daughter & whistler/piper son have danced & sessioned in pubs since they were wee things.

If I told my son no more sessions, he’d probably leave home tomorrow, as sessions are his favorite thing, even topping video games.

As to the language, every session we attend has better language (not to mention better role models) than the daily school bus.

Of course if anyone laid a hand on them as the OP described, they’d have a lot to contend with. πŸ˜‰

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Man, I’ve had a "small" share of drinks, most of them around females(some of them I knew quite well), and in non-musical environments, and I still managed to keep my courtesy and not put my hands on anyone. It was downright rude. I don’t think drink is an excuse. And about teenagers in sessions, it must not be too uncommon because there wasn’t a problem for me getting into our local pub session a year ago, which shows it isn’t a completely foreign situation.

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Had someone snatch my fiddle and bow from me…in the middle of the tune. He said, "That’s not how it goes let me play it." I was horrified, angry, embarrassed and, once again, angry. Later I sent him an e-mail and told him that I had a wide streak of junk yard dog in me and if he EVER does anything like that again I would bite and I would bite hard and fast. He never did anything like that again and we have played many many hours of good tunes together since. But that sort of thing is outrageous.

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That’s brilliant that you were able to make it up with the guy, oriley. Good for you.

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There seems to be quite a few "ifs, buts, and maybes" within some the some of the responses here.
However, the behaviour in the incident described in the OP is obviously unacceptable.

If both parties know each other, have equal "power positions"(If this is the correct expression?), and mutually consent to a bit of horseplay and banter and so on, then… just maybe…. it’s possible to get away with a course of action which might be construed as "crossing the line" under other circumstances.

However, I (That’s just me, I suppose) prefer to err on the side of caution in social situations. Out of respect for others as well as my maintaining own self respect.

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But which is more unacceptable, touching an 18/19 year old’s hand in a public place to help her improve her music, or assaulting the person who did? I know that one is definitely against the law, but both? Depends on how exactly she was touched. Ptarmigan, do you consider that this was a sexual assault? If so, then you should report it to the police, no? If not, then you should be more worried about the actions of the overly protective father than the 18/19 year old woman, who btw I’m sure would be perfectly capable of dealing with the situation if she deemed it inappropriate. An 18/19 year old woman is an adult. If she feels as though she has been touched inappropriately in a pub she can take her own action, unless she is completely overpowered out of everyone else’s sight and raped or otherwise molested. For goodness sake people, it’s 2012. Women are no longer damsels in distress in petticoats that need the fists of a man to protect them, so don’t fantasise otherwise or you’ll end up in jail for GBH and you won’t be so macho there.

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"An 18/19 year old woman is an adult."

There are many young people of that age, both male and female, who are still quite shy and reserved.
In fact, there are many older adults who aren’t exactly bursting with confidence.

Of course, I wouldn’t condone violence and over reacting to these situations isn’t always helpful either.

However, whether there is(or was) a sexual motive or not, such behaviour is just plain rude if nothing else.

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I don’t care if it was a man or woman that was touched. He deserved a wallop. You don’t grab somebody without permission, and "touching an 18/19 year old’s hand in a public place to help her improve her music," is not even close to a good excuse. It might even be worse.
Sounds like maybe you’ve "been there, done that."

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I mean by law. If you’re going to use that argument, then you could say the same for a 38 year old woman… which wouldn’t have made such a sensational story would it? Would the father of a 38 year old woman be up for a fight, do you reckon? C’mon, I mean even if you take the worst possible scenario - that the guy just wanted to touch her body - this kind of thing happens all the time. Women do the same to men so it’s not limited to the stereotypical pervy old men in long overcoats. I think by the time you’re 18 or 19, if you’re not happy with the way someone touches you or "invades your personal space", then either confront them verbally or give them a good kick in the genitals, but resorting to a 3rd party coming in and assaulting your "attacker" who touched your hand??? Grow up!!!

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"Sounds like maybe you’ve "been there, done that.""

Yes, I’ve touched someone’s hand before. :eye roll:

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"However, whether there is(or was) a sexual motive or not, such behaviour is just plain rude if nothing else."

Yes John I’d agree with that. It was rude, but for different reasons than have been hinted at in this thread.

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Wow.
As 53 year old woman, if that would have happened to me, I would have smacked him, and expected my mates to want to smack him as well.
Who needs to grow up? and into the 21st century? sheesh. One should never touch another person in that manner without expressed permission. Period.
Outrageous.

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Sorry but touching someone’s hand is not an excuse for assault.

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I’ve not been following this, can’t be arced with all the conjecture. But this amused me though:

"Someone snatched my fiddle off me, I was horrified. So I sent him an email"

Posted .

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yeah but at least it wasn’t "someone snatched my fiddle off me, I was horrified. So I got my dad to kick his head in" lol

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Touching one’s hand without permission is assault. Smack, as in smacking a nasty fly or mosquito.
and I think it is creepy that you seem to think it would be somehow O.K. to touch someone without their permission. Then tell others that don’t share your view to "grow up."

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Welp Ilig I am a woman…this was a man…he was clearly in domination mode at the time…the e-mail seemed prudent.

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As everything seems to have now worked out for the best, Oriley, my following comments obviously don’t apply to your case …..

However, unless you knew the person really well, I would have thought that going down the road of exchanging e-mails might be fraught with even more complications in the long run if not actual danger as opposed to putting the guy "in his place" at the time…. preferably by verbal means rather than a slap, of course.

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Dr Dow didn’t say touching someone’s hand without permission wasn’t wrong. He just said it wasn’t assault.

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In his opinion. In mine, it would be an assault. and my reflexes would kick in and he would have been smacked.

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Even during a private 1:1 lesson I find this incredibly difficult when I’m teaching hand positions on the harp. I’ll do most things I can (demonstrate, describe, ask the person to imagine carrying something, or whatever) and then only touch the person’s hand as a last resort and then only after asking. As a teaching technique, I think it’s far better if the "touchee" works out the best position for themselves, with feedback from the teacher, rather than have the eacher force their fingers / hand into the right position.

In that pub situation as described, it’s wrong for so many reasons that I can’t imagine anyone doing it unless they were drunk, socially inept or just plain weird.

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How utterly ridiculous. I can think of many many times in my life when people have touched my hand without permission. Sometimes it can be a simple grabbing of someone’s attention, like "hey Dow, c’mere, you’ll never guess what happened to so-and-so at the festival it was sooo funny!"

It’s all about context. I think in this instance we need to know more about the context instead of jumping to conclusions and immediately assuming that assault is the only solution to the perceived problem. All to often in this day and age people resort to assault, especially in pubs, and all too often someone in the chaos produces a gun or knife and things turn really nasty. So before people rush to give someone a "slap", I think it pays to stop and think first.

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all TOO often

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You have your opinion, I have mine.

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It’s just that mine is in line with the law. ::shrug::

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::barf::

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I also think that what you’re saying is an insult to anyone who has ever been a victim of true sexual assault.

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"It’s all about context"

I actually agree that too many people here are inclined to pass opinions on various scenarios without being fully aware of the facts. In many cases, it should be a case of "You really have to be there" before making judgement.

However, I’m confident that Ptarmigan is mature and "well seasoned" enough to know what is right or wrong in such a situation. Also, he wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of mentioning the incident here if it was a trivial matter.

Of course, physical violence is not the answer and very seldom is even although we might all feel quite provoked from time to time.
The fact that it didn’t actually happen on this occasion and that most of us would probably be restrained enough not to over react in similar circumstances is quite pertinent, in my opinion.

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Quite true, John J. Ptarmigan himself says "I’m pretty certain there was absolutely no sexual motive, especially given the fact that her Dad was standing just a few feet away, at the bar". But of course, that’s not the point. It’s the lack of basic manners that’s the issue here.

This idea that it was sexual assault and that the man should have immediately had his head kicked in for touching her hand makes me feel queasy. The idea that the men in the bar should rush to the protection of the poor maid is actually much more pervy and weird than the incident itself. And I’m not sure what it says about what people here think about women’s equality either. It’s freaky if you ask me…

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Every thing that has ever been mentioned anywhere on this website are trivial matters.

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Also we haven’t been told why exactly the lady was upset. Was it because she felt that she had been sexually assaulted? Was it because the man was a crap musician so she felt insulted that he should try and teach her anything? Was it that she didn’t like being told what to do? Or was it just that she didn’t like being told she was doing something wrong and felt humiliated?

Whatever it was probably made her cry, and men propping up bars never like to see ladies cry and will read anything into what the lady says to fit their own image of what happened.

Did anyone actually witness what happened or did the father at the bar only find out after the fact when his daughter came to him crying? Did the father manage to establish the exact reason for why his daughter was upset, or did he jump to conclusions and create a fuss that involved the bar staff and led to the man’s eviction from the bar? Too many unanswered questions here.

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There’s an awful lot of speculation going on.

I did notice in a description Dick posted elsewhere the girl was heavily upset but then the description turned, the session got on with plying and the girl joined in because she wasn’t too upset after all, or words very close to it. At that point I though’ yeah whatever’ and moved on. That’s what this discussion should do also.

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Can you not tell when someone approaches you and touches you in a friendly way or a less friendly way, through body language, energy level, etc?

I would not go so far as to call what this guy did "assault," but you can cross all sorts of lines and not break a law. I can have a nasty temper when alarmed like that and would have verbally ripped the bastard’s head off.

Sadly, we still live in a culture where women are socialized to be passive. Obviously not everyone is and feminism has made quite a bit of headway, but the passive damsel-in-distress is still a rather pervasive image of femininity in our society and you still see plenty of women acting the part, c.f. the piper in the story I told earlier in this thread.

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It’s amazing how judgemental most people have been since they weren’t actually there and only heard one side of the story!
The bloke was plainly out of order but did he think he was (a) being amusing (or actually helpful) and it back-fired? (b) Was a bit p*ssed and his sense of judgement was cock-eyed? (c) Is this bloke a regular hot water bottle collector or someone who has just got off the ‘bus for the first time? (d) Was he ‘special’ and out on a badge for the night?
Where’s the accused? Does he not post to this forum? Make yourself known? Are there previous events and some background story we don’t know?
‘Too many unanswered questions here’ indeed!

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As with many threads here, this one headed off at a tangent.

The point really is, how would you feel if you are say a Fiddle player & in the middle of a set of tunes a complete stranger grabs your hand & bow & starts moving them back & forward, while saying that you are not playing correctly? Substitute plectrum or whatever you use to make a noise with, on your chosen instrument.

Or put this in another setting.
Imagine you are writing something in a Library & someone grabs your pen & hand & starts writing for you, saying your writing is bad? How many of us would simply shrug off that sort of intrusion?

I suspect that many of us would be pretty angry & with good reason.

In this case, it just happened to be teenage girl.
First, the owner of the Bodhran told him not to touch his Bodhran again, the girls Dad told him it’d be better if he left, then the bar owners told him to leave, which, given the fact that most people in the bar were pretty angry at his inexcusable behaviour, was surely the right thing to do, to avoid any further bother.

For the record, if she had been a teenage boy, I’m pretty sure the reaction of everyone involved would have been exactly the same.

Apart from the eejit himself, I have no problem with the way everyone else behaved.

Cheers,
Dick

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Don’t even go there, Dow. Seriously.

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Now there’s a useful analogy: a session and a library.

Posted .

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"how would you feel if you are say a Fiddle player & in the middle of a set of tunes a complete stranger grabs your hand & bow & starts moving them back & forward, while saying that you are not playing correctly?"

I think I would probably be most worried about my fiddle & bow—-they’re pretty delicate and might not hold up too well if I were holding them while I elbowed the guy in the jaw. So I’d probably try to move away as fast as possible & get my personal space back.

The personal space thing is such an important thing not to violate. It triggers protective instincts that might not show otherwise. I remember one time I had a really rowdy drunk guy practically put his chin on my shoulder and shouted in my ear when I was playing a tune, and every muscle in my body was twitching to punch him. And I am NOT an aggressive person. He just got in my space and deafened me, and that triggered a lot of anger out of nowhere. I calmed down pretty quickly, but I was surprise at how I felt.

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It’s interesting how pub environments differ. The pub I frequent is also often frequented by families having dinner with children in tow, children who often dance (whether they know how to do it properly, or simply for the sheer joy of it), and children who sometimes bring whistles and grow up to be such good musicians they put me to shame. I wouldn’t think twice about bringing a child to the place, and it is great to see their reaction to the fact that ordinary people can make music, not just radios, disk players and pod things.
I am always sad to see pubs where the drinking gets out of control, and things turn nasty—and these are not places where I would like to play music.
And it’s sad how the conversations on this site so often get out of control. There is so much conjecture and supposition going on here that it is impossible for the topic to get any rational discussion. I don’t think anyone really means for it to get that way, but here we are again.

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Aye Al, it’s the nature of this beastie, I guess we just have to try to ignore the inane comments & steer the tangential ones back on course, while enjoying & making the best use of all the constructive ones.

I agree too about the children’s reaction to their first encounter with live musicians. I spent the past 2 afternoons playing with a melodeon player friend in the Kitchen of this old Farm House.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnny_tee/1788694429/

It is part of the Living History Museum at Cultra, Co. Down & as you will see from the info. attached, it .. "had a fine reputation as a local ceilidh house", so it was a joy for us to bring the kitchen back to life with music. We had families joining us all afternoon & you could tell by their reaction, that most children hadn’t actually come across live music before & yes, we saw a lot of spontaneous dancing from all ages!

When playing in Pubs, you are more often than not just preaching to the converted, which is why I really enjoy & make the most of any opportunity, to play in more unusual settings.

Cheers,
Dick

Re: Crossing the line!

Kennedy, your tale reminds me of the time a bloke was singing a song to a hushed audience in a local pub here, when, right in the middle of the song, an enthusiastic new young barman, while collecting glasses, just walked right up to him & asked him if he wanted a drink!

Some folks just don’t have the wit they were born with!

Cheers,
Dick

Re: Crossing the line!

I dont agree Al, I just perused the thread and , ok it gets heated, but nonetheless Its a meeting of minds and of course we dont all agree, but Surely its stayed reasonably civil!.
Anyhow Im here now πŸ˜›
Actually I was thinking about the situation and my post above and felt that , for me, the important thing is that people, especially women are empowered to deal with typical Male behaviour in a confident, mature , peacefull and assertive manner,.
That we all are entitled to maintain our own personal space inviolate. In fact, its common in my experience teaching and studying and discussing these issues over many years that Men and women are coming from such different positions in this debate that the Men generally have no real understanding of the situations faced by women. I can assure you that they are fully entitled to maintain their personal space and use force if necessary to defend it and that a cursory look at the available literature would amply support that necessity.
As such IMO is unwise to touch anyone at any time with out express verbal or visual consent, as in the mutual shaking of hands.




In a social environment; a pub , particularly amongst friends, these borders are often relaxed especially when drink is taken. Its obvious however by the reaction of all concerned in room at the time that the guys behaviour was inappropriate, his motivation is irrelevant , his behaviour caused him to be ‘ejected’ from the premise.
Whether violence [a slap]would be an appropriate response to unwanted physical contact is entirely the decision of the person themselves and how they feel at that time and place.
It is a tool universally used to influence others behaviour and moralising over rights and wrongs are merely a distraction when direct action is required. Saying that , a disproportionate response would also be problematic.

As such the appropriate response would be that all efforts should be made to maintain the peace in the establishment while removing the offender, and thats what happened I gather.

Re: Crossing the line!

Great to see that this discussion has become more balanced, but for the continued whinging from Little House on the Prairie.

Re: Crossing the line!

"The point really is, how would you feel if you are say a Fiddle player & in the middle of a set of tunes a complete stranger grabs your hand & bow & starts moving them back & forward, while saying that you are not playing correctly? Substitute plectrum or whatever you use to make a noise with, on your chosen instrument."

I’d be really indignant and I’d probably tell the stranger to eff off, but I wouldn’t cry "assault".

Re: Crossing the line!

but for the continued whinging from Little House on the Prairie.
I am baffled, what is whinging, and who is Little House on the Prairie.
Is this a secret society?or a lunatic asylum?do we all have to have funny handshakes.

Posted .

Re: Crossing the line!

Little House on the Prairie, good one Dr πŸ™‚ I’m with you there.

Re: Crossing the line!

The thing is, that all hypothetical situations aside, no one is qualified to comment and judge whether a person resorting to violence in self protection was entitled to do so apart from the person directly in that situation. Can we even judge what is proportionate ? How many aspects of a situation as described in the OP can we, as observers see?actually none. Even the people in the room right there are not in full possession of the facts as they directly effected the Girl, they cant feel what she felt or hear what she heard.

Look, I have to deal with violence professionally, I teach and study all aspects of it as I have done for most of my life. I can assure you all that the psychological effects are much more powerful than you might think were you not familiar with this facet of human interaction. That the physical expression is merely the culmination of a ‘psychic’ attack and that infact , the psychological/psychic attack is the most important in that this is what throws us spiritually and mentally off balance.
As such Its unwise to wait untill the attack becomes physical because action generally beats reaction .Awareness and understanding built on training and on our natural defence system;intuition will and does allow us to perceive reality without the delusions of wishful thinking and disbelief.


The primary problem to be faced is denial in the sense that disbelief takes over… this cant be happening! It cant happen here, to me, here and now!!

Denial is not a survival characteristic, awareness is.


Anyhow lighten up?! 😎

Re: Crossing the line!

Judges and Jurys are qualified to judge whether a person resorting to violence in self protection was entitled to do so. And I’m glad of it. I’m glad I don’t live in a society where so called "self protection" was outwith the law.

Posted .

Re: Crossing the line!

… and is not the fact that the ability to beat someone up is no longer a survival technique one of the defining characteristics of a maturing society?

Posted .

Re: Crossing the line!

It would be yes llig, unfortunately as we live in what is termed a ‘young culture’ Its essential as a beautiful young woman to be equipped to deal with drunk males and for young men to be equipped to deal with aggressive young men as best as they can.
IMO it is an obligation on us to train them in in whatever facets of human interaction we feel important.
So we teach them to read , write, etc hopeful prosper in business, Im sure we do our best to warn them of various pitfalls such as within the ‘dating game’ etc etc.
IMO the ability to physically, mentally and spiritually best an aggressor is important for many reasons not just directly related to avoiding a kicking but that empower us to stand up for our rights, to stand up against tyranny, to stand up when you really want to curl up, to circumnavigate life with stability provided by self esteem and confidence.
I certainly choose myself to live far from the maddening crowds but through my life It is necessary to engage with humanity and youngsters heading out into the world are , IMO better equipped if they are conversant with the physical aspects of dealing with aggression.

Re: Crossing the line!

Yep, I don’t want to live in a society where a fiddler thinks it’s ok to blind somebody with their fiddle bow as an "instinctive" reaction to someone’s touching their hand without permission. If that happened I’d hope that the fiddler would be ordered to pay massive compensation at least.

I was talking to a friend of mine here in Sydney only last week about a male teacher in a local school who had been asked by the headteacher to cover a girls’ P.E. lesson because their regular teacher was sick. He initially refused but the head insisted. After the lesson, 2 of the girls accused him of touching them up. He was either suspended or permanently dismissed - I can’t recall. There was a big fuss. Anyway, said teacher eventually couldn’t take it anymore and hanged himself. Afterwards, the two girls admitted that they’d made it all up.

This is the kind of thing that can happen when this "assault" thing gets out of hand.

Re: Crossing the line!

Sad story Dow.

Makes me think of Major General Sir Hector Archibald MacDonald.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hector_MacDonald

Although his case was of course just a little different, but you do wonder if all, or indeed any, of the allegations were true.

However, in the Pub last Friday night, there were numerous eye witnesses, so no room for any misunderstanding.

Cheers,
Dick

Re: Crossing the line!

"It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs. " Bathsheba in Thomas Hardy’s Far From the "Madding" Crowd.

In my opinion the ability (or want of ability) to physically best an aggressor contributes more to the escalation of aggression than anything else on the planet.

Posted .

Re: Crossing the line!

(To digress for a moment - I’d often wondered where the name of the tune ‘Hector the Hero’ came from. Thanks for clearing that up. OK, carry on.)

Re: Crossing the line!

"I’d often wondered where the name of the tune ‘Hector the Hero’ came from"

Read all abaht it in the tunes section.

Re: Crossing the line!

""It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs. " Bathsheba in Thomas Hardy’s Far From the "Madding" Crowd."

Hmmm….Hardy was a man, wasn’t he? Not that it explains his very wide of the mark passage.

Re: Crossing the line!

It’s not Hardy saying it, It’s Bathsheba. She was always moaning about men, rightly or wrongly

Posted .

Re: Crossing the line!

Whether he wrote her sympathetically, or whether he was able to write female characters empathetically is much thought for literary debate

Posted .

Re: Crossing the line!

"It’s not Hardy saying it, It’s Bathsheba."

Right, so Hardy wasn’t making a point.

You’ll be telling me the three bears were really moaning about their porridge being eaten next.

Re: Crossing the line!

I think that’s turning it inside out too much:

Hardy’s a man and a writer.
He writes in a language chiefly made by men to express their feelings.
He writes a woman character who complains that she can’t express her feelings because the language was made by men.

I think you’ll fail your logic course on that one.

Posted .

Re: Crossing the line!

Just to sidetrack yet again, I apologise for any of my comments on this thread which people have found offensive. I should go back to lurking…

Re: Crossing the line!

Remember Doctor, One "takes’" offence. Offence is not given

Posted .

Re: Crossing the line!

I am unconviced about any logic flowing only from a statement by a character in a work fiction.

Broadly in agreement with Dow though.

I once saw a guy restrained from attacking another guy who had brushed his hand down his female friends hair. Sitting opposite her he couldn’t see that she had leaned back over a candle. Almost everyone else in the room saw what had happened though.

Re: Crossing the line!

Going back to the original scenario, two words, "BACK OFF!" shouted very loudy, right in the face, without any additional aggressive body language, might have worked.

Usually has a stunning effect, draws attention to the problem, sets all eyes on the perpertator, and things will take their course. No further action needs to be taken by the person being picked on. No one needs to get hurt. Has worked for me in the past, dealing with drunks, persistent idiots etc.

In any case, looks this one got sorted without too much trouble.

Re: Crossing the line!

Well WF, I’m sure this girl was caught completely off guard by this blokes sudden actions, but perhaps if this ever happens again, { & let’s hope nit doesn’t } she’ll at least be better prepared.

Mind you, when you think of how many musicians play with their eyes closed, it’d surely come as quite a surprise to suddenly find someone grabbing your hand in the middle of a tune.
I’m sure we’re all well able to handle a bit of constructive criticism, but we shouldn’t be expected to take it lying down, when it’s dished out in such an aggressive manner, as was the case in this instance.

When you think about it, if there was only one right way to play any instrument, this forum would be very quiet indeed.

Cheers,
Dick

Re: Crossing the line!

The actual situation was probably handled as it should have been in that concerned parties had a "quiet word"(metaphorically speaking) with the guy and he left the premises.

We have all been in situations where we feel like punching someone who annoys us or we may have said "He’s lucky I didn’t thump him" and so on but the majority of us are usually civilised enough not to venture down such a route.
As Llig has suggested, "escalation" of violence is always a risk and countless wars throughout history are surely proof enough that over reacting in such situations can be counter productive.

So, it’s really a nonsense that so many posters should sit down in front of their screens far removed from the actual incident and attempt to justify the use of violence as the "correct" response to such a scenario.

Having said that, if the victim herself turned round and gave him "a slap", I wouldn’t have condemned her for that either if she was genuinely alarmed or provoked. However, I would never suggest that this should have been the first or only appropriate course of action as some people have here.

Re: Crossing the line!

"Hardy’s a man and a writer.
He writes in a language chiefly made by men to express their feelings.
He writes a woman character who complains that she can’t express her feelings because the language was made by men.

I think you’ll fail your logic course on that one."

Hilarious. As David points out, a writer of fiction. I’m not sure about the "language made by men" aspect either, which is why I pointed you towards a more scientific approach.

Basically, quoting from a fictional character in a fictional work, doesn’t come high on the logical argument scale.

Re: Crossing the line!

Och Weejie, I guess that means I should stop quoting from Homer then ….. e.g. Doh! πŸ˜›

Re: Crossing the line!

"Och Weejie, I guess that means I should stop quoting from Homer then "

If you want a logical argument, yes.

Re: Crossing the line!

Nice one Dave, which reminds me of a local Fiddle player, by the name of Johnny McAfee, from Armoy, Co. Antrim.

Johnny used to play in Fisher’s Pub in Castle Street, Ballycastle, which is now B. Curry’s. Anyway one of Johnny’s favourite tunes was "The Cargan Lammas Fair" & one night, a drunk who was critical of his playing, took the fiddle from him and smashed it.

Which makes me wonder just how calm & philosophical some of our contributors here would be, if this were to happen to them? πŸ˜›

By the way, you can actually see a photo of John McAfee fiddling at the ‘Dervock Fair’ on page xxxiii of Sam Henry’s book: ‘Songs of the People’.

Cheers,
Dick

Re: Crossing the line!

"He writes a woman character who complains that she can’t express her feelings because the language was made by men"

This is "logical" because Mr Gill says:

"He writes in a language chiefly made by men to express their feelings."

But on what ground is this premise based on?

Anyway, I wasn’t the one who used the word "logic" initially.

Re: Crossing the line!

Ha Ha …. I just love the whole notion that Men are actually capable of using words to express their feelings. πŸ˜€

Especially when that comment was made by a Scotsman! πŸ˜›

Re: Crossing the line!

"Especially when that comment was made by a Scotsman!"

I hope you don’t mean Mr Gill - he lives here, but I’m not sure if that’s enough!

Re: Crossing the line!

I know what you mean Weejie, after all look at all the Americans who are unwilling to lose their Irish or Scots / Irish tags.

It just sounding such an amusing comment, especially if it came from the land of … "Wham, Bam, Thankyou Mam", whoever made it! πŸ˜›

Cheers,
Dick

Re: Crossing the line!

I thought this comment to be rather insightful, Mr. Gill, "In my opinion the ability (or want of ability) to physically best an aggressor contributes more to the escalation of aggression than anything else on the planet."

http://www.culture-of-peace.info/ppa/chapter4-10.html
"The supreme task is to organize and unite people so that their anger becomes a transforming force."

Posted by .

Re: Crossing the line!

Weejie, wrong end of the stick mate, I was saying there’s nothing logical about it.

Posted .

Re: Crossing the line!

" I was saying there’s nothing logical about it. "

I’m not sure why you quoted it in the first place then.

Re: Crossing the line!

… because there’s nothing logical in any of this. The whole thread is about the mere conjecture of assault and its supposedly logical defence. If it wasn’t dangerous it would be daft.

Posted .

Re: Crossing the line!

Yes, I held off posting the Peter Sellers link because although it was daft enough to be funny it did rely on a ‘violence as first response’ stereotype that is still ‘promoted’ in much film and TV.

And, it would seem, accepted as normal by some members of this board.

Re: Crossing the line!

Interesting to see that, despite 120 posts so far, nobody has actually complained of this sort of thing ever happening to them, so thankfully it looks like being a rare incident.

The closest incident I had, was a drunk putting his hand over my Fiddle strings in the middle of a tune, but this old soak was more to be pitied than scolded, so I just told him to go away & stop annoying us.

Mind you, when you think of the over-inflated egos you see in action at some sessions, though usually those eejits are only tolerated at not very good sessions, it is perhaps surprising that there aren’t more cringe-worthy moments reported here. πŸ˜‰

Cheers,
Dick

Re: Crossing the line!

Aye David, that clip was very funny, but of course it portrayed more of a Hollywood / Stage Irish view of what might happen.

Thankfully, most members here are very tolerant in Open Session situations, being able to put themselves in the other fellows shoes, perhaps remembering all their own Faux pas, as they learned what sessions were all about.

In other sessions, perhaps where big egos were involved or where musicians were less tolerant, I can see how an incident like this could so easily have quickly led to raised voices, foul language, bad feeling & perhaps even violence.

Thank goodness we Trad Musicians are such an easy going, tolerant lot eh! πŸ˜‰

Cheers,
Dick

Re: Crossing the line!

I think I mentioned in a post ages ago about a campfire session/sing-around where I was drumming my fingers on a wooden box that I was sitting on whilst a mate was singing and playing accordian. His four-year old son pushed my hand against the box and said "No". I couldn’t really argue with that. πŸ™

Re: Crossing the line!

David, perhaps he said "NO" because you misspelt …. Accordion! πŸ˜›

Re: Crossing the line!

Aaargh ! I did that in the original post as well πŸ™ .I was avoiding using ‘box’ with two meanings.

Re: Crossing the line!

Think of the accordion as an onion - not an onian.
The difference is you don’t shed tears if you slice an accordion.

Re: Crossing the line!

Ptarmigan, I haven’t experienced what you described. But, more than once, I have been in a session with a married couple & she puts her hand over her husband’s & says, "No, not like that." It’s almost predictable.

Speaking of showing someone how to use a bodhran, do you remember this session? ~

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?
August 29th 2002 by Ptarmigan
https://thesession.org/discussions/833#comment12021

Posted by .

Re: Crossing the line!

I mentioned part of this before - at a session I had an instance of a drunk, with uninhibited drunken curiosity … you know the stage - drunk enough to be annoying, touch-feely and lippy, but still in full control of motor functions, so potentially dangerous.

Anyway, he kept trying trying to grab my fiddle, first when I wasn’t playing it, but holding it, then tried to pick it up when it was sat by my side.

No amount of me telling him to stop would get in the way of his persistence, and that’s when I did the "BACK OFF" thing, shouted at full volume, right in his face. He was leaning over me slightly, right at that point, and the noise nearly made him fall over.

There was almost total silence after that, and most people realised what had happened, as he had been annoying other people too. He was gone withing 10 minutes - not sure if he left or was pushed.

Unpleasant way to react, you might think - but it got a quick solution, and no-one got hurt πŸ™‚

It’s easy to shout like that, but the hardest part is to remain still and not show aggressive body language (which might provoke further trouble).