Raising awareness: Sexual Harassment in the Breaking scene

I was having a normal conversation with a well-known B-boy. It got intense at times but I didn’t expect anything like that when he, out of nowhere, took off his shoe and rubbed his foot on my leg. His action has left me confused and I was unable to react. I felt disrespected as he intruded my space. When I told him that it wasn’t right what he did, he claimed that he was wearing socks and I was wearing pants so he practically didn’t touch me…

I am scared to speak up. I either feel like “it’s not that bad” or “it must have been my fault.” I often hear, “Oh, it’s not just you women who suffer. Men get harassed, too.” Believe me, I know! But that is not what I’m trying to say. I want to raise your awareness that sexual harassment is happening and if anybody tells you about it: DON’T FEEL ATTACKED!! I am a woman and I am speaking from my perspective and I have been grabbed by the ass while cyphering and held by the wrist so I wouldn’t walk away! I am asking for support here. So you want to know how to react then? Listen. Don’t question what happened.

“She must be good in bed! Just Saying!”

“I would fuck jilou so hard!”

“its life, guy shall still bboying and “bgirls” fucked 😀 peace man Ps: im a bboy ^^”

“I only came here for the boobs :(”

“Geiles Stück! xD”

“FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP”

Just a little selection of the comments under my videos… For your information: I was only 18 when I had to read all this. I didn’t earn my jewels at that time but did I want to read any of this? Hell no!

Only the comments made me consider leaving the scene.

The scene confronts you with a lot of hate and not too much support when you’re not famous or bring home the wins. Yes, I got positive feedback, too. People coming up to me and giving me props, but knowing how some people talked about me being closed doors made me cry.

This scene is also dangerous for women. There are enough men out there who will use their power and make us feel very uncomfortable. I’m glad not every woman had to go through that and I wish it won’t happen anymore. BUT, it still happens.

This is where it gets very personal and it takes me a lot to share this story. And no, I won’t mention a name, but I want people to know that this is happening and we as women need support!

So I was invited to an event. I wasn’t with my crew nor with my friends. I was there on my own at age 19. I was extremely excited to be invited to my first international event and even though I lost first round I was very happy to experience everything. To celebrate my success I stayed for the afterparty and luckily stayed sober.

When the party came to an end, a dancer offered me to accompany me to my hotel to make sure I get there safe (I wish I knew what I know today). Once we arrived he asked me to chat a little bit in the lobby and I agreed. It quickly became very clear to me that he was trying to get with me. Sitting closer to me on the couch while I kept my distance. We must have given a funny picture since we traveled across the whole couch from one side to the other. After a few minutes, I had enough of him and decided to go to my room. He followed me to the elevator. He followed me, asking for a kiss. When I told him about my boyfriend, he answered: “Just imagine I am your boyfriend.” I rushed into the elevator and though I made my point clear. I would have never imagined him following me. Even worse he grabbed me by the throat, pushed me against the wall, and kissed me.

With all the power I had, I pushed him away and ran to the staircase. He still followed me. And again luckily I was sober and with adrenalin kicking in I was a lot faster than him and made it to the third floor without him following.

These are just two stories of a few. And I know I am not the only one who had to experience these situations.

Dear everybody, if you see a woman in an uncomfortable situation, ask her if she needs help. B-Boys and alcohol are a dangerous combination and I speak from experience. In my case, a lot of people could have helped me. People were watching when he pushed me against the wall and saw me running away from him. Nobody stepped in. Remember I was just 19.

30 thoughts on “Raising awareness: Sexual Harassment in the Breaking scene

  1. I don’t know why guys don’t understand if a women saying no to them. How can someone force a women like this. So shameful
    I’ve never heard any sexual harassment stories from breaking scene and I’m totally shocked.
    Thanks for standing up for everyone and speaking the truth. It takes a lot to share such stories I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been through!
    Much love and respect from India

    Like

    1. Thank you for finally speaking out about this. You are incredible and courageous for bringing this into the light. It is a taboo subject in the scene that no one addresses. I, too, have experienced something similar from very big names in the breaking scene and suffered the consequences when I was trying to build a name for myself in my active years. I am on a hiatus raising 3 small kids now, and it hurts to see those people who thought sexual harrassment was ok still getting praised in the scene like gods while someone who worked really hard got kicked to the curb because she wouldn’t give in to a „superstar bboy“. His „superstar bgirl“ friends also found it funny and every battle I entered was an automatic loss even if I got the vote of the other judges who did not know me. My traveling days are on hold now but I learned to never trust anyone and not give in to suspicious characters. I truly am sorry that you were put into that situation. It’s sick that some of these bboys think that because they are popular that you need to bow down to them. Thank you for being our voice since you are a respected bgirl. Much love and respect

      Like

  2. Qué triste que hayas pasado por ésto… Qué triste que sean pocas las chicas a las que no les ha pasado ésto. Qué triste es saber que hemos pasado por ésto miles de bgirls y más triste aún, con „hombres“ de la cultura. El patriarcado tarde o temprano SE VA A CAER!!!✊🏻💜💚

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  3. Well said. You are so strong to share your story and it will certainly help other women and girls. I’m sorry you had to go through these things. It’s unacceptable!

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  4. Hi bgirljilou…
    This is so heartbreaking to read, and unfortunately doesn’t surprise me in the least. And for any man who will feel attacked reading this, you wouldn’t feel attacked if you weren’t on the defensive, because you’ve probably done something like this.
    I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this repeatedly from different men. I’m so sorry people watched you go through it and didn’t move. I learned the hard way that people will just stand and watch and that just cause there are people around it doesn’t mean I’m safe.
    In my opinion, this is an issue of men, and not one of breaking, or even of hip hop. This happens in every dance genre. It happens in every art genre. And it happens in every industry. And it is so „cliché“, and will continue to be, until there is a noticeable change on the part of men.
    I experienced years of psychological abuse from a man who paints himself as the perfect man, fully feminist, always standing up for women online and in public. But behind closed doors he psychologically abuses the women in his dance company, and he is a sexual predator. And because he doesn’t leave a physical mark, the abuse is invisible. Hiding in plain sight, because no one would ever believe the monster that he really is. And the women he is abusing don’t even realize the abuse anymore.
    It is rare to meet a man that doesn’t have the intent or agenda to eventually fuck you. And it is rare to meet a man that will take a „no“ like a grown ass man should, and just keep it moving. I want better for everyone. I want men to be raised to be emotionally aware and to be able to handle their insecurities and emotions properly without projecting onto us. And that respect for a woman doesn’t magically leave when they don’t get what they want from us.
    I have male friends who embody what I said above, but they are few and far between. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for your courage to share.

    Like

  5. michel gouveia May 17, 2020 — 5:10 pm

    There’re a lot of bboys out there that smoke drugs or drink that never touch a woman without her permission.
    But, I’m truly about what happened to you. therefore you gotta say who was this son of a bitch who did it this to you, you know? the next person can be my girlfriend, my daughter, my wife, or whoever it is.

    Like

    1. Hey bro, when you say „son of a bitch“ you offend his mother not him. I really don’t think a mother would be proud of a son, who does something like this.

      Like

      1. michel ironside May 17, 2020 — 11:58 pm

        whatever dude, I think you know what I mean.

        Like

  6. Thank you for sharing your story.
    I was raped by a bboy when I was 20, I felt like the whole scene abandoned me. Many of them still won’t look me in the eye anymore.
    I had to take a long hiatus while I recovered but hopefully I can find the strength to get back to it.
    Hopefully more of us speaking out will help change things

    Like

  7. Tomar acciones como está es quizás una de las cosas que podemos hacer para evidenciar que las mujeres somos vulnerables.
    En mi experiencia en la escena e tenido que vivir y aguantar muchas cosas, incómodos y que han Sido fuertes! Malas palabras, insinuaciones, ofensas…
    Es nuestro deber como bgirls realizar acciones que ayuden al cambio. Una de esas acciones es este post!
    Grande jilou.
    🇨🇴

    Like

  8. It has nothing to do with hip hop. That’s really terrible.

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    1. It has everything to do with the ‚breaking scene‘ because we are a ‚community‘, and yes what she had to go through was terrible.

      Like

  9. This is so brave of you to share! Thank you! Way to many girls and women experience similar things in the dancing scene, and we need to put an end to this!
    Anyone reading this comment, please check out the instagram page @wejustwannadance_ where similar stories are shared, to bring awareness to this subject!! Jilou, feel free to also share your story to the girls on this page..
    Much love from a dancer
    Chris

    Like

  10. We, men, talk to our friends they are not cool at all when they act like this.
    That’s also our responsability.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Best of luck to you with the trauma you experienced. I as a male have been sexually harassed in the workplace and it’s no fun.

    All, I say now to people who have been through something similar.

    Protect your spirit and continue to strive and do your best.

    Blessings

    Like

  12. Dear Jilou
    You have all my support. And you have my deepest respect for speaking out loud. I am sorry you had to go through that. What you have said bboy and alcohol being a dangerous combination. I have been there…
    Much love for you sister,
    Jeena

    Like

  13. There so much about this dance. The culture, diversity, the connections, self-growth, and many more. Experiencing the many positives in this scene I would have never expected this to happen and/ or I should have payed more attention to the other things happening within the scene. Thank you for sharing this and needs to seen by all. I’m sure there are people who love this scene and this should bring awareness for those who are getting into the breaking. Keep rockin!

    Like

  14. It is really important to speak about this and not let anybody silence you.
    I as a BGirl know too many bgirls who have been harrast, raped or psychologically abused. It’s way too much!
    I had about 4 years drama with a bboy I was with at this time and when he put scissors into my face because he didn’t want me to give a workshop for kids it was just the beginning… Because the youth center for which the workshop was supposed to be said the threatening didn’t happen in their spot.
    So they simply didn’t care, but that’s their damn job…
    And these kind of guys know how far they can go. Most of the time it’s way to far, because people around them don’t want to get involved in the trouble.
    But looking away is just Not the right thing.
    We have to teach the younger bgirls that they got the right to be treated with respect, no discussion.
    And we have to teach the young bboys a cool man does not need to force or abuse girls – only suckers need to do so.

    Like

  15. This is an important issue that needs to be fixed by all of us together, I’m a bboy and way too often do I hear about this kind of language and behaviour about bgirls at jams/practice spots from friends and strangers. I hope this sparks the conversation into the open, thank you for sharing and exposing the harsh truth. I’m sorry I have failed to speak up in those moments too, I’m ashamed of that but I want to be louder about this issue because you shouldnt ever feel scared to be at a jam.
    It’s definitely a problem in the breaking scene that is pretty much swept under the rug or never really spoken about. It’s unfair to women to have to be on their guard at a jam/after party, you should be able to attend and not worry about bboys sexually harrassing you before, during and after. And any bboy who might dismiss what she is sharing as just one off incidents or says „majority of bboys dont do that“ I’m sorry but the fact is. It happens. It shouldnt but it does. Its real AF and that means WE need to man up and protect our community, educate ourselves and have those difficult conversations with our community/local scene and evolve in how we percieve/speak and treat women in the breaking scene. The world is progressing. Society is progressing. Hip hop/breaking/bboys needs to as well.

    The scene has been blessed with a lot more talented bgirls last few years too and its our responsibility as bboys to change how we speak/act because this sexual harassment is real and isn’t a new thing. And remember its also for the future generations of bgirls. So foreal lets protect our future generations of bgirls from this too.

    Sorry biggest rant but foreal this post was a long time coming and I support and hope your voice is heard all through our scene. 👊👊👊
    KEEP BEING LOUD ABOUT THIS. Change needs to happen.

    Like

  16. Thank you for speaking on this topic and I really appreciate your bravery in sharing your experience. As a bgirl, I had similar experiences and at times felt discourage and disgusted about the breaking scene. Personally speaking, most boys/men in the scene are nice, inclusive, and are a gentleman – however, the bad apples have been the ones who are really good/ or has some influence in the scene, and ironically, liked and admired by many.

    Often time, the bad apples fail to see that the breaking scene is a small community. Even after these shitty experiences, we are likely to see each other at practice or breaking events and must manage to be comfortable with each other’s presence in a small space.

    Here’s a proposal: As a community, I think we should start naming names if we see/or hear that someone is consistently doing wrong. I don’t mean to start any drama – because everyone makes mistakes and was once young and stupid and deserves another chance. BUT if someone is CONSISTENTLY fucking up and there is a PATTERN, the community needs to check them – not limited to breakers, but everyone in the breaking scene, including promotors, DJ’s, etc. We are a community, and how else are we supposed to protect and help each other if we are not honest with each other?

    Like

  17. This is sad. It’s brave of you to speak out and I hope it stops. but if it doesn’t maybe you should name the guy so we all know who this pig is?

    Like

  18. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thank you Jilou. I knew what i felt you, because also happened whit me on Breakin scene.

    Like

  19. This is not just in Hip Hop, it exists outside of it as well and it brings me a lot of pain. For those men who think it’s acceptable to act this way, what if this was your sister, mother, daughter?

    I’m saying THIS IS NOT RIGHT AND IT’S NOT ACCEPTABLE.

    REAL MEN need to set an example for these boys, REAL MEN need to stand up tall to these acts, REAL MEN know how to treat and respect women.

    We have to ask ourselves what causes certain men to behave this way? What’s the root of the problem? Is it that society and the media has raised men in a way where it’s become acceptable to behave this way? It’s something which I’ve experienced before as well going out with the ‘boys’ and there being an unspoken pressure to sexualise women, treat them as objects or ‘just to get into their pants’ because that’s what’s the norm.

    Times are changing and we have to stand up tall. This is serious.

    Like

    1. Popping Bella May 19, 2020 — 5:17 am

      Thank you for speaking up. It does not affect for the young generation or beginners to grow up by knowing this. But, at least they learn something. Sometimes, guys talk naturally about jokes include 18sx things without realizing that our scene still need more girls to dance. Some girls may get shy or ignore but if I’m as a senior of this dance, I need to protect other girls for getting 18sx as a joke instead of respecting that girl. The communication still needs to be filter that will affect the growth of dance scene although it’s natural for guys to talk jokes. Hope guys can make some responsibility to help the girls who are new to more male dominant in dance society. Thank you guys who take an effort for this.

      Like

  20. GAUTHIER DRANSART May 18, 2020 — 9:58 am

    I believe and support you. You are strong no matter what. As a B-Boy I feel really bad you had to live it. We dont know each other but I stand beside you. You have a lot of courage. Thank you for sharing that and raising awareness.
    Peace.

    Like

  21. I believe and support you. You are strong no matter what. As a B-Boy I feel really bad you had to live it. We dont know each other but I stand beside you. You have a lot of courage. Thank you for sharing that and raising awareness.
    Peace.

    Like

  22. I was travelling for the jam with a bboy i fall asleep got molested in the middle of the night nearby 3:30 am i was shocked that something bad happened and when i saw him he was acting like he is sleeping. I was totally distracted before jam. He use to hang out with the guys who taught me breaking that guys are really respective except that bas***** i never knew he is full of lust sometimes he use to show me that ‚Hey see im downloading porn‘
    Now i can kicks anyone’s ass😠

    Like

  23. jabbaeddie@gmail.com May 18, 2020 — 11:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing this deep and vulnerable subject. You are being heard and I hope people start realizing that it still happens on a consistent bases. This has to stop. Changes need to occur sooner than later. We can’t let this keep happening. You got my support.

    Like

  24. If I ever saw a bgirl violated like that I would beat the living shit out that person. No questions asked. The end.

    Like

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