The moment a woman battered a man who allegedly assaulted her and a friend at a music festival, has been caught on camera.
Reveller, Giann Reece, told UNILAD she was taking a video of the site and incidentally filmed a man as he grabbed a topless woman’s breast at the Rhythm & Vines festival in Gisborne, on New Zealand’s North Island.
Reece also filmed the immediate aftermath of the assault, which left the perve regretting his actions:
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One of the two women, who were both minding their own business when a man in a bucket hat grabbed her friend’s breast from behind, allegedly retaliated to the disgusting violation by throwing a drink in the man’s face.
The woman who was groped, now identified as American-born Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller, proceeded to punch the perpetrator repeatedly before walking away.
Reece, who witnessed the whole incident, told UNILAD:
[The pair] walked off and then later came back and her hand had been bandaged for hitting him so hard!
Reece said she found the man’s behaviour ‘honestly ridiculous’, adding:
I can’t believe men think they have a right to touch a woman’s body just because of what she’s wearing!
It’s very ignorant and close-minded of him. I think he was a pig honestly.
Everyone has a body and women and men alike should be able to wear whatever they want without the threat of being groped!
If men cannot control themselves then it’s them who should change, not us.
The young man, who has not been identified at the time of writing, appeared to be unharmed and made no attempt to fight back against the revenge attack.
Now-deleted footage of the incident was shared online and has since garnered thousands of views and a divided opinion over who was in the wrong.
Hundreds of commenters quickly blamed the topless woman and accused Anello-Kitzmiller of ‘asking for it’ due to her exposed breasts, in a wildly archaic display of classic sexism.
Reece (pictured above) told UNILAD those attitudes were present on the festival site and not just held by sexist keyboard warriors.
After speaking to Madeline (pictured below), Reece recalled how ‘she said women were screaming at her to put a top on’.
Observers seem unable to recognise the double standards at play here, whereby is it supposedly socially acceptable for men to walk around topless at a hot, sunny music festival, but because female breasts have been sexualised through years of male-dominated narratives, they are not deserving of the same privilege.
This, despite female breasts having a genuine biological purpose not demonstrated by otherwise useless male nipples.
Reece stated, ‘Women tearing other women down is an ugly thing’, adding:
She felt empowered to not put a shirt on! She’s a badass from America who wasn’t taking sh*t.
I’m sure she didn’t mind us looking because she looked amazing, but to actually touch her is just madness!
The iconic New Year’s Eve Rhythm and Vines festival saw some 20,000 people descend on Waiohika Estate for the three-day event.
Even New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, made an appearance at the sold-out camping festival.
2017 was a year in which some had to readjust their definition of acceptable behaviour and sexual harrassment, in workplaces across the land.
Amid the Weinstein scandal, in which the disgraced movie mogul was accused of sexual misdemeanours including rape by over 40 women, it seems we have a long way to go to make men and women alike feel safe from harrassment outside the confines of workplace environments too.
Almost two thirds of women (63 per cent) and 26 per cent of men aged 18-24 who drink in bars, clubs or pubs, reported being on the receiving end of unwanted sexual harassment, according to statistics from Drinkaware.
We must do more to make sure people feel safe from groping and unwanted sexualisation in all situations.
Young people feel disgusted and upset when we see sexual harassment on social media, retweeting the shocking stories shared by friends and friends of friends as part of the ‘Me Too’ campaign.
But Drinkaware say we need to learn to do the same in real life, in real time, when we’re the bystanders to sexual harassment, wherever that may be.
By stepping in to support the person being targeted, we give that person a chance to get out of the situation and send a message to the perpetrator how the behaviour is unacceptable.
Whether you agree with Anello-Kitzmiller’s means of retaliation – and while two assaults certainly do not make a right – you can be sure the man in question will not be sexually violating anyone at a festival anytime soon.
UNILAD have contacted Anello-Kitzmiller for comment.
If you, or someone you know, has been affected by sexual harassment or any sort of sexual harm, help and support is available. Victim Support is an independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime.
They offer free, confidential help to anyone affected by sexual harassment. Call 0808 1689 111 or go to www.victimsupport.org.uk for advice.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.