The Dancing Lady

DSC_3918“Truth is Beauty”, the sculpture created by Marco Cochrane was probably one of the most talked about and beautiful sculptures and was recognisable from anywhere on the playa. The second in the trilogy by the renowned sculptor, most commonly referred to as the “Dancing Lady”, presented me with my first Burgin “playa moment”.

As I approached the statue after photographing from afar, I noticed the inscriptions on the plinth. As I squatted down to read the text, a Mutant Vehicle passed and some yobbos yelled out,

“Nice arse! Show us your tits!”

I immediately burst into tears and was sobbing.

I tried to pull myself together as I walked back to my bike but an approaching woman saw my red eyes and asked, “What’s wrong honey?”
“The statue”, I blubbered.
“Yes, it is so beautiful”, she responded.
“It is beautiful yes, but that’s not why I’m crying. It’s the inscription on the plinth”.
“What does it say?”
I led her over, we both crouched down, “What would the world be like if women were safe?”
And with that we both began sobbing and rode out the emotion by hugging it out together.


by Kevin “Kabi” Rigby AKA “Outfit”

About the author: Tales From the Playa

Tales From the Playa

Tales From the Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by participants. Submit your story here.

9 Comments on “The Dancing Lady

  • megan says:

    powerful story. thank you for sharing.

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  • cisjim says:

    Is the author trying to say she felt unsafe because someone said “show me your tits”? And then dissolved into tears? And then told a women about the inscription, who ALSO started crying? I’ll go further than just saying “this didn’t happen”, which is obvious.

    I’ll go so far as to say the author is actually trying to strike a blow against feminists, deliberately posting such an obviously false and eye-rolling story to help create a strawman that is easily attacked. The alternative, that we live in a world where feminism means crying because someone asked to see your tits at an art festival, is too horrible to comprehend.

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  • London says:

    I’m with Cisjim…
    Something is fishy here…
    Reminds me of the college orientation week in the 90’s where an auditorium of us freshmen were told that 1in 4 girls would be sexually assaulted by end of their experience… And Should always call for an escort… Etc
    And that the males (me) would and are to blame and are prejudged animals.
    I believe this story is just the ‘manipulators’ using the ‘victim’ card… to manipulate conscious energy (again) -L

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  • riley1 says:

    I believe most men don’t know or try to understand what women really go through and feel in these situations. I don’t talk to every girl in university, but I am sure that statistic of 1-in-four is true, considering I would never say out loud that I was sexually assaulted, but I can assure you that I have been. My friends can all say the same thing, on varying degrees. Fortunately and unfortunately, many women like me…we just get used to it. Some even use it to their advantage. I am sure that men wouldn’t want to be judged solely on their penis, ass, or ab size. Or to live in a world where women looked down on men telling them to show some dick so that it can be judged and deemed fuck-worthy and then just walk away despite if you are fuck-worthy or not. It’s not a card to put prejudiced against men. There are many decent men out there. But let’s not ignore facts that a the common man’s mind is programmed differently than a woman’s sexually. And society (around the world) deems it okay for men to harass and comment in ways that make women feel uncomfortable. Maybe some women love it. But it’s not universal…I can assure you most women do not love it.

    A good explanation comes from this brilliant article…

    With particularly this great section (in which she is referring to a man that cat called to her from his car as he drove past her near an intersection)…

    “4. She spells out exactly why street harassment is NOT complimentary for anyone who is still unclear on the matter.

    ‘If you’d stuck around, I would have happily shouted a few things of my own at you: that it’s people like you that make women avoid walking alone or taking transit even in broad daylight in their own cities; that no matter what screwed up metric you use it’s not a “compliment” to have someone interrogate me about my underwear; that thanks to you I would spend the entire train ride home feeling scrutinized and gross because you didn’t have the willpower or maturity to keep your mouth shut; that your wife and daughters or at the very least your mother deserve better than a cowardly man who shouts at women from the safety of his car.

    Let me make this abundantly clear, to you and to the other men reading this: when you comment on a woman’s appearance, you are not doing it for her. You are doing it for you. It’s not some great way to make a woman feel sexy and appreciated. It’s not flattery, even if you mean for it to be. The only thing it is is a great way for you to create a shitty power dynamic, by which you have announced yourself as the arbiter of her value, and you’ve deemed her fuckable, and she is supposed to be happy or impressed by that.'”

    I know that the world won’t change in my lifetime to see the answer to this question. And I do feel relatively safe in my place in society despite knowing what is going on around me constantly. And I am a happy person. But I do wonder what the world would be like if women were truly safe. It is a beautiful and simple question.

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  • fancy nancy says:

    “what would it be like if free speach wasn’t called assault?

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  • Eshre says:

    I really disliked the kind of discourse that I’m seeing in two of the comments. Yes, a woman’s body is to be celebrated and is beautiful, as are all of our bodies. But women should be able to choose how they want to show their bodies without comments from men or women – just as we all should.

    But the comments here show that the readers misread the story completely. The author is “Kevin,” who in all likelihood, is a man. The people shouting from the mutant vehicle were probably not shouting at Kevin, but were cat calling The Woman, the sculpture. I witnessed the same thing when I was at The Woman. This beautiful woman, this work of art, advocates the protection of women as subjects (rather than as sex objects) while celebrating her physical beauty. The irony is that these people on the mutant vehicle were misreading this beautiful work of art in the exact way that so many women have to deal with every day. And that is the reason this man was moved to cry.

    I value that men like Kevin can be sensitive to these issues that are annoying at best and threatening or dangerous at worst to women. Kevin, I’m sorry these people misread your story. Maybe they can read it with fresh eyes now. It’s a fantastic story, I loved it, and I appreciate that you shared it.

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  • London says:

    Just to be clear(er), about (cisjim) and i’s point… Is that we are suggesting that ‘Kevin’ made this entire ‘story’ up, and is indeed is correctly categorized in the “dream and memory from the Playa ” section, and that was written to manipulate your consciousness.
    It is my (& cisjim’s) calling this out and making an examples ( straw-man and college orientations) of how people use of legitimate causes and abuses in the world and water their messages down with (obvious) over-the-top, stories like ‘Kevin’s’ .

    I (we) are suggesting that ‘Kevin’ does not exist and this story is fiction… That is the meat of thisthe thread, not about wether women get cat called or disrespected as a gender…
    I would love to hear what ‘Kevin’ has to say about this suggestion… – L

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  • Kevin, "Kabi", "Outfit" says:

    This is Kevin here, a male. A gay male in fact.

    Yes this story actually happened. The fact that there is so much doubt on this thread says more about you all than me. I could ask some of the members of my camp The Astropups to confirm this story, but I don’t think it would make a jot of difference to you cynics. Thank you Eshre, you’re right on the mark.

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  • London says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Thanks for the follow-up.
    Apologies for doubting your intentions with your observations/vividly recounted story. I believe that’s exactly what happened and exactly how you felt as it was happening.

    I get it now, after reading your real life bio via a google search and rereading your blog.
    I was wrong about you being a plant. I learned something about my ridged assumptions being just that… Assumptions.
    Perhaps we were brought together through this blog feed thru playadipity?

    Mayby there is something for you to learn by all the confusion your blog words have created with more than just me…

    ( Your brief blog’s words) They compartmentalize straight-males, in a rigid box, with no Love or understanding and made an assumption of the whole strain of straight males…

    Question yourself Kabi why you felt the need to say you were Gay ? ( had absolutely nothing to do with your blog or thread following)

    Consider the goal of Burning Man is not Us vs. ‘them’ but oneness.
    Despite you being empathetic for women and ‘gay’ I still find your Blog one that separates us vs brings us together.


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