That time I was sexually harassed at a Packers game

I was going to write about the Packers steamrolling the Bears this past weekend, but what else is there to say? Garbage time officially started at the beginning of the second half, and it would have been a mercy move had the players given kids from De Pere, Bayport and Ashwaubenon a turn at taking on the Bears at that point.

Instead, I’m going to use this forum to share a personal experience from that night and point out that it is the first time that I did not feel at ease at Lambeau Field. At halftime, while the Packers were likely laughing it up in the locker room, I was sexually harassed by a fellow Packers fan I had never met.

This topic has been in the media quite a lot lately. Most people are familiar with the woman who videoed herself walking around New York while receiving 108 lewd catcalls while, well, just walking around New York. And my own local paper just ran Los Angeles Times’ Meghan Daum’s outstanding editorial just this past weekend about how we as a society have become so desensitized to such behavior that we just silently accept it, often blaming the woman for “asking for it.”

But let me get one thing straight–I wasn’t asking for it, and no one could conceivably blame the way I was dressed. Winter coat with an extra layers underneath and a pair of jeans, I wasn’t exactly dressed in a come hither manner.

Yet that didn’t matter. And it shouldn’t matter whether or not I was there with my husband. But the fact that he was not in the room at the time someone how signaled to this creep that I “didn’t belong” to anyone else and was a target.

I have been regularly going to home games since 2008. Our seats are in the club level, and there is a public box just above our section. It’s where people go to warm up during the half, eat a snack or charge their cell phone.

I went in there to charge my phone. Like many moms, I don’t want to be without it when my kids are elsewhere. So I plugged into the wall while my husband headed to the bathroom and concessions. He was bored and needed to stretch his legs. No big, we do that all the time.

I must have been in there minute or two, leaning against the wall flipping through Twitter before he approached. He was a Packers fan. His buddies wore blue and orange. He looked like he was in his late fifties at best, perhaps his early sixties.

“Hey, are you sleeping?” he asked me.

“No, I’m charging my phone,” I answered as I went back to what I was doing. I  could smell the alcohol on him, and really didn’t want to talk to him.

And that’s when he started. He closed in on my personal space and tried to ramp up what he thought was, no doubt, his love-sexy charm.

“Hey, just think of me as Bill Clinton.”

I ignored him and turned away. Go away, little drunk man. I really wasn’t up for it.

The innuendo continued. He kept getting closer. Had he touched me, I would’ve either decked him or found security.

Oh yes, you’re moves are so persuasive. Let me drop everything so I can make out with you in the bathroom. Seriously, who would ever fall for that crap?

He wouldn’t stop, and was irritated I ignored him. My phone was charged to 44%. That would get me through the game if I didn’t use it, right?

Meanwhile, the world just kept spinning in that warming skybox. No one else in the room seemed to notice what this creep was doing proving that this behavior can, in fact, happen just about anywhere and people either chose to ignore it or are so desensitized they don’t even see it.

“Back off!” I warned him, just loud enough for some around me to hear. My posture changed. Imagine one of those really brassed off cobras that just reared its head giving you the option to go away or die. That was me at that moment.

That’s when someone stepped in. A gentleman who sits one row ahead of us leaned in and told him, “Why don’t you leave her alone. She’s sitting with us.” After all, that’s what the No More campaign is promoting. No more sitting on the sidelines while this nonsense continues.

But he leaned in again, and that urge to hit someone really hard resurfaced for the first time since I was eight-years-old. (That’s the only time in my life I’ve ever punched someone.) At that point, I had little faith in security. They’re nice guys in red vests and all, but security and the GBPD did little to nothing last year at the playoff game when the slobbering drunk behind me kept puking and puking and puking all because he said, “I didn’t do it.”

So instead, I walked away and told him in no uncertain terms to, well, let’s just say it involved an expletive that would horrify my mother and my dad would give me a high-five for using. At the end of the day, I loved my season tickets more than I hated that creep.

I’m still angry about it three days later. It’s the first time I did not feel at  home in my stadium. It’s the first time I felt like a thing and not a person there. How dare this jackass make me feel this way.

But it raises a bigger question–how often does it happen at Lambeau? Clearly I wasn’t the first and won’t be the last. After all, women are just objects, things. What business do we have going to a football game? After all it’s a man’s sport. Shouldn’t we be at home ironing clothes or whatever those Stepford Wives are supposed to be doing?

I resent the fact that he believed that I was alone (ie, not there under the supervision of a man) and therefore I was free for the taking, that I was a possession to be had.

But it shouldn’t matter. It really shouldn’t. Whether or not I was there with my husband, dad, brother or my college friend should not be the only deterrent form this type of behavior. After all, this isn’t Saudi Arabia.

I am a fan too. I am part of the Packers Family. I am not, nor will I ever be a piece of meat.

Newsflash creepers: we don’t want your advances. We are not pieces of meat. We are human beings. How dare you think it is okay to act that way?

No more she obviously wanted it. No more boys will be boys. No more “I was only joking.” No more “You should take it as a compliment.” No more “It’s not my problem.”

No More.

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Kelly Hodgson is a writer for PackersTalk.com and you can listen to her as a Co-Host of Out of the Pocket. You can also follow Kelly on Twitter at @ceallaigh_k

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85 thoughts on “That time I was sexually harassed at a Packers game

  1. Mr Rehor: I came to this blog to read about football. I don’t mind a compelling human interest story, but as MR above succinctly pointed out, this isn’t harassment and if a few details were tweaked, it would likely be much ado about nothing.

    As someone that also followed this story on Jersey Al’s FB feed, I find it interesting that this author brow beat another female for her own personal opinions (that were unique…….) and addressed her a few times as “honey”.

    How many times out of 100 would it permissible to address this author using the term “honey” in a condescending manner? I bet 0!

  2. Ms. Hodgson…can’t reply to my post here but you can make comments on twitter? Why don’t you answer my questions…why was his age and appearance important? Why are they relevant to your story?

  3. I’ll answer this question. I mentioned his age and appearance because it was relevant to his Bill Clinton comment. But why does there need to be tweaking to make this much ado about nothing?

    I know the difference between getting hit on and outright harassment. Getting hit on doesn’t involve getting cornered 3-1 against a wall as leering friends look on.

    Sublimate this guy’s behavior however you want to justify how he behaved. He did not cross the line with you. He was not so close to you that you could figure what booze he imbibed.

    Feel free to accept his behavior as something socially acceptable. But since you are not me, I don’t have to accept it not tolerate it.

  4. Correct, Honey, you don’t have to accept, or tolerate it. But you do, Honey, have to accept that people may have opinions differing from your own when shared in a public forum.

    I guess respect for women, Honey, only applies when the subject agrees with your own rigid perceptions and experiences. Otherwise, as you’ve shown Honey, they are open to bullying, brow beating and name calling. Or, in other words Honey, the exact type of behavior that has you so worked up.

    Madam Honey Kettle, meet Mr Pot.

  5. Julie S. and Sean D. sound like they would be perfect for each other. Their ass backwards way of thinking on this subject is like a match made in heaven.

  6. Any of the people blaming the victim here are tools. That’s pretty evident. I wish the writer, or future writers on this subject (I get this is not easy in the moment) would have gotten more details.

    I personally want to know:

    1. What’s his name?
    2. Is he married?
    3. Is he prominent in the community?

    Having perhaps gotten this information would make this piece more effective and future pieces like it by all authors. Again, in the moment of being abused, this may not be the first thought, and I understand that. I think public and family shame is the ultimate weapon. Thank you and I’m sorry this happened.

  7. I sure hope Skeptical has a blog where they can blog about this blog being a bad blog because the blogger wrote a blog piece about something that happened to them.

    Oh wait, that’s the whole point of a blog. To write about personal experiences and share opinions. Which Kelly did-very, very well.

    Maybe some of the commenters here should read other blogs about things like sexual harassment, rape culture, etc. Read some other personal stories about how Kelly’s incident isn’t the only one to ever happen, that it’s more prevalent than most want to admit, accept, or acknowledge. Then, maybe their moronic way of blaming the author for this incident will start to change.

    Maybe.

  8. “Correct, Honey, you don’t have to accept, or tolerate it. But you do, Honey, have to accept that people may have opinions differing from your own when shared in a public forum.”

    Some people in internet forums also discuss how to build bombs and kill people. Some people discuss how to fight dogs or cocks. Some people discuss how to hack government computers.

    Since those opinions differ from mine, you’re saying I have to accept them because they’re in a public forum?

    Things are right because they’re right, and they’re wrong because they’re wrong. Some things are not open to interpretation because you fail to see the errors in your ignorant ways.

  9. I think Kelly should have went to the police for help.

    Now dislike this post and get it hidden.

  10. I wonder why the author decided to describe the age of the man “harassing” her? What relevance to her story is the fact that he was in his late 50’s/60’s? Why does that matter? Why does it matter that he smelled like alcohol?

    Would she have wrote this blog if the perpetrator was by himself, in his late twenties/early thirties, tall, dark and handsome, well-spoken and stone-sober?

    I think we all know the answer. She would have been flattered by the attention of being hit on by “Brad Pitt”. Instead she’d disgusted because Brad Pitt’s drunk step-uncle hit on her like a lout.

    Sorry but this isn’t sexual harassment. This is an example of a drunk loser thinking he’s funny with his buddies nearby. Same thing happens million times/day in every nightclub in the world…perpetuated by men and women.

  11. I’ve noticed that when disagreeing over an issue, this brother/sister combo tends to resort to name calling to express their opinions. Make no mistake, they are just that, opinions.

    I’m guessing that while they like to dish it out, they have a very small tolerance for such name calling behavior when directed at them. Such behavior is common among arrogant people that consider their viewpoints infallible by describing them as not being open to interpretation. Obviously that is incorrect, as several people here have had different interpretations.

  12. Where in the story does it say you were cornered 3-1 by his friends? This facts keep changing. If that were true it would’ve been a pretty important detail to put in the original copy.

    This whole thing is sketchy. Woman gets hit on by drunk guy and whines about it on the internet while women are being harassed and assaulted for real.

    Guess this is why this is a “blog” and not news.

  13. Mr Rehor: I came to this blog to read about football. I don’t mind a compelling human interest story, but as MR above succinctly pointed out, this isn’t harassment and if a few details were tweaked, it would likely be much ado about nothing.

    As someone that also followed this story on Jersey Al’s FB feed, I find it interesting that this author brow beat another female for her own personal opinions (that were unique…….) and addressed her a few times as “honey”.

    How many times out of 100 would it permissible to address this author using the term “honey” in a condescending manner? I bet 0!

  14. Ms. Hodgson…can’t reply to my post here but you can make comments on twitter? Why don’t you answer my questions…why was his age and appearance important? Why are they relevant to your story?

  15. So Mr. Skeptical, tell me exactly where I called you a name. I said your ways were ignorant. If I called you a name, I would have called you an ignoramus.

    Words. Learn how to use and interpret them correctly. Otherwise, your entire argument loses all validity.

    On the other hand, you are name calling by using “Honey.” Oh, the irony, it burns!

    Speaking of names, at least I have the courage to reveal mine and not hide behind the anonymity of the internet. If what you’re saying can’t be linked to your name without embarrassment or repercussion, then it’s probably of questionable morality.

  16. How do you know I am ‘Mr’ Skeptical? I purposefully have not included information tying me to be being male or female.

    Maybe I haven’t included that because I don’t want men here that disagree with me to intimidate me with hurtful words and assertions that my opinion is not valid, or ignorant (this is irony). Lots of bullies here and on the specific FB thread.

    Of course, the author has already used the word ‘honey’ to address a disagreeing female in a hurtful manner. I guess we’ll just gloss over that…Honey was her word, I am showing how ridiculous that word choice was, given this topic. There is no irony in your example, just poor reading comprehension skills. Again, Honey was her word, not mine.

  17. Oh, yes, I’m the one with poor comprehension skills. You totally got me.

    You, on the other hand, do not understand certain vocabulary terms.

    Ignorant is not an insult. It means lake of knowledge or awareness. For example, I am ignorant of quantum physics.

    Your post was ironic because you were lecturing me on name calling after you just got done calling someone names. That is irony. More so, if you used it for emphasis because “honey” was used previously to your use of it, that’s even more ironic.

  18. And before I get slammed for autocorrect being a sign of ignorance, I clearly meant “lack” and not “lake.” But, I suspect I’ll hear about it nonetheless.

  19. I’ll answer this question. I mentioned his age and appearance because it was relevant to his Bill Clinton comment. But why does there need to be tweaking to make this much ado about nothing?

    I know the difference between getting hit on and outright harassment. Getting hit on doesn’t involve getting cornered 3-1 against a wall as leering friends look on.

    Sublimate this guy’s behavior however you want to justify how he behaved. He did not cross the line with you. He was not so close to you that you could figure what booze he imbibed.

    Feel free to accept his behavior as something socially acceptable. But since you are not me, I don’t have to accept it not tolerate it.

  20. Defining the word ignorant is not an insult. Using it to describe the actions, or opinions of someone, is indeed an insult. Nice try.

    Nobody cares about your spelling (UNLIKE JERSEY AL FACEBOOK POSTERS).

    You have an opinion. My opinion differs. Only one of us has declared that their opinion is correct, and not open to interpretation. The arrogance needed to assert this in a debate is astounding. If you’re this arrogant over a topic you can’t possibly relate to, I wonder how welcoming you are to other views on topics you might actually know something about.

  21. Correct, Honey, you don’t have to accept, or tolerate it. But you do, Honey, have to accept that people may have opinions differing from your own when shared in a public forum.

    I guess respect for women, Honey, only applies when the subject agrees with your own rigid perceptions and experiences. Otherwise, as you’ve shown Honey, they are open to bullying, brow beating and name calling. Or, in other words Honey, the exact type of behavior that has you so worked up.

    Madam Honey Kettle, meet Mr Pot.

  22. “Correct, Honey, you don’t have to accept, or tolerate it. But you do, Honey, have to accept that people may have opinions differing from your own when shared in a public forum.”

    Some people in internet forums also discuss how to build bombs and kill people. Some people discuss how to fight dogs or cocks. Some people discuss how to hack government computers.

    Since those opinions differ from mine, you’re saying I have to accept them because they’re in a public forum?

    Things are right because they’re right, and they’re wrong because they’re wrong. Some things are not open to interpretation because you fail to see the errors in your ignorant ways.

  23. I’ve noticed that when disagreeing over an issue, this brother/sister combo tends to resort to name calling to express their opinions. Make no mistake, they are just that, opinions.

    I’m guessing that while they like to dish it out, they have a very small tolerance for such name calling behavior when directed at them. Such behavior is common among arrogant people that consider their viewpoints infallible by describing them as not being open to interpretation. Obviously that is incorrect, as several people here have had different interpretations.

  24. Where in the story does it say you were cornered 3-1 by his friends? This facts keep changing. If that were true it would’ve been a pretty important detail to put in the original copy.

    This whole thing is sketchy. Woman gets hit on by drunk guy and whines about it on the internet while women are being harassed and assaulted for real.

    Guess this is why this is a “blog” and not news.

  25. I do have to say something on this and that perception is reality. You can parse words and meanings and legalities all you want, but Kelly’s perception is her reality. When you begin to parse words and get into semantics, you’re using linguistics to cover the fact that what you’re really saying is that she is entirely responsible for the behavior of someone she had never met before.

    No, she is not. We are responsible for our own actions. Creepy Old Man is responsible for HIS actions–he alone and nobody else. When you put her down and try to defend him, you are perpetuating this notion that men are entitled to sex and that if a man “hits on us”, we are required to oblige him and if we don’t, we made him harrass us or assault us.

    No. Creepy Old Drunk Guy made a choice to harass her. He made a choice to keep harassing her. He chose his behavior and when he didn’t get the result he wanted or expected, he could have chose to stop.

    He chose not to. But yet, we’re so quick to blame the woman in this situation. While if I were in the same situation, I might have chose to leave, I’m not going to knock Kelly for making the choice she made. I wasn’t in her shoes.

    You can parse words all you want, but harassment is abuse. Period. End of Sentence. If Kelly standing up for herself and having enough self-respect to not tolerate that behavior from someone else bothers you, then you have issues with women, especially strong women and instead of projecting them onto her, perhaps you should deal with them yourself.

  26. So Mr. Skeptical, tell me exactly where I called you a name. I said your ways were ignorant. If I called you a name, I would have called you an ignoramus.

    Words. Learn how to use and interpret them correctly. Otherwise, your entire argument loses all validity.

    On the other hand, you are name calling by using “Honey.” Oh, the irony, it burns!

    Speaking of names, at least I have the courage to reveal mine and not hide behind the anonymity of the internet. If what you’re saying can’t be linked to your name without embarrassment or repercussion, then it’s probably of questionable morality.

  27. How do you know I am ‘Mr’ Skeptical? I purposefully have not included information tying me to be being male or female.

    Maybe I haven’t included that because I don’t want men here that disagree with me to intimidate me with hurtful words and assertions that my opinion is not valid, or ignorant (this is irony). Lots of bullies here and on the specific FB thread.

    Of course, the author has already used the word ‘honey’ to address a disagreeing female in a hurtful manner. I guess we’ll just gloss over that…Honey was her word, I am showing how ridiculous that word choice was, given this topic. There is no irony in your example, just poor reading comprehension skills. Again, Honey was her word, not mine.

  28. Oh, yes, I’m the one with poor comprehension skills. You totally got me.

    You, on the other hand, do not understand certain vocabulary terms.

    Ignorant is not an insult. It means lake of knowledge or awareness. For example, I am ignorant of quantum physics.

    Your post was ironic because you were lecturing me on name calling after you just got done calling someone names. That is irony. More so, if you used it for emphasis because “honey” was used previously to your use of it, that’s even more ironic.

  29. And before I get slammed for autocorrect being a sign of ignorance, I clearly meant “lack” and not “lake.” But, I suspect I’ll hear about it nonetheless.

  30. Defining the word ignorant is not an insult. Using it to describe the actions, or opinions of someone, is indeed an insult. Nice try.

    Nobody cares about your spelling (UNLIKE JERSEY AL FACEBOOK POSTERS).

    You have an opinion. My opinion differs. Only one of us has declared that their opinion is correct, and not open to interpretation. The arrogance needed to assert this in a debate is astounding. If you’re this arrogant over a topic you can’t possibly relate to, I wonder how welcoming you are to other views on topics you might actually know something about.

  31. His appearance is relevant because of his Bill Clinton comment? WTF? And now you were cornered by three guys?

    Your story is bullshit and is nothing but a troll for page views.

  32. To try to give some context on how someone could possibly feel differently than some of the commentators, the following is a FB status that I saw from one of the sisters of a FB friend of mine. it was posted 8 hrs ago.

    “A guy who was driving past me while I was running today stopped and asked if I was single and if he could get my number. It was a ballsy move, and maybe even slightly obnoxious, but it was also highly flattering for this married mama in her mid 30s.”

    Here is the link as well.
    https://www.facebook.com/jess.rs.barnes/posts/10204329853380950

    It appears this female, who has likely dealt with actual harassment in her life, is also ignorant. But according to Jay, this type of thing isn’t ‘open to interpretation’. Quite the arrogance there.

  33. Yes, because asking for a phone number is EXACTLY the same thing as crowding someone’s personal space and saying “Hey, just think of me as Bill Clinton.”

    And, please explain to me how I would possible think your example is one of ignorance.

  34. To try to give some context on how someone could possibly feel differently than some of the commentators, the following is a FB status that I saw from one of the sisters of a FB friend of mine. it was posted 8 hrs ago.

    “A guy who was driving past me while I was running today stopped and asked if I was single and if he could get my number. It was a ballsy move, and maybe even slightly obnoxious, but it was also highly flattering for this married mama in her mid 30s.”

    Here is the link as well.
    https://www.facebook.com/jess.rs.barnes/posts/10204329853380950

    It appears this female, who has likely dealt with actual harassment in her life, is also ignorant. But according to Jay, this type of thing isn’t ‘open to interpretation’. Quite the arrogance there.

  35. Yes, because asking for a phone number is EXACTLY the same thing as crowding someone’s personal space and saying “Hey, just think of me as Bill Clinton.”

    And, please explain to me how I would possible think your example is one of ignorance.

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