B-Sides: Tila Tequila Vs. the World

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Last Friday night, reality TV star/pop singer Tila Tequila was attacked by concertgoers at the 11th annual Gathering of the Juggalos in rural Southern Illinois. But you probably already knew that. It's a story made in gossip blog heaven; a Playboy-model-turned-Myspace-celebrity-turned-reality-TV-star being attacked by the fans of the self-appointed "Most Hated Band in Music." Yet, both Tequila and the Insane Clown Posse are comparatively unpopular and disrespected, so why is it that Tila Tequila is the one getting the bad rap?!

Tila Tequila

Pelted with bottles, human feces, rocks, and firecrackers, Tila Tequila suffered from several cuts and bruises during her performance at the festival. Interestingly, the performance took place during the Gathering's first ever "Ladies Night"; Camille Dodero, an editor at the Village Voice who was onstage during Tequila's performance, noted that ICP's label, Psychopathic Records, conceived of the Ladies Night "to establish a female face." Juggalo culture itself is decidedly misogynistic, so the label's attempt to reach women is interesting, if not questionable. Writing for the Bygone Bureau, Jeff Merrion defines a Jugalette (the feminine incarnation of a Juggalo) as, "Inherently weaker than her male counterpart because of her vagina," in comparison to the Juggalo, an "adherent to the Insane Clown Posse (ICP) credo of beating women and gays."

Misogyny aside, Juggalos and Jugalettes were angry at the fact that such a mainstream reality TV and pop star was coming to perform at the Gathering. It has been speculated, including by the members of ICP themselves, that the attack of Tequila was planned in advance. 

According to Dodero, and the video of the performance leaked to TMZ, the situation went something like this: Tequila took the stage, but the crowd was booing her incessantly and immediately began hurling objects. The crowd started yellling at her to "show her tits." In an attempt to win over the crowd, Tequila did just that, but it didn't work. She was rushed off the stage, only to be chased by a mob to her trailer,  where they rocked and smashed the windows. She was later chased to her SUV.  In the wild west of blog comments, though, Tequila is squarely to blame for the attack. Jabs like..

"The Insane Clown Posse should be destroyed for making me feel even an ounce of sympathy for Tila Tequila. What is this world coming to?!"

"HAHA what a dirty whore."

"This story just gets better and better. This Ho-bag got everything that was coming to her. Karma is a bitch."

pepper the comments section of nearly every blog post and article on the attack. Indeed, the general consensus seems to be that Tequila is to blame for her treatment. Eyewitnesses claim that Tequila was egging on the crowd. The CNN report interviewed an anonymous witness, who said,  "She was taunting them... She didn't know how to handle them. She didn't understand the dynamic." (God help us if we ever understand the Juggalo dynamic...). A statement released by the Gathering's organizers similarly noted that, "Ms. Tequila was made aware, in advance, of her unpopularity with many Juggalos at the Gathering, but she insisted on performing".

In other words, Tila Tequila deserved it. She's a dirty whore, ho-bag, a slut, a bitch. She isn't to be trusted or believed. It's hilarious that she was pelted with objects and chased by a mob of hundreds, because she's a attention-seeking fameball.

Yet, it seems fair to dig back into Tila Tequila's history. Back in January, Brian Moylan called Tequila the "World's Worst Person" on Gawker. Why? Moylan speculated that she used the death of her fiancé as an opportunity for publicty. She also had her NFL player boyfriend Shawne Merriman arrested for "allegedly choking her." The charges were later dropped, and Tila Tequila was rumored to have used this allegation of domestic violence purely for publicity.

Tequila will do "anything" to achieve stardom. In the realms of the Celebrity Industrial Complex, her desire to achieve superstardom is far more transparent than most, and her transparency is read as desperation. Thus, when Tila Tequila took to Twitter to publicize her attack at the Gathering, the blogosphere took it as another publicity stunt made up in order to garner attention. After TMZ released the video of the performance and confirmed that the attack was, in fact, legitimate, Tequila was still dismissed as merely a famewhore. The attack, then, was funny. It was, as Sean O'Neal opined on the A.V. Club, an incident where "nobody wins except the Internet."

Ultimately, though, Tila Tequila is still taking the brunt of the blame for the attack against her. She KNEW that the crowd didn't want her there, but she antagonized them anyway. She KNEW that Juggalos were prone to throwing objects during performances, so she can't complain when they did. Certainly, in a subculture where misogyny is worn like a badge, where ICP spouts out lyrics like, "bitch call me sexy sex sexy sexist," an attack on a woman during the Gathering's first-ever Ladies Night is not entirely surprising.

Does that make it OK, though? Why is it that Tila Tequila is said to have "gotten what she deserved"?  Could it be that, much like many victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence, she's seen as "asking for it"? Like a woman in a short skirt, Tequila is responsible for being attacked, and the blatant misogyny condoned in the Juggalo community is just "boys being boys."

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Comments

21 comments have been made. Post a comment.

I wonder

What if a man got on stage at a lilith concert & was assaulted? Would he get what he deserved for antaganizing the crowd by just being a man? Would that make him a famewhore?

Just wondering...

Not seeing the comparison...

Anonymous,

The Juggalo culture (as Katie points out) is known for promoting misogyny and sexism. As far as I know, the culture surrounding Lilith Fair does not have a reputation for sexism or violence.

____________
Kelsey Wallace, web editor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

____________
Kelsey Wallace, contributor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

People would blame the

People would blame the women, calling them "crazy" or "Feminazis" and probably joke that they were on their period... uuugghhhh.

Now imagine that guy is

Now imagine that guy is Spencer Pratt....

Ohhh! Good one!

Ohhh! Good one!

sickening

This is a horrible thing to happen to anyone. No matter what someone's age, sex, gender, sexuality, beliefs, looks, religion, etc. they should not be treated in this manner!! People can be so cruel and the justification of "boys being boys" is almost as revolting. We turn a blind eye to this treatment because of these stupid ideas we are TAUGHT by culture that cause us to accept and support this type of treatment. It is truly sickening.

And what makes me really mad is the fact that people endorse her behavior and crucify her for it later! It makes no sense. They want to "see her tits" and take her clothes off but then they call her a whore and say she had it coming. I want to say to that person "WELL IDIOT you endorsed and encouraged her behavior so what does that make YOU? How about a sexist, hypocritical idiot? Yeah, yeah it does!"

Exactly! A lot of people

Exactly! A lot of people have this weird love/hate relationship with so-called "whores." (I don't know how else to describe it...)

Horrifying

When I saw this up at TMZ over the weekend, I was horrified to see the photo of Tila with the cuts and bruises on her face. She looked bloody and beaten and yes, the comments were all in favor of her "getting what she deserved." Frankly, it disturbed me and scared me to see so many people unrelenting in their hatred even after seeing the photos.

Who are these Juggalos? Why are they beating people at concerts? It seems very other-worldly to me and I'd love for you all to more explaining. If they are known for their mysoginy, I'm thinking we need to be all over that shite.

Regarding the comments, it's seems that Tila's sexuality (hypersexuality, maybe even bisexuality) is directly tied to people's positive support of the violence. Fame-whoring alone doesn't seem worthy of such violence - can anyone think of another example of something like this? Would people be cheering (in the comments) if the Juggalos had pelted Sandra Bullock or another "saintly" celebrity female? No.

And P.S. where's Lady Gaga on this violence against "whores" thing? I feel like it's right up her alley.

*shudders*

I can't stand so called juggalo "culture". My senior year of high school we had a bunch of fight incidents involving self-identified juggalos/ettes beating up kids because they liked Slipknot, or other bands. They threatened to kill some of my friends and when one juggalette defended a mutual friend they turned on her, keying her car and threatening her life. A bunch of kids made anti-ICP shirts which read "Psycopathetic". This all culminated in the banning of both ICP and anti-ICP clothing, accessories, etc. at the school. There was even a rumor spread on Myspace that one juggalo was going to bring a gun to school, which led to a bunch of kids staying home the next day and the assistant principal had to make a statement in the local paper to convince parents that it was safe for their kids to come to school.

I have to say, though the

I have to say, though the incident is horrific- the decision to perform for such a rowdy drunk, drugged up and disorderly group of people is a poor choice to put it delicately. Where was her manager on this one? The "band" is 40 year men who dress like clowns 24/7 who rap about being drunk drugged up violent clowns committing crimes, half of which are domestic abuse against women. What? The crown is know for fighting, being drunk, throwning stuff, and chanting weird stuff like"family". Why why why would you go? You can't possibly need money that bad, and they can possibly have paid you that well....

And why do we not hold bands responsible for riots when they obvi incite? 5 sec at a mic by any one of these fools would have stopped this mess.

Re: Why would Tila Tequila perform?

As Camille Dodero writes in her eyewitness account on the Village Voice blog, Michelle Rapp, the organizer of the Ladies' Night, went to high school with Tila Tequila. Dodero quotes Rapp as saying,

"She has an album coming out, and we were like, 'Hell yeah.' And then when we called her to ask her, she was like, 'Hell yeah! I'm down with the Juggalos!'"

That is the closest to an explanation that I've found.

____________
Katie Waldeck, New Media Intern
Are you there, blog? It's me, Comments Policy

No one ever deserves to have

No one ever deserves to have something like that happen to them. Even if a person puts themselves in what some would consider a risky situation, that doesn't justify attack. I'll admit, I think it was probably a bad idea for her (or any woman) to perform at a Gathering, but that still doesn't make it okay on any level. Neither does her naked ambition or the fact that a lot of people just don't like her. One of the comments listed in the post is "what a dirty whore." I hate the use of that word as a general insult toward women. What does it have to do with the specific incident? In what way did she even act like a "whore"? This is not a new problem by any means, but I consider it a big problem for sure.

Juggaloes are horrible.

Juggaloes are horrible. Like imagine 4chan incarnate, but without all the irony and humor.

It's the "whore" concept and

It's the "whore" concept and psychology, women who seek attention -- Tila for the public and "whores" for men. Very generally, the women I knew who were named whores had some of the lowest self-esteems. They also acted out or did the most bizarre and wild things to get attention. I think that there is a lot of problems with how young girls are treated, an American social phenomena, leaving girls starving to get thin or seeking attention from men to feel a human connection. The reaction from "haters" and neutral people alike, towards Tila, is so similar to the reaction that people have towards "whores." There is pity, then dislike, sometimes resentfulness, but most importantly disrespect. Even from other women, even from friends. Tila just has a larger audience to act out on.

I had no idea

Prior to reading this, if someone had mentioned the Insane Clown Posse, my response probably would have been, "That's a band, right?" I've missed this whole phenomenon and am horrified by the unabashed women- and queer-hating credo, not to mention the incident itself. Why should it matter if you find Tila Tequila obnoxious? She's a woman who was brutally attacked while doing her job, by self-proclaimed woman-beaters, and this shit is not okay.

Sympathy

I have SO much sympathy for Tila. I was once attacked in a trailer by a group of young men who smashed the windows with rocks and bricks and then, when I tried to run to escape, chased me and my partner down the street, brandishing bricks and even caught my partner and started to beat him before he could escape. This story was such a reminder of that attack, times a billion. So sad to see her bleeding face...

Needless to say: Juggalos? I don't care what you call a culture/situation where this can happen. It's evil, it's poisonous and it is absolutely the organizer's fault. Anyone remember the Rolling Stones @ Altamont? Of course, that murder was committed by the "security" but the same lack of understanding and control of the stoned & drunken crowds leads to these situations.

I can't believe how many

I can't believe how many people are victim blaming. I may not like Tila Tequila, but she doesn't deserve this.
My mom and I almost got hit by a juggalo when she was driving. Juggalos are so stupid and pathetic, and ICP's "music" is crap. A while back, my boyfriend told me about them, and people, himself included, troll them a lot. That gives me some satisfaction.

I'm also not a fan of Tila

I'm also not a fan of Tila but am pretty outraged at both the attack itself and the overall response to it. Kinda makes me wonder what's going to come of the situation if she seeks legal action against the band/promoters/management/security/fans/whomever. Obviously, I don't know what her contract said as far as a disclaimer for being bottled, stoned, and things of that nature at the event, but I can't help but wonder what type of response she'd get from a judge and jury on the matter.

No Valid Excuses

There can be no valid excuses for the vicious attack on Tia Tequila in Southern Illinois. Nothing in the world could "make it OK". "Boys being boys my butt. They're criminals.

Tila Tequila is getting a bad rap because she is a an openly bisexual vietnamese woman who has been outspoken defending the gay community and dares to flaunt what she's got. She is a victim of racism, misogynistic sexism, and gender orientation bias.

The Juggalos are beyond just being misogynistic and i would hate to think of it as a "culture". Wikipedia's article on "Juggalo" notes: "There have been numerous incidents of Juggalos committing violent acts including murder, kidnapping, assault, and arson..." "...authorities have classified them as a gang in Utah, Arizona, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, and Modesto, California."

Tila Tequila pointed out that she was under contract to perform and could have been sued if she did not.

The first sentence of the second paragraph of your post states what happened quite succinctly. I find it outrageous that she should be the target of so many vicious lies that she felt she had to post photos proving the wounds and bruises occurred onstage and were not self-inflicted.

The commenters she gets tend to be pretty horrid as well. It's amazing how may haters there are out there.

?!wtf!?

I really don't know what to say. I'm at a total loss. I guess I'll start by saying I'm not a fan of Ms. Tequilla, but I'm also not arrogant enough to think it's my place to pass judgement or determine her worth. I won't pretend to understand her or her actions, but she isn't hurting me. To each their own. I am familiar w/ICP and own some of their albums,and yet I still don't get the whole"juggalo" thing. They are grown men running around in clown makeup! I must have missed the memo. I just kind of took them as they were. I don't have any major issues w/ICP, but never took them as the second coming either. I give them credit for original marketing, but come on! People really buy into this? In some of their lyrics they pretty much say they are selling you a image and you are buying it. creative marketing? Shock value? Do you think ICP is that deluded? I don't. People really justify violence for this? WTF. ICP is laughing all the way to the bank, not at Tila, but at the juggalos who are getting played. She may be stupid, but they aren't making themselves look much better.

you all are wrong

I think everything you all have said is bullshit even the article has bullshit in it she stayed up there for 6 mins taunting the crowed I think what happened was wrong but all you ignorant people judging all juggalos for the actions of a few is bullshit and I for one am sick and tired of it she should have gotten off stage when she saw she wasn't wanted there I hope her law suit falls and they counter sue for the stress we are not all bad people a lot of us have good jobs family's or are college students so just keep your narrowed mindedness and think about this we are growing and someday we will control thing so enjoy.