Podcast: Lauren Franchi on keeping the dancefloor safe

The DJ and former Madisonian discusses her efforts to create dance nights for marginalized people.

The DJ and former Madisonian discusses her efforts to create dance nights for marginalized people.

Back over the summer, a Craigslist missed connections post from Madison made its way around the Internet. It was from a man who’d been out dancing at Merchant and addressed to a woman he’d watched fending off a series of unwanted advances from other men. It was delightful in its way, but it also romanticized a crappy and all-too-common situation for women heading out to shows and dance nights. The woman may have been, as the poster wrote, “a paragon of humanity,” but also, who wants to spend a night out dealing with that shit? She wrote back, thanking the man but also reminding him that what’s at work here is a whole culture, not just a few creeps on a dancefloor.

The whole ordeal inspired Lauren Franchi, who DJs under the name DJ Lolo, to start a dance night called Miss Connections, which offered a safe space for women and other marginalized people. (And also welcomed men, but deliberately created an atmosphere where harassment would not be tolerated.) She discussed the night a bit in a recent interview for our Aces series, and also is quoted in a recent Capital Times story about safe-space parties.

Franchi was originally scheduled to join us for a November 15 panel discussion at Arts + Literature Laboratory called Consent, Amplified, but will not be able to, as she recently moved to Austin. I really wanted to get more of her thoughts about these issues anyway, so we spoke via Skype shortly after Franchi’s move. Give the conversation a listen below. Additionally, you can share your own thoughts and experiences in our Consent, Amplified survey.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and catch WORT-FM’s weeknight local news show, which partners with us to produce these. Thanks to Dylan Brogan for producing this interview.

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