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Podcast: Lauren Franchi on keeping the dancefloor safe

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

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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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