The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

Your Guide to surviving the Sevens circle of Hell

Yes, it’s that time again in Wellington. Sevens time. Where packs of dudebros roam the streets, puddles of vomit adorn the city suburbs and those of us who think basically being a shithead is dumb get called snobs. Good times.

Dante’s seventh circle of hell houses, among others, those who are violent against people and property. How very apt. So, my guide for the weekend:

1. Leave town, if you possibly can. This is very short notice, but seriously, wouldn’t a weekend in invercargill be lovely? At the very least, try Petone. There’ll still be some fuckknuckles that have slipped through the cracks, but less en masse.

2. Carry a bat. A big one. For every time someone yells “get your tits out for the boys”, and does not respond to your raised middle finger.

3. If you cannot source a bat, try an actual sevens player. They are big, fast, and the ones I have met have always been appalled by the behaviour their tournament engenders. Such a shame the organisers don’t appear to have the same qualms.

4. Employ mis-direction. Point in the opposite direction and yell “look! That guy is dressed like a couch! Hahahahahahaha.”

5. Try to remember that there are thousands of people who go to the sevens and enjoy it without causing any problems and don’t assault or otherwise harass anyone.

6. If you’re going, try to remember that “the full sevens experience” doesn’t have to involve vomiting, urinating or any other bodily functions in public. It doesn’t have to involve asking women to indulge your fantasies, or otherwise being a gross, entitled fuckwit. It doesn’t have to involve using the security of you and your friends dressing the same to form a pack that simply serves to intimidate and frighten strangers. It doesn’t have to involve “dressing like a slut”, if you don’t feel comfortable with that, and if you do, it doesn’t mean anyone gets to treat you with anything less than respect.

7. Seriously. This is not a nice time to be in the city, if you’re not interested in large crowds of very drunk and excitable people. Last year, several drunk men surrounded me, and demanded I show them my tits. At lunchtime. On The Terrace. A few years ago, I was watching a guy shave his head, being impressed at his dedication to his costume, when he waved the clippers at me, and offered to give me a Brazilian. And not in such polite language. Courtenay Place will be feral and disgusting. Avoid it if you can. If you can’t, do what you need to do to keep yourself safe. Tell people to leave you alone. Enlist the help of whoever you need to, whether it’s the police, your friends, or bouncers. And don’t take any shit from anyone. Be safe, darlings.

7 responses to “Your Guide to surviving the Sevens circle of Hell

  1. Carlist January 31, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Altogether now, rugby is not a sexist game, 2, 3, 4

    • tallulahspankhead February 1, 2013 at 9:44 am

      Well, while I would never deny there are huge problems in the culture of rugby, I think blaming it on rugby is far too simplistic.

      It ignores the fact that the culture of this event – and bear in mind that most of the people who go won’t watch more than 10 minutes of actual rugby – encourages excessive drinking. It encourages a pack mentality where groups of people feel comfortable attacking strangers. It has become so much bigger than the tournament itself that the city holds a street party, corralling them all into one space.

      So yes, rugby culture is a problem, but it is simply reflecting larger societal problems. And this event gives people who want to behave that way license to do so. And the authorities do very little about it.

      • whio February 1, 2013 at 11:01 am

        I know ppl who aren’t even buying tickets anymore. It’s halloween on steroids: get dressed up, & get on the piss from 10am this morning. Def not abt rugby.

  2. Nic K. Wood February 1, 2013 at 10:48 am

    A group of people are setting up a “chill out space” in Glover Park (near Ghuznee and Garrett st), which we’ll be trying to make as safe as possible. We’ll have guitars, games, zine-making etc. Totally understand people not feeling safe and wanting to avoid, but there is also some merit in reclaiming the city’s spaces where we can get enough solidarity 🙂

    There’s a FB group for those organising it here: and we’ll make a public event pretty soon.

  3. MJ February 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I really, really regret living on Willis Street right now.

    But as an aside, if anyone is on or near the Metro New World on Willis Street and needs company/backup/just to get off the street for a second, all my contact info is on my Gravatar profile. Don’t hesitate to flick me a message. My partner and I can walk you somewhere, or you can just come in and chill for a bit (we have vodka).

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