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One of the wonders of Burning Man is that a woman can invite contact in this way and find that she is treated with respect, and even shy reluctance, by other participants. I watched as several passing men and women cautiously confirmed her desire to be touched and then gave her genuinely comforting contact, usually accompanied by a heartfelt hug and kind words of encouragement. Contrast this with the groping (or worse) that she would receive at a rock concert or a spring break bacchanal, which is the mental image many people have of Burning Man. But Burning Man is different—somehow it creates a self-policing and self-perpetuating atmosphere of benevolence that brings out the best of people in response to an invitation like this.


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©2006 by Philosopher