Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller and Jolene Guillum-Scott launched the ‘glittery march for consent’ this week after Madeline was groped while topless at a festival in New Zealand last month.
But within 24 hours of promoting the protest, due to take place later this month, aspiring writer Madeline, 20, and makeup artist Jolene, 22, began receiving abusive messages — which left Jolene in tears.
One troll even threatened to come to the event ‘in a car’ in an apparent reference to recent terrorist attacks where vehicles have been used to kill pedestrians in city centres worldwide.
The ‘march for consent’ was organised after Madeline, from Portland, in the US, was groped by a male reveller at Rhythm & Vines festival on New Year’s Eve as she partied with ‘glitter boob’ decoration designed by Jolene’s company GypsyFest covering her bare breasts.
Katie Ashworth (left) and Madeleine Anello-Kitzmiller (right) at the festival. Madeline and their friend Jolene Guillum-Scott are planning a protest about consent. Picture: Caters News AgencySource:Caters News Agency
Footage which captured a man running up to her and grabbing her cleavage before the 20-year-old chased after him and punched him four times went viral.
Madeline and Jolene have hit back to insist their march — the exact time and location of which has not yet been revealed — will still go ahead with more than 100 attendees set to take part.
On Tuesday, Jolene, from Auckland, took to social media to explain what the march was about but broke down crying when trolls harassed her while she spoke in a live video.
The 22-year-old said: “I was really excited to talk about something which means so much to me, but I actually could not believe the comments I was getting.
“They actually made me cry a couple of times. I was honestly shocked. I couldn’t even get a word out because I was just so overwhelmed.
The women have been shocked by the abuse and threats they’ve received since announcing the protest. Picture: Caters News AgencySource:Caters News Agency
Jolene was reading the abuse while broadcasting a Facebook live. She was visibly shaken by the response. Picture: Caters News AgencySource:Caters News Agency
“Trolls do not even believe you are human — they just do not give a s**t.”
Madeline added: “The amount of negativity sent to both Jolene and I is horrendous.
“Someone said they were going to be there in there in their car, implying they would run people over which has happened elsewhere in the world, and called me a ‘f***ing sl*t’ and told me to ‘go back to my own f***ing country’.
“It shows us people care more about what women are ‘allowed’ to do with their bodies than about the countless victims whose numbers grow every day — regardless of whether people actually hear about them.
“Anyone who calls us a sl*t or says we are attention seeking really has not taken the time to see what we are standing for and is simultaneously outing themselves as someone who supports rape culture.”
Jolene and Madeline launched the ‘march for consent’ to stand in solidarity with victims of sexual assault and spark a debate around consent, victim blaming and sexual harassment.
On the day, Jolene’s company GypsyFest will be decorating all attendees who want to go topless with ‘glitter boob’ makeup but both women have stressed there is no dress code.
Men are also welcome to attend the event, at which people will stand for ‘body positivity, mutual respect, equality, empathy and above all else consent’.
Madeline, 20, was involved in a violent incident at a NZ festival after she was groped. She’s now organising a protest with her friend Jolene (who designed the glitter outfit) about consent. Picture: Caters News AgencySource:Caters News Agency
Jolene Guillum-Scott was brought to tears while talking about the protest on a Facebook live video, after trolls threatened the women.Source:Caters News Agency
Madeline said: “The march is about raising awareness of what consent means and the lack of conversation that revolves around it.
“This is not about glittering breasts — it is about promoting body positivity and enforcing the idea that consent is everything.
“I am passionate about standing up for all genders and all ages because this happens to everyone and their voices have been muffled by oppression and ignorance for far too long.”
Money raised at the march from donations for glitter will be given to a New Zealand charity which helps victims of sexual abuse and harassment.
In a joint statement, Madeline and Jolene added: “No one has the right to touch you without your consent — it doesn’t matter what the circumstance may be, your body is yours and nobody has the right to take that away from you.
“If you have ever been shamed for your attire, harassed or had what you’re wearing taken as an invitation then we are marching for you and we want you to march with us.
“There is no dress code. Our freedom to express ourselves however we choose, modestly or not, does not equate an invitation to touch our bodies.”
The threat made regarding the event has not been reported to New Zealand Police.