I am a woman first. That means I am a feminist, because I have to operate within the confines of this sexist world and in particular the music/media industry.
It’s 2016 so I’m pretty annoyed that I still have declare that I’m a feminist. I mean, why do I have to even say that?
Instead, I think everyone who doesn’t believe in equality should have to declare “I’m a sexist asshole.” Then we’d know to stay clear of the idiots, right?
In recent days the Australian feminist/music community has been troubled by the national tour of a pack of sexist dudebros who happen to be in a band.
Long story short, their lead singer brutalised a woman (who used to work in this industry, too) and the band stood by knowing that and also allowed fans and one band member’s partner to participate in online bullying and threats to the survivor’s family and friends. Of course, the woman is no longer part of our community, out of fear. She lost her place here through no fault of her own, but because she was abused by a person bigger, stronger and in control.
Never mind. The band plays on, right?
So of course with this tour announcement, social media blew up and many venues cancelled performances. The band has issued two apologies. The first was at an industry event a few years before this tour was announced. If you weren’t an insider, you never heard about it. The second apology was issued a couple of days ago due to pressure via social media and venues cancelling their gigs.
It’s a pretty bad apology. I’d post it here but I don’t want to give the band PR and I am waiting to see how many other venues cancel their gigs. I can tell you that one of the lines the band included in the apology basically says it’s ok now because the abuser is sober.
Well, yes, because it’s hard to get hooch in prison and might it also be a condition of probation or something? I don’t know.
What I do know is I have been drunker than 1980s Tom Waits at his piano numerous times and I have never ever punched anyone, let alone my partner. So I don’t think it’s just an alcohol problem, guys.
Everyone knows these kind of abuses are rife in our industry and in the world – and they are shrouded in silence and that’s why they keep occurring.
In the end, the band has done nothing – zero – to address the issue except issue those lame ass apologies. They’ve continually stressed that the abuser is not offending now. And although it is true that he has served his time, I wonder if that means all is forgiven. Given that the entire band was complicit in this abuse, I think not.
Because as we all know “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” This is unacceptable.
I would be much more inclined to believe that they understood the seriousness of the crime if they had called this the I’m Sorry We’re Pigs Tour and/or gave at least part proceeds to a group that actually assists women fleeing intimate partner violence.
And by that I mean NOT White Ribbon. White Ribbon does nothing to assist women. It’s just a bunch of men talking to men and not listening to women.
The band, were they serious, might also might ask their fan base to simmer the fuck down and stop trolling everyone on the internet who suggests that it’s a good thing that these dudebros will not get a platform.
I believe in redemption and rehabilitation. I know that people do change. But I believe when a crime is particularly violent that the perpetrator(s) need to make genuine restitution. This has not happened in this case.
I am very glad the Melbourne’s Cherry Bar and others have cancelled this gig. I don’t think it was a simple thing to do. I’m glad for all the venues and media people who get it.
As a survivor of domestic violence I am very glad for your support, but I expect better in the future.
Thanks to all those who have done the right thing. x