Words by Sam Taylor
While on tour in the UK last month, The 1975 publicly came out in support of the campaign Girls Against. An organisation set up to encourage people to stop harassment happening and make shows a safe space for all regardless of your gender. The fact that this organisation has to exist is upsetting to think about as it means that there is a huge problem we are facing at shows but none the less are Girls Against are doing incredible work in getting this issue exposed.
It’s the 21st century for Christ’s sake, gigs these days are meant accessible to everyone. All genders, races and religions. But it’s not really the case unfortunately. Girls have to face the risks of being catcalled, groped and even assaulted in some case. I remember being FIFTEEN years old and having a guy get a bloody hard on while rubbing against me at a gig and he was very much aware I didn’t want his advances. It was probably one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life. Did I deserve that? Fuck no! No one does. But surprise surprise the rape culture society we live in puts the blame on the victim, “Oh she was wearing a low cut top she was asking for it!” No, there is no person in the world asking to be sexually assaulted. Gigs are hot, gigs are sweaty so women aren’t exactly going to come in a jumper and coat are they? Girls are going to wear what is comfortable and isn’t going to overheat us. It’s alright for men to prance around with their shirts off at a gig and not face any repercussions but as soon as a girl shows the tiniest bit of cleavage they’re asking for it. I could turn up to a show in my underwear and still not be asking for it. It’s not even the fans who face misogynistic arseholes at gigs either female artists in male dominated scenes also have to deal with harassment. Kate Flynn from band The Winter Passing posted on Instagram (you can read the full statement here) speaking out about the harassment she faced from fans while supporting Moose Blood on their recent UK tour, it’s ridiculous that female artists face catcalling in this day and age while they’re performing. I know it’s not all guys who do this and I know it’s not all shows this happens at but this occurring once is still too much.
The lesson here is really simple; respect EVERYONE at shows.