Music should be a safe space for everyone who listens to it, because some people have records they have relied on longer than people in their lives sometimes, and when someone in a band takes advantage of those people in their fanbase, often vulnerable people who have all their own battles to fight and put trust in bands, there’s definitely a problem. This is why we have seen the alleged controversies involving Front Porch Step and what are now former members of Neck Deep which are now very much cleared, there are others, but these are the most recent.
There have been many campaigns around ensuring the safety of young women at live shows, In fact Girls To The Front was the call by Riot Grrl, where women’s safety was paramount to the band at shows due to the audience touching women inappropriately,where girls have been crowdsurfing and men told by the singer not to touch underage girls, why projects like Good Night Out are so important and even more important when you consider Warped was 53% female in 2014. You begin to see a problem emerging, if they can’t be safe in an audience, then you would hope that the band would be much safer, and it seems this is not the case.
And to think this lack of respect is something new would be preposterous to say, groupie culture has been around for a very long time, since the days of rock and roll in the US, and this is the new digital way of supposedly being that better fan, to send nudes to band members at their request, that someone is better or closer to the music because you’re sending messages to someone, or in the alleged case of FPS playing on people’s emotions to get what you want. It seems bands in some case think someone owes them something and this is a perk of the job, and clearly that mindset has been around for far too long.
Music should be also a place of safety for those who make music as well, when musicians such as Brianna Collins are being kissed on stage without consent, this also happened to the support on the same show, and even someone like Iggy Azalea being assaulted at shows, you can see why bands are improving their security to ensure the safety of the women in the bands playing the show – clearly, we need to do a bit more to protect women in music than just stopping someone sending snapchats, it’s clearly a culture in music to disrespect women in those environments, it’s much bigger than that, from minor roofie jokes to pictures.
There has been a lot of change, like James McMahon says, editor of Kerrang! “You can’t carry on like you’re in Mötley Crüe any more. When Gerard Way got up at the Kerrang! awards this year, he scolded someone in the room for shouting “Get your tits out!” Twenty years ago, “get your tits out” would have been greeted with cheers, and now [a major star] says it’s not cool to say it” – but still more needs to be done to ensure, if someone buys an album or goes to a show or follows someone on Twitter then they must be treated with respect and they don’t owe anyone anything, and the fact I have to write this in 2015, is simply madness.
Maybe it’s a societal problem that is exemplified by the music scene we have today, we need to ensure young men, men in bands in this case have no right to ask young women for nudes or explicit content because they are fans, that no one has the right to go on stage and kiss musicians without consent, that they have no right to touch young women on stage and in the audience – it’s a misogyny problem, and we need to keep tackling that problem head on in every way.