I’m suggesting a nation-wide moratorium on this shitty hardcore band from New Jersey - Blind Justice - who took advantage of a woman who helped them out; who stole private, nude photos of her from her phone and used them to harass and taunt her. (Hardcore has a particular reputation for not being inclusive - wonder how that got started?) Let’s not book this band, give them a place to stay, add them to the rosters of our festivals, record them, distro them, advertise them, review them, interview them, go to their shows, buy their records, or support them in any other way. There is no room, especially in hardcore and other DIY scenes, for people who don’t treat women like people. People who do things like this do other terrible things, and allowing this to go unchecked perpetuates an environment that is menacing to women.
This situation, especially the participants therein who continue to “give the benefit of the doubt” to Blind Justice (to say nothing of those casting irrelevant aspersions on the character of the accuser), brings to mind a thousand similar instances, some close to home, some not (gotta say, also on my mind is that fact that these two scenarios are being endowed with equal feasibility by white “film buff” dudes everywhere: 1. Woody Allen molested his daughter, and 2. His ex brainwashed her own child to believe she was raped by her father because she’s a crazy, evil, and jealous woman, and the child is laboring under that delusion even today, poor thing). The narrative is always the same: A woman accuses a man of harassment or rape, people shun him in the immediate, dramatic wake of the accusation (or not at all)…then, as if nothing happened, everything goes back to normal. The accused man resumes his friendships and his life, and the woman - because we can’t or won’t believe that an actual rapist would walk among us as a friend, unchecked - is recast as crazy, or a liar.
How should we react when someone within our scene - maybe even a friend, or a “brother” of ours - exhibits harmful, destructive, or just plain unfair behavior to another person? It’s easy to say what we should do; that we’ll shun someone who rapes or sexually harasses a woman, etc. - but in my experience, especially in tightly-knit scenes surrounding art- and music-makers, this is very rarely what happens. Sometimes friends of the accused start parroting comments they’ve rightfully derided in others for being fucked up - “Oh, that didn’t happen - she’s totally crazy,” or “She’s accused other people of that before.” Even people who seemingly understand the social inequities that victims face (and the messed up nature of comments like those above) get caught up in their love for the person who’s been accused of violence, making regrettable statements in support of them.
I think, more often than not, that this response results from a belief that rape is perpetuated by monsters whose lives are removed from ours - that rapists aren’t people that we see and interact with, let alone people we befriend, and that we care about. People who are nice to us. Women that we know are being raped. Women that we know are being harassed. We need to face the fact that people who do terrible things to women are people that we know.
Secondly, we must always accept the testimony of survivors. Period. This is very basic and uncomplicated! When we cast doubt on survivors, we become part of a centuries-established cultural, social, and institutional behemoth that protects rapists and child molesters, and silences their victims.
Hold space for women in punk, metal, and hardcore. Hold space for victims everywhere. Duh.
Photographer: Ted Emmons
Stylist: Palma Wright (Mamadoux Clothing)
Mua/Hair: Palma Wright
Model: Tiernan Cowling
"In the late seventies, a young white poet, wrote a song entitled, "Rock n’ Roll Nigger". She felt she could liken her personal trials as a feminist musician in a cock rock culture to the African American struggle for equality. The lyrics go on to say "outside of society that is where I want to be”. This is dedicated to every black kid who has ever been called a nigger…and every white kid who thinks they know what that means…”