I have a photo of the harasser and the two women with him, btw. They're laughing. They really look like Young Nats.
Welcome, Rob! And sorry it took so long ...
We have a way of migrating those speaker posts, with their comments, to your new blog, so that will happen soon.
If only there was another kind of community you had more control over where women were telling you repeatedly about the uncomfortableness of and you were ignoring them…
I'm not ignoring anyone, Jo. I'm trying to get it right and I'm sorry if defending the older man upthread made you and others feel uncomfortable. That wasn't my intention, obviously. One of the things I try to encourage here is the sharing of experiences, and that was how I read what he wrote. What would you like me to do?
A mountain is moved (or levelled might be a better metaphor in this instance) one rock at a time. It’s perfectly possible to acknowledge (or not) a wider problem and say “well here are the areas I have interest and influence, here is where I will try and make my difference” and hope it spreads; or that others are doing the same in their respective spheres.
The context was people discussing earlier what event promoters could do, including universal bans for identified harassers. I thought it was worth noting that one major festival and concert promoter has undertaken to do just that.
And yes, there is also the dimension of rejecting this behaviour in our spaces. As I noted in the original post, I'm angered by the suggestion that women shouldn't report from festivals being canvassed. And equally appalled by the possibility that this threat might deter Jean and her friends from going to enjoy the music they love. That's why I wrote this paragraph:
It’s not good enough for women to feel at risk because of their age or gender. I understand that’s a fact not just at annual music festivals. But there’s a nasty undertone of exclusion when it happens in this kind of environment – which can only function on trust. When women who love the music these events are supposed to be about can’t trust that they can safely enjoy it. It’s already happened to some extent at Rhythm & Vines. What that appalling Stuff poll really said was that we should countenance some cultural events being no-go areas for women.
Jean’s just gone off on holiday, but she has passed on her thanks for all the support, and lamented the state of the nation and the lack of respect shown to women and minorities by its leaders.
Music is one way to see beyond this and is why I love it so – moving and dancing to sound with masses of similar people can be so uplifting and so universal.
I have been an active feminist for nearly 50 years (you know I get the gold card this year!) and I will not be giving up the fight for equality of respect for all peoples any time soon.
Her friend Shelley (she of the handy gut-punch) is also grateful for the support and says she is now feeling more positive about going to gigs again because of it.
This makes me very happy.
I'm guessing an older person read the original incident, rightly or wrongly, about being about elder abuse. You might disagree, you might be right, but I don't think it was malign or derailing. People come here from a range of places and we try and respect them all.
Lately this country feels like it did in the 1970s.
You're not the only one who's said that to me recently ...
My memories of many gigs in the 70’s, mostly punk and idie shows, were that generally women and girls were looked after, protected often some what over zealously by boyfriends and/or male friends, most of the tough guys had a code of respect towards women at gigs. I can remember other men stepping in when a man was being abusive to his girlfriend at the Windsor Castle.
Those are the kinds of memories I’m speaking from too. Not pretending it was rosy, but that this behaviour wasn’t acceptable, and that scenes where it was were the opposite of us.. But I’m a bit tired now and and I guess I should come back and talk about it in the morning.
You’re talking about your events being tarnished and how to prevent that. The women on this thread (and some of the men) are talking about this being only one facet of the wider issue – sexual intimidation and lack of respect for women. I think your priorities are a little skewed.
They’re not “my events”, I’m not the promoter. We’re talking about concrete steps to stop this happening at music events. I think that’s a laudable aim. And, again, it's what we were talking abut upthread.
Except that post is clearly whataboutism.
It could be seen as such, yes.But I guess it feels different depending on your perspective.
Deborah Morris-Travers said this today on Twitter in response to the original post:
Well said. I am big into music, too, and as a 45yr old hv been subject to intimidating comments from younger men & women.
I guess there are different ways of seeing this incident.
’ve wondered too about the band stopping playing until the problem is addressed, mostly because I assume that given they’re generally playing on a stage, they might be able to see stuff happening that’s not visible to the people in the audience except to those right next to it. But of course they won’t see everything either.
It is difficult. A fight is easier to identify, harassment less so. You'd imagine Courtney would have had something to say, had she been aware.