It’s the 21st Century and we still have to make our voices heard – Riot Grrrl had feminist supporters in Kurt Cobain, Ian McKay (Fugazi), Nation of Ulysses, and Mudhoney, today we have Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. Lucy Jordan looks into the Equalising Music Campaign and its effect on women who love music.
Why the fuck should we have to worry about enjoying ourselves? If we want to crowd surf we should be able to fucking crowd surf, without worry, the same as every other person on the planet. Just because we decide we want to have fun and hurl our bodies into the air expecting to be caught doesn’t mean we are sending an open invitation to be groped or touched inappropriately. It’s about time musicians noticed this happening at their gigs. Women collectives, such as Loud Women, and punk acts, such as DIY Dream Nails continue the women to the front legacy started by Riot Grrrl, but at last boys and men have joined the campaign.
It was Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes that have bought it to the attention of current music fans, an all-male band. Is it really going to have to be a man to talk on behalf of the women, in this male-dominated field, probably?
Frank Carter’s approach to safeguarding women at his gigs is one to be expected from him stating he will ‘come down and cut [their] mother fucking head off with [his] bare hands’ if any male member of the audience does not ‘treat the [women] with the respect [they] deserve’ while crowd surfing, I mean if I was in that audience I’d feel a lot better about crowd surfing knowing the whole band and security were watching the audience like hawks. People are bastards, and some of them are bigger than me. I don’t need protecting, I have a right to be safe.
Carter has taken such a stance on the cause because at one of his gigs he saw a woman dying to crowd surf but she didn’t want to get up, when he asked she ‘simply answered she was too scared’, he never wanted another woman to feel like that at any of his gigs again, so as Janey Starling of Dream Nails says ‘Men at the back…make some space for once’!
We have seen campaign after campaign about making environments safer for women but not many seem to resonate and create a change with exception to the #metoo campaign, which highlights sexual harassment towards women and Sisters Uncut, an action group opposed to government funding cuts to domestic violence. Alongside #metoo, Smirnoff’s equalising music our problems are being heard and slowly things are changing, just like the upskirting law that has been put in place within the last few months in Scotland and England, due to activist Gina Martin who was a victim of upskirting at a music festival. Some men need to realise that all women now know their own worth and we will no longer tolerate being their ‘playthings’ or being objectified and by showing them this through male musicians speaking out things will change and women will be able to let themselves go freely at concerts and have no worries or cares in the world, and when that day comes it will be fucking beautiful.