I am furious. I am angry. I am fed up.
I am sick and tired of musicians, especially in the pop-punk scene, getting away with sexual harassment and assault. It’s ridiculous. This has been floating on my mind for a while now, but popped back up with PWR BTTM’s recent assault allegations. Of course, while incredibly disappointing, this is unfortunately nothing new. For as long as I’ve been interested in music, musicians have been accused of terrible things – and getting away with it.
Shall I point out, for example, this March, when Moose Blood had a sexual harassment scandal? Or Neck Deep? Or Front Porch Step? The point is, this is not an uncommon phenomenon in the music (and usually specifically pop-punk) world. However, these bands are continuously forgiven – allowing the sexual violence and harassment in the scene to continue.
I’m expecting people to shout, “Not all pop-punk bands are like this!”. Yes, not all bands – but enough of them. There are enough bands that this has happened to that it’s become a pattern.
In my Gender Studies project, I talked to various local musicians. When I asked Jesamie and Joey of Flashback Humor about it, they immediately launched into a rant about this exact subject – about the fact that it feels like the majority of pop-punk bands have had some sort of similar scandal. There’s a reason pop-punk is known to be unfriendly towards women – and it’s not just because of the lack of representation.
According to RAINN, America’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, every 98 seconds, someone experiences sexual assault. I shouldn’t have to say that this is not okay. I shouldn’t feel the need to write this piece. I shouldn’t be this angry. This shouldn’t be happening.
So why don’t we stop it? Why don’t we do something about it, instead of continuing to show the world that the music scene thinks this is acceptable?
Stop supporting people who do terrible things. Your contribution can be as simple as that. Nothing justifies sexual assault. Absolutely nothing. Continuing to support these bands and buy their music only shows them and the rest of the world that we think this is okay. It tells other bands that they can get away with it because people will continue to pay them.
As consumers, we have a responsibility to make sure we’re giving our time and money to artists who deserve it. Otherwise, we perpetuate the systems of inequality that lead to situations like this, so spend your effort and money on someone worthwhile and don’t waste it on people who do terrible things.
Stand up. Don’t let cases like PWR BTTM or Neck Deep or Moose Blood to continue to fly under the radar. Yell, throw a fit, do whatever you can to get this noticed and don’t let musicians believe that they can get away with this. Raise hell and do not let this get overlooked.
I stand with the survivors, and that is not an empty statement. I will continue to fight and scream and push until I stop seeing a pattern of harassment. There is no situation in which sexual harassment is okay, and I will do whatever I can to prevent this nonsense from continuing to happen.
After all, as someone once said, why support garbage people who make decent music when there are so many incredible people who make good music?
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, check out RAINN and feel free to call their help hotline – 800.656.HOPE (4673).