Apparently country, metal, and hardcore shows can all be lumped into one large group of live shows that perpetuates a “War On Women. We now all know that the people who go to see Stick To Your Guns also go to see Carrie Underwood. Who would have thought?!?!
I strongly doubt our friend Amy Mccarthy has actually been to a hardcore or metal show, but it didn’t stop her from slandering the scene and equating the “dangers” there to something resembling the Congo. She mentioned posers in her article, and if there is one in the room, its not any of us. If her writing is any indication, she’s never been to the Warped Tour, to SXSW, Mayhem, Riot Fest, Chaos, ect.
This still doesn’t stop her from equating metal/hardcore shows with country and others to the point that she never bothers to really distinguish between them. It’s not incidental, its deliberate so that her article appears to encompass as many genres as possible. All shows are lumped into the “evil” category via guilt by association. Obviously, she has been to a country show, but she dishonestly tries to pretend that hardcore/metal shows present similar “dangers” of which will be covered soon in this piece.
Well, the “War On Women” now spreads its grimy manly tentacles into our scene – and Amy Mccarthy is downright appalled. How do we know this? You can read her entire, “Punched, groped, beer thrown in my face: Being a woman at a concert can be terrifying“, at the vestige of powerful, fair, and unbiased journalism that is Salon. Wow, I didn’t know only women could be terrified at shows, but who cares when the other gender gets hurt, right? Also, until Amy Mccarthy told us, I didnt know that girls who attend shows are fragile, scared, helpless, and frightened creatures who can’t think for themselves whatsoever. I’m glad I know this now though.
Before I forget, shame on AltPress for promoting this hit-piece.
She talks a big game, but lets look at some of the points she makes about metal and hardcore. She’s one of us – not a poser, groupie, ect – right?
“Most women who frequently attend live shows will tell you that they have been harassed, groped or assaulted as they listen to their favorite bands. A standing-room-only show, when you’re wedged into a massive crowd fueled by beer and testosterone, is particularly scary. There seems to be a spectrum of violence that women experience at live shows, ranging from misogynist verbal harassment to sexual assault.”
Notice her claim about “most women”. Well, if we want to accept her bizarre anecdotal claims, ask girls you know who go to live shows how often they have been harassed, groped, or assaulted. No, having your butt touched when crowd surfing doesn’t count. Neither does it when you are jumping up and down, moshing, that OTEP incident, or trying to get a better spot closer to the front. You will hear some stories, but they are exceedingly rare – you know like false rape claims.
“A standing room-only show.”
How many metal/hardcore shows have you been to where it has not been standing room only? Yea, that’s what I thought. Maybe she is referring to other genres, but she doesn’t bother to make that distinction. Accident or assassination? Our reputation lies in tatters. (Only exception I’ve experienced to this was Summerfest in Milwaukee when August Burns Red and The Devil Wears Prada played in which the stands cut down on much of the area available to stand and mosh.)
“Most important, though, the dangerous and unpredictable nature of concert culture means that it is often entirely unsafe to be a woman in a dark, crowded music venue.”
Anyone else get the idea that she hasn’t been to any metal/hardcore shows in a dark, crowded scary horror movie-like music venue? How many stories has ANYONE heard about someone actually being sexually assaulted – real sexual assault that is – or being raped at a show?
“Even when the violence doesn’t escalate to the level of rape, unsolicited touching and aggressive come-ons from drunk musicians and fans alike is all too common.”
This isn’t at all subjective. Unsolicited touching. Consider when A Day To Remember played The Rave up in Milwaukee and it sold out. It was so damn packed that in no way could you not touch someone. But yea, I suppose there were thousands of incidents of unsolicited touching that happened there.
Drunk musicians and fans? That is very specific to certain festivals and shows. Most smaller shows don’t have that many people drinking, and for some its not even available. I.E, how many people actually drink at the Warped Tour? Consider the price of beer and if they are even of age and its pretty damn slim.
“Venues can implement a number of procedures to make shows safer for women, like adding barricades to mosh pits and increasing security presence in the crowds, but it’s still difficult to control what happens in the middle of a frenzied show.”
“Adding barricades to moshpits.”
How exactly is that even possible – considering how, when, and where moshpits actually break out at show? You would think she’s never even see a pit before. Neither has she considered the fact that putting barricades around a pit would end up hurting people pushed out of the pit… This in particular flabbergasts me. Add “Fun Police” and moshpit killer to Amy Mccarthy’s resume.
Consider what happens when “security” is added to pits. They usually attempt to break them up, fights occur between moshers and security guards, and the show is often then usually stopped. Give it a few weeks, and you fight that yet another venue will no longer hold shows.
“In fact, they should be using their positions to outwardly do everything they can to ensure that these shows are safe for female concertgoers.”
The point of hardcore shows is that they are not safe specifically for anyone – including women. The aggression and danger is part of the reason people go. It’s not a Blake Shelton concert environment, and we shouldn’t pretend that it is. You can’t demand that the shows become made “safe” for a specific group and then get mad when people call them posers, because lets face it then; they wouldn’t actually want the same treatment as the rest of the “group” gets. If you go to a show to see The Acacia Strain and you get near the pit, people aren’t going to stop moshing or suddenly restrain themselves because you have to decided to enter the area – man, woman, or otherkin.
Well, you heard it from her. We need to show special care, treatment, and deference toward women at shows – because they might get hurt. I think Amy has a strong developed sense of female narcissism. Toss out that equality concept. Perhaps she should go to a Terror show and tell them how it needs to be a safer environment. I can’t help thinking, does she actually care about the safety of all concert-goer, or just women?
I’m five foot seven and I have to carefully consider what pits I go into and I have to be very aware of who is moshing to ensure I don’t take a punch to the face. Apparently, my safety doesn’t matter – unless I’m a woman. Then again, if I go to a show, I don’t expect the atmosphere and environment of the show to change just for me. You would think that Amy Mccarthy believes women are these weak creatures to be entirely helpless and completely unable to protect themselves. (Equality right?)
“As for the fans, well, it’s probably unrealistic to ask that they keep their hands to themselves and quietly enjoy the music. Ultimately, it is the artists who have the most responsibility and the greatest ability to ensure that the environment their music cultivates is not inherently aggressive toward women.”
Yes, its VERY unrealistic to ask fans not to mosh and to “keep their hands to themselves.” Any metal/hardcore artists that ensure an environment that is not aggressive isn’t going to be around very long.
Notice though that the aggression is fine, as long as its not toward women. Earlier, she quotes Lorena Cupcakes complaint, “Our motives are cast as disingenuous; we’re called groupies, posers, and hangers-on. Male dominance is established by questioning our right to be there at all.”
Well, this is why your motives are being questioned. You want to be there, but you don’t want to participate equally in the aggressive nature of the shows? You want the shows to be specifically made safe for you, but your not a “hanger-on?”
Amy mentioned earlier in the article that, “Depending on the genre you enjoy, male fans who share your interests might call you a “poser,” or insinuate that you’re not as punk or metal or hip-hop (or as whatever) as you claim to be.” Labeling an environment like a hardcore show as being aggressive toward women, makes it easier to call women “posers” who participate, because instead of being treated the same as any other guy, you show them special treatment.
The irony is that shows are filled with men who literally white-knight for women all around. Plenty are nice of enough to stand in front of them and shield them from the pit, taking those windmills to the face because equality. Or helping them to safety when the pit really starts to get going during a The Acacia Strain set. Girls will tell you tons of stories like this. Oh wait, I forgot. Women are weak, helpless, can’t think for themselves, or even enjoy a show!
Personally, I’m a bit more of an asshole and a true equality feminist. Unless I know a girl, and she gets near the pit, I’m not shielding her body with mine – cause equality. She’s not a poser, she can take – just like me or any other guy – right. On the flip-side, guys usually care if they hurt a girl in the pit. They don’t however if you are a guy – your size doesn’t matter.
“Other times it involves being forcefully shoved across a raging mosh pit by someone three times your size, or being touched inappropriately as you try to crowd-surf. These may seem like harmless little interactions, something that should just be expected in a rowdy crowd.”
For once, know your pits. This applies to literally everyone at the show, regardless of whatever Tumblr gender identity you have that day. I’m a smaller guy, so I have to pick when and where I go in, especially when the breakdown hits. I doubt she has ever experienced one. For two, “women being pushed into moshpits”. If you are standing near to where a pit suddenly breaks out – that could be anywhere, especially at larger shows – everyone gets either pushed into the new pit or pushed back out of it, something she isn’t aware of. I smell a rat Scoob.
Notice how she talked about crowd surfing. It’s pretty damn near impossible not to have your butt touched as you are getting passed toward the stage – or getting your wallet stolen if its in your back pocket.
Surprisingly, Amy actually talks to an “expert” that gets it:
“Metal expert and weekend editor of VICE’s Noisey, Kim Kelly, is particularly used to being banged up at the end of a show. “If I’m at a death metal show or a DIY thrash show in a basement, I know things are gonna get crazy, bottles are gonna fly, and I’m probably going to come home with a few bruises,” she says. “I’ve always been able to hold my own, but women who are smaller or less brash than I am might absolutely feel intimidated by the testosterone-fueled violence. In my experience, if you don’t want to get hurt, you stand in the back or on the side, and keep your guard up.”
I find it humorous that someone – girls specifically – are going to feel intimidated by testosterone-fueled violence. Consider the amount of places left that you can actually let out your aggression and feel the testosterone coursing through your veins is pretty slim. Metal/hardcore shows are about all that’s left.
Hardcore shows are probably the only place where its part of the show. It should be obvious, but feminists types like Amy want to curb our outbursts of toxic masculinity at our last remaining refuges where they aren’t shunned, but are actually embraced – a sense of community if you will.
When we get upset and speak out about the nonsense, outright lies, falsehoods, and the tripe she spews, we are then of course proving exactly her point – that metal/hardcore aren’t safe spaces and places for women and that we are all terrible misogynists. Yea, well fuck her. Maybe eventually, she will name one of these many survivors who has ever been “raped” in this epidemic at the Warped tour. Or Chaos. Or SXSW. Or Mayhem. Or any of the hundreds of others.
“It doesn’t seem like too much to ask that the women who are just as much a part of these respective scenes — we buy just as many records, concert tickets, and band T-shirts as men, and are equally supportive of our favorite acts – not feel physically intimidated when they’re out at shows. In New York’s hardcore scene, bands like the recently reunited Kill Your Idols make it a point to cultivate “positive mental attitude” at their shows and address inequities in their scene, proving that it is possible for these safe spaces to exist without compromising the rowdy vibe that is expected of hardcore punk.”
At hardcore shows…
In New York’s hardcore scene…
Yea, she just said that. Based on everything she has said in this article, she doesn’t want to just kill off the rowdy vibe, she wants to salt the earth after she’s buried the corpse. She wants to eliminate it and replace it with a safe space that doesn’t wreak of sweaty testosterone misogynistic fueled aggression. Mccarthy believes that women are too fragile to be exposed to anything that involves… testosterone.
You would think she would know this, but the entire point of a hardcore show – especially in Boston, LA, and New York is to let yourself go in the pit and at the show. Don’t expect “special” and “safe” treatment. If you want to roll with the guys, expect to be treated like anyone else in the show – especially if you go into the pit.
“Until we address the systemic issues that drive this violence, though, like rape culture and the nonsensical idea that women have to somehow “earn” their place as legitimate music fans, it is likely that even that wouldn’t be enough to make live music a safe and positive experience for women. Still, hearty encouragement from the acts onstage and the venues that host them would be a really helpful start”
What was that about posers? Groupies? Disingenuous?
Oh, that’s what safe-space demanding Amy Mccarthy thinks women are. In fact, if we created safe spaces and destroyed New York’s Hardcore scene by turning those triggering mosh-pits into seats filled with male zombies gazing unmoving and silent at the stage, it still wouldn’t be enough.
Don’t give into people like Amy Mccarthy. If they are unhappy with their scene, they will go after yours, and attempt to kill it if they can’t be as happy as anyone else. This is the worse form of narcissism – the take-no prisoners kind. You know why people hate feminism? It’s because of women like Amy who demand that everything revolves around them and hell with everyone else.
Oh and just in case you actually like Country and think she might be over blowing things, a commenter on Salon called out at least two of the examples which weren’t exactly true – if not outright lies:
While not attempting to minimize or dismiss any of the legitimate complaints of women who have been assaulted or otherwise abused, at least two of the examples provided are flat out false:
1) Tim McGraw was not grabbed “on the leg” — he was grabbed *on the crotch* and rightfully and justifiably responded by hitting the woman who sexually assaulted him. Had the sexes been reversed, would you offer that up as an example of mistreatment? I doubt it.
2) The “rape” at the Keith Urban gig at Great Woods was not a rape. The charges were dropped because it was a consensual act. The claim of the young woman was not that it was not consensual, but that she didn’t really want to have done it — and that’s a distinction worth making. Its the difference between things happening without your consent, and things happening with your consent that you wish you hadn’t agreed to do. Huge difference, with massive implications for the other person involved, and definitely needs to be paid attention do.
Oh, also Amy Mccarthy: Don’t talk shit about metal and hardcore shows, until you’ve been to plenty of them.