“Just some intersectional feminists fighting against sexual harassment”. Does this sound like something you could get behind? Then meet, GirlsAgainst. GirlsAgainst is a group of five 15-17 year old girls, in the UK, who are making a stand against groping at gigs.
Certain music scenes can be extremely misogynistic, unfriendly places and, it seems, even more so at the gigs for these scenes. I grew up in the late 90’s – early 00’s hardcore scene where a, “no clit in the pit” mentality was rife. My friends and I were often laughed at, purposely targeted, and generally looked down upon by male gig goers for wanting to get involved and enjoy ourselves. We were seen as either unfeminine or a joke.
On the flip side of this, is the over-sexualization of women in music – from musicians being judged by their looks over their talent, to women in the crowd being touched up and sleazed on or being heckled to flash on camera. Ironically, the day before I heard about GirlsAgainst, a close friend rang me in tears. At an overcrowded gig, some guy had repeatedly grabbed her boobs so hard he had bruised her sternum. My friend, unable to find any security, was left in pain while the guy suffered no repercussions whatsoever.
A quick google search shows the first hit when searching, “female music fans” is a definition of the word “groupie”. The definition given is, “a particular kind of female fan assumed to be more interested in relationships with rock-stars than in their music.” The fact that this is the first result, shows wider society’s perception of females in the music scene. This is especially sad, as there are so many awesome females, both at the forefront and helping the cogs turn behind the scenes, in music. And so many female music fans, for whom music is their one great passion.
GirlsAgainst started their campaign after one of the girls was sexually assaulted at a Peace gig. They shared the story on Twitter, which was retweeted by the band and dozens of women came forward to tell their stories. They realised social media was a great platform to promote change. Since then, they have had national media interest and loads of venues and bands show their support. Their cause is really gaining momentum.
How can we support them? Discuss the matter online and in person, follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@girlsagainst). They have a Crowdfunder going on too to make more merchandise! Buy badges and posters to help make their organization more visible, go to local venues and bring it up with managers, get the GirlsAgainst name out there and show we won’t put up with groping at gigs any more!