Lyrics: “Try This At Home” ~ Frank Turner, 2009
For a while I thought I would want to and should write a long post and share my many many thoughts about what seems to come to light regarding the alleged practice one of the most successful German bands lead singer to recruit female fans for sex at gigs. Then I realized that I should not spend much more time and thought on this horribly nasty business than I already have. I’m tempted to, but I know it’s not good for my mental health, so I’ll try to keep this short-ish.
First of all: I stand in solidarity with every girl / woman who has shared their version of unwanted attention, harassment or worse at any gig of any band. My first impulse will always be to believe them for the obvious reason: Despite internet trolls and others screaming “they’re just doing it for fame”: these women have much more to loose by speaking out than not. There is a reason why the majority of sexual harassment, abuse and violence perpetrated by men against women isn’t reported and why even less lead to criminal charges and only an insignificant amount of those cases lead to a conviction. Look it up, if you doubt it.
The other reason for me to believe them in this particular case: I could have easily be one of them. Not in regards to this band, because I despise them with a passion for many other reasons. But if for instance in the 1990s one of the Roxette crew would have invited teenage me and other fans to an after-show party: I probably would have gone. If in the last decade any of Frank Turner’s crew would have invited me and other fans to an after-show party: I would have gone. And at this party I would have expected to be treated with some basic decency. Like I try to treat everyone I met as well. I don’t want live in a world where this expectation is considered naive, because in the particular case of music gigs it’s considered a know fact that it’s “sex, drugs & rock’n’roll, baby”. Or let me rephrase that: If whatever happens at an after-show party happens with consent, fine. If those fans want to do drugs and have sex with the lead singer of a rock’n’roll band, good for them. Though I still think there always is a huge power imbalance between an artist and a fan. And if the big huge famous artist were a decent human being, I’d expect them to make extra sure that everything happens with consent. And that starts with their choice of drinks, drugs and everything else.
But speaking for myself: if a younger me had ever got stuck in an uncomfortable situation with any artist I fangirl over, I’m not sure I would have found the courage and mental state to remove myself from that situation at the time. And I’m not even talking only about sexual advances; there are so many other ways to make someone uncomfortable. I’ve talked about these current allegations with a woman my age, whom I don’t know that well (yet) and she was adamant that she always would have left that situation easily. But I’m not so sure about 20-something me. Even 48-years old me sometimes has a hard time standing up for herself in much less dangerous situations. And that’s why I stand with every girl/woman who might not have the strength to say no at the right moment. If they even had a chance to say no at all.
I’ll spare you the further debris of thoughts and emotions this has brought up for me: less about the allegations and all, more about the fact that I sometimes still have such a hard time to stand up for myself in all kinds of situations. But also thoughts about how to shake off the misogynistic views I notice in myself and which I don’t like about myself. It’s so easy to blame this society I was raised in, but now that I notice them, it’s up to me to work against them, right? This post also is an attempt at that.
To end this rather morose post on a more relaxing note: here is another photo from the way down Stac Pollaidh last week:
And now I’ll go back to reading easy-to-digest contemporary romance and/or WWII romance set on Scottish Isles to fill my mind with happier thoughts.