Imagining a Safer Space: Building Community & Ending Harassment in Punk

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Photo of Lower Berth by Kati J, via Facebook

EDIT: We have received a response from the owner of Beerland.

At my four thousandth punk show, I was told to “never come to another punk show.” It will take a long time before I feel safe at one again.

My recent visit to Austin started out uneventfully. My vacation was simply a country-fried version of my music-filled life in Chicago, with Lone Star instead of Hamm’s, and Frito Pie instead of cheese fries. I was already infatuated with the venue Beerland, comparing it an alternate universe version of my beloved Empty Bottle.

I had actually been to Beerland two nights running, figuring that those devoted to moderation rarely achieve greatness. The second night, the opener was local band Lower Berth. Their noisy psych rock inspired three dudes in the sparse crowd to utterly lose their shit. No one else even wanted to pit, but the Aggro Trio were throwing trash cans, wrestling on the ground, and falling into people as they hastily backed even further away.

Senseless violence is not my particular favored flavor of Punk as Fuck; plus, all those dudes had at least fifty on me. I decided to enjoy the show from a more chill vantage point and perched in a booth away from the fray. At one point, I trained my eyes on the drummer. Shirtless, with translucent skin and colorless hair, the exertion made him appear bright red. One of the members of the mosh pit stumbled their way on stage to hold their lit cigarette against his bare arm. He kept drumming, unfazed.

At the time, I felt sorry for him.

THE INCIDENT

The Strange Attractors at Beerland - 01
Photo by The Austin Chronicle

Later, after the heart-stopping headliner (Lamont Thomas and Orville Neeley’s new supergroup Blaxxx), I felt an unwelcome hand slide around my shoulders as the pink-faced drummer split off from his friends to try to hit on me. I remember feeling like I was picked at random, for being present and presumed female. I remember his come-ons were as generic as they always are; he told his name was Shaun, asked mine, maybe said something about my style. I shot him down relatively gently, asked him to stop touching me, and escaped outside, to the cool freedom and clouds of smoke of the Beerland patio.

Later, he appeared leaning against the patio fence, eyes half closed, slurring into a cell phone. “I don’t know what to tell you, man. I’m way too drunk.” That explains it, I thought to myself, silently.

If my recollection seems blurry here, it’s because the initial incident didn’t seem strange or notable to me. As inappropriate as it was, it’s not an unusual experience for me to have. I was not happy about being touched without my consent, but I wasn’t in full alarm-bells mode. Later in the night, we had another encounter that would change all that.

The drummer came over to where I was chatting with my friend Erin. Again, he took the liberty of putting his hands on my body, despite the fact I had clearly communicated earlier that I didn’t want to talk to him, and that he was not allowed to touch me. I was losing patience, and not interested in meekly relocating to another section of the bar to attempt to escape his dogged pursuit.

“I’m already told you, I’m not interested. We don’t want to talk to you,” I said, removing his arm from around me. “Go away. Leave us alone.”

He immediately switched gears, from curdled attempts at courtliness to aggression. “You probably don’t even listen to Iron Maiden,” he began, referring to my Hot Doug’s shirt. He told me that I wasn’t really punk, and I didn’t belong at the show, and called me a cunt and a poser. One of his friends (dude with long dark hair and a mustache: thank you, from the bottom of my heart) came over to physically insert himself between us, realizing Shaun was acting out of control.

Sensing he wasn’t about to stop and feeling threatened, Erin and I got up and moved to the bar so we could at least be in full view of bar staff in case non-consensual touching wasn’t the only way he was willing to physically engage me.

Shaun disappeared for a second, but when he came back he was angrier than ever. Leaning over the bar to get in my face, he continued calling me a cunt and a poser and attempting to intimidate me into leaving. Erin and I immediately started pleading with the bartender, explaining that he’d been hitting on me and touching me all night, that he’d already called me a cunt a million times, hoping that he’d intervene as Shaun’s friends dragged him away from the bar and toward the door.

“He’s like that,” the bartender confirmed. He didn’t question my story; it was obviously not out of character for homeboy to be ranting across the bar, being held back by friends, about how someone he barely knows was everything wrong with punk. He told me that he knew his bandmates and roommates, and that he’d go talk to them for me.

Meanwhile, from maybe ten feet away at the door, Shaun verbally berated me, loud enough for every single person in the club to hear. Erin and I stayed at the bar, ignoring him; he was blocking the only exit we where aware of, and as two smaller framed people we didn’t relish a physical confrontation with someone who was obviously enraged.

For about five minutes, at the top of his lungs, I was told that I was a poser and everything wrong with the punk scene. He told me that rich bitches like me were what was ruining the scene, and that I wasn’t really punk, and that I should never come to another punk show again.

I wasn’t surprised by the tactics he used to tried to hurt my feelings. It’s not the first time it’s happened to me. At one point, allegations that I was only involved in Chicago’s bike scene as a fake and a groupie were so pervasive that a member of my bike gang wrote an article addressing the misogynist implications of these attacks.

People have difficulty believing that women and trans individuals pursuing traditionally male activities are doing it authentically, for our own reasons. 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.

I don’t need to defend my credentials. First: you’re currently on my music blog where I write about the Chicago DIY scene for little to no reward, simply because I love it.

Second: if Shaun was only interested in heroically defending his scene from an outside interloper, and not simply punishing me for my lack of interest in him, why did he try to flirt with me multiple times?

Third: it honestly wouldn’t matter if I was a major label A&R rep who can’t tell Downtown Boys from The Boys there to scout a new buzz band for an Urban Outfitters model shoot. I still wouldn’t have deserved to be harassed and feel unsafe.

At one point, rather hilariously, he screamed “You probably don’t even know what Pabst Blue Ribbon is,” in reference to the large embroidered logo patch on the back of my jean vest. I was drinking a PBR tallboy at the time.

He chanted “leave, leave, leave, leave” over and over, while still blocking the exit. I was explicitly told, by someone who was paid by Beerland to gig there that night, that I was not welcome at Beerland.

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Notes I made at the bar while being yelled at.

Eventually, he left the front of the bar. I would like to thank everyone who helped that happen, but I am unclear on details of what went down, since we were camped out at the bar for a while trying to wait him out.

I was able to pressure the only person I knew at Beerland besides Erin, a musician I knew from DIY shows he’d played in Chicago, to walk us to Erin’s car, terrified to bike home or walk unprotected when someone that angry with me was at large. Later, I figured out the guy who reluctantly walked us to the car is Shaun’s friend, bandmate, and roommate. I felt dumb.

THE AFTERMATH

In the morning, I woke up crying, dealing with the emotional aftermath of the trauma I had experienced. Having my physical space violated over and over by someone who heard the word no, ignored it, and escalated put me on high alert for days, until I boarded a plane and left Austin and could finally begin to relax.

I got scared every time a stranger walked in my direction, paranoid they were coming for me. Every time I saw someone I recognized from Beerland at another show, my heart stopped, terrified Shaun would walk in after them.

I stopped into Beerland day after the incident to talk to the staff about what happened. “That shouldn’t have happened. You should feel safe here,” a bartender who had been off the night of the incident reassured me. She provided me with a method of contacting the bar manager.

I contacted the bar manager to ask three questions. I wanted to know whether he’d be allowed to attend shows at Beerland again. I wanted to know whether he’d be booked to play shows at Beerland again. And I wanted to know whether Beerland had an employee policy of how to deal with harassment in their space.

Beerland’s response:

I’ve been at Beerland for ten years and have dealt with a variety of situations. Some very serious. We handle things on a case by case basis because there is no way to predict all of the scenarios that can possibly occur in a dive-y punk bar.

I followed up to ask what the case-by-case response would be to this particular incident. There was no answer. It’s easy to misinterpret silence, so all I will say is that I continue to be interested in hearing Beerland’s response.

I would love to patronize it again in the future. I hope, someday, I can. It felt so much like home; until I was told I didn’t belong there.

THE MISSING STAIR

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Screencap of Shaun’s Facebook, the morning after the incident.

I am aware that people will see my frank and detailed discussion of this incident as too embarrassing or personal to be made public. Please understand that the dirty laundry was already aired when this took place in front of about 20-30 people. I’m not the one who did this in the middle of a show filled with their friends. I didn’t choose for it to happen.

For all I know, Shaun Nelson was an angel every moment leading up to the night where he violated my personal boundaries and verbally abused me, and has dedicated his life to public service since. I am not judge or juror. I sincerely hope he learns from this incident.

The heart of this article isn’t one incident, with one guy, at one time and place. This one story only serves as an illustration of how a lack of anti-harassment policy in a space, and a community that doesn’t provide consequences for those that violate community norms, can allow harassment to happen.

In 2012, blogger Cliff Pervocracy coined the term “missing stair” to describe individuals who pose a danger to others, but are tolerated within a community because everyone is aware of their issues. If you know about a missing stair in an unlit stairwell, you can work around it and avoid it. No one bothers to fix the missing stair because jumping over it works just fine.

But if no one told you that there was a missing stair, and it’s just assumed that you’re aware, it’s all too easy to be hurt.

Every time you allow someone with a known history of harassment to drum for your band, or play at your venue, or come to your party, you’re saying that their presence matters more than other people at the event feeling safe. You’re putting the onus on potential targets to be aware enough to leap over the missing stair, rather than roping off the stairwell with caution tape. And if someone does get hurt, it’s their fault; that’s what happens when you use a shitty, jacked up staircase, dude.

I wish I had been warned about this guy. It seemed like everyone got the memo but me. I wasn’t there for his history, but the resigned way people talked about him – “he’s like that” – “oh, that guy” – suggests that people are more aware than I was.

The Austin punk scene has a missing stair, and this is my best attempt at a hammer and nails.

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS

Beerland graffiti
Beerland Graffiti by Nika Vee

There are many organizations, all over the world, that are working specifically in the realm of making public arts spaces safer and supporting those who have survived harassment and assault.

Feminist Action Support Network is a group working to address sexual and gendered violence in Chicago’s music, DIY, art, and literary scenes. They facilitate accountability processes for perpetrators of rape and abuse, act as support liaisons at shows and other events, and develop healing approaches to transformative justice.

I spoke with a writer friend about how FASN’s approach to safer spaces inspired Chicago Feminist Writers & Artists as they attempted to resolve similar issues. The approach they developed defines 3 levels of space, as defined here. At all levels, harmful and oppressive behavior is not allowed.

Level Two and Three give organizers additional power to fight against these behaviors at their events. While they have the power to ask people to leave an event, if they’ve been informed in advance that someone’s presence makes others uncomfortable, they can also contact that person in advance to ask them not to come.

Explicitly outlining the expectations for respectful behavior has had a positive effect on events that Chicago Feminist Writers & Artists hosts in tandem with a local bookstore. Those who have been contacted by organizers and been asked not to come have respected those wishes, and if anyone at the event feels uncomfortable, they are reminded that CFWA representatives are available to listen.

Good Night Out is an independent campaign working with clubs, bars, pubs and venues around the UK and Ireland to end harassment on nights out. They train staff, security and management on how best to handle and prevent harassment and work with establishments on establishing a “zero tolerance” policy on groping, leering, grabbing, sexually aggressive behavior, stalking, humiliation, or homophobia.

Fabric, a famous dance club in London, worked with Good Night Out to put a written anti-harassment policy in place. All their staff are trained to remove men who are leering, making rude comments, touching, or committing any other behavior that makes women feel uncomfortable. They also have a feedback form online, and encourage attendees to contact them regarding their experiences.

MOVING FORWARD

Bathroom of the bar and music venue Beerland, Austin Texas.
Photo by Alex Wright

Community norms give us a lot of incentive to minimize abuse, both in relatively mild incidents like the one I experienced as well as more serious violations. It allows us to maintain the status quo, without reshuffling our invite lists or questioning our loyalties.

If we shame the person who is trying to seek justice enough times, if we question their story enough, if we minimize the effect of the trauma on them, maybe eventually they’ll just shut up and go away, no longer feeling safe or supported. And then we don’t have to think about it anymore.

The reason I’ve chosen to make this incident public is to make a larger point about the work that still needs to be done to make punk spaces a welcoming safer space for those who do not identify as or who are not perceived as men. This is not the first time this has happened to someone. It’s not the last time, or the worst time. It’s simply one example of a large, systemic issue of how a lack of community accountability allows abuse to thrive and abusers to operate unchallenged.

We all have a responsibility to make the scene a better place for everyone to exist safely, without harassment. Creating our own rules and challenging existing power structures: what’s more DIY and punk than that?

BONUS: THE STORE BRAND SODA GUIDE TO COMBATING GENDERED OPPRESSION IN YOUR LOCAL PUNK SCENE

Hopefully, if you’ve read this far, you’re someone who is committed to making their local scene a better place where incidents like this aren’t tolerated and where women and trans people feel welcome and safe. Here is an incredibly incomplete list of some ways you can help make that happen.

DON’T TOLERATE HARASSMENT IN YOUR SCENE: Don’t book abusers at your space. Don’t buy their records. Don’t go to their shows. Don’t show support to people who should know better.

DON’T TOLERATE HARASSMENT AT YOUR SPACE: If you run a DIY space, fest, or work at a venue, you need to have a clear plan of action on what to do when harassment occurs at your events and the means to enforce your policy. Every staff or collective member should be trained on your policy. If you notice someone has a problem moderating their alcohol consumption or keeping their hands to themselves, that person needs to get 86’d for the safety of others.

STAND UP FOR YOUR FRIENDS: If you, personally, feel safe inserting yourself into a confrontation, you should. If you’re friends with the target, make sure they aren’t left alone trying to deal with harassment on their own. If you’re friends with the antagonist, you need to call them on their shit and tell them it’s time to go home; then stay with them until they have.

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING: It’s totally understandable if you don’t feel safe putting yourself in harm’s way. However, it’s your responsibility to alert show staff or organizers if you see inappropriate behavior in their venue.

DON’T SUGGEST VIOLENCE AS THE ONLY SOLUTION: A desire for justice often leads to a desire to see revenge enacted. However, please consider the feelings of the survivor before saying “I would have kicked his ass!” People who are experiencing trauma often feel paralyzed and helpless (there’s science behind it; in addition to fight or flight, our brains and bodies have a “freeze” response to threats). They may want to avoid a physical altercation with someone who may be larger and more powerful than them. Suggesting that someone’s problem would have been solved if they wilded out Karate Kid style is victim blaming.

BELIEVE SURVIVORS: Trust their stories, even if they are confused about details; there are neurobiological reasons why people have difficulty accurately recalling traumatic events. Remember that “innocent until proven guilty in a court of law” only applies to judicial punishment; most assaults will never be convicted, and no conviction is necessary for you to support a survivor. For example, there is no law that says you have to continue buying someone’s records or keep inviting them to parties just because they’ve never been convicted of alleged assaults.

SUPPORT SURVIVORS: Don’t suggest that they should get over it, that they’re overreacting, or that gendered harassment is inevitable and something they should expect; street harrassment is defined as a type of sexual assault by the Office on Women’s Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Affirm their experiences by telling them that you believe them, that what happened to them is unacceptable, and that you don’t want to see it happen ever again.

DEVELOP COMMUNITY-BASED RESPONSES TO VIOLENCE: Community accountability is a community-based strategy, rather than a police/prison-based strategy, to address violence within communities. It involves creating values & practices that resist abuse and oppression and encourage safety, support, and accountability as well as developing sustainable strategies to address community members’ abusive behavior. (source)

RESOURCES AND FURTHER READING

How To Hit On Girls In The Club (Or Not) is a guide for men, written by the incomparable Lily B, on how to respectfully approach women at clubs or bars, as well as how to pick up on hints that it’s time to go away and leave them alone.

All Snowflakes Look the Same is a piece by my friend Princess about the racism she’s encountered since moving to the Midwest to pursue her education, including an interaction she had at a rock show.

Hollaback’s Legal Guide to pursuing legal action against your harasser.

Back Off: How to Confront and Stop Sexual Harassment and Harassers is a book filled with real-life success stories of women who used direct-action tactics to end harassment in both blue-collar and white-collar jobs, at school, on the street, on the bus or subway, in the park, even in church.

INCITE! is a nation-wide network of radical feminists of color working to end violence against women, gender non-conforming, and trans people of color, and our communities. Their resources include this printable pamplet (PDF) about street harassment and this excellent fact sheet on community accountability.

Community Accountability: Emerging Movements to Transform Violence is a special issue of Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict & World Order that critically examines grassroots efforts, cultural interventions, and theoretical questions regarding community-based strategies to address gendered violence

Chicago Feminist Writers & Artists Safer Space Guidelines, as mentioned in the article.

Feminist Action Support Network Safer Space Guidelines, as mentioned in the article.

73 responses to “Imagining a Safer Space: Building Community & Ending Harassment in Punk

  1. I worked at Beerland for awhile, this non-action deflection doesn’t surprise me. This town is full of self-labeled ‘saviors’ of the scene when really all they want is to get fucked any way they can with no care for anyone or anything. The ATX scene is full of rapists, women-beaters, and addicts that are tolerated by the community. My SO was in a violent relationship before ours with someone who is in an ‘up and coming band’. The entire community lashed out at her and protected him. “Maybe she deserved to get hit”, “He’s a nice guy…I doubt he would do anything like that”. Give me a fucking break. This scene has a cancer and it will die if untreated.

    Sorry you had a bad time downtown but there is a reason a lot of older locals don’t mess around with BL. I don’t set foot in that place.

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  2. Yes girl!! I work door for a venue in easy sixth and I’m constantly harassed. Thank you for writing this!!!! I cannot thank you enough. I have had MANY problems with this guy Shaun. He has put his hands on me after I’ve told him to “fuck off”. These problems are serious and it’s a bummer nothinga being done. Thank you again!

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  3. I worked at Beerland for awhile; this deflection doesn’t surprise me – it’s the norm. This town is full of self-labeled ‘saviors’ of the scene when really all they want is to get fucked any way they can with no care for anyone or anything. The ATX scene is full of rapists, women-beaters, and addicts that are tolerated by the community. My SO was in a violent relationship before ours with someone who is in an ‘up and coming band’. The entire community lashed out at her and protected him. “Maybe she deserved to get hit”, “He’s a nice guy…I doubt he would do anything like that”. Give me a fucking break. This scene has a cancer and it will die if untreated.

    Sorry you had a bad time downtown but there is a reason a lot of older locals don’t mess around with BL. I don’t set foot in that place.

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  4. This makes me angry and scared. As a trans woman I wonder what kind of crap I’m going to face next time I go to beerland, which I go to quite a bit. GRRRR…..This article has been shared to my facebook wall and I WILL be talking about this to my fellow musician friends and raising the issue for weeks to come. This is not okay, more needs to be done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We at Beerland are very sorry this situation occurred while you were visiting us. It is our policy to prohibit anyone from threatening or harassing anyone else and we try our best to be diligent to handle those situations as they occur. It is also our policy to ban people and bands who act in this way and we have done so. Shaun is sometimes loud and brash (hence the “Yeah, he’s like that”) but he has never been threatening and confrontational like that before. We don’t always know who knows whom and we can’t always tell when loud or foul language is in jest or threatening. Unfortunately, we are forced to rely on our patrons to let us know if they are feeling threatened. As soon as you let our bartender Ian know things had escalated to that point, he moved to handle it with a group of current and past employees of Beerland as well as his bandmates who escorted Shaun out and away from the scene. We’re sorry it seemed to take so long. When one feels threatened, the situation can never be handled quickly enough but please know that we were on it. We should have come to you to let you know he was long gone and that we had handled it so that you could more quickly be made to feel safe. I apologize that you were left wondering and worried what might happen next. Shaun has been called out by our staff and has apologized to us for his behavior that night. Hopefully, he will also apologize to you. As I understand it, he is taking a break from drinking since this incident. He is not currently welcome at Beerland and neither is his band, the Injuries, for the time being. Hopefully, he can get himself under control and learn from this situation. That said, we are putting up signs to let everyone who doesn’t already know that Beerland is a safe zone and we do not tolerate harassment and to please let any member of our staff know if anyone makes them feel uncomfortable or threatened in any way so that we can handle it and have that person removed as quickly as possible. Again, we’re very sorry this occurred. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I think your “missing stair” analogy is on point and I thank you for sharing many excellent tools to improve our community. This is a very rare occurrence for us, but, please be assured, we will work to be even better at making everyone feel welcome and safe while they visit us. That’s what community is all about.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. First I am so sorry you had to experience this in Austin. I am ashamed. This is a powerful and well presented article. Thank you for bringing attention to an issue that I too have experienced first hand (at beerland) that no one seems to talk about or admit is really happening.
    WIll be sharing and discussion with the women in my circle.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This is crazy. I was at this same show, and I was on a mini-vacation visiting Austin as well and also got hit on by this Shaun dude. I went with my close girlfriend because we thought some mutual friends would be in attendance but after it began storming and hailing everyone bailed. We were going to give up and call it a night but Lower Berth began playing and we were into it so we decided to stay and enjoy the show. I distinctly remember that right before they began playing one of the band members (I can’t remember if it was the drummer) spoke into the mic to give appreciation to the (very few) girls that were in attendance about our hard nipples as everyone was wet from the rain. This made me feel uncomfortable and I remember locking eyes with my friend as we shared a look of disgust. But we shrugged it off and enjoyed the rest of the bands and had a good time. We were pretty drunk by the time cruddy finished and decided to uber back home when I was cornered on the front patio by Shaun when I was alone for a few minutes. He didn’t touch me but was in my bubble, and kept insisting I should go to his show at a co-op the next night, party with him later, exchange numbers etc. I politely declined all these offers and he disappeared back into the bar. My friend and I promptly got the hell outta there. Luckily I didn’t endure any harassment like the author writes about in this article, but he definitely made me feel uncomfortable and singled-out as a girl at a punk show. I could do without the sexist rant before their set as well. It makes me feel sick to know that he continued to harass other women, and in such an awful way. I remember he said he was from Philly, and his bandmates were from other cities as well. These numbnuts need to discover real quick that there is no room for their aggressive sexism in Austin’s punk scene, and I’m glad the author is speaking out on this matter.

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  8. Thank you for sharing your experience. This is a very important issue, and, as an Austinite, I’m ashamed of my city for this. This is not an isolated incident, and even the senselessly aggressive “punks” at shows lately are a disheartening sign that a “you’re not welcome here” message to women at shows persists. Thank you for sharing this. It’s a good reminder for all of us to be on guard and take creeps seriously.

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  9. Not for nothing, but that’s a bit of bullshit non-apology from the venue management. Shaun is a known missing stair in Austin, and so to suggest than any woman being screamed at by that drunken idiot might have been part of some secret jest is beyond offensive.

    Look, I’ve been a woman in punk in Austin since the days of naked Pocket Fisherman at Emos. That the situation wasn’t managed isn’t anything new, and it goes a long way towards explaining why women don’t go to punk shows alone in Austin.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. That’s a terrible story, and I’m sad to hear that it happened to you in my beloved city. I’m glad that the other people in the venue eventually helped to deescalate the situation.
    You didn’t get the memo about this guy because there is no memo. In the various music scenes in this city, we don’t keep public lists of people who make us feel uncomfortable because of their drunken but legal behavior, and we don’t attempt to forewarn any and all who might feel threatened by spreading stories about what this person or that person did last weekend or the other night. If you do these things, that’s entirely your prerogative and I hope it works out well for you and everyone in your local scene without condemning the accused in absentia.
    We tolerate people who have issues with emotional outbursts and struggles with addiction because they are our friends, lovers, bandmates, co-workers, and kindred spirits. We ask them to take care of themselves and be considerate of others, we ask them to chill the fuck out when they’re being crazy, but we do not formally ask them to avoid public events because their presence might possibly make someone else uncomfortable. If someone becomes physically threatening, regardless of their reasoning, we remove them from our venues and refuse to let them re-enter. We deal with people when they deserve to be dealt with, which is what happened in this instance according to your description.
    Your suggestion that a venue should somehow know every musician’s reputation before booking a gig is unrealistic.

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    • I live in Richmond and this article is getting spread around a lot here. Your attitude is part of the problem. “Drunken but legal” ?? If you don’t care about making the women, poc, queer people, etc feel comfortable because you don’t want to make your “kindred spirits” feel left out, then all your perpetuating is a drunken boys club where only people who are in the know can feel included.

      Liked by 2 people

    • ” If someone becomes physically threatening, regardless of their reasoning, we remove them from our venues and refuse to let them re-enter.”

      Do we? Do we remove them? No we don’t. It’s pretty clear that everyone knew about Shaun. And that after he started harassing people staff and band members most decidedly DID NOT remove him.

      One wonders what post you are responding to.

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  11. Great article. As a former missing stair i can say it’s crucial for close friends to call people out on their bad behavior. I’ve felt exactly like shaun the morning after acting like a total POS. “I was just wasted” “that wasn’t the real me” “i won’t do that again”. It’s a total BS excuse though, if you act like an aggressive ass when you drink then dont get wasted. How many times did my friends call me out in earnest? Never. Maybe i got some joking comments about being a drunk ass. But i don’t ever remember anyone saying you’ve gotta stop acting like that. It’s seen as being F-ed up but acceptable, like a broken stair. I’m not saying anyone but myself is responsible for my behavior at the time, but i think if friends had intervened it would have made me aware of my own personality problems sooner. Also totally agree that social (friends / scene) and institutional (music venues) influences can have a big impact. If people start getting banned from their favorite hang outs you can bet they’ll change their behavior.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Morgan, I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from people who have been targeted by harassment, but it means even more to know that someone who has been on the other side also supports what I’m doing. I do believe people can change; I want my writing to influence people to change for the better.

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  12. Our of curiosity, Randall Stockton, owner of Beerland, what does it take to get a proper ban at Beerland, or set in place a comprehensive policy regarding harassment, or even get your bartenders to act on their own when a female customer is being screamed at by someone from a band that just played your venue, rather than assume it must be okay and they must know each other and make the woman do all the work in your venue?

    It seems to me you have the choice between making the scene inclusive by setting some very basic standards of behavior and enforcing them, or enabling a small number of men to get away with whatever misbehavior they want to, and, if they get called out on it, oh, they were blackout drunk, they’re our friends and lovers, they get a slap on the wrist, and their needs take priority over the women in the community.

    That’s just not a good enough answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I was at this show, and I didn’t know any of this happened until I saw Beerland share this on Facebook. What happened was terrible and I’m sorry that you had to go through that. Apparently from @Ugh’s post above, another woman was also harassed by the same man at this show but didn’t know about what happened to the author, despite being at the same venue on the same night. I’m trying to remember if I witnessed anything, and I just recall standing around and drinking and talking, I missed what was going down completely. I go to a lot of shows at Beerland and casually know many folks in the bands that play there regularly, but I’ve never met Shaun and had never heard any stories about him. So it isn’t like his behavior was city-wide common knowledge that everybody in the club (or Austin) but you was already aware of. Had I known what was going down, I might have intervened, and I’m sure many other Beerland patrons would have been willing to do the same had they been aware of the situation. But frankly, had I even seen or been aware of what was going down, I was probably in no condition to de-escalate things, having had a few beers myself that night. It sounds like the harasser was removed from the bar as soon as it was brought to the staff’s attention (and without any violence, no small feat given the condition he was in), and Beerland staff even walked the author to her car. It was a terrible thing to have to go through but it isn’t like the whole punk community in town was already aware of and condoned this guy’s actions.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh, noes, punk might be scary, dangerous, unsafe and full of triggers. Punk is BY DEFINITION not a safe space. If a space is safe, then BY DEFINITION, it is not punk. This is no excuse for abuse, it is empowerment to contest abuse autonomously instead of whining to an authority that does not exist to make you feel safe. There are no hall monitors.

    When males, alcohol and rock and roll mix, bad things tend to happen at the margins. Instead of DIY you all have descended into DI-whine. There is no central committee of punk to whom you can appeal to make things right, to set the rules down. When bad shit goes down, marshal up a posse and communicate in no uncertain terms the bounds of conduct. If you can’t use your smarts to overcome their stupidity, then you’re probably too stupid to be a punk. Don’t expect to call for mommy.

    I could imagine how the tender woodland creatures of today’s “punks” would have crumbled into dust had they lived through the original punk rock era. Here’s a pic of Siouxsie Sioux wearing a swastika.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Using smarts to overcome stupidity means acknowledging that there will be bad acts committed by an increasingly smaller fringe, and instead of trying to preempt these bad acts through discipline, committing to confront those bad acts through direct action. What are the diminishing returns of focusing on the bad conduct of < 10% of actors?

        The proposition that punk rock is in any way leftist is mistaken. Deploying the generic oppression olympic victim fetishization of punk, therefore is a waste of time. Punk rock is those who would be victims empowering themselves autonomously via culture.

        And what does punk rock mean today anyway? I saw the Huns at Raul's in 1979 when I was in high school 36 years ago. Listening to punk 36 years later would have been the equivalent of us listening to WWII swing music from 1943 in 1979.

        Here's "Glad He's Dead" by The Huns. One of the most sexist, racist and abusive songs ever. That is why it stands the test of time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj98pr2DbSo

        Liked by 2 people

    • I grew up a gay punk in Texas in the 1970s. People had just gone through Compton’s and Stonewall in the decade prior to that which involved alcohol soused riotous resistance to cops and the mafia.

      Do you realize how punks were treated by redneck Texans in the 1970s? Gay punks?

      Did we whine about any of that? No we sought freedom by defying all of that and making our own reality. It is so much easier to create an anti-coalition that whomever does not agree with me is the enemy and should be made a pariah. A major part of being punk is confronting the offensive and laughing at it.

      Too many play dates is what we’ve got going on here.

      Liked by 3 people

      • If I want to make sure women are included in something I do, and something has happened that undeniably would make them feel excluded, I have found it useful to actually listen to what they have to say and try out their suggestions, instead of lecture them about unrelated personal experiences of my own from three decades ago.

        Of course, that’s only if I actually want them included.

        Liked by 3 people

      • So the lack of this narrow, mainstream version of express inclusion is exclusion? I’d wager that the amount of women who feel excluded absent disciplinarian structures is the same amount of men who are clueless about their abuses. People fall on the extrema of the behavioral distributions, there is no need to reconfigure reality for everyone else in order to cater to their unusual needs.

        Most all men do not abuse, most all women are capable of handling what goes down without forcing the issue on everyone else.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “forcing the issue on everyone else”

        Yep, that’s the real problem here. You being “forced” to read this article and comment over and over again; not me being forced to endure someone touching me, over and over again.

        Punknine, we had a fun run here, but this is a moderated comment section and we don’t actually have an obligation to you or anyone to let it be used as a personal masturbatory playground on how much better things were back in 79. No more of your comments will be approved.

        Liked by 7 people

    • “Punk is BY DEFINITION”

      LOL thanks dad for this definition, I’ll make sure to consult a dictionary before going to a punk show next time.

      Liked by 3 people

  15. Reblogged this on auntiethis and commented:
    “In 2012, blogger Cliff Pervocracy coined the term “missing stair” to describe individuals who pose a danger to others, but are tolerated within a community because everyone is aware of their issues. If you know about a missing stair in an unlit stairwell, you can work around it and avoid it. No one bothers to fix the missing stair because jumping over it works just fine.

    But if no one told you that there was a missing stair, and it’s just assumed that you’re aware, it’s all too easy to be hurt.

    Every time you allow someone with a known history of harassment to drum for your band, or play at your venue, or come to your party, you’re saying that their presence matters more than other people at the event feeling safe. You’re putting the onus on potential targets to be aware enough to leap over the missing stair, rather than roping off the stairwell with caution tape. And if someone does get hurt, it’s their fault; that’s what happens when you use a shitty, jacked up staircase, dude.”

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I enjoyed your piece and I’m sorry this happened to you. Austin is my hometown, though I haven’t lived there in many years. Like Punknine (!) above (who is probably someone I know), I was going to punk shows In Austin thirty years ago. S/he is wrong, though: punk can be a safe space, and has been for a lot of the Austin women and men that I know. What happened to you was bullshit and it would have been bullshit thirty years ago too.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Yeah, this guy was an asshole. Yes, he crossed the line. Was this blog an appropriate response? I don’t think it was. If you’re out to “end harassment in punk”, then you don’t belong at a punk show and are probably just there to try and be hip. When I go to a punk show I fully understand that there are “missing stairs” all over the place and I have a good chance at getting in an altercation with one of them over fucking ANYTHING. Hence, as I’m getting older, I don’t frequent them very much anymore. But I sure don’t write a whiny blog about how the scene needs to be safe for all and screw it up for people that do like that aesthetic. Trying to make it a gender issue is even more confusing to me. You got harassed by a sleaze bag. Get him kicked out and get on with your life rather than writing a self righteous blog about how there needed to a “harassment policy”. It a dive bar, not a corporate office. Gonna have to agree with whoever punknine is even though he’s been silenced despite the facts that his comments were reasonable discussion. It is a private board and no you don’t have an obligation to let people post their opinions, but exercising that authority in the manner you did makes you look like even more of a whiny, hip ahole.

    Liked by 2 people

    • But I sure don’t write a whiny blog about how the scene needs to be safe for all and screw it up for people that do like that aesthetic.

      So sexual assault is an aesthetic? Cool taste, bro.

      Trying to make it a gender issue is even more confusing to me.

      So far, three people have publicly come forward and said that Shaun targeted them. None of them were men. I’m not the one who made it into a gender issue; Shaun did, by who he chooses to prey on.

      Liked by 2 people

      • “So sexual assault is an aesthetic? Cool taste, bro.”

        You must have missed where I opened with this guy was an asshole and crossed the line. Spefically, sexual assault is not an aesthetic… it’s fucking gross and you must have also missed when I called him a sleaze bag. The aesthetic is the chaotic environment where ANYTHING fucked up can happen. In this case it happened and they threw him out and banned him. Awesome, he deserved it. But to demand a “safer” punk environment with harassment policies is a bit overkill to me. Aside from the stupid “he’s like that comments” which I can understand would get under your skin (they get under mine), it sounds like it was handled and he was tossed and banned. Do we really need to start a movement for a “safer” punk scene? I don’t object to your call for no tolerance for sexual harassment, but I don’t think it needs to be forced on the bar… especially if the incident was handled and you know going into to one of these shows… there will be drunk assholes about. Don’t blame the bar or the scene for the stupid assholes that slime their way in it. Could have happened just as easily (probably moreso) at some frat boy rock show. Luckily for you, it’s not hip to be seen at those. And I say “forced” like punknine. Despite your snippy response to him, you are being forceful by writing the blog, promoting it, and basically coercing a response from the bar through threat of social media/viral attention. It is very smart coercion, but coercion nonetheless. And censoring him (and probably me next)? What part about censorship is punk?

        Again, I have no beef with your request for 0 tolerance for sexual harassment at punk shows. But your call for a “safer” punk scene through an attempt at viral social media makes me nervous.

        Like

    • Few comments deleted here! The reason you lost posting privileges is actually because you used racist language, but feel free to speculate that it’s simply because I’m not as cool and punk as you are.

      I sincerely hope you find something to occupy your time now that you can’t publicly hound survivors of harassment on whether they’re a punk or (gasp!) a hipster; may I suggest this article on the racist connotations of the word “thug”?

      Like

  18. LC,

    Great piece! Gutsy and smart! Shouldn’t need to be said but you did a damn good job saying it.

    I’m hoping you don’t publish this because it’s just a micro nit-picky thing that has been bugging me like a piece of sweet corn between my teeth (mmmmm… sweet corn).

    Where was I? Oh, yeah — I think the “missing stair” analogy misses the mark. It implies that if only you knew about the missing stair/asshole, that you could somehow avoid getting hurt. I mean, would knowing this guy could be harmful have kept him from mauling and threatening you? Not if he’s the type of asshole that he clearly is.

    Stairs are passive. This guy is predatory.

    It’s more like the scene allows a nutty dog to roam freely. “He knows us, so he doesn’t bite us. Much. Mostly he shits on the floor and bites strangers.” An active threat rather than a passive danger.

    tl;dr – I think the “missing stair” analogy implies that these assholes would be manageable if only they were better identified or more identifiable, and I don’t believe that is the case.

    But like I said at the top, great piece.

    All the best, etc.
    — JM

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I just do not get the resistance of some people to the idea of making spaces (punk or not) safer for the marginalized. Like, what are they so invested in that they are horribly offended by the suggestion that venues/organizers have a few simple actions decided upon ahead of time for the hopefully rare bad behavior? What about punk being for only macho hardcore assholes is so important to them and their identity that a simple blog post detailing a bad thing that happened and calmly outlining some ways we as communities can do better is, like, unacceptable to them?

    Because seriously, I don’t get it. No one here is calling for authoritarian police state bullshit – in fact, just the opposite. The call is coming from within the community for us all to do a better job calling out the assholes. Yeah, sometimes the only solution is for venue or organizer to boot and ban someone. But ideally if we all get on board with caring for our own, and for making the sometimes tough decisions to not let abuse and harassment slide, that will rarely or never have to happen!

    What Beerland did here was mostly good, eventually. All that’s really being asked for is maybe better communication with the victims at the time of the harassment (so she would have known the guy was being removed and wouldn’t be coming back) and with the community as a whole so everyone is on the same page about what will be tolerated and what won’t. And it sure sounds like Beerland management doesn’t think that’s too onerous a request, given their positive response here and on their Facebook page.

    And all this punk credential dick-waving from the “but you’ll ruin everything” whiners is especially obnoxious, so although my instincts are to post my bona-fides, I’m not going to. No one fucking cares what you or I were doing 20 or 40 years ago; we’re talking about the community today and what we want it to be.

    Seems like what some of these people don’t get is we’re not trying to change punk (or whatever communities we’re in) from the outside, we ARE punk. We are here, we’ve always been here, despite your best efforts to keep us out, and we’re simply sick of people tolerating shitty frat boy behavior simply because the dude has a mohawk.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. Im sorry for your experience at the show. Harassment isn’t cool and sexual abuse should never be tolerated. I wish someone awesome like Henry Rollins had been present to intervene. A punk show is an unpredictable environment, where things can rapidly get out of hand. You might be having a good time drinking with your friends one moment and then suddenly find yourself desperately trying to avoid getting hit in the head by some idiot swinging a soup can in a sock. That being said the bar sounds like they did what they could. You did what you could by bringing this asshole into the public eye and hopefully preventing him from doing it to at least a few others and now the community has been called out on the need to do what it already should have been doing. Kudos

    Like

  21. Thank you so much for allowing some of the deconstructive and dismissive comments in your comments. I wanted to go to this show to see my friends band but bailed because of the storm. This post has gone viral in our community and all but 1 or 2 about 20 posts have been very supportive, but there’s a hateful comment on one of every couple of them. Publishing them highlights that these opinions have prevalence that some of us may not hear in our echo chambers. There’s an austin DIY community forum that’s been planned for Sunday for quite a while and your experience will probably be a major reference point for discussing harassment andraising awarenesshttps://www.facebook.com/events/367441226773899/

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Good on you for getting your pound of flesh and outing this abusive jerk. However, the splinters that you have banned have a point. Punk rock has always been a magnet for borderline personalities. That’s part of what makes it interesting and you’re never going to be able to eliminate that aspect. That said, no one should have an objection to an asshole predator catching shit for being a predatory asshole.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I am almost at a loss for words regarding this endless rant. You were not sexually assaulted. As a survivor, I am offended by people casually tossing that phrase around. A lot of this stuff that you’re saying is very self righteous. It’s clear to me that you are enjoying a power trip out of this. How is that any different from the behavior you claim to want people protected from? Everyone is entitled to speak their truth and have their voice heard. That is important. But you’re not speaking for me. I have my own voice. And I don’t need your protection or your wisdom. You are what you hate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I generally take the stance that telling other people that the way they feel is fundamentally ‘wrong’ after being screamed at and groped…isn’t really cool.

      We don’t know the author’s past experiences. I do know, though, that if she feels this was sexual assault IT WAS. You don’t get to decide that another person’s experiences are valid. Nor do I. If a person tells you they felt victimized by an experience, why do you want to tell them otherwise? It’s not a pissing contest of who has been the ‘mostest asaulted’ with the winner getting to tell other people their experiences are not ‘actually’ assault.

      Nothing changes if people do not speak up. That’s not a power trip. That’s saying that another person does not have the power to use the status quo to hurt others.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I mostly tried to stick with using the word harassment in the article, because I wanted to be inclusive of more experiences and also be respectful not to compare my relatively mild experience with those who have undergone very serious trauma.

      Non-consentual touching is, legally, a form of sexual assault. It exists on a very wide spectrum of abuses. None of them are acceptable.

      I was very careful with my wording in the article, but you are correct that I was not very careful here in the comment section. I appreciate your feedback and the chance to clarify myself.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. And how do you know that what you’re doing is going to have a positive outcome? Have you stopped to consider that venues, when faced with harassment and liabilities, may decide that the easiest, safest thing to do to avoid bad press and possible legal troubles like this is to not host punk shows at all? Have you stopped to consider the possibility that there could be a backlash from initiatives like this that create dangers for women like me? That I may face “consequences” for telling some creep what I think of him or using physical force to protect myself or other people?

    Like

    • So let me get this right…you seem to be suggesting that everyone should sit the fuck down and shut the hell up because you fear ‘consequences’ towards women from those who don’t want to be told it’s not OK to grope/harass/assault women?

      First off, you know it’s an argument of several types of fallacies to suggest that venues are going to stop hosting punk shows because they are so scared of the liability. You know this. I know this. No one is going to stop hosting punk shows.

      But listen to your argument – you sound terrified of being hurt, of those you care about being hurt. THAT IS NOT OK THAT YOU SHOULD FEEL LIKE THAT. These sorts of people, these ‘missing stairs’ are going to hurt people no matter what. We’ve had a bunch of people come forward just about this one guy – how would of keeping her mouth closed have made it safer for the next woman he gropes or screams at? THIS is why people need to call out this behavior. When it’s ignored, it’s allowed to be seen as ‘normal’ behavior.

      Liked by 3 people

      • WRONG. What I said was that if you set a precedent that getting out of line requires “consequences” then you open up the avenue for the guys to say they feel victimized too. I am not a quiet woman. I am a woman who will fight a dude who fucks with people, especially women. I am a woman who will get in a guy’s face and tell him to get the fuck out of a show if I think he is a threat to someone. These people will continue to exist and continue to try to victimize people whether your politics think it’s okay or not. And this is not the way to deal with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh and liability? Yes that’s a reality. How many shows have you put on? Obviously none if you’ve never been introduced to the concept of liability and how that affects promoters negotiating bookings for a show.

        Like

      • I am unclear on how an article on a music blog can affect what a venue is or is not legally liable for. This article suggests that venues establish their own anti-harassment policies. It’s not an insurance policy or legal document.

        Liked by 1 person

    • If it is impossible to have punk shows without men harassing women, and it is impossible even to discuss it without the possibility that punk shows will cease to exist, that seems to point to a problem with punk rock, and not a problem with this post.

      Liked by 3 people

  25. In the case of this article, I would imagine venues wanting to avoid the bad press of being labelled as a place that condones or even just looks the other way when women are being victimized or abused. That could lead to beer sponsors pulling out because they don’t like that and don’t want to be associated with it. That could lead to people boycotting the venue. That could lead to SXSW not wanting to be associated with a venue and blacklisting it. Bad press like that could make venues concerned that they’re attracting a bad element to their bar and they would want to avoid that. They might think that a woman could be hurt at their venue and they could end up being sued and they would want to avoid that. The police could become concerned and decide to target their bar which could lead to problems and bad attention that they’re not going to want to deal with. All of these things would add up to potential problems that an owner could certainly decide aren’t worth taking a chance of dealing with. At the end of the day, it’s a business and liabilities are anything thats bad for the business.

    Like

    • I’m confused though, that sounds to me like an argument for having established policies and enforcing them, not just throwing your hands up in the air and throwing everything out to the wolves.

      Certainly we have a real live owner of the real live venue in question who commented on this thread and expressed zero fear of what you are predicting.

      Corporations don’t have sexual harassment policies out of the kindness of their hearts. They have them because having them lessens their liability, not increases it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Or maybe the people who harass/grope women are called out and banned until they get their shit together, while the venue chooses to address the situation – leading to good press and kudos and generally positive benefits? Which is the reality we’ve seen happen in this case and not anything like the chicken little suppositions of WHAT IF THE PUNK SKY FALLS?

      Liked by 1 person

    • “In the case of this article, I would imagine venues wanting to avoid the bad press of being labelled as a place that condones or even just looks the other way when women are being victimized or abused. ”

      Probably the best solution to this is to not be a place that condones or even looks the other way when women are being victimized or abused, rather than telling the people who have experienced it to shut up.

      Liked by 1 person

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  27. from the people who blackballed every band that didn’t fit their pearly-clean-cookie-cutter image.

    Like

    • David seems like a really good dude and I’m super glad Beerland has him on the team. A big thing I think people aren’t grasping is that when I wrote this article, I barely had any response from Beerland, and not because I didn’t try to privately contact them – I did, multiple times.

      I had no idea if Shaun was kicked out, officially, or just got bored and left, or was smoking outside the gate waiting for me. Beerland has totally acknowledged that this could have been handled more smoothly, and are taking specific lessons from this incident forward. I was contacted by a bartender to say that now they know to keep a victim/target aware of the situation so they’re not left wondering and feeling unsafe. That’s great.

      The only issue I have – and it’s a tiny one, I really don’t want to come off like the person who ALWAYS HAS A PROBLEM, I’m really not – is that David commented on someone else’s FB post that if this happens to you, your best bet is to get the door guy, “not sitting at the bar making notes on your cellphone.” I’m glad future attendees know this, but dude, I don’t know the chain of command at your bar. I told a bartender, and they said they’d deal with it. I assumed the bartender, if they needed security backup, knew to contact the door dude. Shaun was already near the door, still screaming at me. I wanted to stay as far from him as possible. I was tired, scared, and really really sick of dealing with him. At that point, I think I deserved to sit down, drink my beer, and try to stop shaking.

      I will probably write a follow up at some point about how I’m impressed with how Beerland has handled this. I really do appreciate everyone who stepped in and tried to help.

      Liked by 2 people

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  29. i knew this guy when he lived in philly and i can corroborrate everything everyone has said about his patterns of behavior. yeah he was always wasted, but honestly i don’t know that this is the only reason for his being an asshole. true alcohol makes people more aggressive and less accountable and compassionate, and many folks who stop drinking leave these things behind completely. but acting like a belligerent jackass in general when intoxicated is NOT THE SAME as being a sexist, predatory scumbag. for someone like this the alcohol just removes their ability to hide it – it will still be there when they are sober, just manifested in more sneaky and insidious ways. i have had conversations with shaun where he legit just comes right out and says that his intention is to make women uncomfortable and coerce them into sex, that he thinks it’s cool and badass and edgy to invade people’s personal space and disrespect their boundaries, that it’s not only ok but it helps them push past their fear and give into things they just didn’t know how to admit they wanted. that’s not just like getting too drunk and breaking a table – that’s not something an otherwise “good person” says because they’ e had too much whiskey.

    harassment, violence, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia are HUGE problems in the philly punk scene as well, and they’ve only been getting worse – meanwhile the criticism against these problems is receiving more and more aggressive backlash. i have personally been a favorite target for relentless and brutal verbal harassment after calling out just the few instances i have witnessed (i rarely go to punk shows anymore). one guy in particular has started to target women (harassment, exclusion, threats) in the punk scene after i called him out. he was so angry that i wouldn’t let him off the hook and continued to try to hold him accountable that he now hates all women who do not defer to male supremacy. (he’s also racist, but that’s a whole other can of worms…) i was even recently told by another woman in the scene (who self-identifies as a feminist) that it’s my fault this man has amped up his fight against women. that if i was truly aiming to fix the problem and not just trying to further my own agenda of feeling superior to everyone (lol) that i would have been more polite with him and tailored (read: diluted to the point of losing the message entirely) the concepts of feminism [and race and gender and sexuality] to be more palatable to him. this was seriously said to me.

    this shit it OUT of CONTROL. anyone who thinks that those speaking out about their experiences are the ones creating the drama have the emotional capacity of a four year old and need to grow up and accept accountability. and anyone who HONESTLY thinks that punk was founded on the values of Being As Destructive As Possible For Absolutely No Reason/ Promoting Violence At All Times Because You Have Nothing Else To Do/ Delegitimazing Anything That Involves Accountability To Others/ Protecting The Comfort Of The Privileged Status Quo By Maintaining Oppressive Power Structures/ Just Being A Wild And Crazy Dude, Like, Lighten Up Man is obviously unaware of its history and has been duped by the version of punk that’s been marketed to them.

    and to be honest, even if punk wasn’t [intended to be] an inherently progressive movement, if you’re a human who cares about being a good person wouldn’t you want to hold everything in your life to the standards of equality and social justice*?

    *admittedly sort of bullshit umbrella terms used here for lack of a better way to summarily convey the general concept of combatting all types of privilege and oppression.

    Like

  30. It is a horrible, shitty feeling to get yelled at for no good reason. My friends and I go to Beerland regularly, so I heard about the events of this episode minutes after it happened, and the plan to extract your harasser went down right away. Apparently the bartender’s response made you feel like you weren’t being taken seriously, but those are not the words he used, and you must have forgotten the part where Shaun was removed right after you voiced your concerns, so I think your traumatic experience may have influenced your perception of what was happening around you. I definitely trust and have faith in the staff at Beerland. I’m too scared to even smoke weed on their patio. That being said, I am very sorry you went through this.

    Like

    • Whoa, are you trying to gaslight her? Look, she experienced what she experienced and has at least another witness to prove it. So you can’t smoke weed on the front patio? Okay, what on earth does that have to do with a mean, sexist dude harassing her?

      Like

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