Des Ark posted the following on their Facebook page. I couldn’t agree more. Bands have a responsibility to be aware of, and should be held accountable for, the culture they create and support.
obviously been tweeting a lot about this Whirr thing, but it’s bringing up a really painful part of being a queer woman in a band: your friends in bro bands who play with bro bands who have raped people.
des ark had a situation a few years ago where we were asked to play a show with a well-known metal band. had never heard them, the promoter was my friend & knows my politics, so i trusted him & said yes. then i got a bunch of emails from women letting me know one of the band’s members was a rapist, & a well-known violent abuser & antagonizer of women.
i called my friends in his city who not only confirmed this, but explained to me IN DETAIL the extent of his abuses–because it happened to many of their female friends.
so we pulled out of the show, & i explained to my bandmates why we would not be playing. everyone in des ark at the time expressed great support for my decision. a week later, my bandmate’s other band booked a show with them.
this is such a common experience. you do your best to be open & listen when people come to you with sensitive information about their personal lives–often quietly, because they are scared. you speak up as best you can, within the comfort levels of the people who reached out to you. you tell your friends, you tell your bandmates, you tell your friends who are in bands.
and then your bro friends play with them anyway. and every punk wears their tshirts to your shows.
and you? you feel exhausted.
whirr tweeted some awful shit, it is true. & i am really happy to see the internet community forcing them to be held accountable.
but many bands you love have raped women, assaulted women, beat women up, broken into their exgf’s houses in the middle of the night when they are alone to scare them into never speaking up. what are you doing about physical violence in your scene? why aren’t women emailing you when you play with rapists?
cuz they know you don’t give a shit.
YOU HAVE TO DO A BETTER JOB OF HOLDING PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE. YOU HAVE TO DO A BETTER JOB OF STATING CLEARLY WHO YOU WANT TO SUPPORT IN THIS WORLD.
if you’re in a band, if you have a microphone, if you are in any kind of position of power, with any voice whatsoever, it is your fucking DUTY to keep us safe from your shitty fucking friends. get rid of them. stop playing shows with them. and don’t hop on the Whirr hate bandwagon without taking it as an invitation to change the way your *own* band conducts itself.