The entertainment industry has been rocked by the overwhelming media coverage of accusations against Harvey Weinstein, culminating in a court case where he will answer for his alleged crimes against women. The case has exposed a culture of abuse, intimidation, and other examples of disgusting behaviour that sadly surprise no-one – even when one considers the breadth, depth and severity of the culture that protects predatory men.
It’s not surprising because it runs like sewage throughout human culture. The joint efforts of bloggers Adam Williams (amodelofcontrol.com) and RockstarDinosaurPiratePrincess (best blog name ever) (CW/TW) led to three articles soliciting and publishing the anonymous experiences of women at gigs, clubs, and as musicians and performers themselves.
It sadly should go without saying that this comes with a significant trigger / content warning for abuse. Reading the many, many many submissions these bloggers wrote is upsetting and infuriating in the extreme.
There is a rich vein of horrendous behaviour stretching from glitzy Hollywood right into the poky, smoky clubs of the goth scene itself, and for all we don rose-tinted sunglasses (at night) the scene is not the beacon of tolerance and safety we think it is.
Very recently, singer Jessicka Addams of riot-goth band Jack Off Jill came forward to publically share her experiences of abuse and rape during a relationship with bassist Jeordie White, aka Twiggy Ramirez of Marilyn Manson’s band. A statement from the band has announced a severing of the partnership with White (CW), who has yet to make any statement himself.
It took a long time for Addams to come forward and disclose her experiences (CW), which is unfortunately but understandably common in such cases where doubt and victim-blaming are all too frequent, and it appears she was actively discouraged by her record label at the time who seemed to act from a chillingly businesslike viewpoint.
That level of opposition would be difficult for a successful artist like Addams to overcome, let alone fans who may also have been attacked and have no voice, no audience and no hope of being heard or believed.
Increasingly we are uncovering evidence of widespread perpetration of abuse, followed by denial and cover-ups, from huge international stars down to the people you know at festivals and clubs.
The #MeToo campaign was a viral success story of the worst kind, that only echoed the heart-breaking experiences collected by Adam Williams and RDPP. Women worldwide followed this up by asking men who professed to be allies – “What will you do? How will you help? What can you do to change this?”
- As the owner of a social space online, I can police my community and promise to respond to any woman who uses The Blogging Goth’s social media or website channels, who feels they’ve been made uncomfortable by someone. My website, my Facebook, my Twitter, my Tumblr, my Instagram, my YouTube… all should be considered spaces free of the threat of abusive and aggressive men.
- As the promoter of a goth club night, I can police my event and promise to respond to any woman who feels they’ve been made uncomfortable by another. I enjoy a very close relationship with the venue, and their six-foot punk bar manager and resident DJ will ensure any situation is resolved quickly and effectively.
- As a member of the goth community, I can police my scene and promise to respond to any woman who feels they’ve been made uncomfortable by someone. I will listen to, trust and reassure someone who shares with me an experience they have had. I will – and this is crucial – pursue my suspicions of the behaviour of people and call them out if needs be. Even more crucially, I want to do this as part of a community, where we support and protect one another and make the goth scene a safer and more enjoyable place for everybody.
Please consider what you can do to fight back against abuse in the scene.
Help and advice for women who have experienced rape or sexual assault:
Rape Crisis England & Wales
Helpline – 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30)
NHS Choices – Help after rape and sexual assault