News, Personal Accounts

Reposted from our fb page  about the benefit gig over April 29/30/ May 1st 2016 weekend at the Boston Arms…

“To the nasty comments we received here’s our reply. To the bands and anyone who attended, you get nothing but love and thanks for playing, supporting, showing up. You are awesome!!
So we are pretty use to being hated. Not just hated but harassed, followed, cornered, threatened. Been “warned” to stop, told that over and over for hours, we need to stop doing LSHS “or else”. I’m not even going to start on digital hate mail and MRA threats. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had people try to convince me that having sex with a stranger who is passed out unconscious is OK, not only OK but perfectly normal. And some people have actually tried to convince me its a good idea. Two people have told me on separately occasions, that’s their “move” its what they does, they wait for who they are interested in to pass out, then once they are asleep that’s how they hooks up with them. We’ve also had rapists confess and thank us for providing information that could help them change their ways.
Setting up a LSHS stall isn’t like most other stalls. We aren’t just selling a few t-shirts. It’s actually incredibly stressful. People also open up to us quite a bit and tell us some really horrific stories. We’ve heard so many painful and heartbreaking personal accounts of rape and rapists who have gotten away with it because of our messed up legal system. Victims who weren’t supported or believed. Sometimes people tell us their most personal and painful story just to be believed for once. This is part of the reason we do stalls, to open up the conversation and support each other. It’s so much harder to understand or deal with sexual assault on your own. We want to do what we can and provide what support we can but it’s not easy. We need to have a support system for ourselves in place as well. We are trying. We are hopeful.
A lot of collective members will be very active behind the scenes but can’t actually cope with doing a stall or reading the messages we receive. We need a strong support system for people to do a stall. We can’t do it when there is hostile promoters who don’t listen to or respect us. Who have ignored our concerns for months on end. Who speak on our behalf when they clearly know we don’t want them too. Who puts profit over people. We really didn’t want any bands to cancel and we wanted the gig to go well. We initial started planning this gig together and thought it was a solidarity action. But back in January when we said there should be more than 2 women playing over the entire weekend (a few more were added since) we were told our opinions didn’t matter and we weren’t allowed to be a part of this, it was his leaving gig so he was going to make all the decisions. It was NOT a solidarity event as we had been discussing since last year. “If we wanted anything to do with it we should go put on our own gig”. But he was still going to use our name because he was worried bands might drop out or charge their normal rate and he didn’t want to pay them that. We wanted distance or equal input; either call it what it was, his leaving gig or let us continue to be involved. Unfortunately that was ignored so we felt really backed against a wall and not sure what to do.
Because of the hatred we already have to deal with, we thought is was better to not speak publicly about it, to pick our battles and not make this a public one. We already know that there is nothing worse than cancelling a gig. Just looking at all the rape allegation that have come to light recently. There were way too many people more upset that a gig was cancelled than the possibility that someone had been rape. So we knew we didn’t stand a chance if a band cancelled or anything got messed up.
We wish this had remained private but unless we shut ourselves off and didn’t reply to any messages or comments, or unless we started lying to cover up for them, it felt unavoidable. Our lack of presence still had presence.
Obviously we still feel very upset we were not welcome there. We feel really bad we could not be there to see and support all the amazing bands that played and showed us support. But we do really hope the gig went well!The offer of getting a outside mediator who works in conflict resolution within grassroots activism is still open to them. And its free. It’s not too late, we hope to hear back from them this time. We don’t want to continue this on Facebook. We want a real conversation with a likelihood of both parties being heard and leaving with a positive outcome.
To all the bands who played and showed us support, thank you!! Sorry if anyone got caught in the crossfire, we think it was so great you are played. We don’t want anyone to take sides, it’s great that you played and we don’t want to take away from that. We wish we could have been there to show support and just fucking see you!! So many good bands on!! Heard it was an amazing gig!! and everyone played super well! Hope everyone had a fun, looked great! To everyone who was there hope you all had fun too!”

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