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Defend Girls, Not Pop Punk

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Over the past 12 months, as one of its primary proponents, I have spent a lot of time thinking about call-out culture. Or, as some industry heavyweights have phrased it, the trend of “witch hunts” that has been plaguing our scene as of late. I have spent a lot of time frustrated by the perpetuation of the idea that says the call-outs are the problem, instead of the abuses that said call-outs address. I’ve been upset because we know that statistically when an accusation is finally made, they are are overwhelmingly true; however, the opposite manages to live on in the minds of so many. It’s a problem, because as long as the focus is on whether or not call-out culture ought to exist, the real problems and abuses plaguing our scene fail to get properly addressed. As such, it’s a problem I want to solve.

    Last week, Mariel Loveland of Candy Hearts posted a blog detailing how her former tour manager (and ex-boyfriend) physically, and verbally, assaulted her on Warped Tour last summer. She detailed the alleged abuse, claiming that she has spent the last 10 months being afraid to speak because of what it might do to her career – a decision that feels all too familiar to any survivor. She was afraid that she wouldn’t be believed – or that speaking up would forever brand her as “fussy” or “reckless”, and therefore prevent the male-dominated industry from wanting to work with her in the future. Ultimately, a desire to protect the young girls this man will inevitably be around on tour proved to be a bigger driving force than her own fear, and so she spoke.1

    Last fall, Buddy Nielsen of Senses Fail called me to give me some background for a piece – a piece which I’ve been trying to figure out how to write ever since. A relatively common practice amongst bands with buses on Warped Tour is renting out unused bunks to folks working on the tour. Senses Fail allowed a young band, We Are Forever, to rent some bunks while they spent the summer following the tour and hawking their music to the kids waiting in line each day. (Anyone who has ever been to Warped knows this type well.) That band was ultimately removed from the tour after Buddy became aware of allegations against a member (which came along with now requisite screenshots) of inappropriate conduct with underage girls.2 Buddy spoke to the other members and gave them a choice: either lose him, or lose your spot on my bus. The band chose to support their bandmate and leave the tour, despite knowing what he did.

    They aren’t the first band to make such a decision for the sake of so-called loyalty. When up-and-comers Better Off torpedoed their own spring tour to protect a hired gun accused of sexual assault earlier this year, the response was one of shock and disappointment throughout the scene. Yet again, the accuser alleged that she made the abuse known to people close to the situation before taking her truth public, doing so only when she met the same resistance and refusal to “take sides” that so often precedes these accusations on a public forum.

    So what does this mean? Where does this leave us? This brings me to my solution. It’s not an easy one, but it can singlehandedly decimate call-out culture and put writers like me out of a job. It can keep people who may have made a one-time mistake from being lumped in with the serial perpetrators. It can create a climate in which private solutions and reparations are possible while simultaneously creating a world where consequences can be doled out without the humiliation that so often falls on all parties involved. I truly believe this is possible.

    The solution: when you see something, say something. When you hear something, say something. When you know something, say something. Perhaps the only thing more disheartening than abuse itself is the stark realization that said abuse had witnesses who choose to stay silent until the only option was taking the statement public. This practice ensures that “call-out culture” remains necessary. It means the so-called witch hunts have to continue. So, gentlemen, do you want to know how to destroy call-out culture you claim to hate? Speak up.

    The enemy of call-out culture is action. It is a direct response to the idea of “No More Silence” – the idea that nothing will change if we don’t speak up. But imagine for a moment a world where it doesn’t have to get to this point. Imagine a world where a group of decent young men just trying to put their music out there in the world hear about someone on their team, or in their band, causing harm to another human being and not writing that harm off because it’s easier. Imagine addressing it and everyone involved doing their best to make it right, to protect others – their own fans – from harm in the future. Imagine refusing to work with people who are harmful to others – imagine prioritizing public safety over your buddy’s feelings. Imagine setting the standard higher and saying, “If you want to work with us, you have to be a decent person.” Imagine that world. You’re imagining a world where women, where people of color, where all gender identities and sexual orientations feel safe. You’re imagining the world punk promised it would be – the world it never has managed to be. Imagine that world. So next time you find yourself down about the way these allegations and scandals are harming our scene, remember that there’s only one way to put a stop to it: defend girls, not pop punk.

    1. The accused in question, Zach Chad, has issued a detailed response via Alternative Press since this piece was written.

    2. We Are Forever are not affiliated with Warped Tour nor were they ever part of the tour itself. Although it bears noting that allegations were leveled against multiple other artists on the 2015 tour, some of which resulted in removal of band members from both Neck Deep and Set It Off.

  2. Jake Z


    Good read. I like that the piece aims to achieve a much needed goal and doesn't delve into the incredibly shortsighted or sensational "pop punk needs to die" or ___ band sucks!" Rhetoric. The bad apples spoil things for the majority of bands with good people who do the right thing, and that's a shame. This is a problem in every music scene out there too. People get assaulted at country mega stadium shows. It's goes way beyond music as well.

    I hope positive strides can be made and more people choose to speak up and do the right thing, everywhere. Effective change always needs to start from within, and not be a reaction to being called out. Having the need to call people out being eliminated is a great goal to strive for.
    Anthony_D'Elia likes this.
  3. AshlandATeam


    This is spot on.
  4. Dumpweed182

    Shut Up

    Good read.

    Did the statement by Mariel's ex-boyfriend get its own post here? If so, why not? I just read through it, and while, admittedly it is just one side of the story, it seems to explicitly state nearly everything she said was fabricated, with a number of eyewitness to back up that claim. It's actually a little bit disturbing just how abusive she may have been.
  5. beachdude

    I'm not brave Prestigious

    I have not heard of this. Link?
  6. Dumpweed182

    Shut Up

    Link in the footnote of the original post.
  7. I don't post things I can verify contain falsehoods.
  8. Dumpweed182

    Shut Up

    Which parts are lies? Genuinely curious.
  9. She's not bi polar, for one.
  10. Dumpweed182

    Shut Up

    Is that enough to discredit the entire post? There seems to be a ton being said there. Hard to believe those numerous incidents he recounted didn't happen altogether.
    btr and beachdude42 like this.
  11. I didn't say that's the only thing. But, yes, I would say when someone is gaslighing a woman that has said they are emotionally abusive, in public, that is enough for me to see first hand abusive behavior.
    incognitojones likes this.
  12. Red flags:
    -Leading with questioning her mental health. Common tool used by people when gaslighting former partners.
    -Lying about said mental health, and using her mother as a witness. Her mother has since denied any such thing is true.
    -Referring to their relationship as being toxic, but not abusive with zero elaboration. Sounds exactly like what my abusive ex boyfriend told people about us. Effectively presenting effect without acknowledging the cause. Gaslighting 101.
    -Offering accounts of their encounters that paint her as being entirely responsible whilst absolving himself, and calling on eyewitnesses who also lack the context of what their personal relationship was like - which is INCREDIBLY important in situations like this.
    -Other bands who have worked with the dude didn't have great things to say about his integrity.
    -Mariel addressed his rebuttal briefly. A lot of this boils down to intuition as a survivor, but his story smells.

    For whatever that's worth. I wasn't there, and I don't know if he's telling the truth. I'm sure they both are, on some level. But what's more likely is that he's doing something that many abusive people have become masters of doing - context and framing make it possible to be dishonest even when you're technically telling the truth.
    NL, lightning13, AelNire and 12 others like this.
  13. JJ Pagan

    Trying Hard Not To Look Like I'm Trying That Hard

    Love the urgency in this piece. Here we are in 2016 and people are still using the phrase "witch-hunt", as if people are going out their way to "ruin" someone's career and all these people aren't ACTUALLY being abused. It's clearly going to take time to change the culture but with places like this site giving voices to people like Anna, there's hope. As she writes in her piece though, everyone has to step up.
  14. Fucking Dustin

    Hey now we'll be okay Supporter

    Great article. I do have a question about this:

    If the victim of an abuse makes the choice to stay silent, while the perpetrator continues to make music with no consequences, is there anything someone who knows about the abuse can do? Because wouldn't it be hurting the victim to make something so serious so public? It's a thought I'm torn on and gives a very...difficult feeling as if there's nothing I can do. So I was wondering if there's any productive thing a person could do in this scenario.
  15. Owlex

    free snewt Prestigious

    Important piece, very well written
  16. clucky

    Trusted Supporter

    I'd think the right move is to respect the victim and what they want. Certainly don't out them without their permission. Ask them how they want you to support them and then do that.
  17. Fucking Dustin

    Hey now we'll be okay Supporter

    That's what feels right to me too, I'm glad I'm not alone on that, thanks for the advice/confirmation. It's so hard to do that and just watch people get away with this shit, but it's her wishes and she deserves to be respected
  18. beachdude

    I'm not brave Prestigious

    Yeah, I'm on the side of waiting for more to come out on this one. If there's really eyewitnesses that can verify his side of the story then that's quite compelling evidence.
  19. clucky

    Trusted Supporter

    I feel like the bad apples are not really what spoil things. Obviously, they are a big problem but they are few and far between and their presence alone is not enough to destroy the scene. What spoils things is all the other apples who are willing to let the bad apples stay on the tree out of fear that if they try to knock the bad apple off they'll fall too.
  20. That's sort of my point. It wouldn't have to come to a public call-out if the people in their lives made it clear the behavior wasn't acceptable. This is about fixing the problem before a public call-out becomes necessary.

    And always respect the victim's wishes. That being said, you don't have to out or name her to address the perpetrator. It's judgment call.
  21. Exactly. It's up to the good apples to remove the bad apples, or they aren't really good apples at all. They're enabling apples.
  22. If that is what you're taking away from this piece then I have to say, respectfully, that you entirely missed the point.
    rxbandit89 and Jason Tate like this.
  23. Fucking Dustin

    Hey now we'll be okay Supporter

    You're right about that, thank you. I've always had that fear of people piecing it together and finding out it was her, or the fact that I can't name her making it a "well you're not credible then" situation, but those are stupid fears and shouldn't hold myself or anyone back from doing what's right.
  24. Hey, the trolls never seem to feel the need to have a source. Your fears are completely valid, I'm just sorry the people in this person's life aren't doing a better job.
  25. beachdude

    I'm not brave Prestigious

    I'm talking about the specific instance with the Candy Hearts member. His response alludes to various incidents that allegedly happened in public, with plenty of witnesses. If any of what he says is true, we should know soon enough.

    This is also a good possibility. As you said, none of us were there but the fact that his response was so detailed and refers to alleged public incidents makes me want to wait for more to come out.