Stop asking me to defend my band shirt (and other sexist things douchebags do at gigs)

Disclaimer: Thank you to all of the guys and gals who I have made friends with at gigs, and who have made my live music experiences throughout my life truly excellent. You are all cool and you understand boundaries. However, all of these things have happened to me, so to everyone else, read on and take notes.

Dear Sexist Douchebag,

I don’t think you really quite realise how much of a sexist douchebag you actually are, so I think it’s about time we have a chat. To make it easy for you, I’ve created a numbered list of things you do, reasons you should stop doing them, and what you should do instead.

1. Stop asking me to defend my band shirt.

Yeah, okay, so you technically didn’t say, “I think you are wearing that shirt because you want to look cool and I want you to provide evidence against this by recounting the bands entire discography,” but now that we are halfway through your interrogation, it certainly feels like it. Asking me what my favourite A Day To Remember song is while I’m wearing an A Day To Remember shirt is not a crime. That’s actually kind of cool – I’m wearing this shirt because I like this band and I’m totally happy to talk about them. Ridiculing my answer to your question by calling it “typical” or laughing and saying I’m “just like every other fangirl”, however, is not at all cool. No matter whether I respond with a bands most popular song or some barely ever played track off their first album, you still seem to give me the same condescending reply. What gives, dude?

Easy fix: When someone with boobs is wearing merch from a band you like, do not assume they are doing it to look cool. They probably genuinely like that band if they forked out $40 for a t shirt. Hey, even if they are doing it to look cool – that means they think that band you like is cool. What a compliment. Make friends.

2. When the band playing says “this is an old one”, do not turn to me and say, “Do you know this song?”

Why me? Why not the many dudes standing around you? Why do you feel the need to ask me in particular whether or not I was aware this song existed? Or, hey, why didn’t I turn to you and question whether or not you were up to date with the bands older repertoire? Don’t answer that – I know why. You have assumed that I got into this band recently and do not deserve to be there as much as you do. I know this because I heard you complaining to your friends about “fangirls” while aggressively eyeballing me ten minutes before the set began.

Easy fix: I’m just going to ask you a few more rhetorical questions to further prove my point. Why do you assume every female is a new fan? Why do you have something against new fans in the first place? Who put that stick inside of your butt and when are they going to retrieve it? Just stop making dumb assumptions, man.

3. Stop using the word “fangirl” like it’s a bad thing.

I am sick of being labelled as a fangirl as if I am literal poison to the music scene and all of the bands you like. I proudly proclaim: I am a fangirl. I pay money to buy this band’s music, attend their shows and wear their merch. I like them, I support them, I am here with the same intention as you – to enjoy live music. Why do you – as a male who is a fan – get to do this without judgement while I – as a female who is a fan – am treated like some kind of virus sent to kill everything you love? Here’s a good read.

Easy fix: Don’t be a tool. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

4. Unless I am obviously struggling or have fallen over, leave me alone in the mosh.

This is honestly the most condescending of all. If you’re actually genuinely helping me (and I have accepted said help), thanks dude! If I am holding my own and have told you that I am fine, then back off. Oh, you don’t think that I, an 18 year old female, should be in here? But that 12 year old boy is an “absolute legend”? a) fuck you, b) fuck you, c) no one asked for your opinion and I have been in enough moshpits to know my limits, thanks. You “holding me up” is making it harder for me to stand. I know you’ve been taught that women are darling little flowers that could break with the smallest misstep but I’ve been elbowed in the face enough times to no longer care. I have a pretty sturdy nose at this point.

Easy fix: Nothing wrong with asking someone if they need help if they look like they’re struggling or in distress. If I say I can take care of myself, though, trust that I can take care of myself. If I can’t handle the mosh, I will either leave on my own accord, accept your help initially or crowdsurf out. Most women – and other people, for that matter – will also do this. Just let me enjoy the show, dude.

5. Don’t kiss me. Don’t grope me. Don’t touch me intentionally and inappropriately.

This has to be the most obvious thing in the universe but it happens all the time. I was at an Amity Affliction gig the other week where absolute legend Joel Birch stopped the show just to tell asshole dudes like yourself to stop deliberately grabbing girls in ungentlemanly places while they crowdsurf. Still, after the cheers of every female in the room as well as any decent dude, about two songs later you grab the face of the girl next to me and attempt to make out with her. She pushes you away and you walk away to the bar without a care. She is left feeling both shocked and violated. Not cool.

Easy fix: Obviously, we are in a crowd, likely a moshpit, and some unintentional butt touching is bound to take place. Ask yourself – is what I’m doing both intentional and inappropriate? Yes? Then don’t. Consent is good.

Was that so hard? Happy moshing, bruv.

xoxo Maddy

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