“You talk too much! Shut up!
You always like to gossip, just like a girl.
You talk so damn much, it’s outta this world.
When you’re reincarnated, in your second life
You won’t be a man, you’ll be a nagging wife.
You talk too much.” Run DMC
Beware – Eve’s in arbitrary rant mode! I despise party flyers that advertise with female tits&asses and I despise all those pussyclubbing/polerubbinghoes-style club night concepts. Pole-dancers in regular youth nightclubbing, or that Coyote Ugly rip off crap? Pleeeease…
This antiquated male-heterosexist perspective doesn’t even really work: While it suggests to men that it’s the kind of party where they get to watch hot women dancing and promises a chance for sex, it suggests to women that it’s the kind of party where you get lots of guys staring and groping which doesn’t exactly sound like fun to many women. Or why else do those nights have to install stuff like free drinks and free entry for women to lure them in?
Of course there are women who desperately identify with that perspective on their sex and who are happy perceiving themselves through a male filter as long as they get a minimal dose of respect from the men in that scene. And sure they get that as long as they fulfil basic rules of cuteness and male-ego-stroking. They are welcome and encouraged as dancers and bar staff, sometimes they even may help decorating or promoting. But as djs or main promoters? There is a reason why most female djs (at least in this town) made their start in a subcultural / sociocultural environment where you got a higher sensitivity for overcoming classic gender roles. But that’s another subject.
Sooo back on track… there’s that kind of women who don’t have a problem with sexism. Like that slim cute blonde chick* who came up on the stage while I was djing with a friend and she said: “I belong to this and that club night but I know you don’t like us because we have tits on our flyers.” I went: “Erm.. yes, I don’t like promoting parties with that kind of motif. So what?” She said: “I don’t have a problem with tits on flyers.” In a tone as if it was something she was really proud of. Back then I just replied politely “oh, that’s nice for you” and hoped she would soon leave the dj place as I was in no mood for discussion in that situation and that late at night. But here you go, please, once and for all: In my humble opinion being a biological female doesn’t automatically qualify you to appprove of sexisms in the name of all biological women. Just because you can live with the consequences doesn’t mean all girls enjoy them. And there are differences: if it’s a more queer scene or a less male-dominated scene I also don’t have a problem with tits on flyers. See, it depends.
Over the last few years red light district style parties became more and more ‘normal’ for regular youth nightclubbing. With that scenes of blatant sexism also became more and more ‘normal’ again. Guys who think it should be taken as a compliment if they shove a comment about a woman’s tits in her face, guys groping girls on the dancefloor… ach, you know: that whole stale dumb heterosexist behavior that really can spoil nightlife for a woman. I don’t even think that guys who behave that way are aware of how bad it is. I don’t blame them for negative intentions but I do blame them for not thinking twice and not being aware of what they do.
The problem for a lot of insecure girls in such situations is that they want to be tough so they won’t ask anyone for help. At the same time they don’t dare reacting too strong because they don’t want to be judged as a fun-spoiling frigid feminist. It can be a tightrope walk. There’s hardly a “cool” way left to deal with such situations. Somehow you lose no matter how you react. Still most straight women today seem to prefer being reduced to some cute tits’n’ass-piece-of-meat to coming across as a feminist. Where does that fear come from? And who put that rumor into the world that being feminist excludes being cute and sexy and funny?
All the trouble with heterosexist behaviour was easy to ignore as long as it mainly happened at commercial club nights while the ‘underground’ clubbing at places like DESI or K4 was kind of a safe haven. By now though I get the feeling that our places have started suffering from those consequences too and thus maybe we should bring up that subject again. It might not happen often but it happens. I feel a bit helpless about how to make it clear to people that at our places we don’t accept that kind of behavior. Of course we want people to get crushes on each other, and dance sexy if they feel like it, that’s not the point, it’s all cool as long as it happens in an atmosphere of mutual care. Yes, you can abuse me as ‘hippie’ if you like. I think the dancefloor should be the ultimate place where you feel safe and careless and can let go and dance your ass off and not be afraid of some one groping you or ridiculing you.
I’d like to add that of course there are many more things to blame for heterosexism becoming a threat again. This blog is just about the little me letting some steam off. These points above came up in a conversation with a friend a couple of days ago and somehow they came back to me after browsing through a couple of music blogs yesterday. There’s so much good music out there that is made unlistenable by poor lyrics. Ironic sexism for the yaaawn!
There’s a reason why, for example, I prefer playing out MUSCLES to playing out BANGERS&CASH or all that TTC-related stuff, and it is not only because MUSCLES is the better music. In days where you get cheap porn offers whenever you open your email inbox or switch on the tv after 10pm lyrics like these are sooooo far more sexy than the bazillionst lines about “some dripping pussy that will get pounded hard no matter what”:
“I’m getting tired and I’m sweaty but I still want to touch you if you let me.
Cause we hugged a few times. It was special.
And well be working all night cause it’s pumping.
And you were special!
My hand slipped into your hand, and it was awesome,
and you were special.” ’Sweaty’, Muscles
A little reminder: Most of the times we – the promoters – only get to hear of trouble a couple of days later when it’s too late to react. We can’t change the way other places handle their shows and parties but we don’t have to accept that the same kind of behaviour slowly comes up in our scene too. I can only offer – and I can speak for the whole Musikverein here – that in case you feel treated with utter disrespect, no matter if physically or verbally, you are more than welcome to inform either the djs or the people at the bar or at the door or whomever of us you recognize. Don’t be shy about that. It is not just about you but please also think of other guests that person might make feel uncomfortable or even threatened. We depend on you, we’re in this together.
*) Yes, I’m aware of this being a sexist and lookist description but hey, she basically expressed that sexism was fine with her. It was just like back when we played a couple shows with At The Drive-In on their final tour: In some town there was a MTV or VIVA crew to film the show and the female host of the show had a chat with our drummer about what it was like to play shows like that. Our drummer said it was mostly fun but a bit weird and what really sucked was guys in the audience that kept yelling “get your clothes off!” at us when we were on stage. The MTV girl totally didn’t get what was wrong with that. She seriously considered it a compliment. We just thought: Help! The myth of the woman who loves it when construction workers whistle at her came aliiiive! ;)