Last night during Xibalba’s set the entire tour package was hanging out and enjoying our time at the show. We were all dancing (not pitting), laughing and having a good time. I was on top of a table for the majority of the set. During the last song, Xibalba’s guitar player started dancing around…
Before I say anything about this, know that I have absolutely no investment in the situation beyond discouraging shitty behavior. I don’t really care for Xibabla but this doesn’t have anything to do with their music. This is about harassment in hardcore.
There are always two sides. Here’s what each of them says about the relevant facts:
I got sexually assaulted by a Xibalba rodie
This “rodie” was then identified as Louise of Alpha & Omega, presumably another hardcore band. He comes out and says what I’ve reblogged above. Here’s what he says specifically about the alleged sexual assault:
I was on top of a table for the majority of the set. During the last song, Xibalba’s guitar player started dancing around next to a girl that was on the floor in front of me. I reached down to put my hands on her shoulders to dance with her, when she turned around and punched me in the mouth three times.
Assuming we’re talking about the same girl and guy, it looks clearly from both sides that he touched her in a way she didn’t like. But what exactly is happening here? I’m having a hard time imagining Xibalba’s guitar player playfully dancing around a girl during their set, but okay. The way he’s describing the action here seems totally harmless, and not at all warranting a few punches to the mouth. Except for the part that says “I reached down to put my hands on her shoulders to dance with her.” What?
What kind of dance move begins with you standing on a table then bending over to put your hands on some girl’s shoulders? Was he going to somehow sweep her off her feet? I can only assume, but I think it’s a fair bet that she was caught off guard by this, given the way she allegedly punched the dude three times in the mouth.
So that’s the action, and very few of us paying attention right now were there and none of us are the involved parties. But the discussion doesn’t end there. This isn’t about what did or didn’t happen at a Xibalba concert: it’s about what we do or don’t allow to happen in the scope of our scenes.
Hardcore, being a cultural movement and not an organization, doesn’t have written rules. Punk pivots on eschewing rules in general. As a phenomenon, punk is reactionary. But punk evolved into hardcore, and hardcore coalesced into an international hardcore scene. In the scene we don’t have rules but we do have a few principles and values. One of those is D.I.Y.. Another is mutual respect.
But, she still wanted to argue that no one should touch anyone at a show. I disagreed and said that if you’re going to a hardcore/punk show that you should expect to get bumped into, possibly pushed, shoved or have some kind of physical contact with the crowd. She disagreed. I said we should agree to disagree and she then called me names and I walked away.
This is where this guy is wrong. It’s NOT EVER okay to touch somebody without their consent. Yes, when you go to a hardcore show and it’s packed (and even if it’s not) there’s a good chance you’re going to at least get bumped into, let alone pushed or shoved. That happens in hardcore. It can inspire violence in a crowd.
But how do you use that as an excuse to lay your hands on somebody’s shoulders (ostensibly as a proposition to dance)? “Hardcore compelled me?” I think he knew this was a stupid argument, which is why he just wanted to agree to disagree. But NO, we’re not going to agree to disagree here. Sexual harassment is not an issue you just brush aside or have different opinions on. Touching somebody isn’t a matter of moral relativity. This was a matter of respect, and this dude disrespected this girl’s personal boundaries. If you can’t respect other people, get the fuck out of hardcore.
If you can’t respect other people, get the fuck out of life.