#MeNoMore: Australian Women Are Speaking Out Against Sexism In The Music Industry
"We have names of perpetrators...These people need to be held accountable."
Warning: This article discusses sexual assault and harassment.
More than 300 Australian women have signed an open letter condemning ongoing harassment and abuse within the local music industry.
The letter, published by The Industry Observer under the banner hashtag #MeNoMore, includes signatures from musicians, managers, journalists, and label representatives from all levels of the industry — including artists such as Courtney Barnett, Adalita, Clare Bowditch, Jen Cloher, George Maple, and Nina Las Vegas.
The authors of the letter say the current #MeToo movement inspired them to act. “As … stories started breaking around the world, we found ourselves offering strength to our friends and colleagues who had their own stories to share — both publicly and in whispered circles,” the letter begins. “It’s become clear that the magnitude of #MeToo extends to our own shores and to our own industry.
“We are women who work in the Australian music industry. We are artists, musicians, managers, lawyers, booking agents, record label employees, publicists and more.
“We all have our own stories, or know someone who does. We are not whingers or vibe-killers. We are passionate people dedicating our lives to music. In the face of uncountable discrimination, harassment, violence, and the general menace of sexist jargon, we have gritted our teeth and gotten on with the job. But today we say, no more.”
The letter goes on to list a number of incidents of submitted anonymously by signees, which includes accounts of verbal abuse, harassment, unwanted attention, intimidation, sexual assault and more.
#MeNoMore comes just a month after a huge number of high profile musicians in the Swedish music industry — including artists like Tove Lo, Robyn, and First Aid Kit — signed an open letter similarly calling out ongoing sexism and abuse.
According to the letter, the objective of #MeNoMore is to create a safe space and a place of support for women in the industry moving into 2018. It also notes that “claims of repeat offences and toxic workplaces” will be investigated.
“We have listened to our friends. We have names of perpetrators. We know the same names that are repeated in unrelated circles. It saddens us that the people who hold us in fear and keep us silenced are people we work with, people who many of us have aspired to work under, and people who some of us have known as friends. These people need to be held accountable.
“To the men who support and work alongside us — you are a vital part of this conversation. Be kind, listen and act if you know of something happening. Stand beside us and call out those who let us all down and who hurt our friends.
“To everyone who has a story to share, we hear you and this letter is for you to know that you are not alone.”
Read the open letter in full here.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
Men can access anonymous confidential telephone counselling to help to stop using violent and controlling behaviour through the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.