Sløtface: ‘Men need to realise how sexual harassment feels for women’

Their UK tour kicks off this week

Rising punk band Sløtface have spoken out about men’s perceptions of sexual harassment – claiming that more needs to be done to tackle the issue.

Named as one of NME’s best new bands to look out for in 2017, the band’s latest video for ‘Bright Lights’ aims to feel safer when they’re walking home at night alone – and but say that not enough has been done to get to the core about how society think and talk about sexual harassment.

“I am not a woman and I’m not saying that I know how sexual abuse or harassment feels,” bassist Lasse Lokøy told NME. “Neither am I trying to protect my sister, girlfriend or mother because of my relations to them. I firmly believe that everyone has the right to freedom and safety – regardless of gender, because all humans are equal.

“Why do we feel good when we sexually harass women? Considering the fact that we do it all the time, it has to make us feel good, right? We grope them on the dance floor. We follow them in the streets and yell things to them like; ‘You’re hot!’ and ‘do you want dick?’. And after saying that, we feel pretty awesome. And the women, they should be thrilled, shouldn’t they? After all, it’s not every day a man shows his interest in a woman.”

He continued: “When women are raped we think it’s horrible, but maybe they could have taken more precautions. ‘Women shouldn’t walk alone in the streets, especially not when they’re drunk’ – that’s what the police have told us. And if women want to talk to us, they have to make it very clear that they’re not interested in sex. If they don’t make themselves clear, we can get very confused and if something happens in this ‘confused situation’, it’s not our fault.”

Lokoy added: “Me and my band have made a video for those of us who agree that what I just described above is wrong. Our goal was to show how it’s perceived from the other side. It will make it clear that we – the men – are creating this fear. The problem lies in our hands, and we have the full responsibility to fix the “rape culture” which persists in countries all over the world. To put an end to this negative culture we have to send a message to each other, and the world, we need to declare that it’s not OK to treat women this way. This is the responsibility of men to fix, not women.

“It’s time we start treating women as equal human beings, without giving any excuses. Harassment is not all right just because it was meant as a joke. If you really want to show your interest in a woman, you can, instead of groping and yelling at them, ask them out for a coffee. Take a yes for a yes and a no for a no. In this way, we can promote and encourage a better version of ourselves.”

Meanwhile, as well as appearing at The Great Escape, South By South West and Truck Festival in 2017, Sløtface’s upcoming UK headline tour dates are below.

FEBRUARY
The Castle, Manchester (13)
Oporto, Leeds (14)
Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow (15)
Kamio, London (17)
Green Door Store, Brighton (18)