Safe Gigs For Women speak out on #ReclaimTheStreets events: “Men, please use this time to listen”

"Women should not have to spend every moment of their lives calculating the risk level of their existence"

Safe Gigs For Women has addressed the events of the last week following the murder of Sarah Everard who went missing while walking home in London.

Everard’s disappearance has stoked social debate about women’s safety and the role men can play in supporting them and calling out harassment and outdated attitudes. Over the weekend an unofficial vigil was held for Everard in Clapham in which Met officers’ policing of attendees was criticised, sparking an independent investigation.

Advertisement

Now, Safe Gigs For Women, which advocates for all female-identifying people to enjoy live music without fear of sexual harassment and other threats, has commented on #ReclaimTheStreets and offered advice about being an ally to women.

“It’s been an exhausting week to be a woman. Men, please use this time to listen and think about how you can be an ally. Call out the men around you who may behave awfully to women,” the group wrote in one tweet.

The initiative added that its looking into how best support gig-goers as live music starts to open up in the UK this summer.

Elsewhere, the team listed in a thread a number of ways that people can help women be – and feel – safer.

Advertisement

“Like so many of you, our team are horrified, angered and deeply saddened by this week’s events. We were founded on the belief that women (and indeed anyone of any gender) should have the right to go about their lives free of the threat of harassment, violence or most tragically, death,” they wrote.

“Violence towards women does not exist in a vacuum but is indicative of a deep underlying toxic masculinity within our culture. Murder is the extreme end of a spectrum of behaviours that deny female agency and unless we as a society call out these behaviours, no matter how seemingly ‘innocent’ they appear, we will keep losing women in this way.

“Women should not have to spend every moment of their lives calculating the risk level of their existence. To put it plainly: Women are not the problem.”

They continued: “So, to the men reading this: in order to better support women, you need to try and understand the fear that we live with every day. LISTEN to women’s experiences – and not just the experiences of one kind of woman, but women of all ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations, classes, trans and cis-gendered and all levels of ability/disability.”

Read the thread in full below:

Yesterday (March 14) hundreds of people gathered in Westminster and in front of New Scotland Yard to protest against the Met Police’s conduct at Saturday’s vigil. Four people were arrested for public order and coronavirus regulation breaches on Saturday, BBC News reports.

Elsewhere, Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick resisted calls to resign over the force’s handling of the crowds in Clapham on Saturday.

Advertisement
Advertisement