This Music Festival Banned Cis-Men Until They Can All Behave

As a group, cisgender men cannot behave appropriately, so one Swedish music festival decided to ban them all until they, collectively, get their acts together.

The Statement music festival in Gothenburg, Sweden took place last weekend exclusively for cis-women and transgender and nonbinary people, because at several other events and festivals in Sweden (and, you know, globally) cis-men proved themselves unable to keep their hands to themselves in large crowds.

The nation’s largest music festival, Bravalla, was canceled this year because the organizers could not guarantee a safe environment after reports of four rapes and 23 sexual assaults.

The idea for the Statement festival actually came from Emma Knyckare, a Swedish comedian, who tweeted, “What do you think about us putting together a very cool festival where only non-men are welcome and that we host until ALL men have learned how to behave themselves?”


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People from organizers to artists and music lovers obviously thought it was a great idea, and the Statement festival was born, partly as a way to enjoy music and partly as a protest against sexual misconduct.

Artists were happy to join the festival, some saying they too had experienced unwanted sexual attention (or worse) at music festivals and believed it was a good way to bring attention to the issue. One musician, Stina Velocette, said all the women she plays with have had negative experiences at clubs and festivals.

“You cannot relax; you don’t feel safe,” she told the New York Times. “You have to hold your keys in your hand like a weapon. You have to hold your cellphone in your hand ready to call the police.” Unlike these festivals, Statement feels like a “safe zone”, because people don’t have to worry about harassment.


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More than 4,500 people attended the festival on Saturday evening alone, according to head of security Lisen Andreasson Florman. The security staff was made up entirely of non-men, as were the organizers, technicians, and most of the artists, although at least one cisgender man performed in a band.

Festival goers have described their experience with joy, with a carefree revelry women are rarely able to experience in public spaces. They spoke of feeling safe and liberated and supported. They described the feeling of not having to make space for men, not having to make men comfortable, not having to get out of their way in that instinctual way women so often do.


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The Swedish Equality Ombudsman, the federal agency which oversees complaints of gender discrimination, opened an investigation into the festival to determine if it was “compatible with the prohibition of discrimination related to sex” after several men and one woman filed complaints. Organizers pushed back against the investigation, saying excluding men is necessary, because of the well-documented danger of including them at such events.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

58 comments

hELEN h
hELEN habout a month ago

tyfs

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Mary B
Mary B2 months ago

It sounds to me like those putting this concert together were all in agreement that it would be for women only. They have they right to do that so what is the problem ? If black men wanted to have a concert just for themselves they can. The Black Lives Matter movement is for black people and the only ones who wanted to intrude on them was the white mostly male racists. People like to hang out with those of like vibes and beliefs. Let them for petes sake. Who in their right mind would want to be around them anyway? Protest their violent behavior and lets the cops deal with keeping them enclosed and making sure they are not armed.

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Patty L
Patty L2 months ago

too bad non-men cannot be the norm. tyfs

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Winn A
Winn A2 months ago

Noted

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Winn A
Winn A2 months ago

Thanks

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heather g
heather g2 months ago

I can't remember reading anything this mind-boggling for a long time. It reminds me of the "Me Too" movement - which has brought about a huge change in men's behaviour.

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Leo C
Leo C2 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Mark T
Mark T2 months ago

Ty.

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Mary Finelli
Mary Finelli2 months ago

How sexist.

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Emma W
Past Member 2 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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