INHEAVEN's Chloe Little writes for Clash...
INHEAVEN (Credit: Niall Lea)

The past few weeks have brought with them some traumatic allegations, with the survivors of abuse now feeling able to share their testimonies in stark, open fashion.

With the reputations of high profile figures in music rightly sent tumbling and countless women left scarred it's clear that these issues are endemic, and that if we are to progress then men simply have to do more to become true allies.

INHEAVEN's Chloe Little has been vocal about her concerns for some time, and here she sets out some of the changes she would like to see from the music industry, and broader society.

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When the foundation of our society is built around a scripture that says the first woman was born from the rib of ‘man’ (and subsequently brought all evil into the world), it’s not difficult to see how complex and deep rooted our problems with power, discrimination and assault are.

As we all know pandora’s box was opened last month with the ever growing Weinstein saga. It set a president around the world and empowered millions of people to speak out about how they also had been a victim of abuse. The internet exploded, and a pattern started to emerge, especially in relation to allegations against a number of major label ‘rock/alternative’ bands in both the UK and US. There seems to be a worrying connection between the alternative music scene and sexual abuse. You only need to read about the infamous Is Anyone Up website to see the scene has a horrific problem.

One allegation led to another, and it seems to have given many courageous women the confidence to speak out about assaults they have endured. However this is where it gets sticky, a number of these bands don’t think they have done anything wrong. And by making statements saying they will be taking ‘legal action’ against said women, we are regressing 2000 years to a place where woman is still regarded as ‘liar’ and ’whore’.

Announcing these woman are lying on social media is so problematic in the vicious cycle of abuse we as a society have normalised throughout history. You are saying you are more powerful than us, that we are wrong and you the almighty male is right. Now I am in no way a scholar, but the behaviour of men in the music industry has to change, the behaviour of men in every industry needs to change. Music is meant to be about freedom, creation and being more socially aware than the rest of society - we need to be leading by example. NME cancelling their awards nomination show because of these allegations was the right thing to do. We need to re-educate the world that women are in all ways equal to men, something that is still not the case.

If a woman thinks she has been violated, whether thats from a member of a band sending her an unwanted photo or by feeling forced into something she didn’t want, then she should say so. No one has the right to tell us what qualifies as abuse, especially a privileged white male. This isn’t about believing one persons opinion on a situation- it’s about change and that needs to start today.

The only positive that can come from this catastrophe is that we learn from it, and teach younger generations what equality really means. We must show that violence towards women doesn’t have to be engrained in society, and that we can have healthy relationships with the opposite sex that do not feel like a power struggles. Calling out these people is the only way we are going to get real changes in attitudes, only then can we rise from the ashes and rebuild a safer, more tolerant world.

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