“Male-Free” Music Festival

I was browsing Reddit earlier today, and I saw this peculiar headline: “Sweden: Women-only music festival falls foul of discrimination laws”. Sweden is known for being a very progressive country, which, at times, has led to unusual social events like this spawning.

The article by Scottish Legal News starts by noting, “A music festival billed as being ‘male-free’ has been found guilty of discrimination by Sweden’s Discrimination Ombudsman.”

Here is the rest of the short article:

The regulator noted that the publicity surrounding the event, which was held earlier this year, “discouraged a certain group from attending”.

In a Facebook post, the organisers of the event said they were “too busy changing the world” to respond to the decision.

“It’s sad that what 5,000 women, non-binaries and transgender [people] experienced as a life-changing festival made a few cis men lose it completely,” the post added.

“The success of the Statement festival shows that is exactly what we need, and the DO’s verdict doesn’t change this fact.”

The ruling acknowledged that men were not prevented from attending, adding that “no differentiation based on sex was made between visitors at entry” and that, as such, no financial penalties would be imposed.

The festival was marketed as “the world’s first major music festival for women, non-binary and transgender [people] only” and was established by Swedish comedian Emma Knyckare in the wake of a large number of sexual offences at Bravalla, Sweden’s biggest music festival last year.

“Certain men … apparently cannot behave. It’s a shame. We have therefore decided to cancel Bravalla 2018,” organisers said at the time.

Ms Knyckare said the festival was intended as a one-off.

She said: “The thing we want to do is a really big, nice, loud music festival that is a safe zone for women, transgender and non-binary people,” she said.

“It’s not a solution, it’s a reaction. But it’s not a political statement, more of a safe zone where people can just hang out, drink beer and have fun without looking over their shoulders.”

The DO said: “The decision to initiate supervision against Statement should not be considered as an issue of the serious problem of sexual abuse, including at festivals.

“DO obviously believes that all visitors to the festivals must be able to feel safe.”

The organizers claimed to have been “too busy changing the world” to respond to the DO’s decision. Yet, how does excluding men change the world (in a positive way)? No society progresses through exclusion of certain groups of people. In fact, all significant social maladies seem to be the result of exclusion of one group from the benefits enjoyed by another. Think about slavery, genocide, etc.

There also exists this spite for heterosexual males as displayed by the condescending line about “cis men” losing and is echoed by this highly patronizing side-comment: “Certain men … apparently cannot behave…” As a member of the “cis men” group, I feel a bit worried that we are all generalized as some socially-degenerate group. The words by the organizers almost imply, “All men commit sexual assault. We must punish them until they behave like good little boys.”

I am angry just writing this because (and I’m going to drop a huge generalization bomb with what I say) people think that you address a wrong with another wrong, you address an evil by committing another evil – no one wants to solve problems…people just like getting mad and acting irresponsibly towards the result of the problem and fail to address the actual problem. For instance, are men inherently evil and sex-craved? No, you act how you are taught to act. If men are socialized to fill destructive roles, you will have men fill those roles. It’s not quantum mechanical information that I am relaying….it seems so obvious to me and so unthinkable to others. I don’t understand it.

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