The cases of bands like Hedley and Brand New show that men can’t use their lifestyles as an excuse anymore in the #MeToo era.
We can’t begin to have encouraging, productive conversations about how to handle instances of sexual assault and abuse or the prevention of it until music listeners and behind the scenes industry execs stop believing in, and always bringing up, this idea of the rock star, specifically when we talk about the men who assume that persona. That lacks a substantial effort of accountability. Following through on consent and respecting boundaries doesn’t make a rock star any less of a rock star. Sex has always been fundamental in music and that can still exist if we get rid of the need to define our men by how fucking awful and badass we need them to be to be desired.
It feels as though casual rock fans still have this loop playing in their head that “badness” has merit or currency and that barrier prevents us from fully pushing through. We have been urgently trying to re-script this. Without moving forward and away from this foolish, antiquated notion, we’re still sacrificing the safety of fans; still saying it’s fine to put women in positions that may harm them. And that’s not something anyone should be indifferent to.