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Breaking Stereotypes: Girls Can Mosh

Originally Published: Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Written by: Nora Merlino

Breaking Stereotypes in Hardcore Music

First, let me state that by writing this, I am not trying to cause controversy in any way. I’m just stating the opinion of myself and of other females. Not all females feel the same way I do. I am not saying I speak for all women. I am speaking for the females that have expressed the same feelings as me on this subject matter.

Now with that said, knowing that no matter what, it will cause some kind of argument let me start to get to the point.

The Pit Knows No Gender Boundaries: Girls Can Mosh

Guys. Let me break it to you. The pit is not your exclusive territory. It never fully was. You may think that in the beginning, it only belonged to you. But you are wrong.

My Love for Hardcore Music

I love hardcore music, just as much, if not more, than you do. My whole life has revolved around music. Rock, grunge, and usually anything that would be considered “underground.” Ill never fully know how I got into it, being born to a literal disco queen, but that’s another story for another time.

The Risks and Rewards of Moshing

Two concussions. Countless amounts of bruises. And a broken nose. Almost broke my jaw, rib, and cracked a tooth.

That is the kind of injuries I have sustained in the pit. I get right back up and dance. Do I whine and cry and send my guy friends after you for hitting me? Hell no. I know that those are the kind of risks I put myself into when, me being tall and skinny, goes into a pit with ten guys twice my size.

Sorry. I would rather put myself in a position of knowingly getting hurt then getting kicked in the head or have a random body fall on top of me…i.e.: crowd surfers. I would like to see when I’m going to get punched then have it come up behind me out of no where.

Challenging Stereotypes and Gender Roles

Why do I go in the pit? Not only is it an amazing way to relive stress and excess energy, but if I am dancing, it means I really like the band that’s playing. No, I don’t not dance at every show. I don’t dance for every band. And you may not agree with this, but if I am dancing for you, it means to me, that I am giving you the utmost respect at a show possible, other than singing along.

The Need for Inclusivity

And to those bands that preach that a pit is no place for a woman, I’m sorry, but did we just go back to the 1920’s? I’m pretty sure we are supposed to have the same rights. And I hate to break it to you, but I know quite a few girls personally, that could know your teeth down your throat.

No. This does not give guys the right to randomly decide to punch any girl in the face. But if I ‘hit’ you while I am dancing, I would expect to get hit back.

And for those of you whom think your going to “teach us a lesson” by going after any girl in or near the pit for no merit, get a life. You just proved that you are a caveman and you are not cool at all.
If I am standing on the edge of the pit, I choose to be there. This is not an open invite to block me, even though it is cute. If I feel the need to be protected, I will let you know. It is also not an invite to push me into the pit. If I am on the edge and not actually in the pit, there is a reason. Don’t force it.

In 1981, when hardcore really just started coming into New York, an article was written by an amazing guy named Tim Sommer. Not only was he dead on with naming bands who became our ‘fathers’, but he also mentioned what was then local bands and how they were when playing live. One of these bands had a female singer. In 1981. Wait, I’m sorry, I thought that in the beginning it was a guy’s only club? A direct quote from this article. “And it would take me a whole other article to write about how Hardcore is totally un-racist and un-sexist, and how terrific that is.”

What happened to this? Take a look at this picture ::

There really isn’t a pit, but oh wait, isn’t that a woman by the stage….dancing?!? 1981 folks. See it and weep.

Ever see the musical, “Footloose”? Dancing is not a crime!!

Share the Floor, Share the Music, Share the Love

So please. Stop acting like hardcore music and pits are for guys only.

Share the floor. Share the music. Share the love.

This piece was fueled by the people who are on http://www.myspace.com/stopgirlmosh All of you need to seriously grow up.

If you would like to see the article written by Tim Sommer in September of 1981, you can access the article here. http://members.tripod.com/20thcpunkarchives/id62.htm

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