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Overprotected or lucky: The Complex Experience of Women in the Hardcore Music Scene

Originally Published: Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Written by: Charly Hogan

Reflections on Protection in Hardcore Music Scenes

Overprotected or lucky? Are we hardcore girls overprotected or just damn fine lucky? I’m probably not the only hardcore chick that has noticed at gigs when in the pit (or close) guys who are obviously our big and strong heroes are asking if we’re okay and trying to protect us from other nutters in the pit.

Experience at a Music Festival

For example, at Download Festival this year I was watching the almighty Bullet For My Valentine, it obviously was not a hardcore pit at this time but it’s a similar circumstance. Anyway, everyone was squashed up like peas in a pod-like usual and some idiot behind me took it upon himself to give my ass a massage. However, I couldn’t actually move my arms or any of my body and all I could think was “what the hell do you think you’re doing?” Lucky, I say.

The Dilemma of Special Treatment

It can be argued that it’s an ace thing that we’re looked after, we’re women after all; we should get special treatment, right? We don’t want to leave a possibly awesome gig with a few broken bones and a nosebleed, do we? Also, we get the chance to chat up and flirt with some damn fine hardcore boys, and perhaps they wouldn’t mind giving you their number in case you need a bodyguard at the next gig. If they’re a cutie who cares?

Asserting Independence and Equality

We’re big girls, we don’t need you to hold our hands. On the other hand, we’re women we have equal rights now so why are we still not treated equally? Even if us hardcore girls are a measly five foot four, like me, it’s still no excuse. Would a hardcore guy ask a short guy if he was okay? I think not. I’m a hardcore chick and I am hardcore dancing, therefore I am h-a-r-d-c-o-r-e, and hardcore girls don’t need their hand-holding.

The Reality of Wanting Both Protection and Independence

The honest truth. If I’m honest and I had the cutest guy ask me if I’m okay I’d probably melt and be the weak and innocent little girl in a big and scary place where people beat each other up, sniff; and it just comes naturally and I know what I’m doing but somehow I can’t seem to stop.

Balancing Hardcore Identity and Femininity

I believe that a lot of hardcore guys don’t go for the sniveled (from sniveller; to snivel) anymore, I think they go for the chicks that can hardcore dance and they can see themselves going to many a gig with. So what does a little hardcore girl do like me at the next gig? If you have anyone ask you if you’re okay, be the nice courteous lady you are and mention the fact you’re hardcore and if they’d like to take this outside it’s quite possible to do so.

Addressing Unwanted Attention

However, if you get groping in which I encountered at the beloved Download Fest. Grab ‘em where it hurts, I say.

yeah man safe
Written by Guest on 2005-10-11 07:22:08u suck u fookin gothic stop moaning get a dress sense and stop dressing like a funeral director u idiot
Written by thickasblood on 2005-09-18 12:50:07i agree with the above. Its not about whether they think you can handle yourself or not, if it was theyd tell you to stop dancing in the pit, its more of family moral. They see you get hurt, their instinct is to ask if youre alright. Theyd do the same for their brothers. 
I mean would you rather go to shows where its not family, its every man or woman for themself, no one cares about anyone or anything.If that was the case, people would be set out to hurt you, instead of enjoying the music and atmosphere. 
Caring is a natural instinct, and frankly, i think its nice that guys still hold that aspect, even if theyre big tough hardcore guys.
Written by I am a Hero on 2005-08-28 00:58:46I do agree that we should be treated equally. But I’ve seen guys ask other guys if they’r all right, just give a small “sorry”, or help someone out in a fight. But in our small town and shows everything really is like family.  
Written by XxShotToTheChest on 2005-08-25 01:44:26i like when the guys look out for me, even if i feel like saying i’m strong enough to hold my own so don’t worry about it. it just makes me smile to know that they care and want to protect us.
Written by laid_to_rest on 2005-08-22 06:10:11to the comments below, would you say that its just hardcore guys and gals that are a family? or all goths, and all skaters etc? 
charly x
Written by laid_to_rest on 2005-08-21 17:30:26That’s awesome, I didn’t even think of that! 
Thanks for commenting, I have more ideas now hehe! 
Written by letterbomb on 2005-08-19 20:08:40I agree with the other comments on this. I don’t think guys are always trying to be protective because they think you can’t handle it, it’s because everyone is supposed to be like family & look out for each other. While I don’t want to be babied, I do appreciate my brothers watching my back.
Written by keepitposi on 2005-08-19 15:30:31hear hear. 
but as the person above me said, i’ve seen guys asking guys if they’re alright, and helping them back up.
Written by xRaix on 2005-08-17 19:22:12While I can see where you’re coming from, (being only about 5’3 myself), I don’t mind when one of the guys asks me if I’m alright. Hardcore to me is almost like a family, and family looks out for each other. I’ve seen guys asking guys if they’re alright, and helping them when they’re not.

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