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Girls, Get Out of the Pit!

Originally Published: Monday, December 12, 2005
Written by: Issa

Ok, I got your attention. And I’m not lying. I do think that girls should get out of the pit. I also think that boys should get out of the pit. I believe there should be no “pit” at all. I realize that this is a controversial issue in hardcore. It has been since day one and I am sure it will continue to be discussed 20 years from now.

 What problems do I have with the pit? There are basically two. One, I believe it perpetuates the whole “might makes right” way of thinking. It allows a small number of people to ruin a show for a large number of people. It also means that in order to see your favorite band play, you have to deal with getting hit. Ridiculous. Two, the pit has been the cause of (or at least the catalyst for) almost every single fight I have ever witnessed at a show. Sadly, that is a lot of fights.

How does it affect the scene when a few tough guys who are just “having fun” are punching and kicking their way around the room? Do you think people who are smaller (or who just don’t want to get hit) feel comfortable? Included?

Does this imply that girls are weak? No. Are there girls who are “just as tough as guys”? Of course there are! But what does that mean? Does it mean that tough boys AND tough girls should ruin shows for everyone else? Is that what anyone wants? That doesn’t sound like equality to me. And it certainly doesn’t sound like it would make the scene a better place.

In any situation where one group of people is being discriminated against, the solution is not for the downtrodden to become more like the oppressors. The solution is to change the system so no one is oppressed.

How does this apply to hardcore shows? Let’s all work together to make sure that everyone—boys and girls, big and small—feels comfortable enough at shows to come up front, sing along, jump around, and have a good time. If we can get rid of the violence and the intimidation, I think it would be a giant leap forwards on the road to gender equality in hardcore and go a long way towards making the scene a more friendly and open place. Let’s change the world one show at a time.

Mother, wife, small business owner. www.justbuttons.org

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