There were people at Bikini Kill shows in the ’90s who would be violent or really mean towards you and the band, but a lot of that type of thing seems to come out now on the internet—for people like Grimes, who gets rape threats on her Tumblr.
When we were playing in the ’90s and men would come to our shows and yell, “Take it off!” or call us the C-word or the B-word—or, most commonly, they would just say, “Shut up!”—in a way, they were doing us the biggest favor they could have possibly done us. At the time, of course, I wanted to punch them in the face and drag them out of club—and sometimes I did. But sexism exists in every room we’re ever going to walk into. Racism exists in every room. Homophobia exists in every single room. When people bring it to the fore, it’s like popping a blackhead. All of a sudden, everybody knows: There’s sexism in the punk scene—we can’t ignore this issue anymore. Because before, it was totally being held down. People were like, “Sexism doesn’t matter, man! It’s the ’90s!” It’s the same thing that happens today, where people are like, “Sexism doesn’t matter! It’s 2013!” Or “Racism doesn’t matter! Look at Barack Obama!” What’s scary to me is that maybe men, and some women, aren’t going to shows and being like, “Shut up! Just play your music!” or “Show us your tits!” or whatever—people just take to the internet and rip other people apart.
I was reading an article online about Vivian Girls, and I happened to look at the comments, and it was horrifying. Horrifying. I couldn’t believe it was every single thing people had said about us in the ’90s—but even worse. That’s what really opened my eyes to, you know, one step forward, two steps back. Maybe it’s safer for women to be at shows now. But it’s not safer for women to be on the internet.
Read more at