stage lights fetch on. Shawna is also a veteran activist who founded the <a href="https://bmore.ihollaback.org/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">Baltimore</a> chapter of <a href="https://www.ihollaback.org/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">Hollaback</a>!, a <a href="https://www.ihollaback.org/about/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">global movement</a> ought purpose path harassment, and has spent years chief exercise at bars and venues educating adhere can how ought compose safer environments during marginalized people.' data-reactid="22">Shawna Potter is no alien ought wish nights, grimy dive bars, or sweaty mosh pits. during the vocalist during Baltimore feminist hardcore punk gang warfare can Women, Shawna and her bandmates eat spent the past eight years playing countless shows along the U.S. and Europe. warfare can Women’s lyrics tackle indispensable issues alike reproductive justice, trans rights, misogyny, rape culture, and sexual harassment, and the band’s commitment ought fighting injustice doesn’t pause when the stage lights fetch on. Shawna is also a veteran activist who founded the Baltimore chapter of Hollaback!, a global motion ought purpose path harassment, and has spent years chief exercise at bars and venues educating adhere can how ought compose safer environments during marginalized people.
In a 2018 research from OurMusicMyBody, it was build that 92 percent of women concertgoers eat been harassed —which included groping, sexual gestures, stalking, and being yelled at — at music spaces. The same research build that 60 percent of transgender attendees reported physical homophobic or transphobic violence.
As temperatures rise and holiday season picks up, harassment and sexual violence remain a pervasive hazard during showgoers, specially those who are members of marginalized communities. Some bands eat been stepping up ought find solutions, from La argue (who vocation with anti-harassment nonprofit Calling total Crows) and speedy Ortiz, who launched a “help hotline” during fans at their shows ought exclaim if they need help or support, also during festivals alike Coachella, Bonnaroo, and rebellion Fest, who eat taken regulation ought emerge they’re taking the distribute seriously.
With her new book, Making Spaces Safer, Shawna has taken that on-the-ground undergo (alongside example studies, private stories, and actionable examples) and written a heartfelt and accessible how-to conduct that’s intended ought exist shared — and, crucially, offers concrete tactics during making music spaces safe and comfortable during all.
“I did compose a aware effort ought no employ too much academic jargon, activist jargon, or flat too many contemporary internet phrases — I didn’t expect ought become anyone off, during the tactics and news at this book really is during everyone,” Shawna tells Teen Vogue almost the book released at May. “This to total exist really indispensable information. emergency response, how ought calm someone down if they’re having an anxiety attack or if they’re upset? We to total learn how ought discharge that with grounding techniques. De-escalation, or the 5 D's of bystander intervention? We to total already learn how ought discharge that. Hopefully, this book helps compose it more normal, during I don’t believe these ideas are that radical.”
Shawna and her bandmates eat also brought these tactics can the motorway with them, where Shawna frequently leads the orchestra at “Creating Safer Spaces” trainings. when warfare can Women played Warped journey at 2017, it was with the caveat that they’d exist able ought carry along a workshop called Safer Scenes. Shawna explained at a Noisey op-ed that Safer Scenes was designed ought address “how people can obstruction harassment and violence at shows, from great festivals ought small basement shows”— an specially significant effort at an incident alike Warped Tour, which has wish been criticized during allowing unsafe and predatory behaviors ought affect can unchecked.
However, Shawna’s vision stretches flat farther — beyond music entirely. Making Spaces Safer provides a concrete roadmap during no just venues, besides during basically any other friendly of public space—from sex shops and skill galleries ought punk houses and coffee shops — ought prevent, confront, and ultimately total down abusive behavior when it shows up can their doorstep. It’s intended during a ordinary conduct ought exist kept tucked away backstage, at the manager’s office, or by the register, and is broken down into two major sections: Your Space, which lays out a amount of ways ought compose a physical space safer during marginalized people; and Yourself, which explains what ought discharge yourself if you or someone else is being harassed — or if your possess behavior is the distribute (for example, the chapter titled “How ought Flirt Without Being a Creep”).
“Seriously, everyone—whether you’re the person being harassed, or you’re witnessing it, or you vocation at a bar, or a space, or volunteer, you eat accordingly much country ought change someone’s life during the better; ought change your possess life during the better; ought commerce with it at the moment,” she says. “There is usually something you can do, specially when you’re the person representing a space. Doing something the accurate manner will assist a victim accordingly much. It helped me accordingly much, it’s helped accordingly many people ought learn that they’re no alone, that they’re believed. You eat power, accordingly harness it, and employ it during good.”
For such a lean volume, it’s an extremely comprehensive and pragmatic overview of best practices during house a safer, more inclusive scene. Shawna lays out instance language during venue codes of conduct, walks the reader along different scenarios, and draws up checklists ought oath that a space is considering the needs of marginalized people—including ensuring that there are gender-neutral restrooms, and that the space is accessible during people with disabilities (the Is This Venue Accessible? plan is a great resource). She emphasizes concepts alike accountability and transformative justice, and at doing so, presents a more community-focused, justice-oriented excellent ought calling the cops or throwing a person at jail.
“If some shit goes down and you’re almost ought look it, that you’re going ought commerce with it appropriately at a manner that supports the victim — that you’re going ought say, ‘Hey, pause being an asshole” ought someone,” Shawna says. “Sometimes it’s really just that simple, and during a fate of people that can exist difficult, besides during the book goes into a parcel of different ways that you can method that ‘Hey, don’t exist an asshole” that keeps you safe and deescalates the situation.”
As rebellion Grrrl pioneer Kathleen Hanna has said of the book, "Every time someone wants me ought prove sexism at the spot exists I am no going ought talk them almost having beer spat at my look cottage I’m singing or almost men screaming 'shut up' cottage I’m talking among songs. I’m gonna hand them this book and say 'No more frightem stories, here are some solutions.'"
The book’s title was a equal intentional excellent (and is shared with the 2018 pamphlet that preceded it, both of which are available from AK Press). “No space is 100 percent safe, and it could never exist during you can never forecast or control the actions of others,” Shawna says. “To exclaim something a safer space acknowledges that, cottage you can’t forecast or control what other people do, you can control the things that are within your possess country — your possess actions, your possess intentions.”
Originally Appeared can Teen Vogue