The last week my social media feed has been plagued by these two articles above. “5 Reasons Why Girls With Tattoos and Piercings Are Broken” and “Britain’s Alt-Rock Scene Is Sexist And Keeping Lad Culture Alive.” The former takes a stab at “Alt-girls” for being sexually promiscuous, selfish and emotionally depraved. Where as the later suggests that these women are in fact being exploited for the way they look, through clothing companies oriented to selling revealing goods to banter being hurtful and misogynistic.
Now if you put these side by side, what do you get. Two people claiming the women in the alt-rock scene are at fault of perpetuating something, whether off their own backs or submission to male hegemony. However allow me to have a Morpheus moment here. “What if i told you the women in these clubs are acting that way because they want to?”
Unattainable standards of attractiveness are everywhere in society, from the women in these clubs to the men. I don’t walk around in a baggy vest showing off glimpses of my ripped six pack and £3000 chest piece. Equipped with a top knot and a beard thicker than the Guatemalan forest. But i don’t complain about it, i attend these places because i want to enjoy myself, they play music i enjoy and in my opinion it removes me from “real lad culture.”
I can’t think of a single night in a place like Uprawr which ended in a bunch of drunken lads telling me i look like Skrillex and grabbing my arse because i had long hair, whilst sipping on their WKD’s and unsticking themselves from their girlfriends fourth coat of fake tan. Before going home and hurling abuse at their taxi driver for being of an Asian background.
The later article truly misses the actuality of sexism, the women at these clubs aren’t put at a disadvantage, they don’t have to pay increased entry, risk being turned away due to strict dress codes or risk being hit by a drunken punter. Mainly because the alternative community is a respectful one, we have all been pushed out of mainstream culture for some reason, thus why would we perpetuate further segregation instead of banding together with people with shared ideals? Surely any sexism in these scenarios is also through a micro level of one individual to another rather than the macro actions of a collective group on a collective gender?
Furthermore the high profiled alt-girls employed by these clubs are employed everywhere, they just look different, from the cage dancers to gatecrasher the the girls who work on holiday strips handing you flyers with a sexy smile and suggestive language. Women are employed because we live in a world where sex sells. I don’t see how it’s any worse than your average hen party. Egging the male stripper to whack his enormous junk out. I’m not going to claim the empowerment argument here though, that’s for women to decide and down to individual preference whether dressing in a revealing manner makes you feel powerful and sexy or objectified by the men around you.
The only difference i find in the treatment of women in rock clubs compared to normal clubs is they tend to hold more status, due to gender demographics and their desirability. If you have one woman to pick from instead of five, shes going to be a lot more important to you in terms of the primeval.
Bringing forth to a conclusion, alternative clubs are a place for individuality and avoiding mainstream culture, it’s silly to pin the actions and attitudes of individuals to a whole group, especially one which is so unambiguous and diverse. Inequalities remain in all strata of life but also need to be balanced with the ideas of personal choice and individualism.
Also as a caveat, according to the last article making a sandwich is part of “Lad Culture.” I think you might have a little too much time on your hands if you’re getting offended over someones lunch. God help you when you find out they’ve used halal meat or cheese that was funded by oil fracking companies.