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St. Louis musicians, fans, to discuss sexual assault at shows

Courtesy Avarty Photos
Those concerned about rape culture in the St. Louis music scene find that concerts, small shows, and other spaces where music is performed can be unsafe or uncomfortable places for survivors of sexual assault and harrasment.

In a show of support for survivors of sexual assault and harassment, members of the St. Louis music scene will meet tonight to speak out against rape culture.

The term "rape culture" defines an environment where sexual violence is normalized, sexual assault is trivialized, and survivors are blamed. The discussion in St. Louis takes place during a time of increasing awareness of sexual assaults at concerts.

“Rape culture is victim blaming, rape culture, — is her skirt was too short, or she was drunk, they were drunk — excusing an assault,” said Jessee Crane, of the band The Funs. Crane will lead the discussion tonight at Foam Coffee and Beer, 3359 S. Jefferson Ave., in south St. Louis.

“Face to face communication about this stuff is so difficult because survivors don’t feel safe," she said.

Women who have experienced and witnessed harassment in the music scene will be given time to speak openly about what they’ve seen. The audience will be able to pose and answer questions about consent, and what can be done to make the music scene a more welcoming place.


'Rape culture is victim blaming, rape culture is her skirt was too short, or she was drunk, they were drunk — excusing an assault.' Jessee Crane

Crane, who has been involved in St. Louis bands for 15 years, recalls being harassed when she attended shows as a teenager. 

“Being groped or grabbed at a show or being cat called on the street, I didn’t feel like I had anywhere to go with that kind of abuse," she said. "I would talk to my friends about it, but there just wasn’t an understanding."

Crane will carry those experiences to the event she is hosting tonight, which she said is an important conversation. She wants to support other young people so they won't have to suffer the same violence.

Everyone is welcome, but the discussion will focus on women’s experiences, healing, and safety.

Although women will be the focus, for Crane allowing all to attend is strategic.  

“If it’s a private event and it’s only women attending, that’s very helpful and that’s very therapeutic,” Crane said. “But without involving men and the public, and a larger group of people, we’re not helping them to understand the changes that need to be made.”


For more race, class, power, immigration, and gender news, follow Jenny on Twitter: @jnnsmn