“______ Fall Back”: On Concert Culture, Moshing and (Un)Safe Spaces

Almost three years ago exactly, I showed up to my first Eclectic concert, as a wide-eyed, naive pre-frosh, a total stranger to the “college music scene.” There was loud, thrashy music coming from the ballroom, where a small crowd was gathered. While dancing wildly around with all these strange older cool college kids, I thought to myself, “Wow! I am actually doing this. I am a skinny, lanky dude moshing! And it feels great! And I should totally come here and do this more!” And the rest was, as they say, history.

Fast-forward to last weekend, when I was at a house concert, full-to-bursting with people in varying states of inebriation and sweatiness. A killer student band was tucked into the corner while the crowd pushed against them, jostling the musicians and each other. Pretty quickly, the front of the crowd had become a full-on mosh, with liberal doses of jumping-shoving. While normally I’d feel inclined to join in with full force, I felt like this scene was a little too aggressive, even for me. I made my way to the side and from that position, I noticed how dominated by guys, especially white guys, the mosh pit was, while girls tended to stay toward the outside, only occasionally moving inward for brief periods.

c/o Zach Schonfield

[Note – not from the above-described show] c/o Zach Schonfeld

To be honest, it was one of the first times that I’d reflected on the concert crowd scene at Wes. I recognize that this lack of reflection comes from my place of privilege as a tall, able-bodied, white, cis, straight male who can assert his presence in a crowd, and I am quickly realizing how important that reflection was, and is. I’m just now coming to terms with the tremendous importance of creating spaces on campus that are conducive to exciting music and moshing AND safe and inclusive for everyone who wants to partake.

Thankfully, there are others on campus who have been thinking about these topics. And as the punk scene has developed at Wes, while sexual assault has become an increasingly salient concern, there is a growing need to address these issues throughout our community. Sean Winnik ‘14, who is a member of Let’s Party Hats Hats Hats, has seen a development in the punk music scene at Wes since he first started here. “When I was a Freshman, any of the punkish shows I went to was fun, kinda jokey punk. But there are people taking it a bit more seriously now,” he says. There have been a slew of punky shows at Wes this year where campus bands like Pyka, Faceplant, Baby Gap, Sodomized by Angels and others have displayed their force. For the most part, the Wesleyan punk concert crowd is pretty tame, especially compared to some scenes. A recent Art House concert by Slurp’s Up, a UChicago band, for whom Faceplant opened, had a really positive, comfortable feeling to it.“That was a really lovely, raw show. And it was a very respectful audience,” Winnik says. “But the environment really depends on the size of the crowd, and how drunk people are.”

When a show is popular, and a lot of people turn out, things aren’t necessarily going to go so smoothly. “Wesleyan punk is different from ‘real punk.’ I don’t want to say it’s not real, it’s just something different,” says Ashe Kilbourne ‘14, a member of Pyka. “And I’ve seen people mosh to surprising things, even when the music is slightly aggressive, or faster.” Winnik says that it’s when people who aren’t steeped in the music scene show up at concerts (“And that’s great, that’s why people put on shows!”), an excessive and aggressive energy can arise. “People think, ‘Oh, this is what we do at a punk show.’”

Whether it arises naturally or not, moshing at shows can get intense, and divisive. “The people who don’t want to be in it get pushed to the sides,” says Winnik. But it’s not necessarily as simple as people who do want to be a part of it and people who don’t. The front of the concert is an inherently privileged space. “It’s weird to say ‘Oh, I deserve to be at the front,’” says Winnik. But inevitably, that’s a mentality that arises. The moshing at the front and center very easily becomes dominated by a certain crowd. “The mobile participants tend to be white, males, people who are big or tall,” says Molly Hastings ’17, a member of Faceplant, “So it creates this dynamic where if you are smaller or don’t feel you are entitled to as much space, it makes it frightening to participate. Even though it’s really fun. I love to mosh. But at a certain point, I can’t even get my feet on the ground.”

Faceplant

Faceplant – Photo by Alex Senauke

On a basic level, there is a “politics of touch – who gets to be touched, consensually or nonconsensually. It’s often women, people of color, trans* people, queer people, bodies that are liminal and marginalized and therefore accessible to people,” says Kilbourne. A mosh pit can seem like a beautiful anarchic free-for-all and it “presumes no structural power imbalances, that everyone is equal in the pit,” but that’s just not the case. Those very real power dynamics that exist in society are performed and reaffirmed explicitly in the interactions amongst the crowd. And this serves to marginalize, both physically and emotionally, those who are already previously marginalized in many ways. There is a general lack of awareness of this dynamic amongst those in the center of the crowd, and so the responsibility “falls on the people who do can’t get an inch in edgewise.”

At the Panty Punk show at Earth House, at which Faceplant and others played, the crowd became quite large and increasingly aggressive, the front and center made up almost entirely of guys. Hastings says, “It did not feel like a friendly environment. I am a white cis privileged girl, so the thought that I feel that terrified at certain shows, I can’t even imagine what other people are feeling.” Some of the members of Faceplant began shouting the phrase “Bros fall back!” repeatedly at the audience, at which Winnik was at the front of. Winnik felt somewhat put off at first, especially because he was going to be playing a show with Faceplant the following week. He thought, “Oh man. I like you! Why are you doing this?” Hasting reflects on that moment, saying “I feel like we may have misused it. I understand that it sounds like ‘bros, dudes, fall back,’ but that’s not really everything it’s about.”

tumblr_mx6xcsj5Mq1qzc9vko1_400

The phrase “Bros Fall Back” comes from an eponymous zine/manifesto on the punk scene and its relationship to the normalization of oppressive behavior in society and the dynamics of social capital. It can be read in its entirety here.  The title is a response to the riot grrrl phrase “Girls to the front,” which encouraged women to rush the stage. But that idea puts the onus on marginalized peoples, not the privileged. “Bros fall back” attempts to shift that responsibility.

An initial reading of it may come across as angry and confrontational. That was certainly my feeling upon first reading it. Hastings says that that anger is appropriate, and can be a good thing. Expressing anger about oppression, “showing that emotion should have an effect on people. […] Anger can be healthy. ‘Don’t be so angry’ feels like censorship […] And sometimes you’re not looking to be understood.” Kilbourne agrees with this sentiment, “The anger in that piece is legitimate; it needs to be a part of the discourse. If someone is calling you out on your privilege, you should approach that with an open mind, with reflection.”

It is important to understand that the idea of “bro” as used in “Bros Fall Back” is not necessarily the clichéed stereotype of the athletic, masculine male, but rather the idea of a person that holds social capital in an environment, one who feels privileged in taking up space. “Bros Fall Back” is an intersectional analysis, looking at gender, sexuality, class, race and other factors that make up systems of oppression in society. Winnik says he reread it four times in the intervening week between concerts and grew to understand it much better. “Originally I felt like, why are you pointing fingers? But really it’s more like ‘Point fingers at yourself’ […] It’s saying oppressed people shouldn’t be the only ones doing the work and you should recognize your privilege. Check your privilege. Check the power, the unjust power, that you are born into.”

In fact, the authors are careful to not gender the term “bro” throughout the piece. “Bro” is really not about a specific kind of person, but an idea of carrying weight and being able to take up space. It is a flexible term that recognizes different privileges and power dynamics in different environments. “It is a powerful term because it is so responsive,” says Kilbourne, who makes a point of recognizing the “bro-ness in all of us. Kill the bro in your head. Try to be self-critical and change.”

While “Bros Fall Back” is a critical element in changing crowd culture and creating safer and more inclusive spaces, it is only a part of the discourse.  Winnik notes this: “Not everyone is going to read, or like it.” Hastings says that a dialogue on these issues is certainly hard to start. “It hurts to be like ‘Oh, I’m a part of the problem.’ There are steps to acknowledging privilege. ‘Bros Fall Back’ is not necessarily step one, or step two.”

Let's Party Hats Hats Hats Photo by Cara Sunberg

Let’s Party Hats Hats Hats – Photo by Cara Sunberg

But there are steps that can be taken to promote a change in the concert culture at Wes, both in and out of shows. The responsibility for making this change happen comes from all directions. Establishing a dialogue with friends is an essential first step. Whether its in the middle of a concert or not, expressing issue with harmful and marginalizing actions is critical. “Even if people aren’t receptive to it right away,” Hasting says, “it plants the idea.” People, especially those who tend to dominate the front and center, need to recognize their own privileges within a space, and learn to take steps back, allowing others to take over.

There is also a need to set clearer guidelines for concert spaces, defining what actions and mentalities are in/appropriate.  Having people present in the audience who will actively intervene in the middle of shows is also important – calling people out is a legitimate and necessary action. Winnik recognizes the role of the band in changing the environment and dynamics, asking “How can we set the scene to make it the space we want? You can write in your event post, put up posters, say things from the stage. You can be aggressive – If you see someone ruining the space, you can call them out.”

Pyka

Pyka

Kilbourne also puts onus on concert-bookers and show organizers. Who do you choose to play shows? It’s easy to just book the same bands as always. But people who are not represented – queer people, women of color, and others who do not usually take to the stage as often – are not being brought forward. “It’s hard to feel included when you can’t even trust that you deserve to be there. It’s about creating experiences for people who experience marginalization, having people see themselves represented in who plays. I felt motivated to play after seeing a show with an openly trans* women leading the band.”

There is also growing discussion of creating new intentional spaces. Hastings sees this as an ultimate goal, creating spaces where “it’s not only to see white cis males perform, where hatred is unacceptable, where there is an ability to not let people in who are causing hatred and oppression, to take radical actions against bigotry in all its forms. I don’t know how to do that right now, but that’s the goal.”

“There are a lot of people interested in politics through music here. Support people. Support marginalized and oppressed voices […] It’s a very difficult thing to do,” says Kilbourne, “but I think there are small, tangible things that you can get to in the meantime.

All of these strategies are critical for changing the crowd culture, the music scene, and the Wesleyan community as a whole. I hope this serves as a reminder of the roles we all hold in this system and how we can work at changing that. It’s about taking personal action tonight at Punk@DKE. And whatever shows occur next week. And in the everyday.

  • Nathan Richardson

    wow, man. wow.

  • Joe LeVasseur

    Thank goodness we have these people from WESLYAN UNIVERSITY to tell the rest of us to “check our privilege.” Why don’t you go to a state school and donate the rest of the money your parents are spending on your tuition so some kids from Hartford can afford to attend community college?

  • Decoy Octopus

    This is hilarious. This has to be satire, holy fuck.

  • vikingbiking518

    Speak for yourself and maybe your crappy college scene. Hardcore and punk shows are some of the safest places for females, I see plenty of girls in the pit not getting hurt, and 99% of the dudes who mosh are respectful and mindful of that. There’s also a way to mosh and avoid hitting other people, unless you suck at it. I’m 220 lbs, and pretty careful not to slam in to a girl half my size. Good way to make friends with strangers too.

    In short, shove your PC bullshit up your sandy cunt. You suck!

  • Speak for Yourself

    As a 120lb, 5’2″ woman of mixed race I would like to say, “Speak for yourself.” I resent people speaking up on my behalf. Who are you to say that I feel oppressed or unsafe just because I am a small woman. The reason I was attracted to punk and metal (from the early age of 12) is because I wanted to play with the big boys and by their rules. I wanted to be a part of a culture that does NOT make exceptions for me because I a presumed inferior due to my size and gender. How dare you pull the victim card on my behalf? I want to be pushed around, shoved and sweated on. I want the guy next to me to lift me up and swing me into the crowd behind us. THAT’S WHY I GO TO PUNK SHOWS. If I wanted a safe and sensitive space where I can cry about my problems I’d go to a fucking Tori Amos show. When I walk into a space where a hardcore punk/metal line-up has been promoted, I AM CONSENTING to the presumed conditions of that space (unless otherwise posted) which are: it will most likely be male dominated and aggressive; the space will be hot, stinky, sweaty and loud; there will be drunks acting like fools. I’ve been going to punk shows for more than 20 years now, and I have learned what to expect. If I didn’t want that from my “concert space” I would find another space to go to. It’s okay to want a “safe space” (however you chose to define that), but don’t you dare try to change one of the many things that I love about live punk. Moshing isn’t about racism and gender oppression or whatever your problem is, it’s about sharing the energy that the band is putting out there. As a musician, I have been known to stop a performance because the crowd was boring me. Without that return of energy, my performance suffers. I wouldn’t go to a neo-folk show and demand that people stage dive, so why go to a hardcore show and demand that people stand there and act bored. There’s a place for you in punk of you want it, you just have to take it. This new trend of holding other people accountable for one’s own shortcomings/insecurities is the sad product of a generation that has been coddled and babied. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

  • butthole

    Fair article. Not punk though.

  • wtf-is-this-article

    this article is infuriating, please stop forcing the problem on spaces and experiences that they don’t belong in. just because an activity is predominantly partaken in by males doesn’t make it unconducive to female participation. men need outlets for self-expression and aggression much the same as women do, and moshing is absolutely a form of self-expression. please don’t step on our toes over this nitpicky, overstated article that once again overemphasizes a nonissue.

  • the only non-racist here

    associating the punk scene with white males is just inaccurate.
    coming from a large, racially diverse city and having attended many punk and metal shows i can tell you those “spaces” (as you hipsters like to call them) are far from white male dominated. in fact i as a white male often felt dominated by hispanic and black moshers. hell i remember once getting hit in the face by a huge black girl in a pit and having to step out cuz i was so dazed

    the reason the punk scene is so white here is because the school itself is so white and sadly, many of the black and hispanic students here just dont like punk music (of course there are exceptions)

    • OP

      PS I am a tall white male and as I said have lost many a pit fight to black, hispanic and yes, even female moshers -OP

  • Snail

    This really is a seashells at the beach situation.

    The mosh pit is an unsafe space. For everyone. Those “big tall white dudes” aren’t only hitting smaller, weaker girls. They are hitting each other. Their safety is only relatively (case by case) greater than anyone else’s.

    The people who are capable of having fun in the mosh pit do so because of their minds, not their bodies. Not a single one of those people is choosing, hoping, or intending to exclude anyone. And they aren’t. Anyone who wants can join in. In this situation,the space and the activity aren’t the problem.

    This post isn’t a cry for justice. My moshing doesn’t negatively impact your life in any way. If the music is truly what you care about, then listen to your ipod in peace on Foss. Or try to organize a live show that is more to your liking. Or better yet, find one (cause its probably already out there). But don’t constrict the diversity of the Wesleyan music scene because you don’t enjoy one part of it. And don’t claim oppression as your reason. Your allowed to be bummed at something without the other group being morally wrong.

    It might be unfortunate that smaller people can’t mosh with bigger ones. But they also can’t see over them in lines. And they aren’t the ones asked for help with moving big boxes or grabbing high objects. These aren’t examples of exclusion or oppression. They are examples that We are not all the same. That is OK. The people who can’t mosh can probably enjoy other things that the moshers can’t. And that’s OK too.

    Ultimately, this is a practical problem (for some), and it has practical solutions.Probably many. You can divide an audience space into different sections with different rules. You you shouldn’t tell big people not to mosh.

    • Same Anon ’14

      No one’s telling big people not to mosh. I personally am telling them to mosh towards the back or off to the side and to at least be more careful — maybe move farther away or reign it in a bit — if they notice they’re hurting/bothering people who are at the show for other reasons. This really makes logical sense. People who are at the show to watch the performers need the front more than people who are there to jump around and push each other.

      Please realize that those of us who don’t like moshing for various reasons care about the music we listen to and our opportunities to see it performed live just as much as you do. Seeing live music, whether or not you’re wildly dancing, flailing and hitting people, can be a transformative experience and is in no way comparable to listening to it on “your ipod in peace on Foss”. Passion for the type of music that often inspires moshing does not require an enjoyment of moshing/being surrounded by moshers. What’s more, at Wesleyan, what music DOESN’T inspire moshing? I’ve been to straight up folk pop shows where people start moshing as soon as a slightly-faster-than-average song comes on. What’s more, I myself especially enjoy actual punk music, so the odds of a show I’m really excited about being unpleasant for me are even higher.

      I’d also like to point out that inequalities based on people’s physical characteristics (i.e. size, in this case) can indeed be oppression. Large people having power over smaller people is oppression of a very primal sort. We usually overlook it because we think we’re too advanced a society for that to still be an issue. But the environment we’re talking about (that is, an environment in which lots of people are bouncing around hitting each other) is so regressive and primal that this size-based injustice becomes relevant again. This isn’t to mention any of the cases I could make for this sort of stuff being unjust for reasons relating to gender or to sexual assault…

      Meaning no harm is not equivalent to moral innocence.

  • Anon ’14

    As a devoted music fan and an average sized woman, I can really get behind this post. I can’t even count the number of times my
    enjoyment of a concert has been severely impeded by the selfish behavior of a
    small number of large, white males who quite literally marginalize those of us
    who are physically smaller and less comfortable with repeated, rough physical
    contact than them.

    To those of you who think this
    article was a waste of time and that “moshing hard” is constitutive of punk and
    that anyone who says otherwise isn’t getting it: do you have any fucking idea
    how much energy and concentration it takes to keep from being knocked over and
    trampled when you’re a person my size at the type of show we’re
    discussing? Any idea how hard it is to
    hear, see, and enjoy the performance you came for when you’re constantly
    bracing yourself for impact with much-larger people recklessly careening
    towards you?

    Earlier this year, despite having begrudgingly retreated to the back of the room when moshing commenced, as I often do, I was knocked to the ground by a 6-foot-something man at a friend’s band’s show. My head somehow came in
    contact with the eye of an underclasswoman behind me as I went down, so, after
    being helped up and inspecting the soon-to-be-bruise on my knee (it hurt to
    walk for several weeks, just sayin’), I asked her if she was okay. She responded, laughing before the various concert goers whose attention had turned to us because of the incident, “It’s cool, I’m used to it!”

    The thing is, we’re all used to it. I’m a senior now, I’ve been going to shows like this since before I was a freshman, and I am fucking used to ending
    up on the fucking floor. I’m used to not being able to get close enough to see my favorite bands clearly because I’m scared for my safety. I’m used to the people at the front weighing, on average, at least 50 lbs. more than me (this
    is not to deny that women and smaller people more broadly get in and mosh
    sometimes; what I’m saying is that even with them there, the pit is still so
    dominated by large men that the average weight is still extremely skewed).

    I’m tired of trying to be the cool punk chick who isn’t intimidated by the big guys, who gets in and moshes with them, who doesn’t resent getting hurt every once in awhile. I DO resent getting hurt, I resent being scared, and I resent letting my live music experiences be controlled by people who subscribe to this bizarre brand of privileged white boy machismo that hides behind the name “punk rock”.

    If “real punk rock” doesn’t care about the experiences of people who are small, queer, female, sexual assault survivors, not able-bodied, etc., unless you’re a masochist or a person who fits none of those descriptors and is pathologically selfish, you should be embracing fake punk rock, or whatever the fuck else you want to call it, in its stead.

    • Dave Kinard

      Well, i’m undersized and not able=bodied. But fuck you if you say I can’t dance cause you don’t like it. Don’t stand by the pit. It’s as simple as that.

  • pyrotechnics

    ztevenz, this article is fantastic. Thank you. Recognizing complicity in normative cultural oppressions is really difficult for some folks, and you’ve done an excellent job of laying it out. Unintentional and implicit sexism/racism/homophobia/trans*phobia/ablism/classism/isms can be just as harmful and destructive as their intentional and explicit counterparts.

    Forget the lost causes who argue that “the real world is worse, so Wes should give up trying to be better” etc. and keep up the good work. Many other folks and I are right there with you.

  • Hey

    WAH WAH WAH BUT I’VE NEVER FELT UNSAFE AT A SHOW SO THAT MEANS NO ONE ELSE EVER HAS. WAH WAH WAH MY ABILITY TO THROW MY BODY AT OTHER PEOPLE’S BODIES IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR NEED TO FEEL SAFE. IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO TOUCH YOUR BODY IN A REALLY HARD AND VIOLENT WAY YOU MUST NOT BE A REAL PUNK, POSER.

    This is what y’all sound like.

  • confused punk enthusiast

    this is one of the stupidest things i have ever read. if you dont wanna mosh hard, stay away from the punk shows

  • White guy in a punk band

    Some of the responses in here are almost grossly revealing of how deep the intersectional -ism (racism, classism, sexism, ablism, etc) runs at Wes despite our collective claims to the contrary. I feel like the defensiveness in many of the comments actually implies that the authors know what they are saying is kind of unfounded so they have to say it angrily.

    What I’ve noticed in the comments:
    – Bro is a gendered term for boys, so the article is invalid
    – White males don’t dominate mosh-y concerts, so the article is invalid
    – Only white people like punk, so the racism spelled out in the article is invalid
    – Moshing is more intense elsewhere, so the article is invalid
    – I am big, intersectionally privileged, and like to mosh, so I should be able to mosh mindfully

    In response:
    – Yeah, but “guys” is a catchall phrase for a group of people and “dude” is a universal pronoun. Don’t argue about semantics; a small word choice that is expressly defined as different from its day-to-day use shouldn’t invalidate an argument. Read the “Bros Fall Back” manifesto before being so reactionary.
    – As a white male who goes to every punk/hardcore show on campus, we do. The mosh pit is almost always 85%+ white males, usually larger than 170 pounds. I try not to mosh anymore to open up some space for others. The fact that you have to say “I’ve been to many shows where girls have been just as involved in moshing as guys,” means that it is not the norm/is an inherent sexist space that is made more safe sometimes. That’s not the base line we should be working from. It should be the baseline of “a safe space for everyone.”
    – I don’t even know how to respond to this one. The logic is so flawed. (where is the causality? Is it a racism space so people of color don’t come? Or do people of color not like punk (HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU SAY THAT BROAD GENERALIZATION BRAOD GENERALIZATION!!)).
    – Wesleyan should be focused on making changes at Wesleyan to make everyone more safe. If anyone is uncomfortable it is not a safe space; the fact that it might feel “safer” to a marginalized person than a punk show elsewhere does not mean that it necessarily feels “safe.” It’s like concentric circles; start with the family and then move the change to the world.
    – This is the point I resonate a bit with; wen I go to punk shows, I want to mosh too. I’m a skinny white guy (150 lb). I probably won’t hurt anyone. HOWEVER, there are many people around who are smaller than me and I cannot totally control myself when I throw myself into a mosh pit. Me knocking into someone else because someone pushed me towards them or my velocity just took me there is a gross expression of privilege – “hey, I don’t care if you want to be touched because I’m going to touch you.” I get to say that implicitly because I’m a white cis male. Other people do not. “Bros fall back” is about recognizing that.

    I think y’all are misreading the article (except the last point about being big). It’s about being aware of the space you take, the atmosphere everyone is creating, and whether or not every person at the concert feels comfortable. Big people hurt small people when they mosh. You can’t do that; instead of throwing yourself into the pit first and asking questions later, you have to know where you’re going to end up, what your trajectory is, so you don’t end up making someone uncomfortable. I think getting caught up in the samantics of the different -isms ends up taking up a lot of time in ways that are counterproductive. If a queer woman goes to a concert and feels uncomfortable, it doesn’t matter if you choose to describe the environment as “homophobic,” “sexist,” “transphobic,” or whatever. It’s a bad space that needs to be changed if anyone feels uncomfortable. That’s what my reading of “bros fall back” is – you checking yourself so that no one feels unintentionally uncomfortable.

  • Not compelling

    One HUGE problem.

    “In fact, the authors are careful to not gender the term “bro” throughout the piece. “Bro” is really not about a specific kind of person, but an idea of carrying weight and being able to take up space.”

    Bullshit, it is inherently gendered unless you can admit that a word like bitch isn’t inherently gendered. You won’t win either argument. Admit when you are leveraging a person’s social place against them with pejorative terms.

    YOU CANNOT DECIDE THAT A WORD IS DEGENDERED BECAUSE IT IS CONVENIENT FOR YOUR POINT.

    It is incredibly offensive to try to tell people how they should feel about the gender of an obviously gendered word. I won’t be mansplained that because it is useful “bro” is degendered in this one singular instance. That’s fucking dumb and lazy.

  • wesleyan dude

    What a silly article. I guess it’s a nice attempt to talk about oppression, but the assumption that concerts have to be dominated by white males is silly. While guys are typically larger and stronger than girls, I’ve been to many shows where girls have been just as involved in moshing as guys.

    And why the “white” distinction? If you’ve never seen black dudes moshing, that may be simply a result of the fact that black guys don’t like punk as much as white guys. Remember Kendrick? There were just as many black guys up front as white guys. Stop trying to racialize everything ztevenz

    • punx

      no one in this article is “trying” to racialize punk shows, or concerts in general. the systems of oppression that create racism/sexism/etc infiltrate all spaces, even supposedly anti-oppression punk venues. everyone is affected by these systems and most are implicated in perpetuating them. the people interviewed above are only asking that people, especially those who are privileged, consider the space they take up and how their presence affects other less privileged folks. its a small step towards making shows safer and enjoyable for everyone. many people believe that engaging in the “radical anarchy” of punk puts everyone on an even footing. it doesn’t. punk should mean actively working to destroy sexist, homophobic, trans*phobic, white supremacist and capitalist systems. that mean critiquing both larger institutions as well as our own actions.

      http://poczineproject.tumblr.com/post/54851297969/zine-spotlight-the-first-seven-inch-was-better-nia-king

      • Wes ’15

        Tumblr is not a valid source ever.

  • WKAE UP WESPUNK

    WHY THE FUCK DOES NO ONE THROW DOWN IN THE PIt. WHERE ARE PPL DOIN THE WINDMILL WHERE ARE PEOPL 2 STEPPIN WER ARE THE HXC DANCIN WHERE R THE BROKEN FACES LONG LIVE HXC FUCK POSERS FUCK SELLOUTS FUCK U ANARCHY IN THE UK STAY POSI EMO NEVER DIED XXX sxe TIL I DIE LET ME ASERT MY dOMINANC AND LISTEN TO MY BLk FLag RECORDS IN PIECES/

  • areyouserious

    This article is basically an attack on punk music that completely misunderstands moshing, an integral part of punk shows. Punk culture is well known to be vehemently anti-racist and anti-oppressive but it is also angry, anti-authoritarian, revolutionary, and yes violent at some points. It has largely evolved out of disaffected youth plagued by myriads of issues who just like to forget about their worries in a mosh pit.

    It sounds like half these people haven’t actually been to a punk show outside of Wesleyan, because some much worse shit goes down in the real world.
    I really just don’t get how someone can complain about moshing at a punk concert, it’s like complaining about seashells at the beach..

    • Max

      nah…lots of punks outside of this school “worry” about moshing. bros fall back was written by in philly after all.

  • JDR

    aw this is great. im really glad that punk seems to be a bigger deal at campus then when we started pnk@dke and im rly glad it’s still going and im rly glad y’all are struggling with this stuff now and not later like i did. A+

  • What

    This is article was a waste of everyone’s time

  • Anon

    Good article, and I agree with the majority of the points made, but as a person who is big and tall, but not violent or aggressive when moshing, I dislike the idea put forward that big people should check themselves constantly simply because they take up space. I think the problem is more related to the atmosphere and the unnecessary aggression and violence, on the part of anyone, rather than the size of any individual.

  • Anon

    Thank you so much for posting this! As a rape survivor I almost always avoid shows at Wes where I think there will be moshing because I can’t stand to be touched by people without permission (and I’ve missed out on seeing some of my favorite bands because of this) but hopefully this dialogue will change things on campus. I’m sick of sexual assault survivors being used as talking points in regards to things like gender neutral bathrooms but not being brought up in regards to the greater campus culture of non-consensual touching (like at shows and concerts and parties).