The past month has been defined by an epidemic of sexual misconduct allegations since decades of Harvey Weinstein’s offenses were uncovered. Although many of the allegations have come from within the film industry, the indie music scene also has uncovered some offenders, including Real Estate’s former guitarist Matt Mondanile and Crystal Castles’ Ethan Kath. Now another indie musician is speaking out, not only to address her own personal experiences with sexual assault, but to address the epidemic as a whole.
Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino penned an op-ed piece for Billboard to direct attention to “The Man With Power Who Abuses It.” She started out explaining that these men are everywhere: “Women being mistreated due to their gender is nothing new, so what can we do to stop it from spreading? How do we make our women’s marches and our #MeToo hashtags an actual weapon against this mass destruction of an issue?”
She then went on to demonstrate how common sexual misconduct is by recounting a couple of her own experiences. She described having been harassed and assaulted by someone she employed, as well as by a family member when she was a child, and although the accusations have given herself—and other women and men—solidarity to discuss these issue, she questioned, “When will this problem no longer be a problem?”
Cosentino also used anecdotes of experiences with general sexism to add to her point that women are reminded that they are women every day—but more and more, they are standing up for themselves. “One thing I do know is that women seem to be more empowered and stronger than I can ever remember in my lifetime,” she wrote. “We might be backed into a corner with our rights threatened every day, but we are loud and we are angry—and when we are angry, we do some of our best work.”
While emphasizing the importance of women finding their own voices and using them to lift each other up, Cosentino also stressed that those voices must also be used to continue exposing offenders and make them accountable for their actions: “Men need to be punished for their wrongdoings, not just let go from their CEO positions.” Weinstein is not the only predator she referenced in her piece, however. She also mentioned Mondanile and, most notably, our own president.
Cosentino ended her op-ed with:
If 2016 was the year we elected a grabber-in-chief, consider 2017 the year of male consequence. So men, in all industries, all over the world, I suggest you start acting right or your creepy activities could be the next ones plastered in headlines across the globe.
And women, continue to speak up, because we are listening, we believe you and we are ready to fight this fight with you.
Read her full op-ed here, and listen to a Best Coast performance from the Paste Cloud below.