Op-Ed: An Open Letter To The Abusers Hiding Within The Music Industry
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Dear abusers hiding within the music industry,
You might be feeling the fire under your toes as of late since victims are talking and there have been more days with allegations than days without. You might be waking up in a sweat, afraid that your little secret will be revealed and you’ll be crucified on the cross of social media. Maybe you’re looking over your shoulder and thinking “The witches will come for me next”. That’s no way to live, really, but do you think of the people whose lives you broke? Actually, let me rephrase, do you think what you did was wrong? Or are you just hoping it’ll go away and get swept under a rug, forgotten by everyone but your victims?
It’d be convenient, really, if it could indeed go away. If you could turn back time and not have sexual assaulted and abused others, you’d do it, right? I have no doubt you would. Probably not for your victims though. Just for yourself. “So Twitter doesn’t find out.”
But not everyone is aware of their wrongdoings. Most men don’t actually think they’ve been predatory to anyone because they seem to turn a blind eye to power dynamics and the more covert ways someone can consent, but let me break it down for you: if you think of a sexual or romantic interaction with someone and you can’t confidently say they consented, it’s very likely that they didn’t.
If someone is intoxicated or under the influence, they cannot consent. If someone is under the age of consent, they cannot consent. If you’re someone’s boss or have more leverage than they do in your field of work, there is an unhealthy power dynamic at play that you should question. But there’s a high chance you’re telling yourself “I know these things”, and you think your offenses will stay hidden because you talk about feminism online — make no mistake. We will still find you out, and when we do, there will be no hiding behind regurgitated rhetoric.
Because for each day that passes without the truth about what you’ve done being exposed, you are counting on victims’ silence. For each day you keep your job and earn folks’ trust, you are building up the storm that will rain on you when the clouds come.
We aren’t afraid of you anymore. Many of us have walked through the fire to get to this point, and we have survived. We’re ready to support victims through the gaslighting they will inevitably face when they come forward. I/We/They will not let accusations go away, even if it costs us our favourite albums, friendships, opportunities, or more.
The time has come. And if your time hasn’t come yet, rest assured it will one day.
– Alma Roda-Gil
Photography by Emily Dubin
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