TW: Sexual assault, scene idiot fans.
So, I have been a Decapitated fan for years and was really looking forward to covering their NYC show next week. I was on the guest list and have several of their records and was stoked. Do you think that my primary concern upon hearing that the band are accused of gang rape is that I hope it is not true and their career is not maligned? No.
If your first response upon hearing a fan say they were assaulted is to automatically discount them because you like the art of someone who is also human and capable of being very flawed or massively fucking up as many humans throughout history have proven (trust me – some VERY popular bands are major liars), if your first response is to knee jerk call the accuser a slut or groupie or liar, if your first response is to go buy merch from the band to prove you believe in them no matter what (see As I Lay Dying fans after Tim’s arrest), perhaps your priorities are super fucked up? Yes.
Yes, due process is important (as if the law and courts are sacrosanct and never bullshit). Yes, it is of course a horrible shame if the legacy of a premiere Polish death metal band is ruined forever over a false claim. If no one ever hears the music of Decapitated’s deceased members anymore because after they died the band several years later destroyed the brand and MOST IMPORTANTLY someone’s life, is also a shame. BUT the accuser being heard and supported is the primary concern.
Right now it doesn’t even seem like the band can agree who “had sex” with the person. Someone in a thread I was part of today on social media said that perhaps there was a language barrier when they were questioned by Police. I am sorry, but if you can give interviews and tour the world and sing in English fine you can answer a simple and what should be easy question of “did you gang rape this person?” without difficulty.
As a non binary person who has been raped and has ptsd, who has had their life defiled and knows many other former partners who were abused by others, it disgusts me when people’s first reaction are “Cosby would never do that.” As someone with my own rape trauma from multi-gender boundary crossings that happened to me at different times in my life, it is exhausting to see people not know how to treat accusations with respect. It honestly turns me into an angry wild dog very fast. If that makes me a “bleeding heart leftist”, please never read my shit again.
As someone who has even tried very hard to spend years celibate in emotional penance and massive anguish for accidentally crossing someone’s boundaries MYSELF once feeling them up blacked out after binge drinking post a death in my family and taking tons of Pseudoephedrine and a misdiagnosed disproportionate amount of testosterone supplements (which I don’t talk about much not out of hiding it but because it is also not only a story that affects me), the last thing I would do is be mad if someone didn’t want to support me anymore if they thought I did something on purpose or was fake about trying to make up for it every day of my life in the past half decade since or lying when I said it was one contributing factor to me having major intimacy issues (there are a lot of other factors that involve some really awful sociopathic actions by others and a lot of personal betrayals as well as lifelong gender issues a well, but…yeah). Or if you think I am lying about suicide attempts and grief, I could say ‘fuck off’ but it still would come off as self-pity and that is not appropriate.
Own your fuck ups, no matter how horrible. Have the decency and dignity to not be a worm on top of a massive fuck up if you have done serious harm. It is the only road to some redemption, and especially if it was willful and intentional harm.
Was it a horror show at first and were their times I was super manic and defensive and in shock to a degree that pushed people I deeply cared about away? Sadly, yes. But dying on that hill is a horrible way to never heal or help show someone you even inadvertently hurt that you care about honoring their pain and anyone who stays in that mode should be ashamed. I have to carry the weight of having scared someone I cared about and can not center my own long term psychological and emotional damage in that narrative. That would be super fucking wrong.
I have always believed in victims advocacy my whole life and career as a writer or musician and have been doing it for decades now in benefits or articles or whatever. It triggers the shit out of me and I end up shaking and light headed or nauseous every time some shit like this becomes a story that should be mentioned in the scene. As a writer though, as much as self-care is important, I think it is more important to be vocal and say to listen to victims and don’t dismiss them. The truth will out one way or the other, hopefully. Victim blaming is TOXIC. Writing a song like Stuck Mojo’s “Rape Whistle” is fucking sickening.
We talk a lot about caring about different voices in the scene or believing people and making room for people. How often does it really happen? Trump is President. If you think that doesn’t scream free pass for abusive shit and encourage people hurt to remain silent, you are crazy. If you think porn that celebrates step parents having a power dynamic semi-incestual wake up fuck is not going to really fuck up some young people discovering their sexuality for the first time, you are also fucking delusional. If you think politics and current events should stay out of Metal writing, go buy some Gary Glitter albums.
People not believing the woman here in the Decapitated story because she reported it after being pulled over, as someone told me was the case…do you really think most people report things right away? Shit, I was fondled in a hospital once by someone who turned out to have NEVER been a doctor there and I was so freaked out I never sued the place or ever mentioned it for years. Most of the time I make myself forget it ever happened because it isn’t even the worst thing that happened to me in my life that was non-consensual. Shit, I got unsolicited dick pics THIS MORNING from someone who is “a friend” who was wasted and closeted but who KNOWS I have very firm boundaries and PTSD and have been mostly asexual for heading into three years now. I confronted them and said not to do that again and have known them a very long time and am still not sure if I handled it right and questioning myself, so imagine how someone feels with a major invasive trauma.
So yeah, hope the truth comes out but don’t feed the culture of victim blaming. If that is your go to default position, eat shit. I am feeling gorge rise in my throat so I am going to stop now.