I’m not gonna lie – there’s obviously a problem in society with toxic masculinity and what some men think that they’re entitled to in regards to women’s bodies – but I’m not sure if the answer is to discriminate in the same way towards males when you get the chance, which seems to be exactly how the Statement Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden seemed to act this summer.
The festival marketed itself as ‘the world’s first major music festival for women, non-binary and transgender only’ – which sounds good on paper sure – but it’s now been determined that the festival violated anti discrimination legislation and as such was actually guilty of discrimination itself. Good one.
The festival originally stated that no cisgender men would be allowed to attend as this would avoid the rape and sexual assaults that were common as Swedish festivals last summer. The organisers did eventually relent and allow men to attend, but they were apparently restricted to a backstage ‘man pen’. This included both artists, technicians and members of both of their entourages as well.
It basically kind of took the piss despite their good intentions, with Sweden’s Discrimination Ombudsman releasing the following statement:
It was a violation of the prohibition of discrimination when the website of the music festival Statement and in statements from representatives of the festival revealed that cis men would not be allowed to enter the festival.
On the other hand, the investigation does not support any person being discriminated against in connection with the festival’s implementation.
I suppose that part is nice but does that mean that this thing about the pig pen/male pen (same thing sure) is just a fabrication? Either way, Statement Festival has been cancelled next year – despite the fact that the organisers claimed how successful and necessary it had been in the fact that no rapes or sexual assaults had occurred during it – and it’s unsure if we’ll ever see the likes of it again.
The organisers haven’t revealed what they’ll be doing in the future but claim that they’re ‘too busy changing the world’ to get upset about this controversy. Good luck to them, although I’m gonna reiterate that I’m not sure if rounding up men at a festival and keeping them in a pen is the most progressive idea. If that even happened of course.
For more of the same, check out the stupidest discrimination case of the year. Seriously.