Last week, an Open Letter was released to demand zero tolerance for sexual harassment, violence, objectification and sexist behaviour in the local music industry.
The accompanying hashtag, #meNOmore, trended in Australia and the letter was reported on by international media in the US, UK, Europe and Asia, including Pitchfork, Billboard, The Guardian, NME and NPR.
The letter has since been signed by over 1,050 women in the music industry.
Now, those behind #meNOmore have made their first public statement since its release, which you can read in full below.
It’s easy to sling a hashtag out into the universe. It’s hard to create real change.
In just one week, over a thousand women have signed the open letter calling on the Australian Music Industry to confront sexual harassment, coercion, bullying, misogyny and sexism. The problem with no name has long existed, even thrived, in a culture of silence. Now women all over the world are standing up and saying ‘no more’.
We know that media want to report on and investigate this issue. We value this interest and the respect with which this letter has been (mostly) covered. We also note that our refusal to comment further on the contents of the letter has caused some bemusement, even scepticism. But in this case, we believe silence is not only necessary, it is powerful.
The #meNOmore movement does not have a spokesperson. We speak as one voice. We do this to protect every single woman who has signed the open letter from being branded, including ourselves. Women who speak up about sexual predation do so with extreme difficulty and dread. While we 100% support an individual’s right to tell their own story, it is our firm belief that no woman should be made ‘the face of’ sexual harassment in the music industry, nor should her work suffer as a consequence.
The truth is this is not, at its heart, about sex – at least not wholly. What it is really about is work, and women’s equality in the workplace, and more broadly, about the rot at the core of our power structures.*
To the women who have come forward and joined us in our quest for a better industry, we applaud you. To the women who feel they cannot come forward at this time, we support you.
Thank you to the countless people who helped circulate the Open Letter. We received over 1,000 signatures and 300 stories. You carried previously unheard voices across the US, the UK, Europe and Asia, with coverage on sites like Pitchfork, Billboard, NME, The Guardian and NPR.
Our goal for 2018 is to create a safe haven for all workers of the industry and to provide the tools and resources necessary so that victims can review their options and find avenues of support. Part of this will be the creation of a panel of experts which will advise and encourage the industry and individuals through this process. We will be taking our time to get this right, to create something lasting and constructive. Then, you can be sure, we will be shouting our names from the rooftops.
#meNOmore is an all-inclusive movement — particularly encouraging participation of Indigenous, POC and LGBTQIA+ musical communities who have experienced intersections of sexual discrimination, harassment and violence. We also support cisgender men who have been victims of sexual harassment. Whilst this movement has been initiated by women in the industry, please know we will work hard to create a support network which is available to everyone. We encourage you to get in touch with us, share your stories and your feedback and be part of the conversation. We’re listening. [email protected]
Once again, we ask media to respect and do not contact any names listed on the letter. We speak when we speak. No means no.
*This is a direct quote from Rebecca Traistor’s This Moment Isn’t (Just) About Sex, It’s Really About Work. NY Magazine, Dec 10th 2017.