Men are finding Glastonbury's women only venue sexist
For the first time ever, Glastonbury will be offering a women’s only venue - but some people are really not okay with that.
An “intersectional, queer, trans and disability-inclusive space”, this “revolutionary clubhouse” will be called The Sisterhood. According to the venue organisers, it is being created with the thought that “women-only spaces are necessary in a world that is still run by and designed to benefit mainly men”.
However, a lot of people are practically up in arms about this and interestingly (but almost unsurprisingly) the ones it seems to be particularly bothering are males.
The most popular argument against The Sisterhood appears to be the one of reverse sexism at work, which is to essentially claim that if the festival was to create a male-only space, it wouldn’t be received well - so why do women get a special venue just for them?
Because of course boys-only clubs don’t already exist everywhere (We’re looking at you Muirfield Golf Club).
Clearly, allowing a group to feel comfortable in a safe space is far too wild for some people to comprehend. For example, festivals are known to sometimes have the problem of sexual assault. A writer from The Guardian posted a Twitter poll asking “Have you ever felt unsafe or uncomfortable as a woman, at a music festival?” Over 80% of the women who responded said yes. Some even gave examples of incidents they were involved in such as one reply being, “Pretty much relentless unwanted touching from men - stops me getting deep into crowds, keeps me from many festivals entirely.”
In 2015, there were three sexual offences reported at Glastonbury festival and a rape reported at both the Secret Garden Party and V Festival, not to mention up to 26 women reported being sexually assaulted at a festival in Germany several weeks ago.
While there have been attempts at fixing this issue with safety awareness campaigns from groups such as Girls Against and Safe Gigs for Women, The Sisterhood aims to create a space that practically eliminates the concern altogether.
The producers of the venue simply want to “provide a secret space for women to connect, network, share their stories, have fun and learn the best way to support each other in our global struggle to end oppression against women and all marginalised people, while showcasing the best and boldest female talent in the UK and beyond.”
But apparently, fighting for the female cause is not a good enough reason for The Sisterhood to exist. The opposition to the venue is a palpable demonstration to what can only be referred to as male entitlement. So many situations are set up to favour men already (particularly those of the heterosexual and white persuasion), the idea that women might get a sliver of the same treatment is appalling.
Digital Music News ran an article calling the concept of The Sisterhood “less celebratory and pro-women, and frankly, more anti-male”.
And if more examples of the male ego at work were needed:
“Segregating” a space that is women-only is being titled sexist. This is slightly baffling considering that even according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, sexism has to do with the “prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially discrimination against women”. Overall, in the most basic sense, sexism stems from the belief that one sex is superior to the other.
This is not such a situation. The Sisterhood is meant to offer an area for women who would feel most at ease surrounded by other females, based on the fact that men are liable for making them feel quite the opposite so often, especially in an arena like this one.
This venue is not supporting the concept of superiority over men as so much as it is reacting to the recurring, inferior treatment of women all around the world; attempting to allow them at least one win in a series of continuous losses.
Maybe if men weren't making women feel the need to have a separate space to enjoy the festival then we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all.
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