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Girls Against: Misogyny & sexual assault in the live music industry

Meet Bea, cofounder of Girls Against, a nonprofit organisation striving for safety and inclusivity



Girls Against is an organisation standing up against sexual assault and misogyny in the live music industry. Having launched in 2015 when Bea was still a teenager, Girls Against runs as a campaign, striving for inclusivity having recognized the dramatic lack of representation and safety of femmes from stages to festivals around the UK.



Tune in to hear our host Bx Sassy talk with Bea about the power behind Girls Against, and what you can do to help keep music events extra Sassy and safe today.


 

Starting from a place of passion for change, Bea and her two friends started raising awareness via Twitter after experiencing misogyny at live shows. Since then, Girls Against has worked with a high number of artists, organsations and venues to make sure more support is in place and further education about safety meets the mainstream audience.



As a fan of indie music, Bea explains how growing up, she has many memories of being in rowdy environments with mosh pits and sweaty chaos. However, in amongst the joy of seeing her idols perform, was the constant pressure of competing against the male-dominated presence in venues and at gigs. Having been inspired by women in her family who were fellow activists for women's rights and injustices such as Apartheid, Bea has combined this passion with her love for music.


We are lobbying for venues to put safer space policies into their mandatory structure, to have a space on site that everyone can go to... whether its to do with sexual assault or not


Since launching, Girls Against has shifted from working directly with artists to focusing on building relationships with venues to tackle the problem at hand. "We are lobbying for venues to put safer space policies into their mandatory structure, to have a space on site that everyone can go to... whether its to do with sexual assault or not, rather than just running out the doors. It's a very easy thing to implement"



Girls Against co-founders

Our main focus is on supporting women because violence at live music events statistically happens to women most, but that's not to say we're not supporting any survivor. We want to make sure we're doing everything we can to include everyone


Beyond venues and gigs, Bea highlights the disparities that exist in music festival lineups - 2022 stats showed only 13% of headliners were female. For Girls Against they are working to prove how possible it is to change these repetitive cycles of biased decision-making. From the conversations they host on and offline to their physical presence at venues and festivals, they are changing the way women are marginalised within the industry. This has extended to Bea's personal work as a music events and artist manager. She tells us how "Being a woman in the music industry feels very Sassy because people don't expect it of you." This has been exaggerated due to Bea's young age.



As we look forward to seeing the continual changes that Girls Against are part of activating, we second the opinions of Bea - that more awareness of how misogynistic behaviour exists and the encouragement for people to call out bad behaviour in the moment. In this way not only will individuals be protected, but the general safety of venues and spaces is enhanced for far more uplifting musical experiences.



Bea's Quickfire


When do you feel most confident?


When I'm surrounded by my friends and people I love


What key experience has shaped you positively?


Setting up Girls Against and that two-day period of intense social media following


One dream you wish to come true?


Owning my own space - somewhere safe that you walk in and feel comfortable, where the music and atmosphere is fun and intimate.


One cause that's close to our heart?


Making sexual violence at music events a registered criminal offense.


What's the best thing about being you?


My fringe! Joking, I think it's that I feel very passionately about things.


Name you Sassy tracklist


Somebody - Dream Wife

Hind - Garden

Big Joanie - Fall Asleep

Lady Gaga - Marry the night

Love Loba - Girlfriend


 

Be sure to check out Girls Against on their website or via IG @girls.against


Interview and portraits by Bx Sassy


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