Shawna Potter, writing at Noisey:
I wish I could laugh it off with some clever joke, like “the Dickies are just boys who are as immature as their name,” but they’re not boys, they’re not immature; they are grown men. And the grown-man lead singer of the Dickies had such a problem with one single woman holding a protest sign during their set (not a group of friends, as he reported), that he threw a tantrum about it.
The anger that erupted in Phillips is always under the surface of men like this, even beneath their onstage characters. They do not like being challenged in any way, especially by women. And they definitely don’t equate their right to free speech with anyone else’s. In fact, they see others’ right to free speech as an affront to their own, and in this case, one to be met with anger and hate. That’s not punk.
This incident highlights one of the often overlooked problems the music industry in general has been plagued with. While recent controversies at Warped have typically revolved around young male performers in their early 20s engaging in predatory behavior, there is a subset of older men, waving the “punk/rock/metal means free speech” flag as an excuse to put others at risk. This seems to always get shrugged off because they’re elder statesmen of the genre and are connected to the right people. But how do you suppose they got that far? At one point they were all young men pushing the limits of what they could get away with, a cycle that repeats itself each time their friends turn a blind eye and victims are silenced or belittled because someone really liked that one song they wrote.
That’s why it’s so important that we call out bad behavior when it happens, especially with our friends, no matter what band they’re in.
Shawna Potter, writing for Noisey:
I bet a lot of people imagine the Warped Tour as a sea of white men (dude-bros to be more specific), endlessly combing their hair in front of their eyes or pounding beers or texting underage girls and sometimes playing music. That’s harsh, I know, and thank goodness it’s not really like that. Not totally. But for every kernel of truth in that stereotype, our band is happy to offer a true alternative, to talk and sing about reproductive justice, trans rights, and rape culture.