The world is (already) sick of fourth wave feminism, but turns a blind eye to concerns that continue to hound women even in the 21st century.
A persistent one is the inability of a section of men to keep their hands and groins to themselves. Most recently, some men exhibited this disease of theirs at the Bravalla music festival in Norrkoeping, Sweden.
Over the course of a weekend, four potential rape cases and 22 incidents of sexual assault were reported to the Swedish police. Bravalla 2016 was no different, with multiple molestation cases being reported and the festival becoming synonymous with crime and violence.
The organizers of Sweden's biggest and most popular music festival, subsequently, took a stand.
After prematurely calling off the event on July 1, Bravalla 2018 stands cancelled.
The organizing company, FKP Scorpio, said, "Words cannot describe how incredibly sad we are about this, and we most seriously regret and condemn this. This is not f**ing okay. We do not accept this at our festival."
After this truly laudable step, comedian and radio show host Emma Knyckare proposed a wonderful idea -
Vad tror ni om att vi styr ihop en asfet festival dit bara icke män är välkomna som vi kör tills ALLA män har lärt sig hur en beter sig?— Emma Knyckare (@Knyckare) July 2, 2017
Translation: What do you think of organizing a really cool festival where only non-men are allowed, that we'll run until ALL men learn to behave themselves?
Her tweet gathered some mixed response, after which Knyckare took to Instagram to confirm that a man-free festival was indeed happening -
Translation: Sweden's first man-free rock festival will see the light next summer. In the coming days I'll bring together a solid group of talented organizers and project leaders to form the festival organizers, then you'll hear from everyone again when it's time to move forward.
We're certain that non-men are cheering this initiative by Knyckare, but the very necessity of such a step reflects a dark truth - 'safe spaces for women' is still a myth.
It is neither a Third World problem, nor a refugee issue. Nor is it simply a product of a certain drug-and-alcohol fuelled "festival culture". Men around the world simply feel entitled enough to gratify themselves with or without a woman's (or a man's, in many cases) consent.
It is heartening that festival organizers, much like FKP Scorpio, are at least taking cognizance of the matter, instead of washing their hands off the crimes entirely. It takes gumption for a firm to condemn rape culture and call off such a grand event - at a significant loss to its own revenue, it goes without saying. Several other music festivals in Europe and the US are also taking steps to ensure the safety of its attendees.
However, no degree of hi-tech surveillance can cure internalized misogyny. Safe public spaces - even private ones - will not become a reality unless men, as the organizers of Bravalla so simply stated, learn to "behave".
Title image: musicfeeds