This week video surfaced from a performance by punk band Story So Far in Toronto, in which the singer, Parker Cannon, violently kicked a young fan off of the stage. The response online so far has been overwhelmingly critical, with many pointing to a history of other violent acts from the singer, and the band’s often borderline misogynistic lyrics.
One observer, Caitlin D., who goes by the name @DontMessWithATX has taken things a step further, designing a t-shirt that turns the popular pop punk slogan on its head. I asked her about it. You can purchase one here, and the proceeds, she says, will go to Planned Parenthood in Austin, where she lives.
What motivated you to throw this project together?
I’m sick of pop punk dudes like The Story So Far continually acting in such an entitled way, towards everyone. I’ve spent too many years on the internet watching girls apologize for things they have NO reason to be sorry for, and at one time, I was one of those girls. I’ve recently ended a writing stint with AbsolutePunk, and Property of Zack before that, and even with a platform, you often feel helpless in furthering the message of equality, especially in the music scene. This most recent incident irked me extra-badly (is that a word?) and I figured why the hell not make a t-shirt that’s slightly ridiculous but also proves a point: women need to stop apologizing for harmless actions, and EVERYONE needs to stop defending the actions of pop punk bands who have gotten away with far too much,
What has the reaction been you’ve gotten so far? Are people buying? Supporting?
Reactions have been surprisingly positive. I haven’t gotten any direct hate, which surprises me.
That band has sort of a bad reputation for stuff like this, and for misogynistic lyrics right?
I honestly have never listened to TSSF’s music, mainly because I can only listen to pop-punk produced before 2007 for some reason, and that’s pushing it. I’ve heard nothing but terrible things about them though.
That was sort of an extreme example, but do you think in general the pop punk etc scene is unsafe for women and young girls in particular?
I think the pop punk/punk scenes have a potential to be more unsafe for ALL people attending their shows, but I do think that people should be able to attend a show with a reasonable expectation of safety. The girl in this situation was literally attacked from behind, and regardless of her actions, that isn’t something that should be happening, anywhere. I’ve been to hundreds of pop punk and punk shows and do occasionally feel threatened due to the entitlement of a bunch of pumped up dudes; it’s not always fair. That being said, I do my fair share of getting pumped up and jumping around, but I also look out for every single person around me.