“Sexual harassment, assault, and rape can no longer be accepted.”
Techno DJ and producer Rebekah is igniting change in the dance music industry by launching a campaign against sexual harassment and assault. Her “#ForTheMusic” initiative was created in light of recent allegations against a number of people in the industry following the death of Erick Morillo.
In an open letter she posted to change.org, Rebekah shared the meaning behind the campaign name. “I love music and the long nights and the things that come with it are something that I know I signed up for,” she wrote. “But tonight, I want you to know that when I put my dancing shoes on, I’m doing it #ForTheMusic and nothing more.”
“I say this because it isn’t the first time I’ve hit the decks and had to face sexism as I play my set,” she continued. “I say this because it isn’t the first time I’ve had to dodge through the wandering hands in the artist area which insist on systematically trying to visit unconsenting places across my body as I do nothing more than try to finish my shift with grace. I say this because its isn’t the first time I have heard girls from my country are easy. I say this because it isn’t the first time I’ve been told to submit or never work in this industry again. I say this because it isn’t the first time I’ve tried to tell the bouncer that as I dance away to that night’s entertainment the guy behind me who I’ve had to say no to four times now, is following me out the venue and eventually home.”
In the open letter, Rebekah went on to expound her thoughts on the music industry and how many depend on it because it’s supposed to represent a safe space. “Music was born from the desire for a safe space. A place for freedom, for love, for artistic expression. A place that stood for something. In music, we found purpose, a higher calling. But somehow along the way, through our journey we let DJs become Gods and suddenly they stopped becoming accountable for their actions.”
“We can no longer excuse the behavior of high profile artists because they are high profile anymore. That is corruption,” the letter continues. “Sexual harassment, assault, and rape can no longer be accepted. Not in our culture, not in our places of work, not inside our venues, festivals, or after parties. And if for a moment my friend you think that you are not as responsible as I or any other to combat this and protect your friends, myself, or each other, then you are definitely no friend of music.”
Rebekah is also calling on all dance music companies to sign up and pledge the following:
• Ensure that artists, employees, and audiences are protected against sexual harassment.
• Guarantee employees of the industry a safe workplace.
• Demand artists and performers to end the culture of silence, be allies, and to speak out when they witness sexual harassment happening.
• Hold clubs accountable for ensuring a safe space for performers, employees, and audiences free from sexual harassment.
You can sign Rebekah’s open letter here and see her announcement via Instagram below.