Review: The Plain Dealer

Boys’ Wild Concert Antics Intensify Feminist Beliefs
December 26, 1994, by Elizabeth McAdams

Yes, I consider myself to be “one of those feminists.” It was not until recently that I was able to dismiss the negative connotations associated with the word feminist and actually take pride in being one. After seeing Hole play at the Agora Dec. 2, every one of my feminist beliefs were intensified.

Hole is a pro-woman band fueled by Kurt Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love. Love sings/screams about the misogyny in today’s society and the emotional struggle girls deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Hole played an amazing 90-minute set. As the music became louder and more aggressive, so did the mostly male audience. Punches were thrown, words were said and the violence in the pit increased.

The violence was physical and verbal. Besides lewd remarks, females in the crowd experienced harassment in the form of unsolicited touching and sexual advances.

I figured things couldn’t get much worse, but I was wrong. Hole played a fabulous encore that left the audience full of energy. Love, feeling pumped herself, stage-dove into the pit. The spectators – the same guys who were screaming at Love to strip earlier – managed to tear her clothes off.

Watching this reminded me of a gang-rape. Love, completely dehumanized, vowed never to return to Cleveland. This was an intelligent decision on her part.

The blatant sexism I encountered during the show was the most heinous I have ever witnessed. Women-hating had never left such an extreme impact on me until that night, when I had to deal with it personally and come to terms with my own feelings.

When I talked to people about this, I was told that I was uptight, oversensitive and “asking for it.” I began to feel guilty about what had happened and started to question myself.

Now, in retrospect, I refuse to be held responsible for other’s actions. I was not the one groping, saying hurtful things or degrading someone else. I will not feel remorse for something that I did not do.

If talking about this and expressing how I feel makes me a femi-Nazi, then fine – I am a femi-Nazi.

I was fortunate enough to be with good friends who watched out for me. Because we used the buddy system, we got a lot of hassle. Girl-love seems synonymous to lesbianism in some minds, when in truth it only means girls FOR girls. How someone can guess my sexual preference without knowing me as a person leaves me astonished.

Feminism is not about separatism, or radical change. It is also not about hating men. To me, it simply involves believing in the quality of women, loving every aspect of being a woman and enjoying life. That’s it.

Society’s evils will not be solved overnight, but every person can affect change. We need to look at the internal sexism in all of us before we can decide to do something about it.

The next time someone jumps on a girl for standing up for herself, or makes fun of her for having convictions, remember this is an attack on the ideas that make her what she is. Before we are anything – black, white, straight, gay, girl, boy – we are human.

Perhaps if everyone keeps this in mind, incidents like the Hole concert will not be repeated, and the struggle for equality can come to an end.