30 Under 30: Girls AgainstWritten by The Young Women's Movement
It’s Saturday night, your favourite band is in town (finally) and you have been looking forward to this show for weeks. You’re with your squad, you’re feeling your look, the band is on fire – this is going to be great.
NO MORE say Girls Against (cue standing ovation from us!)!
Back in October, Hannah Camilleri, Anni Cameron, Anna Cowan, Ava Cadenhead and Bea Bennister, all between the ages of 15 and 18, decided they were plenty sick of the widespread issue of groping at gigs after Hannah had a horrible experience at a Peace gig in Glasgow.
‘Gigs are a place of acceptance, a place to be yourself. No one should feel as though a part of them is not wanted in any situation, but especially at a gig. You and everyone else there have one thing in common – the music – and that should be all that matters.’ – Hannah
In a classic display of girls being completely kickass, these five intersectional feminist teens took a tweet and ran with it, launching a movement against sexual harassment at gigs that has grown to nearly 14,000 supporters and gathered the support of bands, festivals, and venues across the country.
Anna told NME that ‘many [people] who didn’t [take the issue of groping at gigs seriously] before are starting to,’ and they’re taking that as a great starting point to go further.
‘Ultimately, we would love to collaborate with security companies and festivals across the country. We want to make sure that learning to spot and deal with sexual harassment is a mandatory part of training and that security guards become more approachable.’ – Anna
And they’re already starting to see that happen. The group started with a focus on raising awareness (if you were on the internet in November you know they succeeded on that score). Now, they told blogger Letithappen in a recent interview, they have seen festivals and music venues approach them, and the security company SecuriGroup (who were working the Peace gig where Hannah was assaulted) have introduced additional training to deal with the issue of sexual harassment at gigs.
YES TO THIS. All of this.
Their badges went up for sale three months ago and sold like hotcakes (we can’t wait until they’re back in stock), and they recently accepted applications for Girls Against representatives around the country and internationally. That’s right, they’re taking this around the world!
Of course, it wouldn’t be an internet movement if there weren’t the inevitable knockback, but we are in LOVE with their response to haters, which Anna revealed to The Independent:
‘We have received a bit of backlash. To be honest, we find most of it quite funny. We just brush it off and laugh at it because the people who are tweeting us calling us names and things like that are just looking for attention and we’re not going to give them it.’ – Anna
ALL of the applause (and support) from us!
You can keep up with Girls Against on their Tumblr, their Facebook page, their Instagram account, their YouTube channel OR their Twitter (@girlsagainst), and you totally should, because this is going to be big!