Below is a thread that I copied from a Facebook event page for show that will be happening at The Ruby Room in Hillcrest, San Diego, this Friday. The line up is: Ghetto Blaster, Innerds, Batwings,Therapist and Dj set by The Office Twins (FB event page). The reason that I posted the entire comment thread here is because of the content. An extremely sensitive issue has been brought up: rape. There are two people who are accusing a band called “Therapist” of supporting rape and rape culture because of the name of their band. Front woman Suz told me personally, the name is intended to be a play on words and should make you think twice! So with that being said the obvious objective here is raising awareness of rape. Talking about such issues is vital to our society as a collective being. Let’s share information to help each other understand more about our own culture, as well as others.
Megan, I hope that your struggle to communicate leads you to better ways of trying to make a point. Nobody involved with this show supports rape or rape culture, accusing people is mean and will only leave you running around in circles. It seems to me that you are back-peddling the issue by handling your communication in this way. I don’t know you personally, so I can’t speak earnestly of your character other than what you have shared with us in this discussion. And so in your own words “liking certain shit like bell hooks, le tigre, the slits, etc doesn’t make you a feminist. obviously we have to look at the internalized sexism within ourselves!” Yeah you’re right! Let’s look at ourselves and let’s look at the bigger picture! My question to you Megan is, why are you attacking people, you’re an emotional terrorist!
I always support my friends, I love their art and it saddens me to think that you (Megan and Jina) actually think that we as a group would ever support something so horrible. So, thank you for your opinion and thank you for sharing the links that you did. Since you are not friends with those of us who responded to your post I would like you to know that we have re-posted your link in order to share information.
Below is the conversation. I welcome further discussion, positive feedback or information.
Megan Moreno: silence by deletion? why not leave this up? even if your name isn’t associated, what issue do you have with this information being shared?! Shakesville: Rape Culture 101
Heather Brosché: is this your blog?
Megan Moreno: no, definitely not my blog–never claimed it was. just wondering why someone would want to delete the previous comments–especially when they were encouraging a dialogue. all “dance-punk” and no meaning whatsoever behind the representations? if so, that makes a lot of sense. i guess i was expecting a little more thought process.
Bobby Bray: hum. so it seems the band name you have a question about is Therapist (as in therapy). It is interesting that that particular word contains a thought provoking pun. weather it is intended by the band or the English language itself im not sure. in either case, intentionally or unintentionally shedding light on such a subject is hardly propagating rape culture if that is what you are implying. If you know anyone involved with this show you would have to be pretty naive to think that we are collectively saying that rape or rape culture is cool. but a band name like Innerds definitely is questionable!
Jina Ayres: http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/227691_10150178963431645_19538371644_7007131_6884683_n.jpg that says THErapist. are you going to argue that it doesnt? i know you will. because this is just an argument to you to wash your hand…s of silently supporting (now openly supporting) them as a band and their representation. if they are therapist, and not THErapist, shouldnt it be their responsibility to ensure that the messages they put out are not misconstrued? and the posts with my initial questions were deleted. not sure by whom, but obviously you are trying to control your audience and how they can and cannot respond. AND THIS IS BESIDES THE FACT THAT THEY CHANGED THEIR NAME FROM “THErapist” to “therapist.”
Jina Ayres: “THErapist are ready do dance. A nostalgic resonating hi hat beat and screaming women are always right up my alley!”
Jina Ayres: And,”so it seems the band name you have a question about is Therapist (as in therapy). It is interesting that that particular word contains a thought provoking pun” totally makes sense. you know, misinterpreting therapist as TheRapist is much more harmful than a “thought provoking pun”. this obviously shows how entrenched into rape culture you really are.
Heather Brosché: First off, you two girls are totally ridiculous! If you are going to quote my words, perhaps you should question the word MONSTERPUSSY and where it comes from!! (since I am sure you don’t know, it’s a reference to The Vaselines). I am a feminist and I am always ready to talk openly about such sensitive issues as rape. If you had taken the time to read the rest of my blog perhaps you might come to a different conclusion?! I am not sure who deleted the first post you made, which I responded to but instead of placing judgment on people you might want to listen to the music that is their art and is an example of their own expression as a band! If you’re so curious and upset, then why don’t you message the band directly to get a first hand response? Nobody involved with this show promotes or rape or rape culture! Art should provoke thoughts and raise questions, at least you’re paying attention to what’s happening but it seems to me that you are most certainly misinterpreting and missing the point all together! Open your eyes and look at the other things that everyone involved with this event promote! I personally take offense to you two girls, who are over looking the obvious! So quit blaming people for things that are not true!
Carlos Quintero: Fuck yeah Heather! Keep it real homegirl! Those girls OBVIOUSLY don’t know AT ALL what the bands or show is all about. We should put them on the door list so that they can come out and see what it’s all about. Shit! I guess I can’t listen to Nirvana’s song “Rape Me” out loud on my boom box.
Megan Moreno: liking certain shit like bell hooks, le tigre, the slits, etc doesn’t make you a feminist. obviously we have to look at the internalized sexism within ourselves! “Nobody involved with this show promotes or rape or rape culture!” what’s in a name? check out the myspace.
and sure you can listen to “rape me” by nirvana. but what are you getting out of it? are you analyzing or evaluating the messages? or are you just bumpin’ tunes cos “nirvana rules”. i’m sure he wrote that song with intent, dude.
this is the point! what the hell are we absorbing if there’s no thought behind it. but if you just want to promote your show, go ahead.
i like how you called us girls, too. talk about sexist language. “those girls” just continues to belittle the value of our statements.
in all honesty, i’m not trying to police your event. just trying to figure out what you’re promoting. why are we insisting that their name is therapist, when it hasn’t always been? and heather, as a feminist, how do you read this promo? wha…t’s going on here? these images are saying something. and how am i not supposed to remember their name was originally THErapist (or maybe still is, according to some fliers) when i see this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SKM5HrcMgc
Heather Brosché: well, ladies, I will definatly not call you GRRRLs cause you missed the fucking point all together. As for Kurt Cobain are you aware that he dated Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill?! Are you implying he wrote that song cause he enjoyed raping… women? What about the track “Moist Vagina” or maybe you you should take a long hard look at the cover of In Utero! Subversiveness within art is very important, unfortunatly Megan and Jina you seem to be continously missing the main ideas. Yes I am a post-wave feminist and yes I like Bell Hooks, her writing changed my life! Your rudeness and criticism of other people’s art only shows your lack of understanding for those who are actually trying to make something happen. Yes we like to promote our friends, because we have the intention of love and understanding!!! We like to share positive energy! Unlike you two who are ready to pounce on politics that you are completely unaware of!
Megan Moreno: “and sure you can listen to ‘rape me’ by nirvana. but what are you getting out of it? are you analyzing or evaluating the messages? or are you just bumpin’ tunes cos ‘nirvana rules’. i’m sure he wrote that song with intent, dude.” reread i…t, heather. i know my oly/DIY/riot-grrrl culture, too. i never claimed i knew his intent, either. i’m just saying he had a thought process behind his art, which you guys are fighting against. where is the thought process?!?! we’re open to listening! again, as a feminist, what does that video promote to you? why can’t we discuss this part of it? bell hooks talks about cultural criticism and TRANSFORMATION. “we have the intention of love and understanding!” what’s backing that intention? i’m curious. intent only takes you so far.
Bobby Bray: JIna, so it is true THErapist is in fact the way the band represents themselves, thank you for the clarification, sincerely. So now it is beyond obviously that they MEANT it as a pun to provoke thought! The “thought process” behind choosing that band name is that they knew it would evoke a thought process in whoever saw the name written like that. 1. it touches on a subject which people ignore and/or don’t like to talk about (as is mentioned in the link Megan provided above) – forcing people to think about it. 2. makes people wonder what they meant by the name (do they support rape and are they that open about their support that they would even call their band that? – damn, i better do something to stop this). perhaps it seems ridiculous to some but again as the link above points out, there are questionable aspects of contemporary western culture that may actually lead to a person growing up in such an environment that they may actually really call their band the rapist and be pro-rape. so you took the bait. 3. it simultaneously questions the field of psychology as a practice (alluding to the pharmaceutical industry – financially raping our society) and the situation that rape can lead to therapy but still doesn’t necessarily resolve the problem. The band title points out a dark irony hidden in plain sight, in the English language. i hope this helps your concern Megan that there wasn’t much thought put into it, as that is a serious problem in our world. it ought to be said that equal thought should be put into accusations of character.
Micha Cardenas: Hi everybody. Okay, lets just admit that online communication is shitty for having any serious conversation and evaluating tone and intent. And only knowing heather I know that she’s fucking committed to feminism, and I’ll take your word for it megan that you are, based on what you wrote here. So I think we can all agree that we’re against rape culture and are working against it, I know I am. So what’s the band’s name, is it THErapist? They have a post on their fb page that still spells it like that. Well there’s a woman singer in the band, and the band is amazing. So why is that their name? Maybe their name is actually pointing to rape culture itself, saying with their pun that a therapist is a rapist? That’s how I read it. But I do think that youtube video for somebody’s birthday party has a fucked up, misogynist ending. I’m so grateful to you megan for posting the rape culture link and to everyone for having this important discussion, because we need more people talking about how our culture is a rape culture.
Micha Cardenas: bobby beat me to it, and was more eloquent. from that brilliant rape culture link you sent that i’m going to share with everyone i can: “Rape culture is people meant to protect you raping you instead—like parents, teachers, doctors, ministers, cops, soldiers, self-defense instructors.”
Carlos Quintero: Talk about show hype! It looks like you have to be EXTREMELY careful what band name you choose. It’s just a band name, it’s just music. Why is everyone wasting their time. I respect everyone’s opinion, but does this really have to go on and on? And Megan, if you knew how and with who I grew up around. You would find out that I am very ANTI-SEXIST. If you don’t like any of the bands or band names, than just don’t go to the shows or just ignore the show invites. That’s all.
Megan Moreno: From bell hooks’ _Feminism is for Everybody_: “Feminists are made, not born. One does not become an advocate of feminist politics simply by having the privilege of having been born female. Like all political positions one becomes a believer… in feminist politics through choice and ACTION [my emphasis]… Before women could change patriarchy we had to change ourselves; we had to raise our consciousness… A male who has divested of male privilege, who has embraced feminist politics, is a worthy comrade in struggle, in no way a threat to feminism, whereas a female who remains wedded to sexist thinking and behavior infiltrating feminist movement is a dangerous threat. Significantly, the more powerful intervention made by consciousness-raising groups was the demand that all females confront their internalized sexism, their allegiance to patriarchal thinking and action, and their commitment to feminist conversion. That intervention is still needed. It remains the necessary step for anyone choosing feminist politics. The enemy within must be transformed before we can confront the enemy outside. The threat, the enemy, is sexist thought and behavior. As long as females take up the banner of feminist politics without addressing and transforming their own sexism, ultimately the movement will be undermined.”
Martha Galvez: First of all the bands name is Therapists not THErapist.. they cant control how other people write out their name they WERE THErapist but have now changed their name so that is why SOME people still write their name that way second of all who cares what their name is..why dont you listen to their music and lyrics..and if you hear anything about raping or supporting rape than you can come back hear adn blab your mouth. Third of all that video you are talkin about was not made by therapists. it was made for an event that they happen to play in so you should go talk to whoever made that video not the band.
And your post was deleted because this is a page about an even t they are playin in, not a blog about your feelings on feminism or rape or whatever. this is about music and bands. and to even suggest that Anthony or Luis or Suzy support rape or violence is ridiculous. Look at the big picture which is the music and WHO they are not what you think their band name is
Anthony Skeeter: correcto bobby!, and amen to carlos! its just a band name and its music get over it
Anthony Skeeter: Yeah martha is right. This is an event page for MUSIC and BANDS
Megan Moreno: ”its just a band name and its music get over it” all along i was right to assume the lack of cognitive skill or critical inquiry behind the music. there’s obviously nothing behind the name. it exists in a vacuum to you. i have to remember music is only music–it has no real relevance. clearly. so then, what’s your point? your point is you don’t have to have a point? okay. i can understand that. makes so much sense.
Juan Sebastian Ulloa: Hi Megan, I’m sorry you took offense to the band’s name. I’m not apologizing for what I do happen to personally believe may not have a been a very well thought out name (I won’t speak on behalf of them, so I don’t know, we haven’t really asked them), but sure, shame on us all for not criticizing them more, or having given them any undeserved benefits of doubt. There are currently 12 administrators of this event, so anyone of them could have deleted any comments. I can only speak for myself as a member of a different band and admin of the event that I didn’t delete anything. I unfortunately never got to read them. I do have the coincidental advantage of having met some of the band members before the band was formed, which gives me some added perspective, at least in my own defense for not attacking them over it. Maybe you’d be right to suspect that there was not a lot of thought put into the name (and sorry to throw you under the proverbial bus here, but saying “it’s just a name” isn’t the most sensitive response you could have given). However, to go insofar as to accuse anyone else of supporting rape is a stretch, attacking people’s cred as feminists, or to equivocate that kind of ignorance to the rest of the people involved in the event is a whole different beast. I’m not going to lie, the capitalization of the THE has always made me uncomfortable, but I think that was the point.** Also Jina, I understand where you are coming from, but to imply that so much was done with ill intention by other people is also a bit of a stretch. So, maybe just be more directed with your comments. Megan, I recognize you from the Valley, and I’m curious as to why you chose this as a forum for this discussion. I am curious about whether or not you are sort of playing the part here, because you seem to have looked into it, you seem to have done your homework. You are friends with my younger brother. I also see that you are friends with Mario Espinoza who is very close personal friends Tony Deville who I can see posted the video that you conveniently found and used to evidence the (whether internalized or not) rape culture. I’m only curious about whether or not you’ve confronted him about his support-of-rape-by-association like you’ve done here. I understand why you might have a problem with the name, but to actually believe that the female that fronts the band would knowingly support rape culture, or that anyone else involved with the event is, is something that someone like yourself who obviously possesses cognitive skill and critical inquiry could have sorted that much out without having to be as deconstructive to your own argument by making generalizations or insults. “One does not become an advocate of feminist politics simply by having the privilege of having been born female,” nor does one lack the ability to become an advocate of feminist politics simply by lacking the privilege of being born female, or not having read the right books. Just be careful about equivocating what’s going on here as tolerance, support of, or complacence for any and all forms of rape. You have accomplished creating a dialogue. Maybe you are right in thinking that sometimes people need to be educated or awakened to the internalized sexism within ourselves, but there are more constructive ways to do it, and maybe slightly more appropriate forums. If you still feel strongly about our lack of awareness or sensitivity to the issues at hand, then you should boycott the show and stay home, though I don’t think you live in San Diego. You’d be missing an amazing show if you did! I would like to think that collectively we are all much more open minded, sensitive, and understanding people than we could be made out to be.
Juan Sebastian Ulloa: Congrats if you made it through the whole thing! Hahahaha
Megan Moreno: if anything, all of you defending this band makes this event look quite suspicious. did you read what that anthony dude wrote? he spoke for himself; he defended his band. he said NOTHING! he stands for NOTHING! I don’t care who made the vid…eo. it scared the hell outta me–pugilistic eroticism as the promo–wtf?! i just can’t believe all those bands allowed their name to be attached to it, especially after viewing said video. are you still down with your band’s name being on that vid? that’s something you’re also representing. a little mind-boggling there. Having a woman in the band means nothing, especially when she hasn’t even spoken up to clear the air. The only person who has defended this band–who is actually a member of the band–lies about the name’s origins (which is sketchy as hell–why lie?) and then says, “get over it.” I repeat, having a woman in the band means nothing to your argument. It just means she also doesn’t understand. If you people were really concerned about your alleged promotion of rape culture, shouldn’t have you wanted to find out how we and others might be questioning your intent. Instead you people get incredibly defensive when you’re questioned. I came off angry because I was. I’m tired of seeing imagery like that that goes unnoticed! I don’t understand why this discussion is out of place, anyway. this is the discussion that never happened in the first place, since you weren’t curious enough to find out. in any case, why did we become enemies here? “I would like to think that collectively we are all much more open minded, sensitive, and understanding people than we could be made out to be.” if you guys actually spoke up about the name to the band and got some information (if it made you uncomfortable–why did it make you uncomfortable?(maybe that’s the bigger question to ask)), maybe we wouldn’t be here. someone could have just written, “Oh, yeah the band name doesn’t really mean anything. These people aren’t thinking about what they’re creating. It’s just music.” I would have been disappointed, but it would have saved a lot of typing.
Juan Sebastian Ulloa: I was defending myself. That is not my band’s name was not on that video. I did read what he wrote and commented on it. The point of my last message was to point out the difference between using activism as an opportunity to educate (which would be your role in this situation seeing as how you are clearly the most educated on the subject) vs activism as a vehicle for attack. I don’t want to be your enemy. I don’t think I am. If it’s only your disappointment that’s at stake, why stop there. Let’s be clear about your intentions. Do you intend to villify everyone involved, or do you wish to provoke thought and consideration and to change things. No one like to be talked to like they do not, can not, or will not understand your. Maybe something like this…
Dear Therapist, my friend Megan has brought to public light something disturbing about your band name that maybe not enough people have been up front about that it is time to address. We have assumed that a reference to rape in the name was in fact intentional. In several cases the THE has been capitalized so as to clearly separate the word RAPIST. Do you understand how that could be seen as careless if there was not any deeper intention beyond throwing around a controversial word like rape?
I assumed that you intended to make an association between a therapist being a rapist in a non-literal sense, but even that has some negative effects associated with it. Was your intention simply to be controversial? Or, is there something more thoughtful behind the choice of name?
I’ve always told my bandmates that band names are chosen to be forgotten, however, some things are harder to ignore. I’m assuming that Megan, and myself, both believe that the problem goes beyond rape apologists and victim blamers, and that we live in a culture in which rape is not taken seriously. For example, when someone refers to a sound victory in sports as the other team having been “raped.” it demeans the seriousness of the crime that destroys lives and families. Some of my friends have been affected first hand by this unforgivable act of violence. The problem is that rape isn’t something that we should joke about, or even refer to as something less heinous. This is part of what Megan was referring to as “rape culture.” If you hadn’t considered this before, I beg you to now.
I’d also like to point out the video that was made to promote a party that you played. When my friend Megan watched she was appalled especially by the violent act at the end. Now, again Megan’s concern over the video probably has root in her concern that when people take lightly depictions of violence against women, they are demeaning the seriousness of actual violence against women. If you hadn’t taken any of that into consideration, I beg you to now. The ability for people to support you as a artists could be at stake here. I know this is something you should take seriously. Sincerely Juan Sebastian Ulloa.
Gordon Downs: I’m totally going to this show as a result of this rape thread.
My favorite show on BET was, “Rape City: The Basement.”
Larry Stage: what is so ‘suspicious’ about this event? do we have some sort of hidden agenda? Is this a rape promotion party? We were asked to play a show, and said yes. Just because one band out of five has a controversial name does not imply that ever…yone promoting or attending the show advocates rape. I get what you are saying, but who really supports rape? especially in the art/music community? do you really believe in your heart that that is our intention here? I have too many friends and loved ones who are victims of rape to just sit back here and be accused of supporting something so sickening and horrible. yes, their name makes me uncomfortable too. maybe that was their intention. Maybe the name does exist in a vacuum. Who knows, only the band can really tell you. I guess it is their bad for not clarifying anything to you, but then again, have you talked to them? I am not here to defend them, or tell you I support their band name, because I know exactly where you are coming from in that respect. I never would have named my band that, but like Seb, I am defending myself. it is unfair to lump all of us into some sort of rape culture support group. When you accuse people of things that aren’t true, it weakens your argument, no matter what you are trying to say. No one here has accused you of anything, yet you sit there behind your keyboard and tell us all how wrong we all are, when you obviously don’t know a thing about any of us. What about bands that really have misogynistic lyrics? Are you putting as much effort scrutinizing them as you are with this dance-punk band from Calexico? Please, no one wants to fight here, and no one here supports rape. It is obvious you have beef with THErapist, so why call everyone else out on it? why the hostility? Maybe you should take action and be talking to the band directly. That would be a lot braver than using this forum. ♥
Bryan Oczkowski: I’m boycotting the killers, not because they suck, but because they support murder culture
Jina Ayres: this is not just an argument in the sake of arguing. it also isnt something to dismiss and laugh at in solidarity. women are affected by sexualized violence constantly. “Boys and men rape girls and women somewhere in the United States every… 2 minutes.” (“2000 National Crime Victimization Survey.) the jokes lessen the seriousness of rape and normalize it. rape survivors often develop PTSD. those jokes have more of an effect than you think.
Bryan Oczkowski: actually and unfortunately, I’m starting to feel like it is becoming an argument just for the sake of arguing. I think it’s become obviously that the people involved with this show don’t support rape or “rape culture” and have our own ideas… about what’s an acceptable way of preventing rape ignorance. They may differ from yours, that’s fine, but don’t accuse us(being those involved in this show) of rape ignorance. The statistics you posted are irrelevant(And you forgot the statistics of how often men are raped, you sexist(see how does it feel?)), one or a million victims, it’s fucked up and i think we all agree, so what’s left to argue about? i’m sure you’ll find something..
Heather Brosché: http://monsterpussy.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/3722/
Heather Brosché: I copied everyone’s comment as documentation and I am open to continue this conversation about an important topic, even after the show is over, click on the link above if you are interested.
Anthony Skeeter: megan, you are the one who started with the accusations, Therapist has always been Therapist (as in therapy not rape) we don’t support rape or violence agaisnt anyone who would!,and as bobby was saying yes we put” THE ” in intent to make yo…u think what you want to think,show you the irony in the english language.We never made any jokes about people getting rape,or wrote any lyrics about rape .I think my band mates didn’t reply cuz this is just an argument that would keep going on and on, like i said WE DON’T SUPPORT RAPE OR VIOLENCE.It would have been easier for you to just send us and email and one of us would have replied to you ,you didn’t have to attack everyone else ,i hope you got your answer ,Cheers!
Megan Moreno: i can acknowledge how my intense tone may have bummed some of you out–understandable since you guys are trying to put a show on. with that being said, i can also acknowledge the immediate dismissal of my questions. that immediate dismissal… felt scary and unwarranted. these questions from jina and i were aimed at Therapist specifically, but as more entered the discussion it became an US vs THEM (in our opinion). everyone came to Therapist’s defense seemingly without much information. i asked more questions. again, maybe not the best option for this forum, like you purport. but collectively, might we acknowledge that this discussion has brought on a new awareness of how and why we choose to represent ourselves as such? hopefully we can start thinking about how these messages we’re spreading–intentional and unintentional–might be affecting our current culture. Anthony, you say you added THErapist with the “intent to make you think what you want to think,show you the irony in the english language.” okay, but what more than that? if you allegedly do not support rape or violence against women, what are you doing to stop it? i think we can all agree that this hyper-sexual/violent constructed version of masculinity we continue to uphold is damaging to both men and women. we need to find ways to combat these dangerous narratives that we find so often in popular culture, which is why i was questioning your intent. it was unclear. now i know where you stand. hopefully we can learn to better communicate and analyze the images and messages we’re absorbing.
Leo Jiménez: Sweet Jeebus!
Micha Cardenas: Does anyone notice how much this whole discussion has a victim blaming trend?
Micha Cardenas: It’s upsetting to me that more people are not supportive of people being willing to call other people out and question them. If we have a music and art culture that is unwilling to answer questions about your intentions and politics and is …just going to aggressively silence and ridicule women who say they are upset by your band name, then what kind of culture is that? And as for the person who said that no one in our music and art culture supports rape, I think that’s an oversimplification, especially in two hugely male dominated fields like punk music and art. The question is not whether or not we all silently support or don’t support rape. The question I have is, given that we live in a culture that supports rape and silences victims, and I believe that we do, WHAT ARE WE DOING TO STOP IT?! I’m so grateful to the artists and organizers of last night’s Makeout Weird event that included anti-rape artwork and had a statement about it on the wall, helping to break the silence that so many of us are expected to keep. And I don’t buy the argument that anything is JUST music and bands, all of these things are political. Promoting shows is political. Making music is political, and if you’re choosing not to talk about some political issue that’s a political stance. And above all creating space, which is what organizing these events is about, is hugely political. Who feels welcome, supported and safe at your events? That’s a huge question to think about.