The world, she is complicated. Er … make that “the world, xe is complicated.” Masculinity is deemed not only evil these days but toxic. Events are being scheduled that purposely exclude one or another non-protected class — and in the name of inclusivity, yet.
You’d think that in such an antiseptic world, complaints would come only from your enemy. So when Emma Knyckare, a Swedish comedian and radio host, took to Kickstarter to crowd-fund a “Statement Festival” (Let’s make a statement! Let’s make a festival! A Statement Festival!) that would be free of Y chromosomes, she never expected any backlash from within.
The reason for neutering the annual Bråvalla Music Festival, which in the past had included Kanye West, the Killers and other male entertainers, was the growing number of sexual assaults reported during last year’s event.
“Certain men … apparently cannot behave. It’s a shame,” the festival’s organizers said in a statement, according to The Washington Post.
The first thought was to cancel this year’s festival altogether. Then media celebrity Knyckare came up with a better idea, telling the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet:
Since it seems to be OK to discriminate against women all the time, maybe it’s OK to shut out men for three days? I would not exactly call it an abuse not to come to the festival.
Men, she added, should be barred until they had “learned to behave.”
But no sooner had Knyckare promised to “bring together a solid group of talented organisers and project leaders” to help her bring off the world’s first unisex music festival than the plan come under fire from users of Instagram who claimed the policy was discriminatory. But to whom?
The answer: Transgender people.
One user angrily asked whether the ban extended to transgender men — people who are biologically female but identify as male.
Another wrote: “You have previously argued that transgender men know how it is to be vulnerable and oppressed, just like women, and should therefore be welcomed. What do you do with the rest of the men who are vulnerable and oppressed, then?”
The festival has responded by saying that transgender men and cisgender are “equally male” and that it was re-evaluating its gender policy.