As you may have seen ‘gender’ is a hot topic in the media at the moment. A Canadian baby has been issued a birth certificate without a gender specified, various major organisations are producing gender neutral products and some schools are now having gender neutral uniform. So is this the way we’re heading or is it a storm in a tea cup? Is anyone going the gender-neutral route in their event communications such as in event registration?
Only this week I read about a female-only festival being planned in Sweden. It’s being staged because of the increase in sexual assaults on women at festivals. However, it’s sparked an outcry over how it would handle transgender or gender-fluid individuals. It’s a mine field!
Gosh! Totally. Bad that assaults on women has prompted this but if you’re being inclusive with gender-fluid/transgender (which I’m not saying is wrong) then anyone potentially up to no good can dress as a woman for the night and gain access anyway. More regulation of festivals and more security might be a better approach. Normally I love the inclusivity of festivals with everyone coming together to enjoy them so it’s sad to hear about this. Are sexual assaults a significant problem at UK festivals? (Obviously one assault is too many!!)
I don’t know about UK stats but it’s certainly a problem in Canada. A study by Montreal Women’s Council found that 56% of women who attend festivals said they had been sexually harassed.
A number of the big festivals are now deploying ‘Hirondelles’ — a trained safety team to roam the festivals and look for anyone in need of assistance. Seems like a better way to tackle it than resorting to single-sex events!