On Tuesday, an open letter by women working in the Australian music industry detailing instances of sexual harassment and assault was released via The Industry Observer.
The letter signifies the commencement of a campaign entitled #meNOmore and credits a similar approach recently taken by the Swedish music industry as inspiration.
Signed by over 360 women, the letter includes detailed accounts of discrimination, violence and "the general menace of sexist jargon" by men of the music industry. The unnamed perpetrators include musicians, managers and booking agents, while the victims in many of the terstimonies are junior employees starting out in the industry.
"One male manager would come into our offices to have meetings with my bosses, whilst sending me text messages about 'meeting up in the supply closet to make out' once the meeting was done," starts just one of the many harrowing stories featured, continuing with details of the escalation that led to an instance where he "snapchatted me a totally unsolicited nude picture of himself." The account also includes a sense of protection-via-power prevalent across many of the stories, concluding by saying that the accused was "comfortable in the fact we were 'close' and that his position of power with a band we represent would keep him safe."
The letter states that the aim of the campaign is to "give a voice to these issues and demand zero tolerance for sexual harassment, violence, objectification and sexist behaviours", stating that the primary beneficiaries of their actions are the "future workers of the Australian music industry" and that they "will continue to fight together so that one day, we can all work safely in a respectful, inclusive and supportive industry."
The signees also state that is just the start of their campaign, that they "have listened to our friends. We have names of perpetrators. We know the same names that are repeated in unrelated circles. It saddens us that the people who hold us in fear and keep us silenced are people we work with, people who many of us have aspired to work under, and people who some of us have known as friends. These people need to be held accountable." Alongside which, the letter calls on men within the industry to "be kind, listen and act if you know of something happening", adding that in addition to being a "vital part of this conversation", they also need to take inspiration from the bravery shown by those coming forward here and "stand beside us and call out those who let us all down and who hurt our friends."
At time of print, the letter had received over 500 signatures of support, including those of Tina Arena, Courtney Barnett, Jen Cloher, Missy Higgins, The Preatures' Isabella Manfredi, Thelma Plum, Mahalia Barnes, Sarah Blasko and The Veronicas. The webpage hosting the letter is also calling on submissions of similar stories, all protected with confidentiality.