Swedish feminist Emma Knyckare has an answer to the rising number of sex assaults at Swedish music festivals: organise events where men aren’t allowed to attend.
Ms Knyckare says she is organising a new outdoor music festival for women by women in which men will not be allowed to participate Swedish broadcaster SVT reports. The proposed women-only rock festival already has a number of backers and people willing to support it she claims.
“There are very many who want to help. Everything from project managers, festival organisers, cleaners, nurses and musicians,” Knyckare said.
Ms Knyckare, who is known in Sweden as a comedian and radio personality, said she wants to create a festival atmosphere where women feel safe.
“It was an idea I had for all those men who rape at festivals … this was a solution,” she said. The solution to Sweden’s music festival sex assault problem, according to Knyckare, is to simply ban men from attending the event. She also said men would be banned from performing at the festival as well.
Asked if she thought it was important to have equality, Knyckare said that the safety of women was more important. “I think more that there should be a place where half the population can go and feel safe,” she said.
It is unlikely that men will ever be allowed to attend Knyckare’s festival in the future either. When asked if men could ever potentially attend she said, “yes if they stop raping.”
Sex attacks plagued Swedish music festivals last year as many men often described as having a “foreign origin,” molested and raped girls who were often underage.
The trend continued year at the Bravalla Festival last week as more and more reports came out from girls who claimed to have been assaulted and raped. The sex assaults ultimately led to the organisers of Bravalla to cancel next year’s festival.
Knyckare, on the other hand, is hopeful that her unnamed festival will be organised by 2018. “The work is really in the planning stage and the first step will be to start an organisation that can operate a rock festival in 2018,” she said.
“The dream scenario is that you could put together a festival that will last for many years and it becomes a classic feature on the festival stage where you can feel welcome and safe as a girl.”
The plan follows many other Feminist ideas enacted in Sweden, some of which have not gone as planned like the “gender-equal” approach to snow ploughing. The policy cleared walking paths ahead of major roads leaving traffic at a standstill in Stockholm last winter.