Someone Shut Screeching Ben Weasel Up

Ben Weasel, singer of famed pop-punk band Screeching Weasel, is an asshole. This has been common knowledge for quite some time now as he has burned bridges with label after label, spouted conservative bullshit via twitter, etc. However, his latest antics are the worst yet – vile misogyny, in the form of both physical and verbal assault.

During his band’s recent set, a woman in the audience started throwing ice at him. Obviously, this is completely rude and inappropriate – however, it does not in any way excuse Ben Weasel’s response. Jack Napier, a punk show promoter in Philadelphia who was present at the show, had this to say via twitter:

Just saw Screeching Weasel at South by Southwest , literally could NOT have had a better view of him punching TWO girls. Wow. Seriously.

Girl threw ice for awhile – he found her and offered $20 to [another] girl to beat her up. Told her to come on stage and suck his dick. Then the spit beer on him, and the video starts there.

Todd Martens, a music journalist for the LA Times, reported that the cops were called, but the women had left so no charges could be pressed that night.

Current and former Screeching Weasel label-mates The Flatliners and Paint it Black have both spoken out against Ben Weasel’s violence.

UPDATE – here is the full video:

At 4:40 in, Ben also says, “Get your skanky, whore ass up here.”

No wonder his brain hurts when it’s this full of misogyny.

Update – Fat Wreck label-mates Teenage Bottlerocket and Chixdiggit have dropped out of Weasel Fest, along with The Soviettes, Chinese Telephones, and Kepi Ghoulie.

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About punksexism

bringing light to the constantly ignored sexism (and endless other discrimination) in punk!
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10 Responses to Someone Shut Screeching Ben Weasel Up

  1. Willoughby says:

    Hey – real quick, since you seem passionate about this – can you tell me how my understanding of this is wrong?

    -=

    “Someone was spitting on Ben Weasel at a concert, threw ice in his eye, and then he punched that person.”

    “Huh, well, they were asking for it.”

    “No, well, it was a girl.”

    Stop right here.

    What is the picture you have in your mind of this girl? How big is she? How strong? How tall? How threatening?

    How meek did you make this girl out to be?

    That’s sexism. Right there. When you have stereotyped someone by gender as being weak and defenseless against (ready for more sexism) an all-powerful male.

    Call me liberal, call me progressive or whatever you want, but I honestly feel the whole “never hit a girl” attitude is one of the strongest remaining vestiges of a patriarchal culture. It shuns women to this pathetic, weak position that frankly is undeserved. My rallying cry? No violence period, and I’m a FIRM supporter of this.

    Now, if Ben attacked her because he hates women, or feels he can attack women but couldn’t stand up to a man, OK, that’s a pretty misogynistic attitude. But from following his career, I’m pretty sure Ben Weasel is nutty enough to hit just about anyone if you push him past that line. It’s not like you’re agoraphobic without any tangential psychological effects, the guy literally has “crazy eye” – and I’m pretty sure he would have just as soon attacked a massive ripped skinhead (and gotten his ass handed to him). That’s up for debate, of course. Certainly, if this was part of a history, that’s something to be addressed as well, but it doesn’t seem to be.

    But I really wish the female aspect wasn’t so highly touted as being the problem here. It provokes incensed kneejerk reactions that really prevent any rational debate of what happened.

    What happened? Ben Weasel was provoking the audience. An audience member provoked him. Ben punched the person. Would it have been different if I filled in the description of the heckler with “scrawny glasses-wearing know-it-all 110-pound nerd?” How would the twitter response have changed? Frankly, a lot more people probably would have heralded his attack – the audience would have been (wrongfully) CHEERING LIKE CRAZY for his taking care of a nasty heckler.

    I am NOT excusing OR defending what he did. I’m never for unnecessary violence. Ben Weasel’s a shithead? HOLY FUCK. If you’ve paid any attention to SW over the years, you’ve known that it isn’t an act – Ben Weasel is, deep deep down in his being, a complete and total shithead who can also write some pretty good songs. But he is pretty much as scummy in most ways as they get.

    But I sorta hate what the widespread response says about the state of gender equality in the world. It’s not the sexism in punk rock you gotta worry about, it’s the sexism everywhere else.

  2. punksexism says:

    He called her a “skanky whore” and told her that he was going to put his dick in her mouth. That’s Misogyny 101 right there. Even if he had never touched her, I would have written this post about those aspects alone.

    “What is the picture you have in your mind of this girl? How big is she? How strong? How tall? How threatening?”

    I would never assume that just because someone is a woman, they’re going to be a certain height or size.

    “But I really wish the female aspect wasn’t so highly touted as being the problem here.”

    He made that the central aspect with his accompany words to the woman.

    Also, using mental ableism via painting him as having “crazy eye” isn’t cool. He’s not “crazy,” he’s high on privilege. Attributing this to mental illness is not only unfair to people who are mentally ill, but it also gives him far too much of an excuse.

    “But he is pretty much as scummy in most ways as they get.”

    I never said I thought it was an act – I truly understand that he is a vile person.

    “It’s not the sexism in punk rock you gotta worry about, it’s the sexism everywhere else.”

    And I do worry/care about misogyny throughout the world – but the reason this blog exists is because people in the punk community think that punk is some arena where privilege suddenly doesn’t exist or is properly acknowledged, and that there’s no sexism in the punk scene because everyone just “rises above” (as I know from years and years of being seen as ‘female’ at punk shows and throughout the punk community before I transitioned).

  3. Pingback: Oh, and Ben Weasel’s Anti-Trans, Too | Sexism in Punk

  4. jonny jawbreaker says:

    honestly i think that ben weasle has graduated to misogyny 102!!! haha!!! not to make light of this ignroant act…

  5. Neato says:

    This reminds me of how disappointed I was in Josh Homme when he railed against a 13-15 year old kid in the audience for far too long, threatening him with physical violence and calling him “faggot” and other homophobic remarks over and over. My respect for him and QOTSA went straight down the tubes. Same for Ben Weasel. I’ve known for quite some time he’s an arrogant prick and a loudmouth asshole, but seeing his macho insecurity while he obviously got incredible satisfaction from hitting the first woman and then the weird smirking look while he’s hitting the second woman was grotesque. Most pathetic of all, though, was watching him stop as soon as a man got involved. Notice he made no attempt to hit the man. All satisfaction disappeared from his face and he went straight into “cool down” mode.

  6. pah says:

    I’m not sticking up for Ben Weasel here (I like a couple of their earlier albums but I think the guy is an asshole – that was evident if you ever read his fanzine – and i’m shock that suddenly he is labelled a misogynist. Like, Suddenly?!)

    But anyways, from the internet brigade this just reeks of double standards. Sexism when it suits.

    EQUALITY = YOU INCITE VIOLENCE, YOU TAKE IT ON THE CHIN.

    REGARDLESS OF GENDER, COLOUR, RELIGION ETC. ETC.

  7. punksexism says:

    How does this reek of double standards?

  8. punksexism says:

    once again, even if you think it was okay for him to hit the first woman (which I disagree with, but that’s not the point), he also hit another woman who DIDN’T incite violence, among many other things written about in that post. So…

  9. Neato says:

    Some people online “not sticking up for Ben Weasel” have some major, major issues with women. Women never got that equality they were looking for, anyway. Now, all of a sudden, we’re going to pull it out as an excuse why it’s okay to punch them in the face? Really? How about this: if Ben Weasel is going to act like a fucking asshole for 40 minutes insulting everyone in the crowd and the woman’s friend (who owns the club he was trying to incite the crowd against), then he deserves beer thrown at him. And if he can’t take it and punches a woman, the crowd should have stomped him into a grease spot on the floor. At the end, there were clearly a few guys who were about to do just that, but Ben got saved by the security guards. Hope she sues him.

  10. punksexism says:

    “Women never got that equality they were looking for, anyway. Now, all of a sudden, we’re going to pull it out as an excuse why it’s okay to punch them in the face?”

    Ha, right?

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