Banner Pilot Think Ben Weasel Deserves A Second Chance

Banner Pilot, who are scheduled to play Weasel Fest, have just released a statement via their tumblr letting everyone know that while what Ben did was “disappointing and uncalled for,” they think he deserves a second chance and will not be backing out of Weasel Fest.

In their own words, “it’s also by all accounts an isolated incident.” Maybe they should add Chris Brown to the show.

They also claim that, “In his 25 year career there is no history of him hitting or hating women.” I don’t know about you, but when I find out someone assaulted a woman, my first thought isn’t “Okay, but this is AN ISOLATED INCIDENT! he hasn’t done this before!” Not to mention the fact that people are willfully ignoring the alleged reason that the woman started throwing ice cubes at Ben Weasel in the first place – the fact that he was saying fucked up, sexist shit on stage. Even if you think what he did was okay in punching a woman for throwing ice at him, he ALSO punched another woman who did nothing, he ALSO called a woman a “skanky whore,” and last but certainly not least, he has proven himself to be extremely transphobic.

Supporting someone who not only physically assaulted two women but also said such terrible, bigoted things, publicly, right in the open where you can see the evidence, about someone being a transgender woman? It’s not like Ben Weasel was just talking shit on someone who happened to be transgender. He was actively being transphobic, and I’m extremely disappointed in Banner Pilot for their decision to support him regardless of whether they knew about that, as they were aware of him assaulting two women either way. I respect the fact that they don’t want to let down fans who wanted to see them play, but they just let down their transgender fans big time with this one, as well as all women, period, and it’s very troubling to see a band I loved/respected make this decision.

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About punksexism

bringing light to the constantly ignored sexism (and endless other discrimination) in punk!
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9 Responses to Banner Pilot Think Ben Weasel Deserves A Second Chance

  1. Daniel James says:

    As a member of one of the first bands to drop off of Weasel Fest, and someone who has publicly stated his disgust with Ben Weasel’s actions, I gotta say that accusing Banner Pilot of sexism for not following our actions and dropping off of the Fest is complete bullshit.

  2. punksexism says:

    I didn’t accuse them of sexism.

    The primary focus wasn’t that they didn’t drop off, but that they actively engaged in “Ben deserves a second chance” apologism bullshit. For a group of men to say, “it was an isolated incident! He deserves a second chance!” after another man assaults two women? Incredibly gross.

  3. Curious says:

    Just curious, wanted to hear your take if it was two men that got punched? Or what if it was a woman that punched two men?

  4. punksexism says:

    Well, that’s a red herring.

    But either way, the power dynamics are different. It’s not so much about “women are smaller/weaker than men, therefore men shouldn’t be violent with them!” because first of all, if that were the reasoning, then there would be no difference between a man hitting a woman and a man hitting another man who was smaller than him. Second, it’s simply not true as a categorical statement – there are transgender women, there are cis (meaning: non-transgender) women who are bigger than some men, etc.

    The situation presented in that comment is ultimately a nonsensical derail because that is not the situation that we’re presented with. Ben didn’t punch two guys. In this situation, a woman didn’t punch two men.

    That being said, the most sensible response is always that people really shouldn’t be going around punching other people. However, that fact does not negate the power dynamic at play in any of these situations. It is fact, not opinion, that we exist in a society where the playing field is not even. Were the playing field even, that diversionary situation might be slightly more relevant, but right now it remains nothing more than a diversion.

    The context in which events play out is important, and ignoring them is ridiculous. The context for this event is very much so that we are part of a society, a culture, that provides men with a series of unearned privileges that are, for no reason, not extended to women. Because of the context, because of the differing dynamic in relation to power, and because of the uneven playing field, Ben punching two women IS different than Ben punching two men. It is different than any particular woman punching two men.

    That doesn’t mean that any of those other situations are acceptable. Again, running around punching people is, bluntly, shitty behavior. But it’s not fair to dismiss the full reality of the situation, the reality of the culture, the society in which this situation takes place.

  5. Curious says:

    I will take your red herring and raise you one strawman argument.

    Men getting hit at punk shows is a common occurrence. Punk is a hard, brutal, angry type of scene and certain things are to be expected, especially the verbal abuse. Does that excuse such behavior? No, but you better well expect it. That being said I agree 100% with your comment:

    “That being said, the most sensible response is always that people really shouldn’t be going around punching other people.”

    No one, NO ONE has the right to hit anyone. Albeit man or woman.

  6. punksexism says:

    “Men getting hit at punk shows is a common occurrence. Punk is a hard, brutal, angry type of scene and certain things are to be expected, especially the verbal abuse. Does that excuse such behavior? No, but you better well expect it.”

    In what way were you relating this to what we were discussing? I don’t want to respond to that without understanding what your point was in mentioning it.

  7. Curious says:

    Point is, that this type of situation, that your ranting about, happens all the time. Though, in this particular case it happen to be women, so it caught everyone’s attention

    Do I agree with what happened? No. Was he out of line? Extremely.

  8. punksexism says:

    Thanks for clarifying.

    The point is, the fact that it’s a woman DOES matter. I don’t advocate anyone being violent to anyone else, period – but when there’s a dynamic like this, it’s violence AND misogyny. This blog isn’t about “violence in punk,” it’s about oppression, and the kind of violence Ben Weasel participated in falls under that category.

  9. Curious says:

    Godspeed on your fight.

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