A Toronto punk band have cancelled an Ottawa gig after the event's name and its description on Facebook brought complaints in a city currently reeling from sexism and sexual assault scandals at the University of Ottawa.
The Ottawa Citizen reports that on Feb 25, the group Tight Nuns posted on Facebook an image promoting the concert set for March 8 at Ottawa's Cafe Dekcuf. The poster read "kiss the ring, suck the c--k" above the band's already controversial name.
On Monday, March 3, one of the groups, four-stroke, pulled out saying they were "uncomfortable" with the title and description. "That's not a criticism of Tight Nuns. They have the right to present themselves however they wish. But we do too, which is why we're dropping off the bill,"bandmember Ken Ketchum wrote on Facebook.
Less than 90 minutes after the post, Tight Nuns changed their status and posted a cancellation notice for the event. Jordan August Properkick posted his thoughts on the cancellation on Facebook. "What played out as a member of the public expressing a concern about their environment and safety turned into something very negative, and I failed to handle that in a compassionate way -- on a platform that reflected poorly on many other people, who could no longer be part of the show," Properkick wrote. "To those people, anyone trying to make sure their scene was a good place to be, and anyone that was looking forward to us playing I am truly sorry. Hopefully next time we can do this right."
Tight Nuns posted the following on Tuesday night via Facebook explaining their relationship with Properkick: "Please note that all recent activity on this account has been by one user: Jordan Properkick and in no way reflect the views of any other current or past member."
Ottawa musician Lidija Rozitis told the Ottawa Citizen she was perplexed on receiving an invite to the gig. "While not directly referring to women or explicitly condoning sexual violence, the language of the event was definitely sexually aggressive in tone," she said.
As well, the fact March 8 is International Women's Day wasn't lost on some critics who questioned the concert.
"We need to recognize that it's not just about this one punk show," Dillon Black of the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women told the Citizen. "Whether it"s at the local level or at a larger level, it’s never OK to joke about these things, because when you're joking about sexual assault, you're basically letting perpetrators know that what they're doing is funny and that it’'s basically OK.”
News of the concert's cancellation follows executives at the University of Ottawa's student federation resigning over sexual comments about a female colleague. The men's hockey team at the university was suspended over allegations of sexual assault.