On the day this blog comes out, Mable Syndrome will be premiering the Divided Heaven song, Creep. Check it out here or here. We also are releasing a podcast episode with Jeff Berman of Divided Heaven where Jessica and I explore the writing and production of the song.
However, I felt like there was more to say, and for people without the time to listen to a podcast, perhaps a quick read through this blog will provide more insight into the background of the song and why it's being premiered on Mable Syndrome. For the purposes of simplicity within this blog, and because the song is about a "he," I will simplify and generalize about the creeps being men in a position of power (like a musician, as is indicated in the song). However, obviously, "creeps" can be anyone, and the victim of the creep can be anyone. This is not intended to be a call-out of all men, nor of all musicians.
Only the creeps.
You're not the only one
One of the things that comes with having a podcast and running Mable Syndrome is that women from around the world reach out and share things about themselves. I absolutely love hearing from people and learning about their love of punk rock.
Quite frequently, I hear this..."So.... I'm hooking up with/ more than friends with/ talking to (member of band)." And they continue, "...even though he's married/ in a relationship, he says that I'm the only girlfriend. I've teased him about having women in every city and we laughed about it, but I know I'm the only one. He acts shy and humble around me. He opens up to me, makes me feel special. His bandmates even know who I am and that we are together. He has taken me to dinner/ on the bus. He and his wife are only together for the kids. I feel so bad for him." Does this sound familiar to you? I hear the same things over...and over... and over again. You're not the only one. In fact, I've been told this same narrative about the same musician from different women.
Why do people fall for it? Why does our conscience tell us "they have women in every city" but we talk ourselves out of that reality? We have idolized these people and put them up on this pedestal. You're falling in love with a fairytale where you have the strongest connection in the world with this person. He can have anyone, but he chose you. Who wouldn't want to feel that special?
They don't love you
Why are people betraying their boundaries and settling for less than what they deserve? Why aren't you on his Instagram feed? Why aren't you tagged in his Facebook posts?
Take a step back and think about what YOU want. If he wasn't "famous" would you put up with this behavior? Take a tip from the popular book, He's Just Not That Into You: He's just not that into you if he's married. Period. Get out before you get really hurt. Pull the plug yourself.
Creepy behavior doesn't equal rapist
You've possibly heard or experienced an artist you like acting creepy. Perhaps they are liars or cheaters, or the musician you like has a penchant for girls significantly younger than themselves. Perhaps they have sex with multiple women on the same night, lying to each. Maybe they fill the dressing room with young girls and invite them to parties after the show. These things are creepy, and people who engage in these behaviors are not the kinds of people I want to associate with.
However, oftentimes people jump right to calling someone a rapist. Assault and rape are entirely different than what is portrayed in Divided Heaven's song, and what I am discussing on this blog. Saying "He's a rapist" to someone who hasn't been proved to be such, and has never even been accused of such, is dangerous on many different levels. Perhaps most importantly, because it diminishes the severity of actual claims of rape. Rape and assault victims must be believed and supported. Perpetrators must be taught and punished or rehabilitated. But please don't call creeps "rapey" or rapists.
Separating the art from the artist
There's a funny popular adage: If we really looked into the bad behavior of artists and judged them for it, we'd have no art left to consume. It's true that humans are not without flaws. Michael Jackson, John Lennon, Elvis, Johnny Cash all have troubled pasts. Do you change the channel on the radio? Did you throw out your Beatles records? The fact of the matter is that we all have our own line to draw. What's immoral and unforgivable to me may not be a big deal to you. And that's okay. We can't force our beliefs on one another. In certain situations I have decided not to support that artist any longer, meaning I don't stream their songs, buy their albums or go to their shows. That's my personal decision. Based on the information we have- victim statement, witness with our own eyes, hear it fourth hand- we can be adults and make our own decisions.
This is a difficult topic and I thank you for reading this far. The song Creep is really poignant and timely. Bad behavior shouldn't be tolerated any longer. Whether you experienced it yourself, witnessed it, or just heard about it, decide where you stand and be strong. Let's talk more about this. Sound off in the comments or on our social media.