This site celebrates the pleasures of the night, the possibilities of nocturnal encounters on the dancefloor, the sense of liberation in the hours not ruled by work. But of course music/dance scenes are not utopias, specifically they are not always places where women can leave behind harrassment, rape and violence - a point highlighted by the gang rape of a 16 year old at a rave in Canada in September and the rapes at Latitude Festival in England in July.
In her remarkable piece The Night and Danger, orginally written as a speech for a Take Back the Night march, Andrea Dworkin wrote:
'We women are especially supposed to be afraid of the night. The night promises harm to women. For a woman to walk on the street at night is not only to risk abuse, but also--according to the values of male domination--to ask for it. The woman who transgresses the boundaries of night is an outlaw who breaks an elementary rule of civilized behavior: a decent woman does not go out- certainly not alone, certainly not only with other women--at night. A woman out in the night, not on a leash, is thought to be a slut or an uppity bitch who does not know her place. The policemen of the night - rapists and other prowling men -have the right to enforce the laws of the night: to stalk the female and to punish her. We have all been chased, and many of us have been caught... We must use our collective strength and passion and endurance to take back this night and every night so that life will be worth living and so that human dignity will be a reality'
Since the mid-1970s, women in different parts of the world have staged Reclaim the Night/Take Back the Night demonstrations against violence against women - not simply protests but an assertion of the right to be safely on the streets after dark. London Feminist Network have been organising larger and larger annual marches since 2004, and in in central London last Saturday night around 2000 women took part in the Reclaim the Night march. There's a report at Women's Views on News.