Musical Musings: Cameron Boucher deserves “No Halo”

Over the last year or so, people – especially women – have been standing up against sexual aggressors, exposing their actions.

Of course, the cases that gain the most attention are the ones that involve celebrities.   

These have always hit me hard when they’re about people I looked up to and admired. But, none quite as much as the post made on April 9 and the conversations it had sparked.

In the wake of an announcement from Cameron Boucher saying his bands, Old Gray and Sorority Noise, will be on indefinite hiatuses after their upcoming tours, Nicole Schoenholz, a former member of The World is a Beautiful Place, posted this on Facebook: “My entire experience in the music industry is a bunch of dudes working hard to make sure the bands they make money off are not outed as rapists so f**k [Sorority Noise] and [Old Gray] because [Cameron Boucher] is a f*****g scumbag who raped a friend of mine.”

What immediately struck me was that this wasn’t the victim. It was someone who assumed they were posting on behalf of a friend.

I personally find this disgusting. The victim of a sexual assault should have the right to their own privacy and the opportunity to self-disclose if they wish to do so.

Boucher himself then said Schoenholz’s “accusations are false. … I can confirm that the actions against me are baseless.”

Later, the victim made her own post about the situation that, in my eyes, completely validated what Schoenholz had said.

She described her 2013 encounter with Boucher. I’ll leave out the more vivid details here, but what is important to note is that the two had a consensual encounter and fell asleep together. The next morning, the woman woke up to Boucher attempting to initiate another sexual encounter while she was asleep.

Needless to say, one cannot give consent if they are asleep.

This is rape.

She also said, “I made the decision five years ago to tell people I trusted about this and unfortunately one of them broke my trust. I never intended to have this in the public sphere, mostly because I don’t want to deal with backlash or people telling me this isn’t abuse. I wonder sometimes if Cam even remembers it.”

Apart from Boucher’s actions, what really disgusts me is the response. While most comments on the woman’s post are supportive of her and damning of Boucher, there are a striking number that question whether what he did was actually rape.

It was.

A penetrative sexual act that does not involve consent is rape and should be treated as such.

The number of men who can’t wrap their heads around this basic concept boggles my mind.

It’s also important for bands that are close with Boucher to speak up.

Sorority Noise’s final tour was set to be with headliner, The Wonder Years. Sorority Noise made the decision to pull out of this tour.

As of publication, the only thing The Wonder Years has said on the matter is that they will be replacing Sorority Noise’s set with an acoustic set of their own.

Old Gray plans to embark on a farewell tour with long-time friends Cerce and I Kill Giants this summer.

Over a week ago, I reached out to Cerce and asked about their plans for the farewell tour. They responded, “Cerce as individuals and as a group takes sexual assault allegations very, very seriously and we will keep everyone in the loop as soon as we’re given more information about what is going to happen here.”

The band has not said a word since.

Dylan Hanwright of I Kill Giants echoed Cerce’s statement: “We’ve been given no information about the context of these shows moving forward. …  We’ll let everyone know what’s gonna happen as soon as we know.” Again, this was over a week ago. Neither Hanwright nor his band has said anything on the matter since.

It’s up to these bands to decide whether they want to support a rapist by continuing with this tour. I’m not sure what “information” they’re waiting for.

I believe they have all the information they need.