When I first started writing about music, One Bad Son was one of the first big bands I got the chance to interview them. Being from the Canadian midwest, you couldn’t find a group of kinder souls in rock and roll. And their drummer, Kurt Dahl, may just be the kindest of all. Between his work as an entertainment lawyer, advocating for his fellow creators, and his roll in the music not for profit Saskmusic, as well as rippin’ it on the drums with OBS, Kurt may have just turned himself into a feminist role model for men, and people, everywhere. And it all started with one shirt.
Recently while on tour in the U.S., Kurt shared a photo of himself wearing a super cool, rocker chic grey tank top, with one notable feature: the word “Feminist” emblazoned across the chest.
Here’s the caption from that post, from Kurt’s Facebook:
“In light of the recent judicial appointment in the US and the general misogyny that seems to be rearing it’s ugly head down here, I’ve been struggling with what I can do to combat it. So I came up with this small idea. This is my new stage shirt, which I designed with Classic Promotions in Saskatoon. I am a feminist. I believe that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. That’s just common sense to me. I’ll be wearing this for the rest of the tour down here, and if any of you want to buy one, comment below or message me. Especially my male friends. They’re $25 (t-shirt or tank) and I’ll give all proceeds to a women’s shelter in Saskatoon. If you’re also a feminist, feel free to share.”
Now, many women, from me to Beyonce, own some feminist swag and wear it proudly, but we don’t often see male presenting humans brandishing their feminism so proudly. And when you think about the typical rock band fanbase, a statement like this could be considered risky. That’s what makes Kurt move to just wear the shirt so very bold; a lot of men are out they’re calling themselves allies and feminists, but not many of them are showing it, for many reasons, including how they think a message like that may be received. And not only is he showing it, he’s taking things one step further by using his platform and reach to not only raise awareness, but funds for a women’s shelter as well.
If I didn’t already love this guy, which I did, this would have sent me over the edge, which it also kind of did. I got the chance to catch up with Kurt to chat about feminism, rock music and what being an ally truly looks like.
I love that you proudly identify yourself as a feminist. For our readers out there, can you share what feminism mean to you?
Men and women (and those that don’t identify as either) should be given the same rights and opportunities in life. Simple.
What inspired you to wear the Feminist shirt on stage for the first time?
Misogyny seems to be rearing its ugly head in the USA right now. It starts with the President and works its way down. And the Kavanaugh judicial appointment coincided with this US tour we’re on, and I just felt like I needed to do something. The shirt idea came to me one night in Texas, as something I could do to let people know where I stand.
Why was it important to you to not only wear this shirt on stage, but to share the message and the shirts with your fans?
Well, I thought about not posting anything. And if people asked about my shirt, I’d tell them. But that’s a really slow way to get a message out. I’ve got a platform and I might as well use it, or what’s the point of being in the public eye? There’s got to be more to this whole thing than getting Instagram followers.
What kind of response have you received from fans when you wear the shirt onstage?
It’s been amazing. I didn’t know what to expect. I mean, rock and roll has been a man’s world forever. Hopefully, that is changing. The response to this thing has honestly blown me away. The first pressing of shirts sold out in three days and fans have been so supportive. I’m humbled and inspired.
Have you faced any pushback from fans/the public? If so, how do you handle it?
Nothing in person. There were a few really negative comments from trolls on Instagram. I’ll let you guess their gender. So I blocked them. I don’t have time for hateful, narrow-minded people. Next!
What advice would you give to male identifying folks who want to learn more about feminism and being allies?
Well I’m no expert but I would just say: listen. And call out misogynistic behaviour. It’s men that need to make this change happen.
Where can fans, feminists and allies buy these awesome shirts? And where do the proceeds go?
They can just email me $30 at firstname.lastname@example.org, and that will cover the shirt and shipping in Canada. I’m giving the proceeds to a women’s shelter in my home town of Saskatoon.
You heard it hear folks, order your own rockstar produced Feminist Tank or T-shirt, because feminism is the most rock and roll thing of all. And be sure to keep up with Kurt and the rest of One Bad Son as they wrap up their tour in Canada and continue to be awesome and make awesome music to go along with it.