By Matilda Hughes
Community support: Singer/Songwriter Gabbi Bolt (front) and the chorus of her song ‘Girl’s Eyes’.
Image credit: Gabbi Bolt Music
The young girl walks down the street and is wool whistled at, men stare at her breasts as she passes, others frown at the length of her skirt. It’s a story we all know too well and it’s an experience we all have too often.
Sexual harassment, assault and domestic violence are all unfortunate things women have to deal with across the world, including our community here in Bathurst.
After years of putting up with men’s comments and experiencing sexual discrimination and prejudice, Bathurst born, singer Gabbi Bolt has decided to speak out in defence of women.
In an attempt to make her message loud and clear, Gabbi wrote a song expressing her frustration at the gender-unequal society that is prevalent today.
“If I’m wearing a skirt (You can’t touch me)
Or wear makeup to work (You can’t touch me)
If I show lots of skin (You can’t touch me)
If I’m wearing a grin (You can’t touch me)
Unless I tell you so (You can’t touch me)
And if my answers no (You can’t touch me) ”
– ‘Girl’s Eyes’, Gabbi Bolt
The song, called Girls Eyes was first performed by Gabbi at a gig earlier this year. While performing, audience members surprised her by collecting donations which they presented her at the end of their performance. The reason they did this, was so that Gabbi could record her piece and share it with the world.
Fast forward a couple of months and a large crowd of women have congregated to sing the chorus for Gabbi’s recording of Girls Eyes. The chorus includes women young and old from various areas of the Central West, and they united in their support to stand up against the various sex crimes against women.
United: Women from the Central West who sang the chorus for the song’s recording.
Image credit: Gabbi Bolt Music
Local schoolgirl Lily, 15, has lived in Bathurst her whole life and has experienced sexism at her local high school.
“Playing sport in a mixed gender class, and like the guys are all like, ‘you aren’t good at it, because you’re a girl,’ and ‘you shouldn’t know how to do sports and you should be sitting down reading a book or something’,” she said.
Mary Smith, 68, has worked at numerous schools in Bathurst and the region and believes women today face more sexism than she did when she was young.
“I think that conditions are deteriorating for women in this day in age, in terms of safety and their freedom and I just think the more voices are out there, the better it is,” she said.
“It didn’t worry me if I went out at night, for instance, it didn’t worry me what I wore, whereas I know that my daughter and my granddaughters think about that all the time now.”
All proceeds from the song will go towards the NSW Rape and Crisis Centre and Bathurst Women’s and Children’s Refuge.
“I think what needs to happen is actually raising money and making a change for at least one person, if I can do that then you know I can rest easy,” Gabbi said.
Gabbi Bolt’s music video for her single ‘Girl’s Eyes’ can be purchased here.
If you or someone you know need support, call NSW Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 424 017.