Northampton Labour Club show
July tour 2013
Musicians that don’t really listen to much music………………
I just read an article in NME relating to Grimes’ recent statement on Tumblr that shone a spotlight on the feminist issues that are ongoing in music:
I’m actually annoyed that this morning I have spent time thinking about feminism and lack of equality in music work places, instead of, oh I dunno, focusing on my career - because these are important and downplayed issues that are only now being looked at, and that I have only recently really understood the significance of.
Because really, my male peers do not have to think about this stuff in much depth, and women really do have to think and act. And the reason we do is because it is happening to us all the time.
In my music industry full time job I see it happening. An attractive single woman began work here a couple of months ago, and she was immediately sexualised by some of the men, and judged on her appearance, not her achievements or her worth as an employee. It just doesn’t really happen the other way round.
In my old job at a record shop there was only ever one woman working there at a time. Why? Are women less capable of being able to sell records?
I feel nervous to write these points as I’m sure colleagues and ex-colleagues will see this post. But why should I shut up about these observations? That’s why they are never dealt with in music, because they are never challenged.
It not only saddened me that some of the points Grimes bravely made are completely spot on, but that I have seen and experienced this sort of behaviour a lot in my musical life:
“I’m tired of men who aren’t professional or even accomplished musicians continually offering to ‘help me out’ (without being asked), as if I did this by accident and I’m gonna flounder without them. Or as if the fact that I’m a woman makes me incapable of using technology. I have never seen this kind of thing happen to any of my male peers.”
Having studied a degree in Music Technology, unfortunately, this attitude was common place. (Many of the girls on my course out shone many of the men thankfully, but unfortunately not the arrogant ones.)
I recently read Caitlin Moran’s “How To Be a Woman” and I found myself feeling embarrassed of reading it when being asked what I’m reading at lunch times. I was jokingly asked if I hate men.
Sigh. Good one.
I remembered back in the 90’s, my favourite album at the time - Alanis Morrisette’s “Jagged Little Pill” was dismissed as man-hating tripe. I remember being ridiculed for liking the band Hole, whilst Cobain was championed and adored, and everyone told me (in various ways) that it was all Courtney Love’s fault that he was addicted to heroin and killed himself. Seriously! She was labelled a big mouthed floozy, he was labelled a troubled artist.
I mean, we were all kids, but it was an attitude that I haven’t really seen alter over the years.
I recently flicked through Front Magazine at work, only to find a young girl sprawled naked on a double page spread (as is standard for Front), and when I flicked to the next page there was a condescending article about the Riot Grrl Movement, the bands involved and Pussy Riot. Missing. The. Point.
Fuck Front Magazine. Seriously. A magazine that lumps naked chicks in with hardcore music, posing as a credible music magazine when it is so far from that. “Hey look at this chick in an awkward position, posing by pulling an uncomfortable looking thong up her ass, and she likes Glassjaw! Sick!”…..”Oh but women have deep thoughts as well as tits, see look, we care about rock and hardcore music made by women, honestly……and we have a topless girl reviewing computer games so we’re not sexist!” Pathetic. Utterly pathetic.
The article in NME touched on feminism in the industry as well as amongst bands and artists, and a lady from AIM stated that “…women have a tendency to stay in the background, work hard and hope that people notice how brilliant they are and promote them. Which is like waiting to be asked. You need to push yourself forward really.”
I was sad to see much of myself in that statement, and also some of my female colleagues. Perhaps years of oppression has squeezed the confidence out of the working woman. Perhaps the confidence was never allowed to flourish in the first place, when women were first accepted into male work places.
It is sad that women still have to work twice as hard to earn the same pay….and I think that unfortunately the music industry is a hot bed for this. Women fought for the right to vote and won. That was a far more clear cut objective. It’s a shame that equality in the work place, including pay and job opportunities still seems a long way off. There are too many factors, too many instilled attitudes, and generally women are still sexualised in the media before they are praised for their achievements in life - and this goes for female musicians. (Front magazine fuels this entirely, *ahem Hayley Williams ahem*.)
Most of all though. I am sick of the phrase “female-fronted” in music journalism. Are we not past the ‘novelty’ of females in bands?
I’m so sad that we aren’t.
And that’s the biggest point of all, when it comes to feminism, equality, and the music industry.
Hey I just want to say your an amazing singer and I’m there’s no doubt in my mind you have a huge future.
I’m usually into punk and so on but listening to the Holy roar compilation I was really happy to find out about you with “Tearing Ventricles” and straight away bought your other material on iTunes.
Keep doing what your doing, your extremely talented.
Thank you so much! ^ I can’t believe I’ve only just seen this I’m sorry ^
Ahaha it looks like I wrote it to myself. Well done Malco xxx
HEY GUYS. Would you like to hear a new song? Recorded live in a Church in Leicester at Handmade Festival;
I have a new EP. I have so much to do. I’ll let you know when I know.