Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Response to "Ripping off the Bandaid: Why Feminism Matters in Music" and Also to A Video Circulating

It’s CMJ! Yay! I always get excited this time of year 1; because it’s probably the best opportunity if you have the means to check out a ton of new bands at little divy venues you’ve never been 2; because it’s a great way to network and 3; because there are a ton of interesting panels to sit in on. The other day I went to the talk Ripping off the Bandaid: Why Feminism Matters in Music, and to tell you the truth, I was left completely unsatisfied. Not only did I feel like we were all sitting a “we hate men” sleepover with way too many giggles, but it was almost like everyone on the panel was playing victim. Going on and coyly naming the publications they had worked for over the years who treated them poorly, nothing crazy positive came out of this talk. 
But the worst of all, was when someone finally came up and asked the question “so how do we stand out among others while trying to get a job?” they answered the generic “don’t be afraid to be a bitch” “don’t get upset if someone asks if you’re on your period.” “make your hair pretty” I think was one of the answers. But no one, NOT ONE person said “know your shit.” 
That’s the only answer to any of this. If you are afraid that a male will get a job over you, what to do what to do!? Know what the hell you’re talking about. Know everything. Anything you want to talk about, any type of work your doing, study the shit out of so you know more about it than anyone. Work speaks for itself. Nobody reading an article sees a woman's name and doesn’t continue to read it. Unless you're a serious ass hole. And yes, we can complain and moan about how we’re mistreated (which yeah, sometimes the music business sucks with women) but more than just complaining and bitching about it, do something about it. Be the best. People gravitate towards good work. They gravitate towards honesty. They can read an interview that you’ve written up and think either “wow this was so boring and those questions sucked” or they can think “wow I would have never thought to ask that, they must know this artist so well.” After the panel I walked out with a lot of the people that were sitting in, and I heard a comment that said “well that didn’t help me at all” — so I looked at her and said “If you want to get ahead of the rest, be good at what you do.” Nobody is stopping you from researching the hell out of anything, nobody is holding you back from learning, so don’t give this weak excuse like…I’m not getting ahead in the industry because I’m a woman! It’s probably because your work isn't interesting to read.
Be interesting. Be interested. Be you. But know your shit. Know everything there is to know about x.

While I’m on this topic, there is a video circulating on the world wide web showcasing little girls 11 and under yelling “FUCK YOU FOR CALLING ME A PRINCESS” “I’m NOT some fucking DAMSEL in distress” — and the whole point of it is to say how young girls saying “fuck” is so uncomfortable but rape and 23% less pay is just as uncomfortable. Although I get the general idea of this video — how about you keep some class about you, don’t teach your daughter words like that, save your youth, and explain to them the best way to fight this — is to work hard, be independent, be educated (which means having an appropriate vocabulary, especially at the age of 8) and fight the fight, classily. “Oh women are just supposed to be classy are we!?” No, but let’s remember nobody using this language and teaching your daughter to say “Fuck You” at that age, doesn’t make her anything but vulgar and angry. 

Let’s keep the education circulating, without the crassness, shall we? 

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