Look, it’s either write on here or hang about on street corners ‘til I find a harasser and kerb stomping away his face, alright? It seems I’m speaking to the under-fives this week, because any given article which attempts to discuss the fractious relations between women and the music industry seems to get bombarded with abuse (not rational argument, abuse) and it seems this always needs re-saying. I was prompted by the abuse showered on fellow scribe Hayley Scott for her interview with Alanna McArdle, which, like every article that dares use the word ‘feminism’ was assaulted with a tirade of abuse and dissension, most of which could be used in a Critical Thinking course as examples of fallacy in action. Oh and let’s not forget, rape threats and death threats to interviewer and interviewee.
|Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.|
Some things to keep in mind before assaulting your keyboard with your fat racist inbred fingers you neckbearded fuck.
1. Feminism is the belief that people ought to be treated equally regardless of gender. It is often intersectional, with proponents of feminism also believing that religion, race, sexuality, gender identity and other factors ought not to impact how a person is treated legally and socially. If you say you oppose feminism you are either ill-informed as to what that movement is, or the enormity of your arseholery is barely comprehensible.
2. The ability to hold feminist beliefs (or anti-feminist beliefs) has NOTHING to do with what one has hanging between one’s legs. Did you hear that through your gum-filled ears and three-inch thick malformed skull? Did that get through? Nothing. Nil. Nul. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Non. Absolutely sweet fuck all. Got it? Need to write it down?
3. If you find yourself in a position where you are about to send a threat to someone, stop. To demonstrate how unforgivable violence, rape and death threats are, anyone who leaves a comment on this article of a less than amiable nature will be gifted a personalised rape threat from me.
4. Nobody is trying to violate your horrible free speech. You are free to be as reprehensible as you like, in public, on a soapbox, and nobody will try and arrest you. Seriously. Try it. Type “fuck” into the comments! See! We are not ‘violating your free speech’ by disagreeing with you, you have the right to speak, not the right to speak unchallenged.
5. If you respond to someone’s genuine concern and worry for their safety (or just their riposte to a torrent of vile abuse) with comments along the line of how they are a delicate flower and don’t understand how the world works and don’t understand what you’ve been through; then you basically need to disengage idiot circuits and invest in some new empathy gear because yours has been burned out. Maybe you’ll understand when I email you a specific and detailed rape threat (see: three).
6. Anecdotal evidence is about as useful as a one-legged man at an arse kicking contest. If you suggest women are taking over the world because you once had a female boss, or you’ve had your arse pinched at a gig so everything between the sexes is totally equal you’re either being deliberately obtuse or you are as stupid as the case put forward by all of your mouth-breathing comments suggests.
7. If you cutesy-poo drop “I’ll just leave this here” into an argument, then you’re basically immoral.
If you deny women get the rougher end of the stick in almost all aspects of the music industry you’re either lying, blind or mad. Only one third of people working in the music industry are women, and those women earn less on average than their male counterparts. Why don’t more women join the music industry? A look at the comments that are consistently made about women, like those levelled at the writer and interviewee (as well as the publication) of that Alanna McArdle article, it’s understandable. Women in bands are leered at on stage, placed in “hottest” lists, and ‘girl band’ is almost a genre. Like in wider society, women at the performing end of the music industry are constantly judged for their looks, a challenge Lemmy must be glad he doesn’t have to pass. In the fan sphere women are ‘groupies’, and constantly challenged online for their ‘cred’. Nobody has ever checked my ‘cred’ to be writing or talking about the Melvins or Sunn O))) or any artist. My female colleagues widely report constant harassment for not being real fans. Apparently like an Afghan parliament, the ownership of ovaries precludes one from taking part in serious discussions about music. At gigs women are routinely harassed physically. Some call this constant groping ‘fun’ and playful but I’ve seen dozens of reports of female music fans for whom the way they are treated at gigs is a concern.
This blog has constantly and passionately argued that rock and roll needs more women’s voices, literally and metaphorically. And better rock and roll can be had by having a more diverse base of artists, by having a more welcoming culture for everyone. Most of these trolls claim that music is “the last place where this sort of thing is okay”, neatly sidestepping the point that there shouldn’t be ANYWHERE where sexism is okay.
What baffles me most about the sexism in the music industry is why? What exactly is it that women in music are going to compromise or take away? If you want your disturbingly sexist pop videos, you’ll keep getting them, the industry isn’t about to pack in something so valuable just because a couple of women are singing songs and signing bands. Your shitey cock-rock, your godawful thinly-veiled sexist hip hop will all still be there. It’ll keep getting made, and they can’t unmake the stuff you already listen to. This hate comes down to one thing, ultimately, which is the base hatred of women. The belief in the separation and the superiority of the male sex over the female one. The loathsome comments of those involved in this particular story have been peppered throughout this article and I hope they churn your stomach as readily as mine. The rape threats were all deleted prior to the writing of this article, so you can assume I made them up because wouldn’t I?
Someone disagreed with Rufus Hawkins so he felt the need to compare the campaign for the equality of women with those responsible for fascist suppression of difference in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s because he is a grown up.
The original Joanna Gruesome post is pretty spot on, although a little too full of piss-and-vinegar and choir preaching to be a real game-changer. The comments here came from the Drowned In Sound facebook page, which may have received a thorough deleting as a lot of the more fiery conversations seem a little devoid of half their comments. It’s encouraging to see so many people leaping to her defence as well.
And now a final word about arguments. If someone shouts at you, buy them a beer and explain your position to them. Shouting back achieves exactly sweet fuck all. If you see a misogynist comment, or someone insisting on ‘Male Rights’ then just explain to them your position and help them come round. You can’t change someone’s mind by shouting.
Written under duress by Steven.