14 female musicians discuss sexism in the music industry - Features - Alternative Press

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14 female musicians discuss sexism in the music industry

August 30 2017, 11:55 AM EDT By Jake Richardson


Lucinda Livingstone, Kamikaze Girls:

Kamikaze Girls
[Photo by: Katie McMillan]

“That girl should have been allowed to crowd-surf without feeling unsafe. Why? Because every guy in there could crowd-surf and not worry about being touched against his will, that's why.”

“Sexism and sexual assault are two issues hugely prevalent not just within music, but within our everyday lives. Within music at the moment we're constantly seeing cases of assault and misogyny aired via the media. Taylor Swift sued David Mueller for $1 just to prove a point: that it's her body and it should not be touched without her consent. She won. Ke$ha filed a lawsuit against Dr. Luke and was, wrongly, it seems, rejected by the courts.

“Meanwhile, in alternative music circles victims, are taking to blogging platforms and social media to speak out about horrific experiences with members in bands, outing them, hoping that someone will believe them and not defend a so called ‘role model.’ Elsewhere, members of bands are crowd-controlling while performing to ensure no one gets inappropriately touched. Artists and fans are being targeted, and the fact of the matter is, no one should have to experience assault, abuse or sexism.

“Sam Carter did the right thing in calling out a recent assault when a girl got groped at an Architects show. I feel happy that Sam used his platform to do this, but why didn't he get the guy chucked out by security? It was 100 percent right to call this guy out and make him see what he had done wasn't acceptable, but he shouldn't have been left in the venue. Sam could have gone one step further and ensured this person had been removed. Maybe some people will think that's taking it a little too far, but if I was that girl, I would have wanted to jet for the nearest exit if I knew he was still in there. That girl should have been allowed to crowdsurf without feeling unsafe. Why? Because every guy in there could crowdsurf and not worry about being touched against his will, that's why.

“Don't touch someone against their will. Don't do it. We can prevent this together as fans and artists. We can use live music as an example to show the rest of the world that these things don't have to happen. We need to take steps toward believing victims and making sure they have a support network and resources available to come forward if something like this happens. Abusers need to understand that sexual assault will have serious consequences.

“On more of a positive note, I think within underground alternative music, we're not doing a bad job of putting sexism in the ground. Festival lineups are a lot more varied, punk shows are a lot more inclusive, and we're leading the way and showing the mainstream how sexism doesn't have to be an issue. I feel like the wider music industry has a long way to go, but that doesn't mean we should stop trying.

“Music is such a huge part of our lives, and it probably saved us from something we needed to escape from. If you're in a band or you're a fan going to a show, keep your wits about you, and if you see anything that doesn't look right, the chances are it probably isn't. Call it out, tell someone, do your part to keep music safe—it's for us, not for them.”

Mariel Loveland, Best Ex:

Best Ex

“If the gatekeepers of the industry don't let women in and treat them with respect, fans won’t either.”

“Sexism is so ingrained in our scene and parts of our society that you don't even notice it. Think about it: On your favorite hard rock or pop-punk labels, how many women are actually on the roster? At your favorite music festivals, how many women are actually on the bill? I once asked a booking agent who was pitching me an all-male, pop-punk opening band to try to send me some bands that had women in them instead. They had to respectfully decline because they didn't have a single band on their roster who fit that description. To me, I think that really says something, and that's where the change needs to start. I've also seen countless women be groped and disrespected backstage at shows. I've been one of them, and it's easy to shrug it off for the greater good of your career, but if the gatekeepers of the industry don't let women in and treat them with respect, fans won’t either.”

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE: SHAWNA POTTER, WAR ON WOMEN

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