When it comes down to it music is a fairly equal industry, on the surface, but just like the rest of life there are those few people that still haven’t caught up with the 21st century and act in a manner unbecoming of a professional.
Whenever I used to think of music & the industry it resides in, I always saw bands, crew, PR, management and more, being a close knit family of people, whom despite the desire to ‘make it big’ would always support one another. This is still true, but where there is your happy place, there is always the underbelly where evil resides and pokes its’ ugly head up to disturb what is an actually an amazing industry to work in.
So many women in the music industry work their arses off just to have people diminish their achievements.
This article covers that small group of people that have yet to catch up with the times and are in all essences of the word, sexist. The most recent occurrence of this involved an unknown female photographer and a male photographer that was working for the venue (For this article we’ll call him Mr. Jack Ass)
Naturally he was called out on this by a few people before the original post was deleted, most notably by fellow photographer Jenny McCord, stating how much this statement talked down on someone’s skill set because of how she dressed and calling her a whore because of it.
This situation was made even worse when more people joined in defending Jack and even the admin of the group wading in messaging Jenny.
I know that I have only touched upon what was said between these two groups of people, mainly due to the fact that it is still on going two days later, with no damage control or apology from Jack and then him playing the victim because of the backlash from a large number of music industry professionals in the UK and beyond.
This is just one example of what can happen to females in the music industry and it doesn’t seem to have abated at all despite feminism rising in popularity in both genders and becoming more a prominent force behind equality.
To prove the point of this rather than a man tell you, who has personally not seen or experienced discrimination of this kind at all in my career and was quite oblivious to how much it occurred until recently. I managed to speak to and get quote from some other professionals in the industry about sexism that they have come across in there careers so far.
I’ve just read & re-read it and it made my blood boil! So many women in the music industry work their arses off just to have people diminish their achievements. God forbid someone who likes to show off their body, would also be a talented and hard working individual and that’s the problem, the mentality. So many people see a woman and a band and think ‘groupie’ until proven otherwise, when it should be ‘professional’ until proven otherwise.
Last time I checked having tits didn’t make my job any easier, in fact it made it significantly harder. I, as well as other female photographers have been turned down for tours because they didn’t want to take a female, and that was literally said to us.
– Jenny McCord, Professional Photographer
I’ve witnessed lots of sexism in music, of which I’ve tried to use as an example of what not to do, I’ve seen female crew and musicians alike being talked down to, pressured to dress more sexually appealing or have their talent dismissed purely because they were female and that’s not only plainly wrong but also so short sighted!
– Paddy McKeever, Station Manager – Scratch TV
The main reason I stood up to that post to be honest, was because Jenny felt so strongly about it and she really stuck up for herself in which I really admired! She wasn’t doing it for her own benefit, she was talking about every female in the music industry and I thought it was rad! This guy had obviously also got his friends to counter everthing we had said and they had no real backup other than trying to prove he wasn’t a douche, which he was doing perfectly fine on his own and it really angered me that someone could protect someone so rude.
With my own personal experiences, I’ve had so many! One of them is when you get the “Stare”, whenever you go to shows, especially during sound check. People will stare at you, it doesn’t help that I’m a 5ft 5′ girl with a group of guys helping during load in – you’re usually assumed to be the girlfriend or the tag along and then I get up behind the microphone – and my voice is loud. That part makes me pretty excited because people tend to go silent and sit themselves down!
I’ve also had a sound engineer who told us that we had to change our entire style of music because I was a female and it was too loud and he couldnt mix us. personally I felt like telling him he should change his day job.
But my biggest one was when I went to music uni and I’ll genuinely never forget this because I thought, of all places, this is somewhere I wouldn’t experience it. I had broken up from my previous band and really wanted that buzz of joining a serious touring band again, but I lacked that passion required when I heard bands that needed a vocalist. After finding one that I thought had a really good sound, one of the guys at my uni basically told me, “Well no offence, but we want to be a really heavy band and… you’re a girl.” As if being female would impact how heavy of a band they were and that was the only thing stopping me.
I do understand that girls have different vocals, but I’ve toured the UK, I’ve played Download Festival and I’ve had so much experience in rock music, my voice isn’t all daisies! Yet, in the end I’m glad I didn’t join because his band remain with an empty page on Facebook whilst my brand new band have been published for about 2 weeks and we’ve already had countless management, touring and interview opportunities with some amazing people!
– Christina Rotondo, Lead vocalist – Faultlines
Here at Creation Press we have equal numbers between male & female contributors, we don’t pick someone to work with me because of their gender but purely based on two attributes; the quality & their attitude to work. Nothing else should really matter and yet here we have so many real life examples from only a few people, it’s completely mind blowing that some people still hold this perspective in life!
– Sean Shore, Editor – Creation Press
Okay, so I’ve had cases where I’ve been refused access to backstage even with an AAA pass. I’ve been told TO MY FACE that the reason why some bands wouldn’t consider taking me on tour is because I’m female, despite the quality of my work. My friend Ellie was asked, ‘Which member of the band are you sleeping with to get backstage’ whilst shooting a gig in Southampton last week… The list goes on and on.
The sad thing is for me, as a woman with large boobs, for which I can’t help, I have to dress in a way that hides that when I’m working in clubs, i.e. Baggy tops etc so that I draw less attention to myself, because otherwise, I get touched up and it’s just a nightmare.
– Corinne Cumming, Professional Photographer
Written By Sean Shore (@seanshorephoto)