By Izbel Torres
For years, female artists remained quiet while producers and record labels dictated all aspects of their brand and music. But now, women are speaking out about how they are regarded differently than their male colleagues in the music industry.
In a recent interview promoting her newest album, singer Bj_Òå¦rk discussed the sexism she faced with sources mis-crediting her work. Bj_Òå¦rk produced most of the beats on her album, a feat that took her three years. But when music duo Matmos came in to add percussion, sources began to credit the two men with composing the entire album.
Bj_Òå¦rk made the point that even when people accept that a male artist isn’t present in the entire process of creating his own music, people are still more willing to commend him for the work in entirety. However, women experience the opposite.
“With the last album [rapper Kanye West] did, he got all the best beat-makers on the planet at the time to make beats for him,” she told Pitchfork. “A lot of the time, he wasn’t even there. Yet no one would question his authorship for a second.”
She claims that even after Drew Daniel of Matmos tried to appropriate credit, no one retracted the error. Of her experience with this tribulation Bj_Òå¦rk learned, “Everything that a guy says once, [women] have to say five times.”
When a woman’s isn’t recognized for her own work, it implies that she is not capable of such accomplishment. Why is it difficult for people to accept that women have the same capabilities as men?
Mariel Loveland, front woman of the band Candy Hearts, revealed to Alternative Press the trials she experiences while on tour.
When Loveland is on tour, she is often the only female in a large group of men. This includes her band members, sound crew, lighting crew and equipment crew.
This is a disadvantage, especially when these men see her as an available woman and treat her as an object by calling “dibs.”
“They don’t know what it feels like, to be called the dreaded four-letter S-word because you were a little bit too nice or joked about the same vulgar things they were laughing about five minutes prior,” said Loveland.
Promoters often mistake Loveland as the “merch girl,” who has had to convince them that she is a legitimate member of the band. When trying to prove her affiliation with the band fails, she often responds with, “I’m just dating someone in the band, please don’t kick me out.”
When a woman is not accepted as a legitimate member in her own band it is insulting. It implies that running the merchandising operation of a band is a lesser job reserved for women.
Some of the more vulgar experiences female artists endure don’t always take place in real life.
“She shows too much skin.”
“Her look is just a gimmick.”
“She doesn’t write her own music.”
“She writes mean songs about her exes.”
“She should get raped and die.”
These are only some of the patronizing comments female artists receive online daily. They can begin as soon as a woman picks up her first instrument.
Because of the anonymity of the Internet, users think that posting these questions seems inconsequential and even harmless.
Lauren Mayberry, lead singer of the band Chvrches, told The Guardian about the online sexism and misogynistic comments she reads daily.
She receives vulgar death threats and explicit rape threats, and is slut shamed.
Despite the many positive messages artists receive from their fans every day, it is these negative comments that stand out and hurt the most.
And yet, some individuals still admonish Mayberry to “deal with it” because it is a regular aspect of the music industry.
But why should women be expected to “deal with it” and learn to accept it as if it doesn’t cause any harm?
Why is the objectification of women seen as a casual and normal practice?
Objectification, in any form, is not a practice anybody should have to bear.
Just because something is the norm doesn’t mean it should be accepted as such, women have the right to speak out about the injustice they experience without being disregarded.
Monica Lopez / The Poly Post
Sexism in music industry
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