I’ve been pretty loud in my life about identifying as a ‘strong independent woman’. I’ve shouted it from rooftops and worn T-shirts with it plastered upon me. I am quite honestly fantastic at identifying publicly as a feminist.
Let’s talk about feminism in practise. That, I’m less great at. There are a lot of times where I don’t feel strong or independent. I have been known to “make a sandwich” when asked. I didn’t tell that guy to get his hands off of me when I should have. I’ve gotten pronouns wrong out of I forgetfulness and said misguided things that I didn’t properly apologise for.
I’ve fucked up. Big time.
I say this because I’m about to get quite critical of the music industry: an industry I have claimed to love (and I definitely do). I want you to know that when I do this, I’m not forgetting that mistakes are easy to make. I’ve made them. I get it.
But please stop pretending you haven’t been told about putting women in your line ups.
I know so many skilled, talented women. Yet they never appear on the stage! I honestly, truly, really don’t get the reason why, though. I don’t understand. The same applies to so many groups of our society! Why do we keep ignoring brilliant people? It’s belittling.
[And don’t get me started on being a female sound engineer. If I get one more pat on the head and a “good girl! You’re better at that than I thought”, I will personally put your audience in a world of feedback until you surrender to the almighty power of woman.]
Let me get this straight.
If you have no women in your line up, or no diversity in your line up at all, I don’t want to come to your gig. It’s plain and simple. If you have no women in your line up, I have next to no interest in seeing you play.
There are less women in the music industry because historically, they have not been supported. So it’s up to you to find people and support them. Pay them. Please dear God, pay them real, good money. They did not enter the industry as a hobby, just like you didn’t. Women artists aren’t attachments to the “real”, “male” ones and there’s a whole other article within the complex sexism of only including women in your line up as a token singer for a feature song.
Forgetting is no longer an excuse for exclusion. It reads as apathy and people notice. I’ve noticed and I’m done pacifying it with “do better next time” sentiments.
So I’m making a promise.
You have until April, 2019.
After that, I’m boycotting the gigs without diversity in their line up.
You forget that women, trans women, Women of Colour, LGBTQI+ women, disabled women and non-binary folk exist and I just might forget you too.
Get on it.