The Quietus shoots even higher up my list of best music sites with a newly posted article by Angus Finlayson: “Lesbian Propaganda & Other Myths: Misogyny In Dance Music“. Exploring the history of the seemingly politics-free, egalitarian rave scene, Finlayson discusses the state of the current dance world, and the “disturbing trend towards misogyny”. It is absolutely essential reading.
Finlayson starts off by quoting tweets from Scuba (Paul Rose, founder of Hotflush records) and music journalist Kristan Caryl (above). These, frankly stupid, remarks had already crossed my radar, especially since I consider myself a big fan of Scuba and his label. And I couldn’t help but feel enormously disappointed by someone I had truly admired. I regret that I said nothing, but sometimes I get so overwhelmed with the idiotic things people post online, and I realize I can’t take on the responsibility of being Defender Of The Honour Of All Women in Electronic Music at all times.
But sometimes I can’t help myself… A couple weeks ago I tweeted Hyperdub (electronic music label), half-jokingly wondering why they had to start a description of Cooly G’s newest release with the phrase “Female producer Cooly G”, strangely focusing in on her gender as the very first observation about her music. They replied with someone along the lines of “oooooooh ; )” , before promptly deleting the comment (wish I had taken a screenshot), and replying with something a little less condescending. (Edit: Full response from Hyperdub: @artfruit since there are very few women producers it is a distinction worth noting maybe, it is in itself an issue there aren’t more no?, @artfruit it’s a press release to intro an artist + ppl assume gender is male all the time, unless it’s clear – believe me. Simple really.)
And I also have been noticing the strange trend towards posting photographs of scantily clad hipster girls alongside YouTube rips of new music, as Finlayson mentions. Sometimes I wonder what they would do if faced with a female producer’s music? After a quick search, turns out it all gets the same treatment (equality, yay?) But it’s just one part of the barrage of images displaying women as objects that seems to have permeated the scene lately. While looking up some new music, I happened across the site of another producer I admire, half of Instra:mental, Jon Convex, whose own website is a mix of artwork, gig posters, photography, music, and yep, quite a lot of gratuitous t&a.
Personally, I appreciate a scene where the women involved can look and dress like a normal person, like a DJ/artist, where the images of women reflect me and my experiences, and where I’m not expected to look something like this (NSFW – but pretty funny) to get some attention.
Combine all of this with the recent results of DJ Mag’s Top 100 list (not a single woman), and I can’t help but feel incredulous when some people still ask me why I run WEM and this blog – because they think that it’s “not necessary in this day and age”…