“No Big Deal?” / DJ Mag Undercuts Great Words With Dumb Photo

Ladies Guide to Pioneer CDJ-2000*

Remember when, last September, Spinnin’ Records posted a “joke” photo (since deleted) on Facebook and Twitter of a stovetop burner laid into the platter of a CD-J with the caption “Pioneer finally developed a CD-J for women”? Oh, how we all “laughed”. And threw up in our mouths. Even popular women’s site XOJane wrote about it.

Well, I couldn’t help but think of this super-funny incident when I opened the latest issue of DJ Mag.

[update: You can now read the full article and view the image on the DJ Mag website]

On page 23, I found the Rant n Rave column. In “No Big Deal?” an anonymous writer describes her experiences as a female DJ – constantly being patronized by men who question her technical skills or knowledge, and the sexist experiences she and her female colleagues encounter on a regular basis. It’s an entertaining read, but most of all, it’s an important issue – and I was super excited to see that DJ Mag was behind pushing for equality and fair treatment for women in the DJ booth.

But then I looked up – at the accompanying illustration (click on the above image for the full illustration).

Taking up nearly as much as space on the page is an image of a CD-J with the title “Ladies Guide to Pioneer CDJ-2000*” – the asterisk pointing towards “*Only jokin!”

Ah, how many times I’ve heard and read these words – “just kidding!”, “it’s a joke!”, “don’t you have a sense of humour?”

Almost as many times as I’ve heard “I’m not sexist but…” followed by something obviously very sexist. After all – “I love women!”

Basically, this illustration of the CD-J had a bunch of stereotypically sexist comments explaining its functions, like: “Sync: Means ‘matches’, like your handbag and shoes.”

So first of all – there’s no doubt in my mind that DJ Mag meant this photo as a joke – it’s obviously meant as an extremely exaggerated caricature of a misogynist’s point of view. But my question is – why? Why fuel the fire with this “satirical” illustration?

The few cheap laughs that this pic will generate, I assure you, will not be at the expense of sexists – it will be at the expense of women.

Would it not make more sense to include a photo of a female DJ here? Or are five photos of women artists amongst countless men (at my rough count – not including album covers and ads) the limit for DJ Mag? [update: Let’s get more precise. I tried to count more carefully and found 3 more women (bringing the total to 8), but then I also found 149 male faces of artists and DJs. That’s means that only 5% of the artist images throughout the entire magazine represent women.]

Why not use this space to instead promote respect towards women DJs – that is after all, the point of the article this image accompanies.

DJ Mag’s effort to bring visibility to the issues many women DJs face with this “Rant N Rave” is admirable. It’s a shame that the accompanying illustration is a complete waste of space.

image: DJ Mag No. 528 December 2013, page 23

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