Whenever the topic of gender equality, sexism and feminism comes up, I get furious while reading the comments. I want to speak up. However, the moment I start writing, massive self-doubts emerge. Maybe I am oversensitive to this? Maybe I exaggerate my experiences? Why would my voice matter? These doubts show how the upbringing and culture of oppression formed me as a woman. This time, I decided to do something against my low self-confidence. Before I invite you to listen to our new podcast “Let’s talk women in the music industry”, I share a personal note on the topic, as I am also a woman on the outskirts of the music industry.
I struggled a lot with this text. The first draft came out extremely hostile and overemotional, and offensive. I didn’t notice it, as I was tired of playing nice when speaking up against sexism and wanted to make a clear statement. As I cooled down, I realised that it would only make me act as some men do when they feel threatened by the topic of gender equality. They become hostile. Arrogant. Close their ears and act insensitively. That’s not the right way of discussing the issue.
In the spirit of listening to female voices, I’d like to urge each of us, including myself, to keep an open mind and open ears when women share their experience, and to focus on finding ways to improve the music industry in terms of gender equality. Each of us can do something to make things better.
Be so kind and truly listen to women when they talk about gender imbalance. If a number of people share their struggles related to gender, race, sexuality or whatever else, and they say there is an issue, that means there is an issue. Period.
It’s not trendy political correctness. It’s not a generalisation. It’s not taken out of context. All we ask is that you listen and really hear what is being said. Think about why that is. Have these conversations with women but, even more importantly, with your male friends and colleagues. Acknowledge your privilege. Think of how you can use it to help.
The issue is not about you personally. This is about ending the systemic oppression of women. There is no debate on whether there is any kind of oppression or discrimination, it is a fact. Take your time, educate yourself on the topic. Don’t dismiss it because you never noticed it, or because it seems that women in your surroundings are not affected.
Ask women about their experience, listen carefully when they share it with you and focus on making the change for the better.
To continue shedding light on the matter, we share with you the podcast “Let’s talk about women in the music industry”. We spoke with Maria Apetri, also known as Fallulah, who has spent years raising the issue of sexism and empowering female professionals in the Danish music business. We also spoke with Jakob Løkkegaard-Friese, the founder and CEO of W.A.S. Entertainment, a music company that started an initiative aimed at bringing gender equality into the music industry in Denmark.
What is the female experience in the music industry? What has changed for the better? What still needs to change? How is the industry approaching the issue? Listen to the thoughts of people who are encouraging this positive change.
You can find the podcast also on Spotify.