Sexism on college campuses
It turns out that we do like music made by women; we just don’t know it.Much of this unconscious bias plays out under the radar.By the front door hung a picture several feet high of Roman Polanski, near to which was a similarly imposing image of Woody Allen.It struck me that these men had something in common; they had been in the news in relation to sexual abuse. Or perhaps this juxtaposition manifested something more significant. The studio had a theme: this is a place for men to be comfortable, to be wonderful; where men may abuse people, even, and still be lauded. I contemplated how it might influence the two women who were recording, that day – and, ultimately, their music.
If subliminal messages and stereotypes affect our performance without us even knowing it, presumably musicians can suffer or benefit from this, too.Upon hiring me one rehearsal studios owner warned that when clients need assistance and they find a woman on shift, they will ask, "is there anyone who can help me with x?" When there's a man on shift the client will ask 'can you help me with x?A few things would always give it away: the disparaging remark about a colleague whose success "must be down to whom she was sleeping with," or the "too geeky" conversation that was apologised for once a female was present.Much has been written about sexism in the music industry, whether it is Grimes citing 'mansplaining' or Bjork discussing her work being credited to male collaborators.
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' Subtle but it sends a message – one of trust and confidence, expectation and normalisation - one which, accumulatively, when repeated day in day out, matters.