After reading the Weinstein victims’ stories, I’m feeling called to write an in-depth article examining the abuses of power and systematic objectification of / devaluation of women in the music industry.
Such as when my ex-boyfriend’s manager, upon learning that we were in a relationship, called him up just to say “so, now that you guys are together, does this mean you’re not going to focus on making music and touring as much anymore?” … his manager didn’t know me at all. It wasn’t personal. He simply intended to plant the idea that being in a relationship might hold him back from his path to stardom. He was this manager’s biggest client, and the manager didn’t want anything to threaten the availability / marketability / money-making ability of his cash cow. Everyone, no matter what their job is, should be freely allowed to have a romantic relationship. It would not be normal in any other industry for a manager to suggest to his client that being in love will detract from their success. In my experience, girls in the scene are generally treated by industry people as either a reward for getting fame and money, or a distraction from getting fame and money.
ALL humans need more than money and fame and status. You can have those things in droves and you will, without a doubt, be miserable if you don’t have genuine loving relationships and real connection.
All of my ex’s friends were professionally and/or personally benefitting from him in some way. They all worked in the same niche scene, and relied heavily on his rising star for their own success. As a result, he said all kinds of things that most people would not get away with. He didn’t have any real friends to keep him in check. One time, he held back tears as he told me about how all his friends treat him differently now. That is the problem with power. It’s so easy to become insulated inside a bubble of sycophants and fans. There is a great article about how this literally causes brain damage (link in comments).
He became emotionally and verbally abusive when challenged, and would say things that were very similar to Harvey Weinstein’s threats. “I’ll put you on blast,” “I’ll get you banned from festivals,” etc. He tried to use his power and influence to control me whenever I pushed back. I strongly believe that if any of his “friends” / associates / collaborators ever held him accountable for his bullying behavior, it would not run so rampant. I believe Harvey Weinstein could and should have been stopped by the people around him. There are several people who witnessed the abuse by my ex, who even acknowledged to me that it was abusive, who still continued to be his sycophants, apparently because they didn’t want to lose such a “valuable” connection.
Or what about the time I was all set up with another girl to interview Borgore, and when we arrived, his PR person asked us to do the interview topless? My response was to refuse to take off my giant jacket for the entire interview. The producer later yelled at me for this. Also, right after the interview, a woman slipped a letter to Borgore, explaining the ways his music / messaging was harmful to women. He THREW A DAMN FIT, no exaggeration, going absolutely ballistic until the other interviewer and I began comforting him to calm him down. I still feel ashamed for playing into that bullshit, and going into the culturally conditioned nurturing-accommodating-pleasing mode that I have always understood to be the role of the female, even directly after feeling so objectified and offended by him. Within a minute of meeting me, he asked why I was wearing an “ugly hippie shirt.” Google “negging” if you don’t already know what that means.
Or that time one of my ex’s closest friends kicked everyone out of the green room by saying “get out unless you’re either a DJ, or fucking a DJ,” and the 3 of us girls who were standing together, who were all dating DJ’s that were performing that night, froze. Do we stay in the room and therefore be labelled as those who were “fucking a DJ,” or do we leave the room just to preserve some shred of dignity? I went to the bathroom and started hyperventilating.
If you are in the orbit of someone with fame and/or money, and you recognize them acting in ways that wouldn’t normally be acceptable, but are normalized and accepted by the people around them because of their status, please do the right thing and speak up.
One day soon, I will write about all my experiences with systematic sexism in the music industry, and the macrocosmic issues they reflect. There are, unfortunately, way too many of these experiences to share in a FB post. I will write about them fully, vulnerable and brave, no longer scared of the backlash. And that is how I take my power back.
We can’t wait to read Tiny&Cute’s Rain tell-all, especially the chapters on faux feminist Donkey Allison, the EDM home wrecker groupie from hell.