On the 24th of August, Pitchfork Senior Editor Jessica Hopper tweeted this:
Gals/other marginalized folks: what was your 1st brush (in music industry, journalism, scene) w/ idea that you didn't "count"?
— Jessica Hopper (@jesshopp) August 24, 2015
Three days later, the answers are still coming in. There are so many. And they make for truly depressing reading – or, as we prefer to think of it, extra-strength rocket fuel for our ambition. Because fuck these guys.
So here it, folks: the state of the music industry told in 59 tweets.
1. I went to university for this?
@jesshopp former GM (he’s since retired, new GM is great)at first ave told me majoring in music in college qualified me to “be a housewife”
— claire de lune (@ClaireMPLS) August 24, 2015
2. Good riddance
@jesshopp the older boys all quit writing for the music pages of our uni paper when I was made section editor ?
— Laura Snapes (@laurasnapes) August 24, 2015
@jesshopp working at a record store men ignore me & seek out other men to answer questions. Then they’re referred back to me.
— Sam ♡’Rama (@samorama) August 24, 2015
4. Your princess is in another castle
5. They definitely say this about male artists
@jesshopp my first set on my college radio station: the music director said i played ‘too many women’ when i played three out of four songs
— maura johnston (@maura) August 24, 2015
6. Really? REALLY?
7. How considerate
@jesshopp People telling me that it was nice Comedy Central let me work on the show that I co-created, co-EPed, and booked.
— Emily V Gordon (@thegynomite) August 26, 2015
8. No offence, but…
9. Hands OFF
@jesshopp at 15 I went to a hardcore show. Standing at the front, an adult-man lifted me up, saying “you don’t belong in there, love”.
— Sammy Maine (@sammymaine) August 25, 2015
10. What did you just say?
11. Straight outta Twatsville
@jesshopp 1st interview ever w/ a legendary rap group. They sent me out of the room and told me “The chickenhead convention is thatta way.”
— kathy iandoli (@kath3000) August 25, 2015
12. You can’t win, part 1
13. You can’t win, part 2
.@jesshopp when i was a tour manager i’d get treated *exponentially* better when i wore pants vs a dress
— Charlotte Zoller (@cz77) August 26, 2015
14. That’s the way it works, right?
15. Funny how no one says this about white people stories
@jesshopp i was told by a white male editor that i’m a “one-trick pony” for writing about muslims, arabs, etc.
— Tasbeeh (@THerwees) August 24, 2015
17. Dear lord
@jesshopp “you like THEM? They’re not really for young girls, you know.. This is a phase. You should listen to something your level like 1D”
— claire (@queerchique) August 25, 2015
18. Justice, part 2
— SURVIVAL GUIDE (@SrvvlGd) August 25, 2015
19. So blonde men don’t get work either?
@jesshopp He said I “looked like a PR girl”
— Jenny Stevens (@jenny_stevens) August 25, 2015
21. You cannot be serious
@jesshopp When I was at recording school & I heard a guy say, “The girls are just here for affirmative action, to keep the school open.”
— carlyrhiannon (@carlyrhiannon) August 25, 2015
22. Consider this
@jesshopp Being told at one of my 1st shows that I should wear more makeup and dress like a girl until I learned how to play guitar.
— Shelley Miller (@shelleymiller1) August 25, 2015
24. Not sure if creeping or just insulting
25. I h8 U, job plz
— J. Escobedo Shepherd (@jawnita) August 25, 2015
26. “I’d like to thank the woman who did the actual work”
27. The only member ’round here is you, sunshine
@jesshopp the dudes in my band go into venue carrying guitars, door guy lets them thru.I come last, carrying a kick drum:”band members only”
— ritchey (@jurlee_mang) August 25, 2015
28. Look at the stage, kthx
29. He’d probably say it was a “compliment”
@jesshopp comment when I was in early 20s from more senior male colleague as I arrived at the office one day: here comes the “glamour model”
— Lucy Jones (@lucyjones) August 24, 2015
30. I think you’ll find…
31. Thanks, data protection
@jesshopp guitar center employee taking my name & number off the receipt & finding me on fb to say it was “cool” that i bought a big muff
— emma bxhnkx (@ween_ebooks) August 25, 2015
32. You can’t win… again
33. Nah, no thanks
@jesshopp my favorite is when club staff/security think i’m backstage because i’m trying to sleep with a band member
— Father/Daughter Recs (@father_daughter) August 25, 2015
34. What does that sound like, then?
35. No correlation
@jesshopp When a man I was interviewing said to me “I hope your writing is as good as your tits”
— rachel syme (@rachsyme) August 25, 2015
36. Patience of a saint
37. “Memorable” is one way of putting it
@jesshopp not 1st, but esp. memorable, was waking up to a photo from a stranger on twitter who had printed out my photo & jizzed on it ?
— ZESTY DUDE (@meaghan_garvey) August 25, 2015
@jesshopp and then I believed thay to be a fact for years because at the time I couldn’t find a popular band with all female members
— Jennifer (@_coffee_eyes_) August 25, 2015
39. Just carrying it for fun
40. There are no words
— Kim Kelly (@GrimKim) August 25, 2015
41. Poor babies
42. That’d be me
@jesshopp While setting up mics for a live band, got asked if I was “helping out the sound guy”. Had to tell them I was the sound guy.
— Gaptooth (@gaptoothmusic) August 25, 2015
43. Thanks for your help, mate
44. Might not bother, then
@jesshopp Pretty much any time male artists seem shocked and/or dismayed when they realize I’m the one who’ll be writing a story on them.
— Jess Huddleston (@JessHuddles) August 25, 2015
45. That last sentence…
46. Hand it over
@jesshopp 1st time? being told that drink tix were for band members only, not girlfriends.I WAS the lead singer and songwriter of the band!
— Katy Vernon (@LondonKaty) August 25, 2015
47. Whose banjo is it anyway?
48. Thanks so much
@jesshopp While recording bass tracks, sound engineer (and fellow bassist) complimented: “wow, she’s almost as good as me.” ALMOST THX GUY
— Shazia Khan (@ohshaz) August 25, 2015
49. He’s not that good a journalist, actually
@jesshopp probably being shoved to the back of a rancid crowd as a 13 year old black girl, and being told it wasn’t the place for me.
— amalia (@amalianicholson) August 25, 2015
@jesshopp pits are so heinous. Being felt up shows, middle of set and you think someone’s pressed close bc crowd but nope he’s rubbing off
— bro in salmon shorts (@pterosaur) August 25, 2015
52. Ahahaha, no.
53. Mansplaining, the live show
— Brodie Lancaster (@brodielancaster) August 25, 2015
55. This changes everything
@jesshopp a 90’s aol emo chat penpal found out i was female after 5 months chatting and 4 mixtape exchanges & immediately webcammed his dick
— lila engel (@lila_engel) August 25, 2015
56. No one should have to deal with this
@jesshopp also heard from barrier guys in my venue that audience members on the barrier attempt upskirt pics of female singers
— South By YES (@southbyYES) August 25, 2015
57. Nah, you’re alright
58. That ‘fuckability’ thing again
@jesshopp being a woman at 40+ is worse. if the dudes don’t want to fuck you then you are extra invisible.
— Motormouthmedia Judy (@motormouthmedia) August 25, 2015
59. This sums up the entire attitude.
And for anyone who thinks this stuff doesn’t keep women and marginalised groups out of the industry:
. @jesshopp's timeline is filled with the reasons I fear going after my dream job
— Rebecca Stewart (@BeckyStewart13) August 25, 2015
Nothing like @jesshopp's current timeline to remind me why I decided against a career in the music industry and never regretted the choice.
— Nancy Baym (@nancybaym) August 25, 2015
So what can you do to help? Well, as we recently saw with sexual assaults on public transport, speaking up is vital. As Baxter Holland says:
Reading @jesshopp's timeline about ppl feeling marginalized w/in music is a reminder to say something if you see something. Esp as a guy.
— Baxter Holland (@MathRawk) August 25, 2015
Hear that, guys? You too.
Jessica perfectly sums up how we feel about this:
Imagine what music would be like if we didn't make young women jump through such demeaning hoops to show they belong here.
— Jessica Hopper (@jesshopp) August 25, 2015
Imagine how many women, queer kids, POC might stick around scenes, industry, journalism if they encountered support not hostility.
— Jessica Hopper (@jesshopp) August 25, 2015
She’s still retweeting stories on her Twitter page – head there if you want a true picture of how big this problem is.
Main image © iStock/coloroftime