The words: “is a male dominated medium” could legitimately follow most prefixes. We live in a culture where sexism and benevolent prejudice are prevalent in our everyday lives, as well as the denial and general dismissal of said issues.
We apply responsibility to victims of sexual assault by opening up dialogues about what they were wearing at the time. We operate under insanely ludicrous double standards when discussing a woman’s sex life. The female equivalent of an assertive and powerful man is a power hungry bitch who has sacrificed her femininity in her pursuit of a “man’s role”. When a man accepts a compliment he is seen as confident. When a woman accepts a compliment, she is seen as conceited. I could go on.
Whenever issues like this are raised as a topic of discussion, more often than not, a plethora of misguided defences based around the argument that “not all men are like this” are sung in chorus by those worried about the focus being taken off them as they feel their unearned privilege being threatened. The only purpose this serves, is to derail us from the important topics that need to be addressed and direct the focus back to men. Feminists are aware that not all men are misogynists. Feminism is a movement that strives for equality.
As a band with both male and female members, feminism is something that is very important to us. When an artist is performing on stage, they are wearing their heart on their sleeve. They are saying: “Listen to this thing that we have created” as they strive to execute the best possible performance for the audience. When a collection of musicians perform original content together, they become a single entity. When we decide if we like a band or not, we don’t make an assessment of each individual member and calculate an average grade to help us arrive at a conclusion. However, it has been made clear on countless occasions that having two women share the stage with me and the other two guys in the band is somehow a noteworthy observation.
If the ratio was reversed, the focus would still be on how many women are on the stage. The fact of the matter is that women are judged in a completely different way to men, even when they are doing the exact same things. A male actor would be asked what he did to prepare for the role or what his biggest challenge was during filming. A female actor would be asked “who” she is wearing or how she manages to balance her home life with her career.
I have had conversations about how our lead singer should look at changing her image in order to fit in with the concept of being in a band. These conversations were with other well-meaning women. I can’t imagine that conversation happening if the lead singer was a man. We need feminism because the men in the band are judged by their musical ability over their appearance, as it should be, and the women are judged by their appearance first.
We need feminism because this isn’t necessarily a conscious thought process that people have. It is the product of entrenched core standards and values that rest in our subconscious. We are taught to value a woman’s worth based on her appearance, regardless of her ability. “I like Lorde, she’s not fit though.” – Direct quote there, providing an answer to a question that doesn’t need to be asked.
We need feminism so that women performers may be recognised for their art, not what clothes they are wearing, or what is underneath them. We need feminism so that our band may be recognised as five performers on stage and nothing more.