I’ve gotten used to having my credentials questioned when I show up to gaming tournaments and conventions; I have answered in a jaded affirmative when asked “You play games? Really?” so many times that I am now officially dead inside. Unfortunately, that same type of incredulity often appears when I introduce myself as a member of my own band to a ticket-taker before a performance (“You’re sure you’re just not one of these guys’ girlfriends? Because if you are, I can’t let you in without paying.”)
Although geeky spaces have their own particular flavor of “fake geek girl” gatekeeping, the music industry shares some of the exact same exclusionary habits, as documented in this Twitter thread initiated by Pitchfork editor Jessica Hopper. The full thread, catalogued in this lengthy Storify, includes depressing accounts from journalists, musicians, and venue staffers about their experiences with sexism, racism, and other marginalizing micro-aggressions they’ve experienced while on the job, or attending a show as a fan who doesn’t “look” like they belong.
Marginalized people have had their work stolen and voices silenced in arts communities since time immemorial. Unfortunately, music is no exception. The pervasive assumptions about what artists, fans and journalists “should” look like needs to get dumped into the bin. Okay, now let’s go thrash to War On Women until we feel better!
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