I have spent the last ten or so years of my professional life working in the traditional music world as a performer, educator and composer. Right now, this scene is having its #metoo moment with the hashtags #itendsnow and #misefosta. This is predicated on the valiant work of groups such as the BIT Collective, Fair Plé and protestations from 2016 and 2017 around the blatant sexism in our world.
My first awareness of a public outcry highlighting the preference for ‘masculine’ music by the industry and the lack of opportunity for female musicians was in 2016. BBC Radio 2 Instrumentalist of the Year Rachel Newton argued on social media that she felt “overwhelmed by the amount of all-male and more importantly very masculine bands… dominating the Scottish traditional music scene”. Continue reading →
Women in the Scottish traditional and folk music scene say it is time for “inappropriate behaviour” by men to stop.
Women working in the Scottish trad and folk music scene are calling for an end to “inappropriate behaviour” and sexism by men.
Glasgow musician and lecturer in traditional music Jenn Butterworth says young women have been sharing harrowing stories online about sexual abuse, harassment and misogyny within trad and folk music in Scotland.
“Everyone is fully aware these things are going on,” she told BBC Scotland’s The Nine, and women are speaking out in the hope it can finally change.
Fiddle player and academic Rona Wilkie says more “hair-raising” stories are coming out every week about what young women especially are subjected to from men in the industry.
Rona, from Oban, won the young traditional musician of the year award in 2012 at the age of 22 but she has been performing since she was very young. Continue reading →
A growing number of young female musicians are risking their livelihoods and forfeiting their anonymity in order to speak out about their personal experiences of sexual abuse, assault, harassment and coercion by men on the folk and traditional music scene, both in Ireland and the U.K.
We acknowledge their honesty, courage, anger and pain, and their right to seek justice.
As a diverse musical community, and industry, we must not respond with silence, or complicity.
We are calling on folk and traditional music organisations, artists, festivals, industry workers, education establishments, music fans and audiences to support a fundamental culture change that ensures women’s safety, equality and dignity.
We need a code of ethics, which protects women in folk and traditional music from sexual harassment and assault, and sends a clear zero tolerance message to male perpetrators.
This is the moment to redress power imbalances, promotes a culture of respect, trust, and equality and create safe, collaborative environments in which all folk and traditional musicians can share and enjoy the music that we love. – Rachel Newton Music
(TW/CW: Abuse of power, nudes, predatory behaviour) For a long time I have been disappointed in the folk music scene for the portions of underlying prejudices it possesses. Most female musicians I …
For a long time I have been disappointed in the folk music scene for the portions of underlying prejudices it possesses. Most female musicians I know have been introduced as a ‘pretty young thing’ or ‘bonny lass’ by MCs who go on to introduce male acts as ‘brimming with talent’ and ‘a spectacular musician’ (these are just examples that I have heard first hand). However, I feel it is time to unveil a more sinister element which I have only just been brave enough to acknowledge. Since I came out about my own experiences, I have had the privilege to hear the stories of other women who have been in similarly horrid experiences. But I want to begin with myself. Continue reading →
When the actor Emma Thompson left the forthcoming animated film Luck last month while it was still in production, it was done without public fanfare, and was only confirmed when film-industry publications such as Variety magazine picked up on it. Now Thompson has put herself firmly above the MeToo parapet with the publication publishing her incendiary letter of resignation addressed to the film’s backers, Skydance Media, one of Hollywood’s most prestigious studios.
It was known that Thompson was unhappy with the arrival in January of former head of Pixar John Lasseter as the new head of Skydance Animation. But the letter goes into extraordinary detail about her disquiet over the appointment of a studio executive whose downfall had been one of the key landmarks of the Me Too and Times Up campaigns.The move was immediately hailed by activists. Melissa Silverstein, founder and publisher of the website Women and Hollywood tweeted: “This is more than an open letter — Thompson has issued a rallying cry. We hope others with power and privilege will join Thompson in speaking out about abuses of power and those who enable that toxic behavior.” [ . . . ]