The Black Madonna
I’m not gonna allow this as a space for men to tell anyone which women are worthy of respect or what women should do to stop sexism. -The Black Madonna
Bad Bitch Contest: First Place. <—-Seeing this instantly grabs my attention. As did a response The Black Madonna posted in regards a “want add” for a female DJ. Not only is she a Chi-Town girl (where I grew up) but shes got that something special about herself. It seems like shes got that personality that instantly attracts you and draws you in wanting more and more. She’s a little firecracker, and we all know I’m a firework junkie.
I’d like to take a moment to share her post that I came across today. It’s deep. It’s real. I appreciate her wisdom:
A lot of people have been forwarding me articles regarding a super gross thing about women DJs posted on the internet by a “peer.”
First and foremost I wanted to say that I echo your frustrations. That kind of open, shameless misogyny isn’t new to me, but it’s a continuing reminder of the amount of work there is to do.
But rather than giving another fool any attention, I just wanted to take this time to say that I am in awe, especially of the younger folks, that have endeavored to make their little slice of this world a kinder place to be. Their reaction on this matter has been loud and clear. I am inspired by the allegiances between so many different kinds of people, who are doing what they can, in their own way, to stick up for one another and make sure that our clubs are good places to be for everyone: women, trans folks, people of color, and on and on and every combination in between. I cheering on my peers, like Derrick Carter, that step up and say that this is not what we want men to be like in dance music. I am cheering for the people that are fighting the good fight not only for themselves but for people that don’t look like them.
bell hooks wrote, “Love is an action, never simply a feeling.”
We talk a lot of the ideas of peace, love, unity, respect and so on in dance music. My hope is that, in this time when so many great conversations are beginning, that we can remember that those ideas must also be actions, not just platitudes that silence someone else’s experience that may intrude on our dancefloor bliss.
If you are just beginning to get interested in helping and learning more cannot urge you enough to follow the work of groups like Discwoman, female:pressure, Salt & Sass and Nap Girls Int’l. Read the writings of DJ Sprinkles. Read bell hooks. Read Michelle Lhooq. Read the great RA piece about Octo Octa that just came out. Read Luis-Manuel Garcia’s “An alternate history of sexuality in club culture.” Read Kim Gordon’s memoir. Read Mellisa Harris Perry’s Black Feminism Syllabus!
And by all means, please read the accounts collected by Jessica Hopper of women facing discrimination and abuse in the music industry! A warning: some of them may be difficult and triggering for some folks. I am floored by the bravery of the women that spoke up and equally floored by the bravery of the women that aren’t ready and may never be ready to talk about the bad stuff they’ve experienced.
All of this is to say that, yes: many of us are standing together to reject very nasty post that is circulating about women DJs right now. But this post exists on a continuum that is sometimes not as obvious as one asshole who isn’t interested in hiring women who are too tall, fat or old. Many times people experience oppression much more subtle ways. Now is a great time to start thinking about that.
I hope as much as anything, that these moments draw all of us in the dance community closer together and into the the conversations that we need to be having to bring change in the long run.
‘I still believe that peace and plenty and happiness can be worked out some way. I am a fool.’ -KV
Also, I’m diggin this podcast she put up on soundcloud the other day
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