Get Back in the Kitchen & Suck My Dick: Addressing the ‘Boy’s Club’
“You want to hear a funny joke? Women’s rights.”
Chances are, this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this joke. Chances are you, like me (if you are female) have been told to ‘develop a stronger stomach’ for sexism across industries. In traditional workplaces you may have experienced the ‘Boy’s Club’ with situations where men are put ahead of you because of their connections, the perception that they are ‘more qualified’,or simply because society on the whole is more accustomed to seeing a male figure.
“Oh it’s that time of the month? Looks like its blowjob week.”
Or sometimes the guy is just more qualified than you are. Sometimes the fact that you are a woman has nothing to do with the way you are treated. Sometimes it has everything to do with it. Being a woman in any industry today is a tricky balance of knowing when your gender is being exploited and when it isn’t.
“Why did the woman cross the street? Better question: why did the woman leave the kitchen?”
However when sexist humor is thrown around, that is when you can be certain that your gender is being ridiculed. As ‘harmless’ as it may seem to men to suggest a woman ‘get back in the kitchen’ it is perpetuating a negative stereotype that a woman’s sole role in life is that of a homemaker. And while yes, some women accept the role of 1950’s wife with glee, when you tell a woman to ‘get back in the kitchen’ you are essentially telling her that her life’s ambitions are a joke.
So why am I bringing this up? Some of you might have seen me exploding in rage when Spinnin’ Records posted a picture of a CD-J ‘for women’ on both Facebook and Twitter. In case you missed that particular gem, here it is again:
Essentially a veiled indication that female DJ’s should ‘get back in the kitchen’, this image sparked anger from several fans both female and male.
And even after outrage poured in, all Spinnin’ managed to say was this:
Paraphrase: “Of course: we didn’t mean to offend you to by telling you to get back in the kitchen…but get back in the kitchen.”
This isn’t the first time female DJ’s have endured sexism, and it surely will not be the last. Call women on the whole ‘sensitive’ or ‘reactionary’ if you will, but that image to many women is a dismissive treatment of the female DJ’s we know and love. For an industry where some female artists are even asked ‘who makes their music’ (as if a woman were incapable of producing music), and festival line-ups are filled with predominantly male acts, It has become an increasingly hostile environment for female acts.
The Jane Doze, a New York-based DJ duo addressed the hateful image posted by Spinnin on their Tumblr, while countless other female DJ’s fired back, upset that a ‘professional’ record label would stoop so low simply to boost engagement rates. Even social media provocateur Cindy Gallop left her two-cents:
The way we view DJ’s of all genders should be from a place of critical analysis: I would rather hear that a female DJ was genuinely bad in their performance because of inexperience, than that the inexperience was exclusive to the fact that she was female. Similarly, I openly welcome others to suggest a male DJ earned his spot on a lineup based solely on his merits as a performer, not because he was a ‘boys club’ nominee that openly disrespects women.
Last I checked, DJing equipment was not operated by use of the penis, so to suggest that having one be a prerequisite for being a talented DJ is not only archaic, it is absurd.
Want to discover some kick-ass ladies who spin? Check out Flavorwire’s top 10 list, and some of my personal favorites from Soundcloud below:
Got a favorite power femme you don’t see on this list? PLEASE leave suggestions in the comments.