Alter The Press!


Mariel Loveland (Candy Hearts) Discusses Sexism In The Music Industry

Mariel Loveland of Candy Hearts has written an op-ed about the sexism women face in the music industry for Alternative Press.

You can read the article in full here and check out an excerpt from the piece below.

"Ditzy. Unenthusiastic. Shows too much skin. Shows not enough skin. Too different. Too generic. Gap-toothed. Writes mean songs about her exes. Writes about her exes. Has exes. Is annoying. Is unavailable. Is too available. Is too flirty. Is too cold. Has bad hair. Should get cancer and die. Boring. Awkward. Rip-off. Low-rate. Not smart. Feminazi. Too girlish. Too boyish. Not doing anything. Gimmick. Joke. Talks too little. Talks too much. Too thin. Too fat. Hot mess. Stuck up.

I recently wrote a post on my personal Tumblr page listing all the nasty things I’ve read about myself online. This was, in part, inspired by Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches and the experimental pop artist Grimes, both of whom have spoken out about being a female member of the music industry and the misogyny they face online and off. As someone who was bullied growing up and has felt that painful, unyielding sense of hopelessness that comes with it, my words were meant to encourage those who may be struggling with the same thing to stay strong. You are in charge of the way you view yourself, and you can choose to let negativity in or shut it out. You are not hopeless.

What began as an exercise in self-worth quickly became much more as I had the unfortunate epiphany I usually have when thinking about these sorts of things. The more I started listing comments—from the negative to the fairly unobtrusive—the more I realized it had less to do with my music and more to do with my gender. I’m not going to lie to you and say men in bands don’t ever get teased or harassed: It’s just as easy to throw the same insipid insult at a random guy with a guitar as it is to throw one at a random girl, especially when you are hiding behind anonymity in the soul-sucking caverns of Reddit and the like. Men face hardships too, because living is difficult in some way or another for almost every human on this Earth. But it’s not my place to talk about them because I’m not one of them. Which leads me to my first point on things I’m sick of hearing:

1. “You shouldn’t really be that upset.” After reading the comments on the article, 9 Things Women in Music are Sick of Experiencing, as well as comments on various journals about feminism in relation to male-dominated industries, I have found that—holy hell—dudes love telling us how we should feel! Yes, there are benefits to being a woman. But you are not me, and I am not you, so you don’t know what makes me upset. Don’t tell me I should be excited that I can’t wander the beautiful cities we visit on tour alone at night, that I’m consistently belittled by promoters and security or that you have any idea what it’s like to read about the way your butt looks in jeans in a music review. Last time I checked, jeans were not music."

Alter The Press!