Off The Record
International Women’s Day fell on Wednesday March 8 this year.
Whatever its meaning to you, International Women’s Day is a vehicle for awareness and an opportunity to embrace a necessary and progressive approach to gender equality. It locates the discourse and action in a universal space. Importantly, it engages a variety of voices at both the micro level of the individual, and the general level of the community. It reminds us that this is not simply a ‘women’s issue’. It is an everyone issue.
Disparities in gender permeate throughout every aspect of the social organism. Modern generations are, to varying degrees of stubborn opposition, disassembling the dense and rigid patriarchal structures that undermine women at every level. These have seeped into every crevice of the music industry and actively deterred and denied women’s participation in studios, behind turntables, in music writing and journalism. They have been denied influence; the influence of role models on future generations. For every male cultural icon or ‘hero’, there have been countless women neglected. How can we suffocate this expression? Why?
Thanks to certain overarching generational beliefs, women are undervalued. Thanks to these beliefs, stereotypes have been rendered reality. How one can possibly say that women are “less interested in technology or music” when they’ve been deliberately kept adrift, deterred or denied access is beyond me.
Empowering and enabling women is essential: locally, at a grassroots level, and publicly, where I believe existing role models have a social responsibility. Not with ‘Top 50 Female DJs’ lists but with education, awareness, opportunity and equity. There are some excellent resources available out there that are stimulating solidarity and expression; international creative collectives such as Femmecult and Female:pressure, Melbourne’s Synth Babe Records (which recently released a downloadable compilation), and FBi’s Dance Class mentoring program for young women.
While I think it’s important we consider the low representation of women in DJ charts, for example, or their meagre numbers in event billing, it all ultimately leads back to the issue being a systemic one. We can examine it through any number of statistics, refer to any amount of resources, or make any amount of presumptions. We certainly need to hold institutions and establishments to account, but we need to ensure we’re looking in the right places and targeting the right people.
This Week's Playlist:
DJ Slyngshot’s Love Unlimited EP for house with a bouncy hip hop/breaks influence. Also, Sadar Bahar’s Dekmantel Festival Boiler Room mix is funky and soulful jam after jam, and a reminder that you don’t have to mix with seamless technicality to get a floor dancing. And, in case you’ve somehow missed it, Childish Gambino’s Awaken, My Love!, which certainly owes a debt to P-Funk amongst its varied influences. It’s remarkable the way Donald Glover has realised this record, so distinct from his previous hip hop releases.
SATURDAY MARCH 18
DJ Tennis, Murat Kilic @ Civic Underground
WEDNESDAY MARCH 22
Good Things Launch w/ Mantra Collective, Ben Fester, Human Movement @ Goodbar
SATURDAY MARCH 25
Tiger Stripes, Groove Terminator @ Chinese Laundry
SUNDAY MARCH 26
Summer Dance – feat: Glenn Underground, Anthony Naples, Daydreams @ National Art School
SATURDAY APRIL 1
Rings Around Saturn, Cop Envy, Hubert Clarke Jr, Preacha @ Chippendale Hotel
SUNDAY APRIL 16
DJ Sprinkles, Peter Van Hoesen, Material Object @ The Red Rattler