Sexism in the music industry by Alva Leigh

As part of our Women in Country month we asked Alva Leigh to write a few words about her experience in the music industry, and thoughts on sexism in the industry.

Of course I’ve spoken my mind and received an eye roll. I’ve deflected unwanted advances from male fans. I’ve been ignored by sound guys. I’ve been pressured to believe that I don’t deserve my dream unless I'm willing to sacrifice everything for it - like a family, a marriage, a balanced life. I can count on two hands how many female back-of-house workers I know (producers, tour managers, sound engineers, pluggers, agents, etc.).

But to be honest, I’m tired of flinging outrage into a digital vacuum. I want to find solutions. I want to see more pack-and-plays on riders, 12-year-old girls in punk bands, women mentoring women, artists from marginalised communities. I want women in music to be accepted as freely as men are. 

But that will require men and women within the industry to redefine success so that it includes and affirms women’s voices and women’s bodies — in all their wonderful and inspiring variations. And it will require us, the listeners and the fans to seek out and support female artists not as charity or as token girls but because we have incredible stories to tell as women. People need to take women seriously as artists and human beings.

To hear more from Alva follow her on Twitter, or check out her website.

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