Monday, 3 July 2017


A poem.



The other day at my weekly family dinner, a family friend brought up an event in my city that occurred a few weeks ago, and the surrounding controversy.

A local music institution, the uni bar, was closing its doors forever and having a huge closing night show, being organised by a local music event company. In the lead up to the show, the bands for the night were announced and it was going to be this huge thing, with lots of local bands as well as some (one) bigger name.

At one point, someone asked the promoter why there were literally no female or non-binary musicians playing, either as solo acts, as part of bands, or entire bands (if I recall correctly). The promoter responded with a typical terrible "but I'm organising it and this is the music I want to listen to and also here's an offensive and ignorant comment about non-binary people" response and it was major news.

So at this lovely dinner, I was the only one of eight people who thought that the line-up was an issue. Some had heard this new ~local celebrity~ on the radio and his comments hadn't been as offensive as those he made initially and were confused by the fuss. I explained his initial comment re: NB people and most of the table conceded that was uncool (not that I think most of my family are familiar with non-binary as a concept for gender) but still thought the line-up was fine.

I flat out refused to engage in this debate, which was a good move, because even the fact that a refused to debate was taken as an opportunity to illustrate to me all the many ways I was wrong. And while it's always fun to be the one person being picked on among a group of eight, I continued to shut the conversation down and refuse to be part of it.

Because here's the part that they wouldn't understand: If you constantly see yourself represented, in diverse roles and professions and films and music and media, of course representation isn't something you would care about. You're everywhere. Hell, I'm plenty of places, as a white cis able-bodied person. Even as a white cis able-bodied woman I'm more places than any other women who are not white or cis-gendered or able-bodied.

So you think the douchey promoter guy should have been able to just pick his boys club of bands for the night and it doesn't matter? Sure it doesn't matter to you, because you're there. You're visible. You see yourself everywhere. You don't care that there's no chicks there, because it's about the music, man. Why do you gotta make everything about gender? Isn't it worse if he hires a bunch of lady musicians PURELY because they're women? Isn't that the real sexism, choosing people just because they're women????

No. It's not. For many reasons, it's very not.

It's recognising that representation is important, even if it means you're represented less.

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