Guest Post: Yes, It Is a Problem That There Is Not a Single Woman in the Spring Fling Lineup

Bernstein ’13, a senior and former member of Spring Fling Committee, reflects on male domination in the Wesleyan music scene—and how it can be changed.

Riot grrrl supergroup Wild Flag performs at Eclectic in October 2011. Photo by Rachel Pincus ’13.

Ally Bernstein ’13 offers a critical view on the 2013 Spring Fling lineup, weighing in on an argument that appeared in the comments section of Thursday night’s announcement post:

As I struggle to match words to my experience, I recall the last time someone wrote an article critical of the gender imbalance in the Wesleyan music scene. Avery Trufelman ’13 wrote a Wespeak in 2010 in response to our general feelings of malaise as well as an upsetting incident of sexual assault at a Titus Andronicus concert. And while she wrote it during the beginning of our sophomore year, as a senior, I wonder how much has changed. At the recent, excellent Potty Mouth concert in the WestCo Café, an overwhelmingly male audience turned out to watch four punk ladies from Northampton churn out sweetly melodic lo-fi tunes. Spring Fling Committee is 72% male. The Spring Fling lineup is 100% male. The majority of campus bands are still male.

Since the Potty Mouth show, I’ve tried to figure out why. Why don’t more female Wesleyan students attend shows, and why don’t more female Wesleyan students play shows? Why are women not engaged by what Wesleyan has to offer? In 2012 I visited a friend living in Olympia, Washington, birthplace of riot grrrl and home base of Kathleen Hanna, who spoke at Wesleyan in 2010. I attended a show at my friend’s house, and every single band out of the four that played had at least one non-male member. Many had more. Not only did these ladies kill it, but the atmosphere in the crowded living room was electric. Men and women and non-binary folks were all feeding off the positive energy of dedicated people making good music. During that trip, I sat in on some band practices where people of all genders were collaborating and sharing and just figuring things out. The attitude was infectious.

I think back to those band practices and shows as a model for my own musical aspirations, and it’s an attitude that I wish I could’ve bottled up and brought back to Wesleyan. Sometimes I worry that the musicians here are too talented, and that everyone feels added pressure because of the success of our alumni. In some ways, I worry that we’ve eliminated room to experiment, the place where you can be slightly less precious about your music and still find it worthwhile.

I see this as a problem because it makes it more difficult for a woman who is shy about playing guitar to feel comfortable performing. But I don’t think that’s the only reason. I’d like to make a suggestion: There aren’t enough female acts being brought to Wesleyan. I’m going through old concert previews and trying to count and it’s frustrating me, so I’m not going to do that, and we’ve certainly had a few. But I don’t think it’s enough. I don’t believe that it’s fair to say, “Well, you’re a woman, play music if you want more women to play music,” or argue that there just aren’t a lot of girls who play instruments. When I see people having fun performing, I want to do it, too. But when they’re all men, or mostly men, it reinforces the idea that men are better at music, that I’m not good enough, and that I will face ridicule if I even try. Potty Mouth made me want to play music. If there were concerts like that every weekend, I think that the nature of our scene could be transformed into something inclusive, supportive, and empowering. But as it stands, there aren’t, and most of the money for bigger shows is dedicated to male acts.

I’d like to take a minute to point out that I am complicit in this problem, as I was part of the committee that created an all-male Spring Fling lineup in 2011. I wish I had done things differently, and the people who do contribute to the diversity of the Wesleyan music scene constantly amaze me. It feels shitty that I can only reflect on this as a graduating senior. I think of the people who have graduated and their musical projects (Dead Language, the Creeps, Kentucky Fried Doom, Scroats, Cous Cous, Metacomet [just released a tape!], Red Sweatpants Blue Sweatpants, the High Lonesome, Sylvia Ryerson, countless others*) and I feel frustrated that I was in a place to continue this tradition and did not take action.

A friend who was accepted into the class of 2017 asked me about making music as a woman at Wesleyan, and it pained me to answer honestly. But I hope that she chooses to attend despite the paucity of female musical presence, because I think that there’s potential. I recognize that soon this will not be my battle to fight, but I’d like to ask a favor. Strive to expose yourself to artists that aren’t white and that aren’t male. And strive to share your discoveries. And next year, please bring at least one woman to play at Spring Fling. It’s not like there isn’t anyone to choose from.

Recommended reading: “Why Are There No Great Women Artists?” By Linda Nochlin

*Thanks to Ben Seretan ’10 for helping me compile this partial list.

73 thoughts on “Guest Post: Yes, It Is a Problem That There Is Not a Single Woman in the Spring Fling Lineup

  1. Rebecca Kielbasanova

    I feel like I know a lot of women who play instruments as well as the men I know do, or probably could if they tried, but they don’t feel the need to start a band. I wonder if this would be different if being a female in a band was a little more encouraged in our society. Society wants women to sit in the background and be spectators, but the Riot Grrrl movement showed us why that shouldn’t be the case. It’s disappointing, and something needs to change. I’m glad that bands like Potty Mouth exist. Also, Kathleen Hanna is still performing and Veruca Salt is reuniting. But it’s still not enough.

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  3. Matthew Bono

    too bad there arent any of the great mass women bands going to weslyan, uhhh, philosophically I just have trouble with your stance on inclusion, kind of vague in me, but maybe i can like trace things for myself with this rubbing from gertrude stein

    This one, and the one I am now beginning describing
    is Martha Hersland and this is a little
    story of the acting in her of her
    being in her very young living, this one was a very little one then and she was running and she was in the
    street and it was a muddy one and she
    had an umbrella that she was dragging
    and she was crying. I will throw the
    umbrella in the mud, she was saying,
    she was very little then, she was just beginning
    her schooling. I will throw the umbrella
    in the mud, she said and no one
    was near her and she was dragging the
    umbrella and bitterness possessed her, I will throw the umbrella in the mud, she was saying and nobody heard her, the others had run ahead to get home and
    they had left her, I will throw
    the umbrella in the mud, and there was desperate anger in her, I have throwed the umbrella in the mud, burst from her, she had thrown the umbrella
    in the mud and that was the end of
    it all in her. She had thrown the
    umbrella in the mud and no one
    heard her as it burst from her, I have throwed
    the umbrella in the mud, it was the end of all that to her.

    That is life the way it is lived.

    All this is
    very important, and important for me and important, just important. It has of course a great deal to do with the
    theater a great great deal.

    I have of course always been
    struggling with this thing, to say what you nor I nor nobody knows, but what is
    really what you and I and everybody knows, and as I say everybody hears stories
    but the thing that makes each one what he is is not that.

    Thanks gertrude strein. so yeah, I guess by putting up this commentary, you have begun to impose , never a good sign, but understandable understanderble, like when someone who feels they are oppressed refuses to consider what they are: mankind is the only species which refuses to be what it is. For those of us who have been thrown into hell, mysterious melodies and the torturing images of a vanished beauty will always bring us, in
    the midst of crime and folly, the echo of that harmonious insurrection
    which bears witness, throughout the centuries, to the greatness of
    humanity, music.

    so, I’ll end with Gertrude steins famous introductary staement from her lectures in america :

    Composition as Explanation
    Gertrude Stein
    First delivered by the author as a lecture at Cambridge and Oxford, this essay was first published by the
    Hogarth Press in London in 1926 and revived in the volume called
    What Are Masterpieces (sup potty mouth)

    .
    There is singularly nothing that makes a difference a difference in beginning and in the middle and in ending except
    that each generation (musical direction) has something different at which they are all looking. By this I mean so simply that anybody
    knows it that composition is the difference which makes each and all of them then different from other generations
    and this is what makes everything different otherwise they are all alike and everybody knows it because everybody
    says it.

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  9. Sigh.

    There are some men in this discussion who really need to step back and check their privilege for a second. Privilege, homies. Privilege is anything you, based on a position of power you were born into, don’t have to think about. Just take a step back for a second and evaluate that. Please. I say this with compassion and a hope that people who I believe are good people can stop saying oppressive/ignorant things.

  10. ugh

    Dear God. The ignorance on this comment thread drives me insane. Kudos to you Ally for bringing this discussion up. Bums me out that so many of our peers can’t see their own narrow-mindedness. It’s the same bullshit with women’s sports vs. men’s sports.

    1. confused

      Hold on.

      Those are not the same arguments at all. Women’s and men’s sports are separated, in most instances, but primarily in contact sports, because of factual physiological differences between men and women that put them into different classes of competition. That is not an arbitrary distinction at all. It is a fact that women and men are physically not equal in size or strength.

      This one with music almost definitely is far more arbitrary, which is why there is a debate about it.

      That said, I don’t think that all of the arguments to the contrary are inherently ignorant. Just because things that are not couched in an inherent, reflexive desire to invoke critical theory doesn’t mean that they’re any less valid. Just because this post IS doesn’t mean it’s automatically right, either. It just means that you don’t like the counter-arguments for that reason, which IS narrow-minded.

      The issue being put forth by Ally is essentially that there is not enough female presence in Wesleyan’s music scene, for reasons ranging from “the patriarchy” and male privilege to an unconscious willingness to forgo promoting female-driven music writ large.

      The response to that issue (which is not really an argument from where I’m sitting, but rather a complaint/grievance/unhappy observation) is that the tools that are available to rectify this inequality are by no means restricted to anyone on campus who takes the initative to do so. Women are on Concert Committee, women are on SFC. Women have played in campus bands before–a lot of them, actually–and continue to do so.

      So again, I’m more than a little bit annoyed by the dismissal of this very logical counter-argument in the fourth paragraph–clearly, if you want to change the conditions around you, you should hold yourself responsible for doing so in whatever way you have at your disposal. Projecting your own personal feelings of exclusion onto larger female inactivity when there isn’t a formal or institutional barrier in anyone’s way (regardless of whatever gender/racial identification of the party inquestion) is intellectually and factually dishonest, especially when, by your own admission, there are more than an insignificant number of examples to the contrary in our midst. Even worse, it cheapens the achievement of the women that you claim to be inspired by who HAVE gotten on stage and play in bands.

      So instead of treating this like some kind of implicit repression that needs to be raged against, it makes a lot more sense to be like “yo, look how the chair of the concert committee, who is ultimately responsible for allocating funds to literally every musical experience on this campus outside of Spring Fling, is a woman. We can all theoretically do that if we want.” or “hey, 28% of the people on SFC are girls. If they can do it, why can’t more of us?” But instead, what you wrote here is a defeatist, lazy tirade against “the patriarchy” that you admit to doing not enough to dismantle, if it even exists in reality at all. You want everyone else to move the ball down the field while you sit at your computer, graduation nearly a month away, and whine about how unfair it is that you didn’t get to play at Eclectic before you leave.

      I understand full well that the fact that these examples are notable rather than the norm is indicative of that power structure. I too, have been inundated with critical theory since I had to decide if I wanted to share bathrooms with he’s, she’s and ze’s, just like all of you, dear enlightened ones. However, I refuse to buy into this attitude of us vs. them that you’re selling here. It’s very clear that you have at least the tacit ideological support of your female-identifying peers & many others of different genders–as evidenced by the outpouring of support on this forum–as well as the explicit support of people that you’re relying on for the anecdotal evidence supplied above to make your argument in the first place.

      What you haven’t had is any willingness to ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING beyond “starting a conversation,” which is far less than a large number of your own female-identifying peers or female musicians that you admire have managed to do despite whatever “restrictions” or hypothetical ridicule that seems to be holding women back. The expectation that anyone should celebrate that is far more indicative of entitlement and privilege than anything else said on this thread.

      So I leave with these parting words–getting on stage and putting yourself out there is a uniquely terrifying experience. It’s hard for everyone. It requires talent, confidence, and a deceptively concentrated effort to do it successfully. Those are the elements of a performance that are in your control (in varying degrees), regardless of your race, gender, or sexual orientation. It is universally uncomfortable for most people to do this, but your ability to successfully execute this is (to an extent) a matter of your own doing.

      Elements that are out of your control: how your peers and your audience respond to you. Unlike you, they more often than not have absolutely nothing invested in the experience, so you are at a substantial disadvantage vis a vis the people that you are trying to impress. They are not obligated to like you. They are not obligated to like your music. Somewhere like Wesleyan has obscenely high standards of quality and places an undue emphasis on teh value of cultural capital. We venerate the most discerning and critical among us into the arbiters of what is considered “cool,” and rejection is something that historically high-achieving students/individuals do not take all that well.

      Objectively speaking, I don’t see where the distance between your genitals and the ground factors into this at all. Anything that you see is a matter of your own perception, and nothing more. In light of this, your options are to a.) get over it and do something to prove everyone wrong, or b.) stop whining.

  11. alsounhappy

    I also would like to point out that none of the performers are of Latino or Asian (Indian included) descent. The performers are Black and White. Also White as in European or American, I don’t think any Australians are represented. I also would like to see more Latino, Asian and Australian performers on campus along with more female performers and if there is a MANDATED QUOTA then please add those groups to that quota. Thank you.

    1. wut

      yes, I am VERY upset that there are no Latino, Asian, Australian performers in the line-up and I demand a student forum for this inequality!

  12. This again

    Dammit. And if we had a white female, then we could complain that spring fling did not have a black female. And if we had a black female, then we might complain about the lack of Latino/a presence. Or what about an outspoken queer performer? Spring Fling is 4 acts! It’s hard to do such intense affirmative action with FOUR acts.

  13. anonymous

    Berklee College of Music’s male/female ratio is 70:30
    Musicians Institute in CA male/female ratio is 83:17

    I’m not sure this is a Wesleyan-specific issue (nor that it is necessarily an issue) but that it is representative of the typical population of musicians. If women feel like being a musician is looked down upon, then we definitely have a problem — but it seems this Spring Fling lineup is more indicative of a career path that men prefer over women. As ‘facts’ pointed out, there are other fields in which women can and do dominate. There’s nothing wrong with specific genders gravitating towards certain activities — even though it is ‘socially constructed’ (yay wes buzz words), as long as individuals are not restricted access then there’s not an inherent problem.

    I’m all for gender equality and have nothing against any musicians (assuming they are skilled!). That being said, I don’t believe there’s a problem with having a Spring Fling lineup that is all-male.

  14. ALSO

    It’s also worth pointing out that there hasn’t been a single male in the student opening act for spring fling (the winners of battle of the bands) in at least the last 3 years. That a good 15 or so men and not a single female. I wonder what we’ll see this year…

  15. Margo

    Thought Experiment: Imagine if the line-up was all female. How do you think the campus would react? Do you think the collective response would just be to shrug and say “well, that’s just the way it worked out this year.” Obviously, this is a stupid hypothetical and no one can say for sure, but I imagine there would be a not-insignificant uproar about how all the acts were stupid chick bands.

    At the very least, the absence of any male performers would be GLARING. And that’s why I’m glad Ally wrote this. If she hadn’t pointed this out, I’m honestly not sure it would have occurred to me to notice the lack of any female artists. Which is a huge fucking problem. An all-male line-up is not a politically neutral statement.

    Women aren’t a special interest group. They are half of the human population. When half of the human population isn’t represented at the biggest campus event of the year, it’s at least worth noting.

    1. confused

      No. People would definitely notice, and they would probably complain. Like they do every year. About anything they can. Last year it was because no one had ever heard of Nico Jaar, and because it was inside. The year before that, it was because wavves is a shitty band. The year before that, no one really complained, because it was a stellar lineup. I’m not willing to concede that the coincidence of female presence and a lack of complaint from the student body had anything to do with each other.

      In fact, I think you would probably see less complaining in the situation you’re describing, because people would be more afraid of “sounding sexist” than they would be angry about an all-female lineup. If anything, they would probably be mad that Spring Fling has stopped being about having a good time at the end of the year and suddenly started being yet another forum to express discontent about gender inequality, because for some reason, the other 364 days out of the year aren’t enough.

      You might not see this as a politically neutral situation, but that doesn’t mean that EVERYONE has to as well. Embracing diversity means tolerating all kinds of bullshit, and in this case, it means dealing with the fact that a lot of people are not/have no reason to be upset about this issue.

      1. Margo

        I think you misunderstood the point I was making. Obviously people
        complain every year. What I’m saying is that I think it’s worthwhile to
        note how normal it seems to have an all-male line-up. What I was trying
        to say is that if the situation were reversed, and it were an all-female
        line-up, I think people would immediately notice. Maybe they wouldn’t
        be upset, but it would definitely be a rare and kind of exceptional
        occurrence. Why is that? I’m glad Ally wrote this, because I’m not sure
        this issue would have been discussed otherwise.

        Also, what do
        you mean, “another forum to express discontent about gender inequality?”
        I don’t think Ally proposed that the craaaaaazy feminists of Wesleyan
        storm the Spring Fling stage and ruin everyone’s fun. I think she was
        just trying to encourage people to think a little harder about the fact
        that it’s 100% dudes, and what that might say about music at Wes, or
        just music more generally.

        Finally, of course EVERYONE doesn’t
        have to be upset about this. I think people tend to really only get
        fired up about issues that affect them personally. In this case, if
        you’re a guy and you haven’t noticed any apparent sexism, this issue
        might not resonate with you. Fair enough. But you seem to reflexively
        oppose any kind of critical thinking on this issue just because you
        yourself aren’t immediately affected.

        1. confused

          guess we can’t post links anymore. weird.

          Half the last four years of Spring Flings have featured female artists. It was coincidental then, and it’s a coincidence that there are non in this year’s lineup. This is not oppressive, or oppression by ignorance.

          Why are we overanalyzing a party? This is insane. Leave gender politics at home for like 8 minutes.

          I strongly urge you to read n+1’s “Too Much Sociology.” It’s free on their website.

          “But you seem to reflexively oppose any kind of critical thinking on this issue just because you yourself aren’t immediately affected.”

          Literally no one is “immediately affected” by this–you are choosing to be affected by this, and it doesn’t really do anything to change the way you’re living your life, except make you angrier about something that you didn’t even realize you were supposed to be mad about.

          Am I really the only one who thinks this is crazy?

          1. BS, report

            I read “Too Much Sociology,” and for the record I think your citation of it here is wildly counterproductive. I see the superficial connection: focusing on a sociological category rather than the aesthetic merits of the show is a distraction, but the n+1 crew’s argument really doesn’t apply to this situation. They focus on the ways analyses of the economic production of art and criticism have actually maintained the capitalist status quo rather than bringing it down. I seriously doubt that the editors of n+1, who are pretty fucking excited about how feminist they are these days, would suggest that paying attention to the fact that Sprang Flang is all-male detracts from efforts to break down male privilege. I think they’d tell you that that’s the whole point of what Ally is up to.
            If you wanna talk about class privilege at Wes in the context of that article, that’s a whole ‘nother ballgame. Otherwise, reference quality= BS.

  16. facts

    Feminist critiques, along with many internet rants, all too often suffer from immense confirmation bias.

    Not only was the author too “frustrated” to count the number of female acts that have been brought in the past, zhe assumes that the vast majority of women on campus do not perform because they are intimidated by male dominance in the field.

    Although that conclusion might be convenient for your ideology/world view, (and perhaps even true) it is not necessarily the case and it looks like we’ll never know because you can’t be bothered to find out. I’d like to see a poll. Before I write a blog post I like to have the facts. it does a disservice to your whole viewpoint/cause by relying on completely anecdotal evidence. You may say that I’m demanding an unreasonable amount here but changing things isn’t easy. It requires research and hard work.

    I’d also like to point out that the lack of female performers is not an inherent problem. I don’t necessarily view the lack of male dancers as a problem. I don’t doubt that there may be males who feel pressured not to dance due to social pressures but it is also possible that most men don’t want to dance. Similarly, while there may be some women who feel intimidated to perform or to voice their criticisms of sexism on campus, it is also possible that the majority of women on campus are simply choosing to do other things. The theater department for example may be more female dominated.

    It will likely be pointed out that “systemic” biases such as these are invisible and that demanding quantitative analysis or even some basic facts is unreasonable or perhaps even makes me a sexist monster.

    The truth is that if the concert committee is really going against students’ desires for more female acts, that women are systematically intimidated or discriminated against, and that most Wesleyan students want to make this a priority over other more musically related factors when choosing an artist, then I’m on board. This post does nothing to start a conversation on this topic. There are no facts and so I have nothing to go on.

    1. facts

      “It will likely be pointed out that “systemic” biases such as these are invisible and that demanding quantitative analysis or even some basic facts is unreasonable or perhaps even makes me a sexist monster.”

      That’s a cop out. You can conduct a poll, or do randomly selected interviews with Wesleyan students etc…

    2. Batte_A

      “This post does nothing to start a conversation on this topic. ”
      I’m really mystified as to how you can say this in the middle of a 30-comments-large conversation on this topic which you’re contributing to. Am I just missing something here?

      1. SomeoneWithTooMuchFreeTime

        More like a 30-comment-long flame war about how useless and whiney this opinion piece is.

    3. Ally

      While I’m not opposed to a poll, I’m a little mystified as to whether you understand

      1. that this is an opinion piece, not a research article. I did provide facts (ie that the Spring Fling line-up is 100% male), and I very deliberately spoke to my own experience and have been criticized for that in the comments. I obviously can’t speak for an entire student body.

      2. the history, of, for example, the riotgrrl movement. This problem is not new or necessarily specific to Wesleyan.

      I think a poll could be quite interesting and will consider following through but I disagree that the absence thereof invalidates my entire argument. I also did not argue that CC is going against students’ desires; beware of the straw man argument.

  17. f '13

    I see awesomefest is coming up in a few weeks. It is a perfect opportunity for anyone (male, female, etc.) to start a band and perform for a sizable audience. I, for one, am excited to see what bands emerge out of it and hope to see a concerted effort from the female musicians on campus, who may feel alienated or marginalized, to enter and showcase their talent. I may even go so far as to challenge the author to start a band and participate.

  18. dumb

    this is the dumbest thing i’ve ever heard. stop naively calling out everything that’s obscurely “sexist!” and “racist!”

    those things imply deliberateness and negate coincidence, accusing innocent people of egregious things that are totally products of coincidence

    social justice at wesleyan is infantile at best

    1. anon

      How is this even a helpful comment to make ? “This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard” ? Really ? It is comments like those that actively work against systemic change and legitimate conversation, and your insults come off as ignorant and totally unproductive.

      1. I_Exist

        You just totally ignored hirs commentary about blanket statements with making your own blanket statements. And I think ze had a point about we don’t need to always drop “sexist” and “racist.” It makes a lot of false equations. When we just call something like the music scene at a (statistically) super-rich liberal college “sexist,” some people may think that cheapens how huge of a problem sexism actually is.

        Yes, hirs commentary was combative, but try to see what you can pick up from it.

        1. Batte_A

          If you’re going to focus on the point of calling things “sexist” as so central to what’s wrong with Ally’s piece, then you better point to where in the piece she actually says “sexist” (hint: nowhere). But that’s besides the point, because it IS sexist. Look at the links in my other comment.

  19. confused

    Maybe this is sexist, but I think in any case it’s worth addressing in the interest of having some honest debate.

    Why do you think female acts aren’t being booked? I can guarantee that there’s not some kind of conspiracy against female musicians coming to campus, but rather that there is a lack of female representation in a lot of the music that Wesleyan students are interested in and that the school can afford. Like I’m sure someone else has said/will say, booking concerts, at least for the last 2-3 years, is and has been a matter of personal initiative. That’s the point. If you aren’t seeing what you want to see, it’s on you to try and change it. It’s absolutely not anyone else’s job to speak and act on your behalf. So the only thing that I can hear out of this argument is that people who ARE proposing concerts, sacrificing their time and effort to work with agents, deal with the logistics of these concerts, and populating a very busy event calendar aren’t bringing ENOUGH female musicians, and that pisses you off, despite the fact that you personally have not put in the same time and effort to voice your preferences. I’m sorry, but from where I’m standing, I think that this is a pretty weak argument.

    I’m willing to bet that for the people that ARE taking the time to do this aren’t thinking about this at all. Maybe that’s a problem, too.

    I just don’t really see what YOUR problem is. It is completely fair to say that if you want to have a more female-inclusive music scene at Wesleyan, it IS up to you to get the ball rolling, and to start convincing more females to play instruments and start bands. I’m sorry that you’re scared that people won’t like it/laugh at you, or whatever, but that is definitely not a problem unique to females. Probably every band on campus is scared/nervous about performing the first few times.

    It’s not anyone’s job to guarantee that female-centric bands are booked in the same proportions as male-driven bands, nor is it anyone’s job to make sure that women are getting equal representation in every weekend lineup. It’s like voting–if you don’t do anything to voice your preferences, you don’t really get to complain about what happens after the fact. Wesleyan might be one of the most accepting and open places in the country. In fact, a lot of the bands that come here fucking suck, but we still stand there, watch it, and at least pretend to enjoy it. I have never seen an act booed before. EVER. Unless you count talking rudely through an entire set, like through How to Dress Well, or Xiu Xiu (which had a woman in the band). If you don’t feel safe jamming with some friends and trying to play a show HERE, I don’t really know what to tell you.

    At the end of the day, this really boils down to you being upset that there wasn’t more female-centric/female-driven music on campus, but you’re too scared to try and do anything about that because of “the patriarchy,” who more likely than not want there to be more GOOD MUSIC on campus, not more good male-driven music. This is far more a reflection of your own insecurities in playing/performing music and your regret about the fact that you didn’t do anything about it until you wrote this than it is about gender inequality or fairness in the gender representation of the bands that are booked.

    Here’s a list of the some of the most impressive concerts I have seen at Wesleyan:

    Baths

    Future Islands/Cloud Nothings

    Wye Oak

    Claire Randall’s Thesis performance last year.

    My Brightest Diamond.

    Beach House.

    Faith Harding opening for Julianna Barwick, who was also a female. This whole show was unbelievable.

    Dirty Projectors

    Big Freedia

    Lotsa girls in these bands.

    1. confused

      and for the record, the head of concert committee is also female. strike while the iron’s hot.

    2. confused

      Sorry–

      In conclusion:

      Maybe this is a problem. Go solve it, because you have the tools and resources available to you. I guarantee no one will try to stop you.

    3. Ally

      First, a personal defense: I spent my first two years at Wesleyan on Spring Fling committee, then called Social Committee, and I pushed for Dirty Projectors freshman year. I took time off during my junior year and have been all-consumed by my studio art thesis this year. I said in another comment that I wouldn’t make excuses, but to suggest that I’ve played no role in the Wesleyan music scene is incorrect.

      Furthermore, the point of this article is that this is something people SHOULD be aware of. I know for a fact that Spring Fling Committee tried to book female acts this year, and that it didn’t work out, but I’m arguing that it should be a priority. I believe that the burden to increase gender representation does not lie with the individual* but is a systemic problem. I also know that SFC often has far more male applicants than female applicants, and I hope that more women apply in the future.

      I take issue with the fact that you portray this article as coming from my own insecurity. From this argument, I surmise that you are male, although you may correct me. I can’t speak for all female artists on this campus, but I have spoken to many who share my feelings, which is why I felt compelled to write this opinion piece. I believe that this is a case where male privilege is invisible, and, if you are indeed a man, I invite you to suspend your disbelief for a moment and understand that there is unequality here. Please ask one of the handful of performing female musicians, or one of the many female musicians at this school that does not perform, and see if they agree that there is extra pressure as a female musician. I believe that it’s important to be aware of privilege – and not necessarily to feel guilty, but to understand how they influence our perspective. You might see this as a safe space for experimenting with musical performance, but that does not mean that everyone feels the same way.

      The fact that you’ve been to so many awesome shows involving girls attests to my argument that you have to be 10 times as good to play music when you’re a woman. Also, I believe that it contradicts your earlier comment that “there is a lack of female representation in a lot of the music that Wesleyan students are interested in and that the school can afford.”

      I write from a place of wanting to make this an accepting music scene for everyone who might be interested in participating, not simply on my own behalf. I feel that Avery tried to begin this discussion in 2010, encountered a disproportionate amount of negative feedback, and the conversation ended. I see Wesleying as a resource to begin the discussion anew.

      And don’t worry, I’m not afraid of being laughed at.

      *holler AB for the wording here

      1. confused

        1.) “First, a personal defense: I spent my first two years at Wesleyan on Spring Fling committee, then called Social Committee, and I pushed for Dirty Projectors freshman year…to suggest that I’ve played no role in the Wesleyan music scene is incorrect.”

        Well, first of all, kudos to you, though I really question the judgment of anyone who was against the idea of bringing Dirty Projectors. And I doubt that any kind of pushback on that idea was because they have some girls in the band.

        If you don’t get the results that you want, maybe it’s time to try harder. If other people feel the same as you about this, get them involved. It obviously has been doing all the “women on campus” (ie, the people that you’ve spoken to) no good to sit around grumbling about how unfair for the last three years, so maybe it’s time to start a booking group dedicated to booking female-only bands to centralize all of your efforts and opinions in one place. But once it’s set up, you’ll have to actually follow through with it and work to find the acts that you want, and set up the shows. But that’s not what’s going on here, because you’re about to graduate–you want other people to do it instead. Not just throughout the remainder of this year and into the next ones, but on the biggest stage that the school offers.

        2.) “I know for a fact that Spring Fling Committee tried to book female acts this year, and that it didn’t work out, but I’m arguing that it should be a priority.”

        This is dumb. Of course it shouldn’t be a priority.

        Spring Fling is above all else a concert for the enjoyment of the entire student body, not a sociological experiment or large scale demonstration of gender politics. The committee’s priority–their only priority, really–should be booking bands that people want to see and within the budget that they have allocated to them, regardless of anything else about the act. If they happen to do what you want, too, phenomenal, but as the last few years have demonstrated, putting together a concert to appease 3,000 people is near impossible as it is, and this is an unnecessary extra burden to be placed on an already overworked committee with a thankless job.

        3.) “The fact that you’ve been to so many awesome shows involving girls attests to my argument that you have to be 10 times as good to play music when you’re a woman. Also, I believe that it contradicts your earlier comment that “there is a lack of female representation in a lot of the music that Wesleyan students are interested in and that the school can afford.””

        This is a long leap in logic. Females are not required to be better. That is an imagined restriction. Good music is good music, good performers are good performers. If you are neither, then I would probably argue that you have no business being on stage, regardless of your gender. This statement, above all else, says that there are a pretty good number of female acts that have come to campus already. That contradicts your argument, not mine. In the interest of equality, however, we could also talk about Lower Dens last year, which was a piece of shit concert from a band fronted by a female. See? Girls are allowed to suck, too, and Pitchfork will still write about them for 2 years past their expiration date.

        4.) “I believe that the burden to increase gender representation does not lie with the individual* but is a systemic problem. I also know that SFC often has far more male applicants than female applicants, and I hope that more women apply in the future.”

        Systems are comprised of individuals who are responsible for their own actions. Wesleyan is not a big school, and the individual has more autonomy and ability to make substantial changes to institutions, procedures and processes–especially in the music scene–than most places outside of it. If you want a system to change, you, along with literally any of the other female-identifying people that you’ve been sharing your opinions with on this topic, can and should do something about it, not throwing your hands up and expecting change to come from the top down, with a MANDATED GENDER QUOTA in the Spring Fling lineup. Obviously this will be helped by having more women on the committee, but that means that more women have to apply. If they aren’t applying in the same numbers as men, the explanation is not necessarily because of how “unsafe” it is to express your opinions on music as a female. That may be your perception, but it doesn’t mean that it’s true.

        5.) I’m not being a monster here–you’re totally right in acknowledging that there is gender inequality across the board in a number of different places and ways throughout ALL of society. However, I don’t believe that the way forward that you’re proposing here is the right way to go about it. The right way, at least from where I’m standing, is to just go and fucking do something about it. Start a women’s bands-only open mic. Start a women only band. Bring bands that feature women prominently to campus. Obviously all of these things are doable, because there is literally NOTHING PREVENTING IT FROM HAPPENING. This is how you dismantle unfavorable cultural norms, not by whining about them on the internet and hoping that your words magically erase centuries of inequality and ingrained attitudes so that we can all FINALLY realize all the hidden talent that Wesleyan has to offer.

        I just refuse to believe that Wesleyan’s music scene is as hostile to women as you’re making it out to be. It is by no means exclusive, discerning, or really selective in any way.

        1. Ally

          So you’re a male, right? Yeah, thought so.

          1. Not everyone likes the Dirty Projectors or prefers them over other bands, but that’s besides the point (I am positive that you were not on SFC with me in 2010, so don’t make assumptions). Also, keep telling oppressed groups to try harder, that’ll definitely make a difference. (That was sarcasm.)

          2. It’s not near impossible to put on a big show that appeases the entire student body. If you disagree on the import of having a female act, there’s nothing that I can do about that.

          3. No, that says nothing about the total number of acts being brought. Look at Aural Wes or the concert previews. It’s mostly men. Just because you found a lot of women artists memorable, doesn’t mean they’re the majority.

          4. I really don’t understand your logic. Are you a woman? Are you a woman who really enjoys participating in the Wesleyan music scene and feels it’s 100% welcoming? If so, I can understand your argument. If not, your opinion doesn’t count.

          5. I did something about it. I started a discussion. There is something preventing women from being fully involved at Wesleyan – the general atmosphere. That’s not to say I’m not in the process of booking bands, playing music with people of all genders, etc. But this isn’t just about me.

          Again, if you’re a man, you don’t get to say what is exclusive to women and what isn’t. Clearly my words won’t erase your attitude that there is no problem, because you think that the responsibility falls solely on women. Unfortunately, equality can only be established when everyone works together.

          I would love to talk to you in person about this. Please let me know if you’re interested.

          1. Ally

            Nobody is necessarily actively against women being involved in the music scene. I just believe a lot of people are ignorant of the fact that male musicians receive a lot more support.

          2. confused

            what “lack of support” are you referring to? people liking the band? going to the concerts?

            no matter how much you want it to be the case, people are not obligated to like music for any reason, least of all the performer’s gender. this sort of tangentially relates to Avery’s piece from three years ago, where she was upset about the fact that Linus/Lioness didn’t want to consider replacing their drummer (who had been playing for the better part of 15 years and was debateably one of the best drummers on campus at the time) with her friend (who had literally taken her first drum lessons that year) and immediately saw that as gender bias instead of talent and skill bias. You don’t have to hear both drummers to KNOW which one of them is better, or know that the latter would not be an adequate replacement. And that doesn’t make anyone a sexist.

            I will definitely concede that the bias and discrimination you’re both referring to is unintentional. However, I don’t really see how making sure Spring Fling has a female act would ever do anything to change it. Like I’ve said before, if you want systemic change, you have to actually put in the effort to make that change happen. “Starting a conversation” is useless, as literally any number of interactions between the students and the administration have proven.

            Anything that you see supporting the white male domination of the music scene at Wesleyan is not an institutional accident, nor is that necessarily even the case. Like I mentioned before, Chelsie Green, a woman, is the head of the Concert Committee. McKenzii Webster was also selected to the Concert Committee last year. It’s not like these people are hostile to women playing more shows/getting more involved in the music scene. However, Chelsie didn’t get the job because she’s a woman, but because she is good at what she does, and because she put in the time and effort. At the same time, I would nearly guarantee that the whole committee would be amenable to booking more female acts IF THEY ARE PROPOSED to the committee throughout the year. Just like I’m sure the SFC would be open to booking a female act IF THEY ARE AVAILABLE/AFFORDABLE/”GOOD.”

            In essence, the ratio of questionably warranted complaining to concerted effort is not balanced. I recommend more of the latter.

          3. concerned

            “Starting a conversation” is useless, as literally any number of interactions between the students and the administration have proven.

            Anything that you see supporting the white male domination of the music scene at Wesleyan is not an institutional accident, nor is that necessarily even the case.

            Are you trying to offer a satire here, or are you serious ? Starting a conversation is useless ? Don’t you see how comments like these are a blatant counterforce against any sort of change that can be made, whether in this community or in any other ? That sort of dismissive, ignorant statement de-legitmizes any coherent argument or useful point you may have had. Starting a conversation is absolutely necessary if anyone is going to address those who perpetuate a systemic inequality. As a woman, I agree with many of Ally’s points and applaud her for not only raising this issue (for your comments actually clearly reinforce the sort of mentality that she hopes will change) but for refusing to validate your reductive claims. I don’t think that your opinions do not matter, but I do think that your statements are counterproductive.

          4. chill_out_tho

            yeah i forgot how much has happened to further Wesleyan’s consciousness on issues like date rape and racism in Public Safety since the last 40 forums on these topics happened.

          5. confused

            “Also, keep telling oppressed groups to try harder, that’ll definitely make a difference.”

            Throwing around the word oppression here might be a tad hyperbolic. You’re not fighting for women’s rights to anything but play music in public, which is already going on and pretty widely accepted. You’re hurting your own argument with this.

            “Just because you found a lot of women artists memorable, doesn’t mean they’re the majority.”

            No, it just means that they existed and performed, which you guys don’t seem to think is “enough.” It doesn’t have to be a one for one distribution between women and men, because it should just be a sample of music that people who take the time to organize concerts want to see. They are not in any way responsible for advancing social justice through every concert that is booked on campus, because gender politics are not in every concert promoter’s mind when they book a show.

            “Are you a woman? Are you a woman who really enjoys participating in the Wesleyan music scene and feels it’s 100% welcoming? If so, I can understand your argument. If not, your opinion doesn’t count.”

            Otherwise, my opinion doesn’t count.

            Ok. That’s healthy debate.

            You’re asking why the music scene at Wesleyan is exclusive to women. I’m answering you, telling you it isn’t, because there is absolutely nothing in your way. You want to have more women play music, find and promote more women that play music. Maybe it’s a little bit couched in some confirmation bias–that there aren’t as MANY women interested in being in bands or performing on campus, and for that reason, there are less women. I just don’t really understand what hostility is being referred to. I’ve been to hundreds of shows, and I really have no idea what you’re talking about.

            “Yeah, but parts of the student body – Ally and Avery, for example – have their experience hampered because of reasons grounded in sociology or gender politics, then sorry, but Spring Fling and those social issues aren’t separate.”

            I have my experience hampered because I hate live hip hop. What’s your point? The show never caters to every desire from every person, this issue included.

            “I think you have to do a lot more work that you have to argue that somehow that doesn’t exist at Wesleyan, when there’s a lot of data suggesting otherwise: disproportionately male visting musicians, a lack of attention to female student musicians, and (as Ally mentioned) the extra support for male musicians here, but (as expressed in these comments) plenty of interest in supporting female student musicianship.”

            Of course this “exists.” Plenty of people see and recognize this as a problem. I think that the people who have been putting together shows, DJing, and playing music together have done infinitely more to address this problem than this post ever could. Because this is not action. “Starting a conversation” is not action. Leading by example is action. Playing music is action. Booking shows is action. Not whining about how unfair it is to have this institutional oppression in place without actively doing anything to change it comes off as sanctimonious complaining without any follow through.

            People have been “having a conversation” about sexism for 50 fucking years. Go do something if you want it to change. Not sit at your computer and type this.

          6. seriously?

            “You’re a male, right? Thought so” and “your opinion does not count.”

            Classic Wesleyan pseudo liberal bullshit. “You are not in my in-group? Then you are part of the out-group! You are the oppressor! We all need to work together as long as you march in lock-step with me!”

            “Again, if you’re a man, you don’t get to say what is exclusive to women.” But in that statement, aren’t you a women saying something exclusive about men?

        2. Batte_A

          Yeah, uh, there’s a lot wrong with this.

          “If you don’t get the results that you want, maybe it’s time to try harder. If other people feel the same as you about this, get them involved. It obviously has been doing all the “women on campus” (ie, the people that you’ve spoken to) no good to sit around grumbling about how unfair for the last three years, so maybe it’s time to start a booking group dedicated to booking female-only bands to centralize all of your efforts and opinions in one place. But once it’s set up, you’ll have to actually follow through with it and work to find the acts that you want, and set up the shows. But that’s not what’s going on here, because you’re about to graduate–you want other people to do it instead. Not just throughout the remainder of this year and into the next ones, but on the biggest stage that the school offers.”

          You say Ally needs to “get [people] involved”; that’s exactly what she’s doing with this post. You characterize female musicians as “[sitting] around grumbling” for three years; way to casually ignore every female (senior?) musican who’s played an open mic or a show or DJed a party here, or has been working on their music without presenting it in one of these channels. You yourself listed female musicians as some of your favorites. And of course she wants “other people to do it”; this should be a collective effort. You do make a suggestion to start a woman-centric booking group, which isn’t as misguided as the rest of this paragraph. So that’s nice, at least!

          “This is dumb. Of course it shouldn’t be a priority.”
          So, you think the SFC’s attempts to get female artists were dumb, too? Sounds like prioritizing to me, even if it didn’t have the desired results.

          “Spring Fling is above all else a concert for the enjoyment of the entire student body, not a sociological experiment or large scale demonstration of gender politics.”
          Yeah, but parts of the student body – Ally and Avery, for example – have their experience hampered because of reasons grounded in sociology or gender politics, then sorry, but Spring Fling and those social issues aren’t separate.

          “The committee’s priority–their only priority, really–should be booking bands that people want to see and within the budget that they have allocated to them, regardless of anything else about the act.”
          Again, if reasons people want to see bands are because of their gender identities, then you can’t just toss that into the “anything else” bin. The Committee didn’t do that. It’s unfortunate that you think they should.

          “If they happen to do what you want, too, phenomenal, but as the last few years have demonstrated, putting together a concert to appease 3,000 people is near impossible as it is, and this is an unnecessary extra burden to be placed on an already overworked committee with a thankless job.”

          1) They took on that burden themselves when they tried to book female acts. 2) I am skeptical that committee members would describe themselves as “overworked”, but if they all come in here and set me straight, I’m open to changing my mind. 3) It’s not a thankless job, even if they do get a lot of shit they don’t deserve (and maybe some they do?). I’m both appreciative and critical at the same time. I hope I’m not alone in that.

          “If you want a system to change, you, along with literally any of the other female-identifying people that you’ve been sharing your opinions with on this topic, can and should do something about it, not throwing your hands up and expecting change to come from the top down, with a MANDATED GENDER QUOTA in the Spring Fling lineup.”
          And now here you are telling women that they should do something they’re already doing (organizing around this as is happening now, or playing shows here despite the obstacle as has been happening for years) and criticizing them for something they’re not all doing (“expecting change to come from the top down”, demanding a “MANDATED GENDER QUOTA” [though maybe that would be a fun!]).

          “I just refuse to believe that Wesleyan’s music scene is as hostile to women as you’re making it out to be. It is by no means exclusive, discerning, or really selective in any way.”
          First of all: just how hostile did she make it out to be? Ally said “The majority of campus bands are still male”, “[the music scene] reinforces the idea that men are better at music”, and that “the people who do contribute to the diversity of the Wesleyan music scene constantly amaze me”. This doesn’t read to me like an accusation of active hostility; more like an attempt to highlight an institutional process.

          If you think the music scene isn’t “exclusive, discerning, or really selective in any way”, then do you really think that people who book shows here aren’t selective about what acts they bring? Do you think that student (public) musicians here are largely male just by coincidence, or that some discourses on campus largely reference associations of mostly white dudes as the music scene, while passing over, for example, DJs like Chantaneice Kitt and McKenzii Webster? Since the history of women and people of color’s involvement in music has been rife with sexism for hundreds of years, I think you have to do a lot more work that you have to argue that somehow that doesn’t exist at Wesleyan, when there’s a lot of data suggesting otherwise: disproportionately male visting musicians, a lack of attention to female student musicians, and (as Ally mentioned) the extra support for male musicians here, but (as expressed in these comments) plenty of interest in supporting female student musicianship.

          Don’t get me wrong; I think there’s room for useful critique of what Ally’s written here, but by and large, I don’t think you’ve provided it.

          P.S. Commenter “dumb” says that pointing out racist and sexist things “impl[ies] deliberateness and negate[s] coincidence”, but much sexism (http://is.gd/lnAiue) and racism (http://is.gd/IvtVN5) today *is* unintentional. It doesn’t take some caricature of some long-gone Big Bad Wolf to do bigoted shit; I would suggest that you’re the one who’s naive here. Look at the links I posted. I think you’ll find them instructive.

          1. whatup

            Jesus Anwar I just want to enjoy Ab-Soul killin’ it on stage. Why does everybody have to get so emotional over what will be a super cool concert.

          2. Batte_A

            whatup, I also want to – and expect to – enjoy the whole show. Why is it so hard to believe that I might be appreciative and critical at the same time? If you know me (that’s what I’m guessing by the first-name reference), do you really think I’m going to spend the whole concert grumbling in my room, radically sober?

            Turn that around, too. If other people want to enjoy music here and name systemic reasons they don’t, wouldn’t you care about that and want to get to the bottom of what’s bothering them? You ask why people are getting “emotional” about this. I’m going to repost the links from my earlier post, because I really, honestly think they answer your question: http://is.gd/lnAiue http://is.gd/IvtVN5

            Maybe you’re aware of how ignorant I was (and maybe still am) about systemic oppression. What I’m trying to learn is to notice that when millions or billions of marginalized people – women, non-whites, disabled people, queer people, the working class – consistently point to something as furthering their marginalization, tied to a history of hundreds of years of the same thing, then *just maybe* those of us who aren’t in those groups should take a second to listen and realize that you might not realize you have advantages in life that you don’t deserve more than anyone else. I’ll give you one more link, because I found this metaphor ingenious and helpful: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

  20. it's me!

    If people who do not identify as male actively feel like they are unwanted in the music scene, then that’s a problem.
    That being said, the statistical lack of non-males in music is not necessarily bad. Wesleyan students are super busy and we all do cool things. If you aren’t in a band, perhaps you have more time to do other things. I just went on the Wes student groups website and scrolled down “activism groups” and noticed that there definitely more non-males listed as contacts and group leaders than males.
    Just because non-males are not always joining bands doesn’t mean they are sitting around and not participating in the Wesleyan community.

  21. Baby G

    <3 you Ally Bernstein!!! Everyone should feel able to play music,,, we should all support each others work.! and i can say from growing up surrounded by primarlily male musicians that this is a problem, and i didn't feel supported to try to play music until people showed me differently <3 couregeous babe <3

  22. Molly Bro

    Hi! Next semester I plan on starting a women’s music coop for female musicians on campus to meet and jam together and hopefully form some female music groups from this opportunity so we can BUILD UP the FEMALE PRESENCE and POWER in MUSIC on this campus. Men can join in too, but I would like to start with just women and see where that takes us. You should read up on June Millington to see what I mean (Dar Williams’ class represent).

    In regards to spring fling – I think that the committee probably did the best that they could given the circumstances. They may not have considered this as an issue in their decision making process but I don’t know where to go from there.

  23. wowgreat

    yo, everyone book their own concerts! you can do it! email an agent! go to concert committee!

    1. ugh

      Even when Concert Committee gives all of their money for the entire year in the first semester? And privileges their friends? Yeaaaah, fuck you.

      1. wowgreat

        I can’t say that your complaints have been true in my experience. As someone who isn’t a friend of the committee, I was able to secure funding for my concert. First come first serve yo.

      2. Zach

        Hey,

        Not sure where you’re getting your information, but we’re nearing the end of second semester and still have some money that we’re allocating to students for shows. Nearly all said students are not friends of mine. Come propose a show if you’re interested.

        Best,

        Guy on Concert Committee

  24. Gabe Rosenberg

    It’s a shame that there’s a lack of non-male representation, because the best concert I’ve seen/convered on campus so far (aside from Amanda Palmer) was two female-fronted bands: Wes’ own Treasure Island and the much-hyped Widowspeak, neither of whom disappointed. I’m also wondering if the Concert Committee’s commitment to hip hop acts has resulted in a lack of of women— especially now, women and non-binaries are flourishing in rock and punk. There’s not a whole lot you can do if the female acts deny your offers, though.
    http://wesleying.org/2013/01/27/widowspeak-entrances-eclectic-with-crisp-airy-heartland-rock/

    1. Jesse

      ‘commitment to hip-hop’? I don’t think they discriminate by genre. maybe you’re confusing Spring Fling Committee and Concert Committee. also THEESatisfaction, a female hip hop group, is coming to campus in a few weeks.

    2. Jesse Ross-Silverman

      not sure what ‘Concert Committee’s commitment to hip hop acts” means. they don’t really discriminate or prefer any kind of music. are you confusing Spring Fling Committee and Concert Committee?

      also THEESatisfaction, a female hip hop group, is coming in a few weeks.

    3. guzman

      there’d be a lot more shows i think if booking more shows wasn’t such a dick
      ps u guys write like morons
      i mean srsly
      “in regards to”
      and who the fuck uses appease like that ally bernstein are you kidding me? if you must subject us to this useless tirade at least subject your lackluster rhetoric to some sort of standard
      i mean plz, we all have role models
      w/e

  25. Sarah-Jane

    Two recommendations:

    1) get the music graduate students more involved in the scene. there are several fantastic female composers on campus, who are at wes after already having established themselves (Jessie Marino, Liz Albee, and Jasmine Lovell-Smith are all currently in the MA program) taking it to the next level right now. and in the last decade wes graduated Anne Rhodes and Jess Pavone, so even the MA alums have much to offer.

    2) there has to be money somewhere to put together a symposium/weekend/panel discussion/anytypeofpublicforum to bring a bunch of female-identified alums back to hit it with current students. and not the APalmer types who aren’t really representing anyone but themselves – Mary Halvorson, Mishti Roy, more recently Claire Randall and Allison House – grrrls who really have gone through the shit at wes and outside, and have come out very much on top.

    1. Ally

      Thank you for this thoughtful input. I think these are both really fantastic suggestions. I’m going to look into both of them.

      1. you

        The concert book process is open to anyone. If you feel strongly about getting a specific type of artist to wes then book them yourself!

        1. Ally

          I could make excuses for not being more active, but I feel like I did address my own guilt/inaction in the second to last paragraph. I’m planning on being more active now that I’ve finished my thesis.

          I wrote this piece more to open a discussion, though, because I’m one person, not the entire Wesleyan music scene. There are a handful of people who have been bringing female artists to Wesleyan and I salute them. I do feel that saying that women are “a specific type of artist” is silly, though; gender is not a genre. Non-male artists play very diverse types of music and female artists are “a specific type” only inasmuch as male artists are “a specific type.” I hope that people booking all types of shows become aware of this.

  26. chillstons

    Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone at Russell House, May 2nd at 9pm! Two female musicians and Wes grads who can outplay anyone. The Experimental Music Group wants to empower you!

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