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Lesbian Propaganda & Other Myths: Misogyny In Dance Music
Angus Finlayson , November 14th, 2011 06:58

Angus Finlayson examines a disturbing trend towards misogyny in dance music circles, and contrasts that current shift with the promises of equality ushered in by the genesis of house music and the early days of rave

A lot happens on Twitter, most of it utterly inconsequential. My compulsive need to trawl down the feed absorbing microscopic packages of useless information knows no bounds. But occasionally I stumble across something which gives pause for thought. A couple of weeks ago, DJ Ben UFO, darling of the UK's hesitantly-termed 'post-dubstep' scene, flagged up a comment made by music journalist Kristan Caryl. Caryl writes for DJ Mag, Mixmag and Resident Advisor, among others. He was replying to the following tweets from another figurehead of the dance music underground, Paul Rose aka Scuba:

And Caryl's even more objectionable response:

Now I should be clear that I'm no academic feminist. The more nuanced debates that surround issues of gender identity and equality are mostly lost on me. The internal differences which fall under the umbrella term 'feminism', the numerous gradations in ideology, are largely beyond the limits of my knowledge. Nor would I claim to speak for women - they do that themselves. But it's important, when you see a wrong being done, to point it out. It seems to me that the criticism quoted by Rose is a tool of the backlash against feminism which is as old as the hills. It's built on the assumption that gender inequality is non-existent, a thing of the past, and it stems from kneejerk defensiveness - feminism is equally as 'controlling', as prejudiced, as it claims dominant culture is towards women. In a nutshell: 'you're just as bad as us so you've no right to complain'.

Caryl's response is more or less a framing of the same sentiment, albeit in terms that are rabid and misguided almost to the point of self-parody. The equation of feminists with lesbians is a stalwart of the repertoire. 'Actual women', one would assume, are women who agree with him.

I won't go into too much depth as to why these comments are offensively incorrect, as I'm sure there are other people who could express it far more eloquently than me (and hopefully it's self-evident). Put simply, it seems extraordinary that, in spite of plenty of structural evidence that women continue to be treated as secondary citizens, the view that feminism is a redundant ideology peddled by half-crazed lesbians still holds so much sway over mainstream discourse.

But why single out these tweets, and the sadly not-so-uncommon sentiments they express? Why go to the effort of plucking them out of the vast, turgid river of prejudice and abuse which flows past our computer screens on a daily basis? Caryl's comment bothered me more than your usual online differing-of-opinion. Because although I've never met the guy or spoken to him, here was somebody deeply embedded in the underground dance music culture which I spend the vast majority of my time thinking, talking and writing about. I've got a lot invested in this culture - as have many others - and I like to think that it lends to its participants a shared, if loose, ideological framework. It was dismaying to find that an implicit disdain for women could sit comfortably alongside a love for underground dance music - because, although perhaps it's not immediately obvious, the politics at the core of dance music culture lean the opposite way: towards an ethos of equality and inclusion which seems increasingly obscured or forgotten about.

In fact, when UK dance culture first exploded - with acid house and then rave in the late 80s and early 90s - its political charge was difficult to define. If anything, it seemed stubbornly a-political - a lifestyle built around mindless hedonism, an escapist creed for the disaffected youth of post-Thatcher Britain. From the outside, it's easy to see why rave was often viewed as a negative phenomenon: not only because of our deeply ingrained distrust of bodily pleasure passed down to us from the Puritans, but also because these kids didn't seem to stand for anything. Where 60s musical counterculture existed in symbiosis with the civil rights movement, and even the savage anti-establishment sentiments of punk had a clear political bent (albeit one which bordered on the nihilist), rave made no discernible statement. It had precious few coherent lyrics to build meaning around, and no outspoken scene figureheads. Its only direct friction with the authorities was over the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act - in other words, the only thing ravers deemed worth fighting for was the right to their own de-politicised spaces, where they could carry on undisturbed.

But to write dance music culture off as disengaged from its political surroundings is to miss the point. The DJ-led social-dancing model, germinated in David Mancuso's Loft parties in early 70s New York, was a hugely important site for countercultural activity in the US. Throughout the heydays of disco, house and techno, clubs were places where working class, gay and ethnic minority groups could enjoy a freedom of expression denied to them in the 'outside' world.

In the UK, rave's major contribution to the club dynamic was ecstasy. The highly erotically charged 'togetherness' of disco and house (legendary New York gay club The Saint featured a bespoke sex balcony) gave way to an almost totally sexless dancefloor vibe - E made ravers loved up, but not in that way. Loose-fitting, form-disguising clothes became the norm as ease of dancing in sweaty environs took priority over snaring a prospective partner. The 'meat market' often attributed to mainstream club culture, an environment structured for the male gaze and which tended to make women feel vulnerable and exposed, was totally undermined.

Theorists picked up on this aspect of rave. The dancefloor has been variously posited as a site of pre-oedipal Jouissance - its womb-like qualities of darkness, warmth and tactility allowing people to access a state prior to fixed gender roles - or as post-sexual, a mutually confirming assemblage of human and machine; a cyborg. The former is borne out in the dummies and other infantile imagery adopted by ravers; the latter in the post-Kraftwerk fetishization of technology ('Man-Machine') which runs through dance music culture like a binding glue. Either way, it became clear that the political value of the dancefloor was in the construction of a social space where the rigid divisions of dominant culture ceased to apply. Gender, sexuality, race - they were irrelevant when subjected to the carnival of sound, light and substances.

It's not just a couple of offhand comments on Twitter which make this ideal seem pretty distant in 2011. It's fairly common these days to see images of conventionally attractive women being used to promote music from a scene which is supposedly mistrustful of 'image' - either on record covers or, in an increasing trend, accompanying fan-uploaded radio rips on YouTube, where previously a shot of a white label record would have sufficed. Don't get me wrong - I'm sure the perpetrators would turn their noses up at Page 3. This is soft porn with a sheen of arty respectability - what Ben UFO half-jokingly referred to as the 'American Apparel-isation' of the UK scene - a subtle but insidious objectification of women, drip-fed into the hipster milieu via topless photo shoots in VICE, which nonetheless treats mainstream 'lad' culture with disdain.

Elsewhere, in the higher stratosphere of commercial dance music, the recent DJ Mag top 100 failed to feature a single woman in amongst the David Guettas and Tiestos. Magazine editor and regular London Fashion Week DJ Hanna Hanra had a crack at the 'boys' club' of international DJing in The Guardian, but shot herself in the foot with a ridiculous comment about women being unable to carry those heavy bags of vinyl - propagating the tired line of argument that women's inalienable physical characteristics prevent them from participating in society on an equal footing with men.

Now clearly there are reasons, very deeply ingrained in our culture, why many more men than women choose to pursue a career in music - that's a far larger issue than I could hope to tackle. But the association of the female form, tailored for the hetero-male gaze, with the music of a given scene - not to mention the mutual onanism of a male-dominated press - is clearly going to have an excluding effect on those to whom it's not intended to appeal. As Ben points out, this is at odds with the ethos of much dance music - particularly the early house which is a touchstone for many current UK producers: “so many people are using early house music as a reference point, a movement with an important social and musical history geared towards creating a space for different lifestyles and different ways of living, and although the music is still essentially underground in terms of its sales and audience, the way it's being presented and advertised now is closer to the mainstream than ever. If someone's experience of dance music being released today is largely through YouTube rips, then the likelihood is that in a lot of cases they're going to be listening to that music accompanied by imagery that wouldn't look out of place in an American Apparel advertising campaign. To an extent I think it strips that music of the potential to speak to everyone, and that's a huge shame given that inclusiveness has always been such a crucial part of this culture."

And this at a time when, I'd argue, we need the levelling power of the dancefloor more than ever. The fact is, we currently live in a society which is far more divided along lines of gender, sexuality, race, wealth and class than most people are willing to admit. We have the whitest, richest, most male-dominated cabinet we've had in years. And some large-scale sleight of hand gives comedians license to openly mock weaker members of society from behind a peeling veneer of irony. Somehow, the assumption that prejudice no longer exists, that we live in a near-mythically egalitarian society, has let that very prejudice sneak in through the back door - aided by the comfortable anonymity of online debate.

So what happened to rave utopia? This isn't a simple case of decline, of a lost golden age. Every dance subculture the world over reaches its own compromise with dominant culture - is it fair to say that the 'dress to impress' ethos of UK Garage circa 2000 is inherently sexist? Or that Grime's macho energy and testosterone-fuelled lyrical acrobatics should be dismissed as illegitimate because it appeals largely to young men? Obviously not. But there has been a visible trend, in the UK and elsewhere, away from the unprecedented sense of unity that the dancefloor can provide.

Perhaps it's in line with the relentless onset of a Neoliberal ideology - set in motion by Thatcher and Reagan - which values the sanctity of the individual over any form of collective spirit. When there's 'no such thing as society', where does that leave social dancing? Rave culture originally set itself up as the antithesis of this shift, but whether through co-option by commercial forces or a more general dispersal across the confused geography of contemporary culture, its boundaries have been eroded over the years, making the battle lines far less clear cut. It's also harder and harder to find accessible urban spaces in which DJs and dancers can congregate to create this sense of togetherness - soaring property prices and the imperatives of real estate signalled an end to the illegal warehouse circuit which was rave's backbone, in London and elsewhere.

The online infrastructure which has sprung up over the last decade - YouTube's instant-access archive, the vastly accelerated hype-mechanism of the blogosphere, more novel innovations like the audiovisual spectacle of the Boiler Room - has the potential to liberate dance music from these constraints through connecting people in new ways, divorced from geography. But it can also cause harm. Ben voices a concern that music is now “so much less tied down to place, which fits comfortably with the prevailing attitude that music is 'just music' and that that's its sole value - that the way it's presented is of no importance if the musical content is the same." To embrace this is to deny the socio-political dimension of music - that which makes it 3D, gives it depth of meaning. Divorced from context and floating free in the ether, music is open to misinterpretation and misappropriation, whether malicious or simply misguided.

Now of course I'm not arguing that all fans of dance music undergo an epiphanic conversion to the cause of social change. I know as well as any the unpleasantly righteous fug which hangs over a lot of explicitly 'political' music - after all, it's music that ultimately fascinates me, the actual sonic reality of it, not any attendant political cause which might be shackled to it after the fact, Live Aid-style. Music has political meaning woven into it the moment it is played, whether on a dancefloor or in a bedroom. And every act has political implications - whether it's choosing what records to buy, which club to go out to, or how you dance when you get there. Having an awareness of the wider implications of the things we do - whether they might be ultimately harmful to the people around us and the scene we love - is surely no bad thing.

Sunday November 20th PLEASE NOTE: we've had to turn off the comments in this piece as for some reason they were crashing the page. This is NOT an attempt to end the very interesting debate that's been going on, but a technical issue that we're hoping to get resolved ASAP. Please feel free to use the Facebook comment function below. Many thanks.

DM
Nov 14, 2011 1:09pm

I followed this conversation at the time. i think a lot of people in electronic music (and younger, relatively middle class society in general), like myself, wear rose tinted glasses when it comes to racism/sexism/inequality.

It's because, to some of us, that on a day to day level there is no inequality. I don't know as many women working in electronic music, sure, but i certainly don't see them being treated differently (or hear about it from them). This might be a gross piece of myopia - perhaps what we're seeing here from Caryl/Rose...

Worth thinking, because i'm almost sure both parties would be appalled that 160 character comments have been extrapolated in such a way. Fair play to flagging up uninformed or naive views (or even ironic ones - perhaps it'd have been good to talk to the parties involved), but taking them as an underlying current overall may well be unduly harsh.

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Chal Ravens
Nov 14, 2011 1:15pm

Thank you for this excellent analysis. I'm not sure about the idea that music freed from regionalism is 'open to misinterpretation' - can the music itself be misinterpreted? But I understand what you're saying about people from outside the 'scene' (if there is one) accessing the music via YouTube videos of naked Vice girl hipsters etc.

Kudos to Ben UFO for consistently speaking up about stuff like this. I think he's my favourite communist DJ in the UK scene right now

Also, I would encourage any non-woman to comment freely on feminism rather than worrying about 'speaking for women' - issues of feminism and gender affect everyone, not least men who can feel annoyed and oppressed by the relentless social demand for laddishness and extroverted masculinity.

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Rory Gibb
Nov 14, 2011 2:44pm

A similar thing was going on with the whole 'blog house', post-Justice/Soulwax ultra-distorted fare of a few years back. Loads of the blogs distributing it were plastered with pictures of girls in varying states of undress. At the time, given the sound and the crowd involved in it that didn't seem that surprising, though I do remember being pretty surprised at the constant associations between music + half naked women.

I guess with the whole 'bass music' thing it came as more of a surprise to me when it started happening more, because you could never have imagined that happening even a couple of years back with most of the dubstep that was an immediate precursor to today's sound. But then 'bass music' on the whole seems to have started to fill an equivalent role to the fidget house of yesteryear, so perhaps it's not that surprising after all. Very depressing though, for a number of reasons.

Either way, great article and some very good points raised, really good to see them addressed. As pointed out by @AlwysEvrythng on Twitter, the comments on the Boiler Room forum every time a girl comes onscreen are of a similar ilk.

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IC
Nov 14, 2011 4:14pm

Pretty funny seeing Caryl's indignant tweets this afternoon. How dare the Quietus report what he actually said! Don't you know he was just jokin, c'mon lads it was only banter, where's your sense of humour, I'M ONLY AVVIN A LARF!

Bloody Quietus dykes.

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Dana D
Nov 14, 2011 4:25pm

Thank you for this! It's been on my mind for a while... Especially as a woman involved in the "bass music" scene myself, I find it difficult to wrap my head around it all and I'm still trying to figure out for myself how to deal with it without going crazy ( though I have been known to complain about the barrage of sexy ladies on youtube videos, artwork, etc, and usually end up faced with something along the lines of "you're just jealous"...)
I also wrote a few words about my experience with this in response to this article: http://herbeats.com/2011/11/a-few-personal-thoughts-on-a-disturbing-trend-towards-misogyny/

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Claus Murt
Nov 14, 2011 4:26pm

some young men always have and always will be drawn to images of half-naked women, and will always talk about women as objects. what's different between a man saying "wow check out the *insert parts of body* on that" to a woman saying "check out that hot fireman, mmm i'd love to see HIS hose".

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Dana D
Nov 14, 2011 4:29pm

In reply to Rory Gibb:

I've noticed the Boiler Room thing as well, and I now always watch with the chatroom switched off. Whether the girl is pretty, ugly, black, white, thin, fat, not dancing, dancing too much, looking weird, looking normal, or even the ACTUAL DJ - she will be faced with an endless stream of idiotic remarks.

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Angus Finlayson
Nov 14, 2011 4:33pm

In reply to Rory Gibb:

Thanks everyone for reading.

Rory - I actually wrote a paragraph on the Boiler Room chatroom but it got lost in an edit. Definitely an example of how the kind of relatively unmoderated communication the internet facilitates - which obviously has a utopian potential to it - can be abused.

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Amsicles
Nov 14, 2011 4:48pm

In reply to Chal Ravens:

This article is brilliant – thank you for addressing the topic. While some of the responses are correct – it's not strictly fair to extrapolate from a couple of tweets – the tweets are nonetheless indicative of attitudes that are deemed acceptable on a wider basis. No self-defined feminist I've ever known has attempted to homogenise women's thinking – far from it. Feminism today is about freedom of choice, unhindered by gender-based prejudice.

Chal Ravens – your point about not worrying about 'speaking for women' is huge. You're absolutely right. Men, women, trans, intersex... Everyone has a right to comment and feminism is an issue for everyone. It's good to see sexism in the further reaches of popular culture addressed.

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Scott Caligure
Nov 14, 2011 4:56pm

So Kristan, is that a 'real' apology or a an admission that your 'off hand tweets' aren't to be taken seriously, and that perhaps your writing en-large isn't to be taken seriously either!? Journalists (especially 'dance' music journos/reviewers for rags such as DJ Mag, MixMag) and their wanker egos wanting to be clever using social media to spout their rhetoric and get a 'rise' only to quickly retract their sentiments because someone called them on it, and somewhere deep in their empty souls they realize how big of an a*shole they made themselves look like (well,because they ARE a*sholes). But hey, it was just a joke though right? Way to keep your integrity by standing behind what you wrote. Anyways, we're talking acts like Scuba and wankers..um, I mean 'writers' like Caryl, two lost blokes whom secretly long for each others plums in their mouths.

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Essell
Nov 14, 2011 5:49pm

Great article.

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ellen
Nov 14, 2011 8:23pm

I called this Kristan guy out on his tweet. He ignored me on a few occasions and basically just spoke direct to Ben UFO. I think this means that he's a cnut.

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Dando
Nov 14, 2011 8:57pm

As daft as those comments from Kristan were (I read them as being a bit 'ironical', but you may well disagree), I think this is a bit of a hatchet job on somebody who probably doesn't deserve the vitriol.

To be painted as some sort of arch misogynist is pretty strong and damaging stuff, and as a jobbing hack myself I'd always extend a right to reply if I was bandying those sort of accusations about. While this article makes lots of good points, I can't help but feel that Angus has either set out to do a number on Mr Caryl, or just been a bit naive. Maybe a bit of both.

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freakz
Nov 14, 2011 9:22pm

In reply to Dando:

"Do a number"??? LMFAO, nice one geeeeezer

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Jen
Nov 14, 2011 9:40pm

At least Kristan is trying to make amends, Scuba is just acting like more and more of an obnoxious tool.

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Jen
Nov 14, 2011 9:40pm

In reply to Jen:

see his latest tweets

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David Bell
Nov 14, 2011 10:39pm

In reply to Dando:

This article isn't doing a hatchet job at all. It's used a couple of idiotic tweets to extrapolate and make a wider point about misogyny in dance music. They are symptoms of a far wider problem which the article addresses. That's quite clear if you read it properly.

And all this 'right to reply' stuff is nonsense. What would that aid? He would probably deny being sexist and say that this tweet was a one-off/unthinking/taken out of context: that would totally derail the argument this piece is trying to make. Who cares what his side of the story is? He said something sexist and that is indicative of a wider problem that needs addressing.

Of course Kristan may well reflect on this and realise he was being an insufferable arse with that tweet, say something constructive and be a better person for it.

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John Doran
Nov 14, 2011 10:57pm

In reply to David Bell:

As the editor of this site, I should point out for the record that Kristan Caryl has apologized profusely to us and seems mortified - and that normally people called out in print immediately try and weasel talk their way out of it. So some respect is due him at least. He is welcome to post a response here, or if he had something longer to write, I'd consider publishing it as a news story. But at the end of the day I back Angus 100% - Twitter is a public forum; there is no hatchet job here just cool headed reporting of the facts... in a very cool headed, even handed way to be honest. Also, people need to learn what the word irony actually means. It simply doesn't apply to this situation. And, like most people, I'm more concerned about the impact that a thoughtless or mean spirited comment makes on the listener than to what degree the speaker was being serious or not.

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John Doran
Nov 14, 2011 10:58pm

In reply to John Doran:

That wasn't in reply to anyone in particular but the thread in general.

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Dando
Nov 14, 2011 11:28pm

In reply to David Bell:

I see your point, David. But I can't help but feel the chap is being made an example of. Misogyny is a pretty serious word, after all. Those tweets were misjudged and flippant, definitely. But being symptomatic of *actual hatred*? I doubt it very much.

Fair play if you think that a chance to respond is nonsense. Call me old fashioned, but I think somebody should be allowed to have their say if public pronouncements are made about their personal and professional character. But what do I know, eh?

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Rory Gibb
Nov 14, 2011 11:45pm

In reply to Dando:

The tweets were used more as a starting point/example upon which to build a wider exploration of a genuine problem. To what extent they were/weren't ironic is open to debate, but they're not dwelt upon as the single focus of the article - they're one example within a wide and reasoned range of other examples.

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John Doran
Nov 14, 2011 11:52pm

In reply to Dando:

Er, no one's stopping him from replying. Stop trolling. As I said clearly above, he's welcome to reply here. And given that he's apologized profusely for what he's said, I think you've taken up the wrong cause to fight here.

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Dando
Nov 15, 2011 12:11am

In reply to John Doran:

Apologies, I meant not to troll. I was referring to the right to reply in the first instance, when the piece was written. I hadn't seen the response you'd posted in the meantime. I'll take my leave now. Keep up the good work with the site, it's ace!

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John Doran
Nov 15, 2011 12:20am

In reply to Dando:

No worries. Cheers.

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Nacho
Nov 15, 2011 1:00am

Yea I read the article and thought about it a bit, then I checked Scuba's twitter feed. And from reading his stream all the way back to these tweets, I actually think that he was ridiculing a [quoted] comment he read on a guardian article. The quoted comment he tweeted is absurd, and while I'm not massively aware of Scuba he doesn't seem particularly thick. I'm not sure he is even being ironic! However that journo's response is pretty terrible either as an attempt at humor or a political point, especially from a professional writer!

Anyhow I have a large amount of sympathy for this wider discussion and feel that the politics yearned for in this piece are largely my politics too. [Ben UFO is also my fav commie DJ] However I think this article has a few holes, I haven't the time to expand them all but here is one idea.

To me it almost feels a bit random to hark back to a year 0 of dance music as the early house days and the acid house period in the UK. And then to use this as the only possible political reference points for todays 'Bass Music' 'scene.' I also think it is probably a bit weird to overplay the politics of that period. Farley Jackmaster Funk might have made 'Love Can Turn Around,' but he also made 'Jack the Dick' the year before [1985] which looped a vocal shouting 'suck my dick bitch.' Not exactly the utopia this article is searching for.

ALSO

http://www.youtube.com/user/radioripsvsmisogyny

BUT VERY ALSO

http://www.youtube.com/user/UKHUNKYlol

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JayEss
Nov 15, 2011 2:08am

In reply to Nacho:

that's a really good point (re jack the dick). there is actually an entire strain of misogynistic house.. some of it's even been repressed.. 'beat that b£tch with a bat'?

I really enjoyed reading this article, but i agree with the previous comment that the year dot of acid house feels somewhat arbitrary, and a lot of the statements are either harking back to an imagined pastoral rave past or actually just not very true:

'It's also harder and harder to find accessible urban spaces in which DJs and dancers can congregate to create this sense of togetherness'

plenty of urban dancefloor 'togetherness', at least in this big urb.

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Barry
Nov 15, 2011 2:21am

In reply to Scott Caligure:

Wow! Scott, god own ya sun! Wantin' each overs plums in der mouths! Way to go boyo, that showed him. Now, back to reading Mixmag. Cor, look at the t*ts on that!

Honestly, mate. Please think about what you are saying before you utter it. Hypocrisy can and should be intentionally avoided at all times.

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Theresa
Nov 15, 2011 4:26am

wow, I grew up loving dnb as a kid, and it was the WOMEN then that were running things..not that the boys didn't play, but I had serious dnb women to look up to. I never was good at djing and didn't want to make an ass of myself, but I did promote shows for awhile (junglcode) and those ladies (especially Sage) were key in encouraging my love for the music....I think we do look past sexism by fitting in by being one of the guys, but it just makes me shake my head to see such obvious ignorance on how women on this planet think. I have a good husband I guess...maybe this article will make them think about it though!

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Simon
Nov 15, 2011 7:56am

If only Crust Punk sounded more like underground dance music..

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Simon
Nov 15, 2011 10:19am

In reply to Nacho:

From following Scuba on twitter for a while, it doesn't seem out of place to me that he agreed with the quote. Even in the context of the two screencapped tweets- he usually hates guardian comments (and he generally seems to react to 'lefty' things going on with animosity) but he liked this one. What would it mean otherwise? Usually Guardian comments are sensible but this one's stupid? It doesn't really seem to fit. Its probably unwise to air contextless, ambiguous statements on hot button issues to thousands of people nonetheless.

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Satu
Nov 15, 2011 10:26am

I think the fact that the article has generated such debate is only a good thing?

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Angus Finlayson
Nov 15, 2011 12:37pm

In reply to Nacho:

Hi Nacho, Some interesting points, thanks for reading.

From the UK perspective I don't think it's random to hark back to acid house as year 0 - it was, unless you want to count the Balearic thing, but that was more of a premonition of what was to come. For the UK, acid house and then rave set the template for all subsequent dance music scenes. House is, as Ben says in the piece, an important reference point for a lot of UK producers at the moment, so it seems an obvious comparison to make.

Clearly the misogyny that often appears in the whole lineage of ghetto house is a problem if you're trying to say that all house is 'perfect' in this regard. I wouldn't say that - unfortunately my word count was limited and this isn't an in-depth historical piece so the opportunity to go into the complexities of the scene was limited.

I do think, though, that to use those tracks in order to dismiss the hugely liberating effect that house had on gay and ethnic minority people in Chicago is unfair. Also that particular strain of misogynist lyrics obviously wasn't present in the disco scene, which I also mention as a site of this kind of dancefloor togetherness. Again, word-count prevented me from picking these things apart thoroughly.

I should be clear that I don't think rave and house are the ONLY political yardsticks against which to measure contemporary dance music. Rather that by making that comparison, you find a lot of unrealized potential in the current scene which is a shame, and perhaps needs to be addressed. As I say in the article, every dance culture reaches its own compromise in terms of its gender politics on the dancefloor and elsewhere. There's no single 'right' solution.

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Angus Finlayson
Nov 15, 2011 12:44pm

In reply to JayEss:

JayEss - compared to the early 90s, the quantity of abandoned industrial spaces in London which could play host to a warehouse party has dwindled to pretty much zero. If you want to host a 'warehouse party' now, you pay upwards of 5 grand just to rent the space - because any property owners expect a return similar to that which they could get from converting the place into flats.

As for legit clubs, obviously there are plenty around London, but they are commercial operations so, to varying degrees, turning a profit (or even just breaking even) can come to supercede putting on a good night. The clubs that really get it right seem to require a huge amount of passion and energy to keep open - Plastic People for example.

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CAN"T SAY
Nov 15, 2011 1:32pm

In reply to Angus Finlayson:

How about we talk about the ratio of releases by men/women on Hotflush??

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karen d tregaskin
Nov 15, 2011 3:25pm

In reply to Dando:

> To be painted as some sort of arch misogynist is pretty strong and damaging stuff

Yeah, you know what? There's a part of me that actually wishes this truly were actually the case. That misogyny had real consequences that weren't just tidied up and swept under the carpet and excused away as "just a joke" or "just ironic" and "stop being so oversensitive" etc.

But what pisses me off the most about comments like this is this pernicious idea that *this* is the real problem - that "being called a misogynist" is something traumatising and terrible and horrible - maybe even ~more~ horrible than, say, having to experience actual misogyny itself? (This is where the word "oversensitive" really springs to mind.) Because yeah, that's what's wrong with the world today. *Challenging* people on sexist or misogynist actions is the huge problem - not the whole system of oppression that informs, underpins and sustains them.

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thomas lauren
Nov 15, 2011 3:26pm

Only words can be misinterpreted. Music is a language on its own i think. And the beauty of creation is that it cannot survive forever. Hence, the culture that once was, will never return. The moneymakers/moneytakers have taken hold of this 'scene' and it is incorporated. This is only natural as organic.

And your political view.. that is as old as mankind itself, if not older, i think.

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IC
Nov 15, 2011 3:31pm

In reply to karen d tregaskin:

But didn't you see his twitter, MB? He's "not afraid to say there are tears in my eyes at the accusation." Poor bloke.

I notice he's deleted a couple of tweets today. Ho hum.

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marcus
Nov 15, 2011 4:03pm

In reply to thomas lauren:

sadly thats all rather romantic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEY7ZbeR7Hk

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mmms
Nov 15, 2011 4:33pm

In reply to marcus:

Culture does change and that's why it's a bit of a straw man to engage in a kinda myth of the old days, it's almost always a generic view, shot thru the lens of whatever history maker is popular.
Also house music is a popular lowest common denominator and also an inexhaustable UR for most british dance music, which has built and changed and made it's own rules up over the last 20 years, so it's a strange thing to concentrate on an idea of it being a utopia, especially when the other things that have arisen are equally as engaging.

People using scantily girls to advertise their tepid house throwback now is really not new and appeals to a pretty lowest common denominator idea of what a good time is, and you see this reinforced all over dance music magazines and some clubs etc, it's more or less an accepted symbol of what mainstream clubbing is, and it's lame. This is as well as the music being happier and duller of course, as things ineviably appeal to something like the easy hedononism of what mainstream disco studio 54 etc symbolise to many people.

The problem i have with the piece here is that also by harkening back to some fairly mythological notions about early house, as a unifying ideology is as silly as current producers retreading old ground like they currently are too,another dispiriting trend that has arisen out of this harkening back are youtube videos been cut to by white producers of black people from 80s shows like the detroit dance show to their new productions, these things don't bode well and go to show who is probably making this music nowdays.

These are ideas that harken back to a ficticious ideology when decisions should be being made now about what it means to take part in this culture and take control of it.

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Nacho
Nov 15, 2011 4:46pm

In reply to Angus Finlayson:

Hi Angus.

I guess in relation to the UK if you take acid house to be year 0 and run with the continuum theory then I still find the idea that the egalitarian politics are the core of this scene in 2011 a little surprising. While I wish it was true, I feel that it is a long time since it could even have been true. I guess that raises points about if the politic is actually embedded in the music itself. A lot of the stuff about the communal dance rites does relate to that, but then as the quietus boilerroom article discuses such elements of the 'scene' are much less concrete.

Anyway as you say word count constraints are going to be painful in an article of this scope and length. Do a follow up series maybe..! Potential for a good article about the contradictions of the 'ghetto' house of dancemania and these core politics you describe. I love that kind of music [generally not the OTT vocals tho] but don't consider myself a misogynist.

But thanks Angus for the article anyhow. Although you make my mind buzz at 1am and I couldn't sleep last night it was worth it. Wish someone on thread would comment on UKhunky tho.

& @ Simon: I guess I was wrong about Scuba, sorry about that. I guess thats my internal bias, I thought he was talking about how infuriating all the right wing comments are on the Guardian lol.

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Pooks
Nov 15, 2011 5:03pm

Ya at least Caryl is backtracking a little.. Scuba is over on his facebook calling all journalists cunts and posting (of ALL things) get in the ring... wtf

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John Doran
Nov 15, 2011 5:31pm

In reply to Simon:

The bottom line is, we wouldn't air contextless statements on hot button topics to thousands if the person in question hadn't already done it themselves. Twitter is a public forum and anything on it is an open statement made in public to a large audience. There is no such thing as a throwaway remark in this context, and people should learn this.

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Simon
Nov 15, 2011 5:44pm

In reply to John Doran:

Criticising Scuba here, not you guys!

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Angus Finlayson
Nov 15, 2011 6:26pm

In reply to mmms:

I accept it's a delicate balance which maybe I failed to strike, but I think referring back to other points in cultural history can be a tool for showing what's possible, rather than simply shitting all over anything contemporary and getting misty eyed for the old days.

Hopefully reading this might encourage some people to make some decisions about their participation in the scene right now.

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Nick
Nov 15, 2011 6:47pm

Great article, I must say though that I don't think hanna hanra "shot herself in the foot" suggesting in her (also very good) article about the DJ top 100 that women had been put off by carrying heavy vinyl - it seemed fairly clear that she was being sarcastic.

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Graham
Nov 15, 2011 7:21pm

In reply to Pooks:

I love Scuba's music, but his comments above, yet alone his childish outburst on Facebook, are a little bit embarrassing.

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mmms
Nov 15, 2011 7:27pm

In reply to Nacho:

re: ghettohouse, and ghettotek y tuppence - the devil is in the details really, there i think, ghettohouse came at the nexus between house and hip hop and was in some ways a 'reclamation' and pride in the ghetto roots of house music, as the main players started to disappear across europe, and all the hotmix 5 djs who represented house music on WBMX the local radio station except Farley were all hispanic or white, ghettohouse producers mixed house up with a more 'ghetto' feeling, which meant mixing in harder beats and more 'ghetto' type raps, shout outs to the hood and the like. Most of it is just this, then there are tracks about sex which are more just filthy and sometimes funny,saturday night jouisance before sunday, and often from women, sometimes harsh towards men, then some pretty ugly inexcusable stuff too, such as 'beat that bitch with a bat' which was apparently intended as a reflection of the kinda roughnecks who were turning up on the scene, i don't really buy that though, it's a horrible track, as are some of the others. Although like all music there is a back and forth between these things - ghettotech was broad enough to have people like aaron carl who wrote songs about hardcore gay sex etc, and did it with great humour.

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Nick
Nov 15, 2011 9:35pm

A well-worded article, no doubt. However, there's little to no evidence provided that misogyny even exists in dance music. There are the two comments on Twitter and the fact that there are no women in the DJ Mag Top 100 Poll.

The first one is useless because it only applies to two people, two people who can't represent everyone in the scene as a whole. And as the author said himself, the second one just as weak because it pre-supposes that women are being wilfully excluded from the poll, which is not the case at all. Like cars, DJing is a very male-oriented hobby, which women show less interest in. Sure, there are great DJs out there like Magda, Dinky and Steffi. That they didn't appear in the poll isn't sexism; just as many talented male DJs missed out too.

As for the single example of a woman appearing on a record cover; the photo wasn't provocative or sexual in any way. Men appear on covers in exactly the same way. In effect, this is a very poorly supported article which appears to have been written with only a vague feeling that some people somewhere are being misogynistic. The lack of evidence to support this position is ample proof that it's not as rampant as the author would have us believe.

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John Doran
Nov 15, 2011 10:27pm

In reply to Nick:

The picture selected isn't of a record sleeve. We wouldn't run an offensive image, or at least not one that we'd consider offensive. Also, if you look at the comments above and on facebook you'll see that plenty of other people are offering examples of their own, so your own spurious argument - which itself is based on a falsehood that Angus could only find three pieces of evidence - is fatally flawed.

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David Bell
Nov 15, 2011 10:46pm

In reply to Dando:

They might not be symptomatic of the individual's hatred, but they are symptomatic of a culture that hates women (and this goes wider than dance music).

As for the 'right of reply': I believe that they have the right to write something and for The Quietus to consider publishing it (as John has said they would). But had Finlayson included their replies in his piece it would have descended into a piece about what they meant/didn't mean and we wouldn't be talking about misogyny in general, but whether two blokes (who- in the grand scheme of things- are pretty irrelevant) are misogynist, and that's hardly the point.

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David Bell
Nov 15, 2011 11:10pm

In reply to Nick:

Seeing as you're getting all empirical here: where is your evidence that women show less interest in DJing? And how could empirical evidence possibly account for the suggestion that women show less interest in DJing because of the patriarchal structures which present it as a man's hobby? Oh yeah, *it couldn't*; you need to use critique to address these issues, not numbers.

I guess women don't like playing football, fishing or cars either, do they? (oh wait, you did actually say that last thing). But I bet they like sewing, shopping and baking; yeah!?

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Nov 16, 2011 12:05am

In reply to mmms:

thanks for the education! need to read up on my ghetto house.

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Angus Finlayson
Nov 16, 2011 12:05am

In reply to :

The above was me..

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Jeremy
Nov 16, 2011 2:39am

Tick tick tick. The intelligence of this article only falters when assuming that the power of a social movement can go beyond the frailty of the individual. It is a utopian ideology which fails generationally. The 'inclusivity' of the dance floor fades when the lights turn on.

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David Pinto
Nov 16, 2011 3:03am

Thank you for writing this.

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Steve Buscemi
Nov 16, 2011 3:04am

Well written article, but the early house era is viewed through rose-tinted spectacles. It was probably even more male dominated than the scene today - even fewer female clubbers, and certainly fewer female producers/DJs. Far from the united, Utopian social melting pot you suggest.

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Moomaloid
Nov 16, 2011 11:56am

A most excellent article, however i believe it could've been written without trying to drag the two chaps through the ringer to be honest. Does come across as a cheap shot and sullies what for me is a really good read. Shame really.

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Ed
Nov 16, 2011 1:51pm

This is a really excellent article. You've nailed a whole load of things which I'd been thinking about but hadn't really tied together.

I saw Scuba's tweet at the time and was pretty confused by it: he does mention political stuff on twitter every so often, including one tweet which indicated that he's strongly pro-choice, but when he does so it's usually in quite an off-hand and ambiguous way: it's hard to draw any firm conclusions about his stance on a lot of things, even if you've been following him for ages. On balance, I did think it was probably an attempt at humour, but a really unsuccessful and ill-considered one.

His reaction to this article probably hasn't helped his cause though: he's still being defensive and indignant on twitter and facebook, at the same time as claiming he's not bothered by it and that it's pointless replying to the manner in which you've portrayed him.

Which is a shame, really, because the only way these problems are going to be dealt with is by people holding their behaviour up to examination.

For what it's worth, I don't think either of those comments make Scuba or Kristan misogynist by default, rather they both belie a creeping laziness towards representations of gender which I think you're absolutely right to discuss and criticise. I'd definitely be interested to hear their responses, but yes, excellent piece nonetheless.

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palaeo.tech
Nov 16, 2011 1:55pm

The wider electronic music community could well do with more commentary of this variety. Ignorance is not bliss.

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Government in Kinshasa
Nov 16, 2011 4:30pm

Scuba's comment is right though.

Feminists I have encountered have all been stereotypically unattractive. Not simply in appearance, but they weren't seductive in their behaviour either.

We men are largely motivated by sex and a desire to feel important. This isn't saying anything bad about men, we've been evolutionarily programmed that way. It shouldn't be considered an insult, and if we consider it an insult, we'd have to be angry with nature and that would be plain stupid. Women constantly use their sexuality to manipulate us, and so they should. It's the skill that natured gifted them to compensate for physical strength. I find that feminists are largely those who haven't got the physical and/or mental ability to use sexuality in their favour and their argument is largely against our genetic hardwiring, so they should expect to be laughed at.

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Rory Gibb
Nov 16, 2011 4:32pm

Topically, there's a feature up on Pitchfork today about riot grrrl and the difficulties of tackling the idea of the 'all girl' band.

http://www.pitchfork.com/features/articles/8710-not-every-girl-is-a-riot-grrrl/

Just spoke to a friend about this article and she reminded me about a time recently when a guy dismissed her assertion that there are more women going to these sort of nights than there were in 2008 by saying "I should know, because I'm looking out for them". Thereby essentially dismissing her point by suggesting that because she didn't want to have sex with them, she wouldn't have noticed they were there.

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Rory Gibb
Nov 16, 2011 4:34pm

In reply to Government in Kinshasa:

Dude, if you're trying to be ironic then you're failing miserably. Operating on the presumption that you're not, maybe go back to the start and read the article again. Or read a book or something.

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Scuba
Nov 16, 2011 7:18pm

I wasn't going to respond on here, but since my email to the editor has been predictably ignored I guess I have no choice. I'm not interested in discussing the article, I'll stick to explaining how I have been misrepresented. The first tweet I posted related to my view of comments on the Guardian site, which I notice has been dissected above. Comments on that site are either obvious right wing trolling (probably at least in part by the sites own mods in an attempt to stimulate more posts) or fatuous left wing moaning. There is very rarely anything of any value to be found in the comments sections, but I get drawn into it in much the same way that people slow down for a car crash. It's been mentioned above that other posts I have made on twitter show me to be a rabid right-winger. I'd like to invite all of you to take a look at my feed, nothing has been deleted since all this nonsense started, and judge for yourself where my political views lie.

Now lets take a look at the comment I flagged up as "good": "The more I think about it feminism is not so much an ideology as a minority of women attempting to assert control over other women." Obviously the word "good" could mean a number of different things when used in an instance like this. It could mean that I agree wholeheartedly with the comment when taken at face value. Or it could mean I found some aspect of the statement interesting. Or I could have said it was good because I found it amusing in some way, ironic or otherwise. Or it could have had various other possible meanings. You'll notice if you've read my feed that I didn't make any other comment on the matter after the two tweets used in the article. Looking at the tweets in isolation (i.e. without being accompanied by an article accusing me of misogyny) you'd have to say my views on the matter were ambiguous. Looking at them in the context of my feed in its entirety I'd argue that the notion that I was flagging the comment as some kind of vitally pertinent literal message is at best unlikely.

Some of you seem to think I should make some sort of apology for all this. Well if someone took something ambiguous you'd said out of context and used it to publicly call you a woman hater then I doubt you'd be too keen to bow to the pitchfork-wielding rabble banging on your door either. Some of you will say that I should know better than to be vague about such an emotive issue on a medium like twitter. I'm happy to field direct replies from the usual idiots, but you'd hope that a journalist writing for a respected media outlet would have a bit more savvy. Apparently not.

There's a couple more points I'd like to make. Firstly, I think it's important to point out that even if I did agree with the comment in question, that would hardly make me a misogynist. A large number of contributors to the debate generated by this article seem to think that criticising feminism is equivalent to attacking the entire female gender. That is no different to the argument that criticism of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic. The relative position of women in society, let alone the dance scene is a serious issue and addressing the debate in such polarised terms debases it.

Finally, I'd just like to expand on my comment on facebook about journalists, which one person on here called "childish". My own experiences with journalists have obviously been mainly in music; one way a musician's relationship with the press changes as he (OR SHE) becomes more popular is that people want to actually talk to you, as opposed to sending you lists of questions which you are expected to write out answers for (thus doing most of the journalists work for them). I've done many face-to-face and phone interviews over the last few years and in almost every one I've had quotes attributed to me that directly contradict what I actually said, and that sometimes even contradict a wider point that I had been making over the course of the interview. Accurate transcribing takes time but is not intellectually demanding work, and the fact that most music journalists don't bother to do it properly is indicative of the quality of the vast majority writing on the subject, which seems to inspire educated people (sometimes to PhD level apparently) to research and write like GCSE students.

To those critcising my generalised view of the profession, I would suggest that you give a couple of hours of your time to someone who then ignores what you say and writes whatever comes into their head, and then do it repeatedly over a number of years, and see how frustrated you get. I've never previously bothered to respond to individual mistakes, but then this is the first time I've received a torrent of abusive emails for taking a position I didn't take.

The fact that music journalism is driven almost entirely by PRs is another symptom of this endemic adolescent laziness, although in fairness that phenomenon isn't limited to this area of the field. But the favourite trick of shoe horning a well-known name into a comment piece to attract attention, something which I suppose is a feature of the article in question (it certainly seems to have worked), is directly lifted from the kind of tabloid newspapers which I'm sure contributors to and readers of The Quietus would never admit to reading. The professional standards and quality of writing on here suggest to me that this site should accompany most of the rest of music journalism in the same direction as the News of the World.

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Maximilian J.
Nov 16, 2011 7:44pm

I can't believe the Quietus is willing to endorse the feminist terror ruling over this thread. People should really learn to analyze an argument neutrally, without considering the difficult subject of prejudice that it approaches. This article simply does not make a valid point, using two tweets taken out of context to put forth a theory regarding an entire scene. I would really like to see some satisfying evidence to support the author's thesis - such a paper would surely not earn you a passing grade in any university, not even at an undergraduate level.
This article simply shows how far political correctness has taken censorship in issues of prejudice. Whenever something touches on feminism or racism, one must immediately agree without even questioning the basis for the argument. The comments on this site merely display the ignorance of the average reader and the easiness of convincing someone to mindlessly repeat the same generic statements.

Oh, and also, whoever brought up Boiler Room - that's plain silly. People are *constantly* talking trash on that chat, whether it's about men or women. So please quit it with the bland generic statements and the victimization of women. You're not helping your cause whatsoever.

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freakz
Nov 16, 2011 8:01pm

In reply to Scuba:

You forgot to put this in 'How can I hate women, my mum's one.'

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Dave
Nov 16, 2011 8:15pm

For someone whose rebuttals are unanimously dismissive of the other person's intelligence, that's a doozy of a slam-dunk analogy you've built there. "A large number of contributors to the debate generated by this article seem to think that criticising feminism is equivalent to attacking the entire female gender. That is no different to the argument that criticism of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic." lol get back to me when feminism has social and cultural power backing it up anywhere near equivalent to the US army. I think calling any of the shoddy aphorisms "criticism" is pretty generous, almost everything on this page against feminism is a straight up dismissal. If you really want to make laboured analogies, feminism would surely be represented by Palestine in that conflict- under constant threat, with any attack it makes trivial compared to constant onslaught it has to endure. Dismissing Palestine's plight in the same manner people have shrugged off feminism would probably seem pretty curious. Using Israel as your analogy is similarly curious. Or maybe its all political correctness gone mad!

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Jon k
Nov 16, 2011 8:16pm

In reply to freakz:

Wow, I guess you really can't defeat ignorance. The guy wrote a perfectly clear reply and that's all you can say?

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Haller
Nov 16, 2011 8:29pm

In reply to Dave:

hmmm. I do see what you're saying about using the Israel analogy. But at the same time a criticism is not a dismissal. I think by criticizing elements of the feminist struggle is appropriate, as there are varying extremities of the cause, and divisions within the feminine struggle. Similar to the civil rights struggle, the Nation of Islam were at the forefront, but labelling white people devils and inferior was not a position all civil rights leaders had, and was divisive rather than cohesive. I think all good struggles for equality need to step back, and ask themselves if what they're doing is a full representation of their cause, and an accurate one at that. Maybe that's what Scuba was hinting at, and not a dismissal of the idea behind feminism itself.

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Nov 16, 2011 8:34pm

In reply to Scuba:

Validity of the actual article aside, Re: Scuba: "Firstly, I think it's important to point out that even if I did agree with the comment in question, that would hardly make me a misogynist. A large number of contributors to the debate generated by this article seem to think that criticising feminism is equivalent to attacking the entire female gender. That is no different to the argument that criticism of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic. The relative position of women in society, let alone the dance scene is a serious issue and addressing the debate in such polarised terms debases it."

Uh, how do you figure? Your comparison's logic is flawed. They're apples and oranges. What you did by calling that comment "good" was implicitly agree, no matter how many semantics and paragraphs you try to use to get out of it. You can justify it to yourself all you want but this is how it looks to everyone else.

To borrow and refine the hackneyed Israel/Palestine analogy: "The more I think about it the more the pro-Palestine movement is an attempt by a minority of true Israelites to assert control over others."

Calling that comment "good" would be implicitly agreeing with the anti-Palestine, pro-oppression message, even if it *gasp* taken out of context. Maybe you'll be more careful in the future to avoid showing support for statements you don't actually agree with. From an outsider's perspective, your rambling, tangent-loaded explanation did little to clear things up and makes it seem like you're standing by the comment more than anything. Even if you refuse to apologize, learn some basic public apology/PR skills.

It's a completely bullshit amateur hour criticism of feminism that belies misogyny and adds nothing to any discussion, so why call it "good" at all? If you're joking you better make it clear as hell, as I'm sure you've now learned. No one said that attacking feminism was the same as attacking the female gender, by the way, so I'm not sure how that deflects the relevance or idiocy of the comment you quoted.

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John Doran
Nov 16, 2011 8:36pm

In reply to Scuba:

To be fair, I'd never heard of you before yesterday, so I'd have to disagree with your theory tbh. I'm not ignoring your email, just had a bunch of important things that needed attending to first. You'll have my reply in ten minutes.

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Nov 16, 2011 8:39pm

However, with that last rambly comment in mind, I must comment on the validity of the article as a whole: Why the hell would you single out Synamatix and Scuba?

I'm pretty sure you only did it as a way to generate more page hits, since they are completely irrelevant to the rest of your article.

There are also far worse offenders for misogyny in music than people who put pics of scantily clad girls on their youtube (tangent - Ben UFO, I love ya but get over yourself, you're not a gender studies major and I doubt your music is 100% misogyny free); between that and all the weird representations of musical history here, I dare say that this article is pretty much purely a sensationalist fluff/smear piece.

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Nov 16, 2011 8:44pm

In reply to Scuba:

So um, feminism is this idea where women have political, economic and social rights equal to those of men. Attacking feminism is attacking those rights and is attacking the entire female gender. It is not equivalent to criticising Israel but it is equivalent to attacking the human rights of Jews and so yes, anti-Semitism.

I think you're confusing feminism with your polarised view of feminism.

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Carlos
Nov 16, 2011 8:46pm

Your last two paragraphs intrigue me most. Your notion that it is impossible to deny the socio-political dimension of music. When you say that it's that it's the political dimension that gives music it's full 3 dimensional effect, it has a jarring effect on me.

I've never now, nor will I ever place such a useless dimension on the music I love as "politics". Arguing my point on the internet is useless, so I won't type up a massive diatribe here, but music is made up of far more meaninful dimensions than something as mundane and useless as "politics". It doesn't NEED a socio-political dimension. There's plenty of depth, emotion, and vitality in work like Scuba's and Ben UFO's. To say that a tune like "Three Sided Shape" has a socio-political dimension, means you're missing everything else that's going on it that track.

To sum it all up: Your conclusion has further cemented my core belief that there are people who 'listen' to music and people who "HEAR" music.

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Dr. Misogynist, PHD
Nov 16, 2011 8:58pm

Misogyny in instrumental music? Ha. Is there a separate line for women at the club? Are they not allowed to use the bathrooms or dance? Do they have to dress in slutty outfits? No, most choose to do that on their own free will.
The two comments in the article I found particularly annoying, were the reference to the DJ Mag Top 100 issue, and the comment about women appearing on album covers and YouTube videos. Firstly, what self-respecting female DJ would even want to be on that list? I'm sure Magda cried herself to sleep when she found out she didn't make the list. And now onto to the comment concerning attractive women. That is the world we live in. You don't like it? Then make a track and you can put a morbidly obese woman on it as the cover art, displaying your solidarity with those females who do not fit into the hourglass category. Men and women like to look at attractive females. Simply human nature and absolutely nothing else. And the finger cannot just be pointed at men. You think women are interested in looking at grossly overweight men on album covers or as the image on YouTube videos? Nope, definitely not the case.
Your inventing issues that are non-existent, throwing accusations at people based on two sentences on Twitter, and all without any real evidence or investigation. Yea, I'm sure Scuba is a real woman beater, and requests that the females be removed from the club while he is spinning.
Overall, the article is wordy, seemingly in an attempt to overcompensate for the fact that the subject matter is weak. These pseudo-intellectual articles about the "issues" in dance music are getting old. Many of them only serve to breed an uneducated audience who is more concerned about the "issues" surrounding dance music, than the music itself.

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Nov 16, 2011 9:27pm

In reply to Dr. Misogynist, PHD:

Your post is so dumb its not even offensive.

'Men and women like to look at attractive females. Simply human nature and absolutely nothing else.'

Find me valid scientific evidence supporting that and I'll personally give you a blow job.

Something you might want to read into: capitalism.

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Nov 16, 2011 9:27pm

In reply to John Doran:

@ John - Christ, what an unnecessarily rude and nasty thing to say. For those of us who are fans of the music Scuba makes, he's an incredible important figure and worth a lot more respect than you seem to consider. Regardless, even if he was a complete nobody, why would it be relevant to say you'd "never heard of" Paul when he's on your forum trying to defend himself against this? What's it supposed to mean? That because *you* haven't heard of him, that should he feel misrepresented by this feature he has no right to defend himself?

Incidentally, I find the idea that you'd support the posting of the article and yet not consider it 'important' (your implication) to bother to either see if Paul had got in touch with you OR reached out to get a quote off him (this is Journalism 101 for christ's sakes) pretty unforgiveable, especially considering the extent at which he's been torn to shreds by people off the basis of this article.

I support the article wholeheartedly - sexism has no place in any part of society, least of all a part where freedom to enjoy oneself free from judgment is paramount. It's well-written and I agree with the sentiment. But frankly the cack-handed way you've treated Paul, when you must be aware of the abuse he's got as a result of this - if you bothered to put yourself in his shoes, you'd see that accusations of any form of bigotry could prove irrecoverably harmful to his career and have posted an apology (or at least a clarification) with *some* semblance of urgency - is pretty pathetic.

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Geoff
Nov 16, 2011 9:30pm

To summarise: Quietus writer makes a decent general point about sexism in dance music, but picks his targets poorly, omitting various scabrous lyrical offenders and singling out a producer who makes glib, uninformed comments on Twitter. Producer finally responds, skirting the issue entirely in huff of indignation, and then proceeds to make various rude comments about journalists.

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John Doran
Nov 16, 2011 9:35pm

In reply to :

Sorry, it was simply in relation to this quote: "But the favourite trick of shoe horning a well-known name into a comment piece to attract attention, something which I suppose is a feature of the article in question". It wasn't a judgement of quality or importance. Apologies for ruffling any feathers.

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GG
Nov 16, 2011 9:35pm

"What you did by calling that comment "good" was implicitly agree, no matter how many semantics and paragraphs you try to use to get out of it."

Of course it doesn't, "good" can mean all kinds of things and be used in all kinds of ways relative to context, it can mean that the comment is so demonstrably stupid that its funny in its self (i.e. good), or as direct irony - its a common usage of the English language to describe something as the opposite of what you mean, its pretty base-level stuff (think Wayne's World "not").

Unfortunately its better suited to conversation as intonation enforces intent. Twitter blurs the lines between a written statement and a conversational statement and so its a trap that a lot of people fall into, but not many people get quoted for the basis of a published article. Its pretty low level irony granted, no one said its clever and he should have known better, but as Scuba argues, once you read it in the broader context of his tweets, entering into a kind of conversation, it does become a lot more obvious what he meant.

"No one said that attacking feminism was the same as attacking the female gender, by the way"

Scuba's comment was directly related to feminism be it serious or otherwise, it was used in an article as an example of misogyny, so yes, that was exactly what was said.

Look, its a serious issue, and obviously one that you feel strongly about, but if you read what hes written, rather than banging the drum of what you thought he MUST have meant, more attention might be focussed on the important content of the article.

Seriously though, as someone who reads the comments section of the Guardian, you'd have thought he'd have known to steer clear of the whole Israeli issue...

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GG
Nov 16, 2011 9:47pm

In reply to John Doran:

"To be fair, I'd never heard of you before yesterday, so I'd have to disagree with your theory tbh. I'm not ignoring your email, just had a bunch of important things that needed attending to first. You'll have my reply in ten minutes."

To be fair, this comment says a lot more of your opinion of yourself than Scuba's of his.
He was obviously deemed well enough known to be described as "figurehead", the jouno's words, not his and was replying based on that.

Just out of interest, what was the important stuff that needed attention? Was it you? Do you need more attention? Are you really important? Don't worry, you don't have to get back to me straight away, leave it ten minutes okay?

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Nov 16, 2011 9:52pm

In reply to :

You are really so naive that you need scientific evidence to support the fact that men are attracted to good-looking women? Capitalism? Yea sex does sell. For that exact fucking reason you twat.

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louise
Nov 16, 2011 9:54pm

As a woman (and so far as i can see there's not been very many-any of us joining this debate) who has worked in the music industry for the past 15 years and who was raised by a feminist as a feminist, i have to say i find this article flimsy. Firstly, i've not experienced any more of "a disturbing trend towards misogyny" in the past couple of years than i've been aware of over the past 2 decades that consist of my teenage and adult life. when i look at the wider music industry where women are commodities and decorative objects in the extreme, every day i'm thankful that i'm working in an area of the industry where this isn't the case. but then again, i and the hundreds of successful women i personally know who are working in all areas of the electronic music industry have rarely climbed the ladder using our "assets" but have done so through sheer passion and hard work. this article - along with the pathetic "why are there no women in the top 100 dj poll" one piss me off and frankly devalue mine and other women's well deserved place in this industry. let me explain....

1. the quote scuba tweeted - firstly, his own thoughts on it are completely ambiguous. the author has assigned meaning where there is no clear one. the author may be "no academic feminist" but i am. sadly there are many documented instances of feminists using the term and supposed fixed ideology as a weapon and means to subordinate other feminists and groups of women. we're women, we're cerebral, that's how we work. kristan caryls quip about lesbians is clearly a joke.... how do i know this? because no one who truly believed that and was 'our age' raised in the uk would ever dare say something like that outloud if they actually meant it. neither of them suggested that "gender inequality is non-existant" (how many women are employed by the quietus out of interest.....) kristan just said that it doesn't bother a lot of women - and i believe this to be true. if we sat around all day fighting gender politics we'd never get anything done. i would class myself as an "actual woman" which i'm assuming he meant to mean a women who gets on with life rather than whining about the boys not letting her play with his toys. how the author came to decide that "these comments are offensively incorrect" in my view probably says far more about the author than scuba or kristan caryl - scuba's original meaning is unclear, the original guardian article is unquoted - meaning has been simply assumed and character assassination has begun.

2. the author says "It was dismaying to find that an implicit disdain for women could sit comfortably alongside a love for underground dance music" - your kidding right? assholes exist in every walk of life (something my feminist mother taught me) and loving music has nothing to do with it. but that this sentence is directed at the two men who's tweets are highlighted in the article is unacceptable to me as i don't see anything there that implies "implicit disdain for women".

3. rave was only viewed as a negative phenomenon by some people, and i have no personal knowledge of "our deeply ingrained distrust of bodily pleasure passed down to us from the Puritans" - maybe in the authors family and friends but certainly not in mine. we're fine with a bit of nudity, pleasure (bodily or otherwise) and a whole lot of love. so i'd suggest right here that the author is displaying his own deeply flawed standards that have led him to misjudge others and assume their intentions when, as he freely admits, he doesn't know them and has never spoken to them. "rave made no discernable statement" - that's a little bit like hearing the guys on fox news saying now that occupy wall street has no message. i'd say thousands of kids uniting in the middle of fields and abandoned warehouses, getting off their heads and in the process revolutionising music/nightlife/youth culture on their own with no impetus from commercial/governing bodies at that moment in time at the tail end of thatcherism and height of neo-libralism/capitalist fervour in this country is a very clear statement, even if it's not written down in block capitals and following proscribed social and politic norms.

4. just because people were wearing "loose fitting, form disguising clothes" doesn't mean that the early acid house scene was a sexless utopia, free of "the male gaze" (not even nuns are free of the male gaze, because the male gaze works just as well when it's left simply to the devices of the male imagination...). "The 'meat market' often attributed to mainstream club culture, an environment structured for the male gaze and which tended to make women feel vulnerable and exposed, was totally undermined." I'm sorry but women choose their own outfits on a saturday night and in my experience, the ones with their tits and arse hanging out are generally quite delighted with the objectification it gets them - they would say it's their choice and their right to dress like that, and i agree with them, just as i choose not to. In my experience "the meat market" exists everywhere, it's just a woman's choice whether she wants to engage with it and put herself up for sale. - obviously i'm talking just about the uk here and not places where women are literally still bought and sold... something else entirely.

5. "it became clear that the political value of the dancefloor was in the construction of a social space where the rigid divisions of dominant culture ceased to apply. Gender, sexuality, race - they were irrelevant when subjected to the carnival of sound, light and substances." to a degree yes, but then the lights came on and everyone has to come down. i still believe that in the electronic music/dance music industry we women have a largely level playing field and we are surrounded by mostly like minded people - especially outside of the commercial dance music scene (ministry of sound video's with their chainsaw lovin', volley ball playing gym bunnies are part of the pop world, where women are very much simply objects and commodities).

6. "It's fairly common these days to see images of conventionally attractive women being used to promote music" - ummm, it's called advertising and it's EVERYWHERE. I don't think you can assume an entire scene to be infiltrated by right wing misogynists because some pretty girls are used to draw a target audience (largely boys, 14-25 years old) in to your product. yes, i think it's kind of pathetic and i'd rather see wonderful illustrated surrealist cover art - such as you might see on the latest hotflush release by sepalcure - but not everyone has the time, money or talent for that.

7. The DJ mag Top 100 poll - a poll that's regarded as such a joke in the electronic music industry that most serious djs either completely ignore it's existence or actually ask their fans not to vote for them. the lack of women in the poll reveals nothing about successful women djs in the industry, it just reveals a lot about the state of commercial dance music and trance. incidentally, i don't think it was the comment about women not being able to carry their own records that shot hanna hanra in the foot, in my mind it's the fact that she has her nipples out in her i-D profile picture... yes, classy, that's a sure way to keep those fashion gigs rolling in. http://i-donline.com/authors/hanna-hanra/

8. Ben's quote is very well thought out - but i find it strange that the author didn't think of getting the opinion of say.... a female dj, or club promotor, or record label owner, or agent, or or or. that's right, we speak, you said yourself it earlier in the article. that would have been a highlight of your article, but couldn't you think of anyone? let me see... maja jane coles, heidi, annie mac, mary anne hobbs, ellen allien, magda, miss jools, chloe, jennifer cardini, miss kitten, lady miss kier, lottie, mistress barbara, sister bliss, cassy, steffi, dinky......

i think i'll leave it there, an article about misogyny in dance music that didn't bother to actually ask the opinion of any women in dance music. for me, that says it all.

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Nov 16, 2011 10:07pm

In reply to louise:

Game, Set and Match.

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Nov 16, 2011 10:07pm

In reply to louise:

Game, Set and Match.

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Nov 16, 2011 10:13pm

In reply to louise:

should settle the issue.... but won't

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Nov 16, 2011 10:37pm

your all a bunch of dickheads.. there are far more important things to worry about

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Qwerty
Nov 16, 2011 10:49pm

In reply to louise:

Here here. Scuba = one of the best producers/label heads out there right now.

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Nov 16, 2011 11:02pm

In reply to Qwerty:

Hear hear*

Idiot.

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Nov 17, 2011 1:57am

In reply to louise:

All of these points other than 1 and 3 seem to be saying 'sexism exists, get over it', which seems a little defeatist. The mainstream might be a lot worse than the underground but that's no reason not to comment when misogyny is identified. It's indicative of how widespread these attitudes are and reinforces the importance of questioning them.

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Anna
Nov 17, 2011 4:26am

In reply to louise:

As a woman who has worked in the music industry for 5 yrs I have to say I find this article a good outset. A bit incoherent? Probably, it might not be executed in the most elaborate manner but it has opened up discussion and although I agree that the attacks in this article can be viewed as out of order, they shouldn't have been made in the first place if they didn't want to discuss about it. Sexism exists everywhere still, but that doesn't mean the problem shouldn't be discussed and although it's way too complex (everyone trying to tackle everything at once here) it's a start. It's important to not ignore the fact that even in this scene, which is supposed to be so sociable and cosy and lovely, the problem is still very much there. I think it's refreshing to see that Ben UFO is speaking up, something that seems to be surprising to a lot of the commenters on here but it shouldn't be.

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Dr Fucking Bradshaw
Nov 17, 2011 5:23am

In reply to louise:

As a feminist academic myself, Louise, I'd say it's a shame you've missed the fact that Scuba just compared feminism to Israel's foreign policy. If he was just joking/being ironic, why his grasping at this ridiculous analogy to justify attacking feminism?

The reason the idea that feminists are just women trying to control women is misogynist is because it is completely dismissive of there being any grounds for any type of feminism, be it critique or analogy. Ie. it suggests that feminists are feminists because they want to control women and not because any gender asymmetry exists at all.

Finally, it's a very odd Guardian comment for Scuba to have chosen to be 'ironic' about, isn't it >>> Anyone else ever seen him campaigning on feminist issues before? Why did he choose that comment to laugh about, in particular?

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Dr Fucking Bradshaw
Nov 17, 2011 5:24am

In reply to Dr Fucking Bradshaw:

sorry I meant 'grounds for any type of feminism, be it critique or *ideology*'

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Nov 17, 2011 5:31am

In reply to Dr Fucking Bradshaw:

But you know what, it would be a shame if this conversation ended up being just about Scuba. and I actually don't think he deserves to be held up as if he's the only person that demonstrates this kind of attitude.

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Nov 17, 2011 6:47am

In reply to :

Winning.

/thread

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Jane
Nov 17, 2011 7:53am

In reply to :

White guys insisting the problems of other people, who don't look like them, don't exist. How original.

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louise
Nov 17, 2011 8:12am

In reply to Dr Fucking Bradshaw:

I didn't miss scuba's analogy - but i have no wish to be here arguing all day. my comments and thoughts are based solely on the very poorly thought out original article.

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louise
Nov 17, 2011 8:17am

In reply to :

In reply to louise:

All of these points other than 1 and 3 seem to be saying 'sexism exists, get over it', which seems a little defeatist. The mainstream might be a lot worse than the underground but that's no reason not to comment when misogyny is identified. It's indicative of how widespread these attitudes are and reinforces the importance of questioning them.

You've missed my point - i'm not saying 'sexism exists, get over it' at all. my final and most important point was that this article is ridiculous because it is in itself sexist! how is the author able to publicly vilify two men he doesn't know or prove to be misogynists by the examples he's given AND THEN NOT SEEK THE OPINION OF A SINGLE WOMAN WORKING IN THE DANCE MUSIC INDUSTRY. speaking to an actual woman or two might have may have given this piece some much needed real content, instead there's a whole lot of supposition and very little substance.

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louise
Nov 17, 2011 8:25am

In reply to Anna:

I'm sorry if you're experience of the scene is anything other than cosy and lovely, but mine isn's. I don't feel there is a problem of misogyny in the core underground scene, it's exists in the same way it exists everywhere there are people and arseholes.
ultimately, my problem with this article is that it chose to vilify two men, without seeking their comment or rebuttal, and paint them as women haters. i decided to comment after seeing facebook threads where other women are suggesting they "go and kill themselves" for these same supposed and unproven opinions. this isn't an open debate, that would imply a measure of balance. and as i've pointed out this article is fundamentally flawed and sexist in itself as it's discussing 'misogyny in dance music' without seeking any of our actual opinions or experiences.

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louise
Nov 17, 2011 9:07am

In reply to Dr Fucking Bradshaw:

wait, i've just realised you actually describe yourself as "the carrie bradshaw of rave" on your twitter. what, seriously? you, an academic feminist with a phd, identifies herself with a fictional character who's central message is that women must consume (pref gucci handbags) and project a perfectly ludicrous, impossibly perfect and superficial self-image in order to be happy, loved and successful. i don't know where you got your phd from, but simone de beauvoir and susan sontag must be turning in their graves right now.

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Melissa
Nov 17, 2011 9:19am

In reply to louise:

It's a joke. Maybe try reading some of my blog? My thesis was examined by Jacqueline Rose. There's really no need to be offensive like that.

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Melissa
Nov 17, 2011 9:23am

In reply to louise:

And this is an opinion article. Opinion articles are a presentation of a person's opinion.

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louise
Nov 17, 2011 9:25am

In reply to Melissa:

wasn't being offensive, just questioning it. all irony seems to have been completely lost on you previously, so i wasn't expecting it of you on twitter. i stand corrected.

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Melissa
Nov 17, 2011 9:45am

In reply to louise:

Fair point, and irony is easily lost. But I've already covered what I think about that. (Caryl's tweet doesn't seem ironic to me either - the second part 'most women no longer feel repressed', I don't get how any ironic double meaning of that would work).

Anyway, instead of everyone getting upset and hurling insults at each other, I hope this becomes a more positive dialogue.

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louise
Nov 17, 2011 10:15am

In reply to Melissa:

so what you're saying is that it's ok for you to joke about female subordination in your description on twitter, but kristan isn't able to make one quip on his without being deemed a misogynist and receiving the sound advice that he should "go and kill himself". how, um, ironic. how is feminism supposed to advance any of us, when feminists are happy to base arguement on hypocrisy?
and once again, this article (it says article right there at the top of the page) is flawed, sexist and self-proving because it's discussing "dance music misogyny" without seeking the input of any women in dance music. if you want to direct your feminist wrath at anyone, i would suggest angus is a more proven target in this case than kristan or scuba.

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Satu
Nov 17, 2011 11:25am

As mentioned before, it's a shame that the points raised in this article are being overshadowed by two particular tweeters.

Arguably, as they're cited, it's on topic, however I believe they nominated themselves as a point of reference by making such poorly judged remarks. If they were intended as a joke, I've not heard anybody laughing.

However, the backlash Scuba in particular has recieved is disgraceful, and I would in no way condone it.

This article has done well to illuminate a wide reaching topic and to promote debate around it - to dismiss mysogony in dance music completely, as with all other aspects of life, is fatally blinkered.

As is comparing The Quietus with the News of The World.

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Satu
Nov 17, 2011 11:34am

It is also incredibly naive to think that Angus would promote his word on the subject as the last and the holiest.

Agreed, discussing the points raised with women in the industry would undoubtedly paint a fuller picture, so why not follow up this piece in that vein? The author himself has said time/word restraints have hindered him, and that's to be expected given the scope of the subject matter.

This article, and these comments are a darn-sight more incisive than the majority of tipe spouted over the web. That ought to be encouraged, not quashed.

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Paddy
Nov 17, 2011 2:48pm

LOL

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Jay
Nov 17, 2011 3:01pm

In reply to Dr Fucking Bradshaw:

He didn't compare feminism to Israels foreign policy, how could you even think that.

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Mac J
Nov 17, 2011 3:19pm

Funny that we haven't heard of Angus in a while. What's up mate? You seemed to have a lot to say? Why aren't you defending the merits of your article and thesis? Change of heart perhaps?

Also, lol at everyone mentioning their education credentials - guess PhD's ain't what they used to be.

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Benazir
Nov 17, 2011 3:24pm

A/S/L?

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Nov 17, 2011 4:00pm

In reply to Mac J:

Great, the MRAs are in town

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CK
Nov 17, 2011 4:08pm

In reply to Benazir:

If some DJ or Producer made a racist remark on Twitter... and then you wrote an article titled "Black Exploits: Racism In Dance Music"... it would have the same amount of merit as this article does. This article would have never been written without Scuba's comment, which is certainly not grounds for an attack on the entire industry.

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Nov 17, 2011 5:02pm

In reply to CK:

those two comments are starting point from which misogyny in the wider industry is examined, have you read the article?

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CK
Nov 17, 2011 5:26pm

In reply to :

Yes, I have read the article and I know that he examines the industry on a much broader scale. However, my point was that without the comments as a catalyst, I do not think the article would have been written. Meaning that two comments, are not enough basis to start forming theories and making assumptions about a huge entity. It seems more that the author had a problem with the comments, and then decided to turn them into a whole piece on something that isn't all that visible.

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santiagohacka
Nov 17, 2011 6:14pm

In reply to :

The article is more a series of assertions than an examination.

The author touches on a number of issues, but fails to explore them in any depth - they appear as waypoints in a pre-constructed argument that exists before and outside any visible empirical analysis.

With this in mind, you can hardly blame people for thinking that the tweets just happened to be a suitable hook to hang the article on, and that if it wasn't Scuba and Kristan it would be anyone else that a search of social media brought up as the deadline for submission grew closer.

I'm not singling out the author for this by the way, it's a standard journalistic conceit that's common to comment pieces throughout the media.

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Benjamin Netanyahu
Nov 17, 2011 7:43pm

Women should get back in the kitchen

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Melissa
Nov 17, 2011 8:40pm

In reply to louise:

It's not a joke about female subordination.

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Nov 17, 2011 9:10pm

In reply to :

And you wonder why people continue to attack women? You ask him to back up his statement and in return you will suck on his penis? You're no better than the dirt that's under my shoe.

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John Doran
Nov 17, 2011 10:45pm

Just a polite notice: I'm going to start deleting any comments containing personal attacks from this point on, no matter who they are aimed at and no matter how slight they may seem. Sorry to be a spoil sport but the debate is more interesting to me than the trolling.

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punkass
Nov 18, 2011 12:58am

How about we all agree that the Tweets are the least interesting part of this and move the discussion on... Bit disappointed by Scuba but then Degas was an anti-semite and enough great writers have been right-wing nut jobs, and I think we can agree Scuba falls short of most of these on the evidence presented.

In terms of misogyny in Electronic music, the complaint most of my female friends make is about Fabric - as it has become a 'destination' club you get more than just the dedicated music lovers you get at clubs which might have a similar music policy and it can get a bit gropey. This is enough of a problem that they won't actually go there anymore. Have any women out there been experiencing an increase of this behaviour in more underground clubs?

I am a bit disturbed by the AA women on YouTube but in my experience this tends to effect the more obviously frat-boy tracks. Given that most of your real life friends are vetted and introduced to you by other friends the internet is still the place where you come face to face with most idiots. Is it just an indication of the fact that Bass music is becoming the music of choice with teenage boys that we're seeing idiots from that age category posting online in greater prevalence, reassured by their anonyminity that they don't have to hide their inner douchebag?

I would hate to think that the scene I loved became perverted by a few wrong uns - I still maintain that NY Sushi failed because of this one guy there every week who'd follow people round elbowing them in the back until you had to leave the dancefloor.

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EDED
Nov 18, 2011 11:28am

In reply to Dr Fucking Bradshaw:

Surely as an academic feminist, you would be aware that Feminism contains many different internal debates, an example of which would be between radical and liberal feminists over the extent to which matriarchy should be pursued. The positions of radical feminists are the ones that most lazy commentators latch on to and criticize, which seems to be what Scuba has done here (IF he wasnt being ironic). The rational response to this is surely to explain the mistake he has potentially made and allow him to respond, if he pursues his line of thought then argue more aggressively. The way that you and other 'figures in the scene' have gone about engaging with the comments has made this all comes across, ironically, like a witch hunt.

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Straw Dawgs
Nov 18, 2011 11:34am

In reply to John Doran:

It's really inappropriate to string together a bunch of random tweets from people in the "dance scene" (in this case, a good dj and a totally random commentator no one has heard of) and formulate some sort of binary opposition argument in which, laughably, Ben UFO is portrayed as feminist freedom fighter and Scuba becomes a misogynist ogre. And predictably a man wrote the article, a man whose editor hasn't even heard of the artists involved - probably best to know who you're attacking in your journal before you run the article right? Pretty poor look all round if you ask me. OF COURSE this is a very important, relevant topic but it needs to be dealt with appropriately by people other than dilettantes. As others have said, far better to get some actual real life women to comment on their experiences then start speculating and putting words into the mouths of artists.

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Nov 18, 2011 12:45pm

In reply to Straw Dawgs:

"As others have said, far better to get some actual real life women to comment on their experiences then start speculating and putting words into the mouths of artists."

Indeed, but in the meantime try reading some of the overwhelmingly positive comments left by women.

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Melissa Bradshaw
Nov 18, 2011 1:28pm

In reply to EDED:

Yep, of course I know that. However I don't believe even militant feminists are just trying to control other women. And I wasn't reacting rationally but with a certain degree of rage which comes from a string of personal experiences. I have encountered that type of argument before and obviously it does come from a lack of awareness of what feminism is, but imho it's also just a way of trying to put down women when they try and do anything or say that they think there is an issue.

Straw Dawgs - Ben UFO is very interested in feminism actually, I've talked to him about it quite a lot. I realised that it was regrettable that Scuba has become singled out which is why I've made comments to that extent on here and on twitter.

It's not that easy to get women to talk about their experiences of this kind of stuff, for obvious reasons: as the comments on this thread demonstrate very clearly, you face a whole load of abuse even when you try to, as I think this article has done, just simply say, hello I think there's a problem here. I've only insulted Scuba so far as to call him ignorant, and I haven't insulted anyone else at all.

I don't believe that only women should be able to be able to write about gender issues, that would be a very depressing situation.

To conclude, though, this has all made me realise there's a very clear need for people like me who have educated themselves about feminism to disseminate better why it's important, what it means, that it's debatable whether it's an ideology at all, etc. So I am going to try to do that more on my blog from now on. (It's difficult though, as I don't get paid for it! Trying to find solutions to that)... Um, I've also been wondering whether introductory courses on the history of feminism etc should be made part of the national syllabus. Why not!

Wow I can't believe I've just written so much on a comment thread, not my usual style ; )

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Melissa Bradshaw
Nov 18, 2011 1:31pm

In reply to Melissa Bradshaw:

*screwing that I just said 'very clear/ly' twice lol - exhausted from a mad stressful week

Also forgot to say that I kinda surprised myself this week by my own mouthing off, I must be getting more confident or something : )

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Melissa
Nov 18, 2011 1:35pm

In reply to Melissa Bradshaw:

1 more thing, Decks And The City / I'm the Carrie Bradshaw of Rave was always my way of trying to find a funny/interesting way of framing what I was doing in a way that gave people a familiar reference and made it necessary for me to find plots, because people do find preaching to them boring. Hell I find Laurie Penny a bit boring (sorry).

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John Doran
Nov 18, 2011 8:13pm

In reply to Melissa :

I'm not interested in getting involved in the actual debate but for the record I'm always happy to say that at least 50% of our top current writers are women. Frances Morgan, Val Phoenix, Jude Rogers, Melissa Bradshaw, Emily Bick, Natasha Soobramanien... There are an equal amount of very strong younger/newly started women writers as well and a similar rule has applied in the past to former writers (Petra Davis & Carol Clerk being two of the best writers we've had full stop...) Now I'm willing to bet that we're the only general music publication to make this claim. We don't claim to be feminists or even have a particular agenda; we just appreciate that the talent we rely on is drawn from everywhere. And it is exactly for this reason that I don't expect female writers to automatically have to do "female interest stories", they're probably too busy doing stuff for us on sound engineering, library music, doom metal, noise, free jazz, yeah, and dubstep. Angus came to us with the pitch so he got the commission - as simple as. I'm not going to take it off him and give it to a female writer, that would be wrong and also, duh, sexist. So before anyone else sticks their oar in about "wite guyz writing about feminism LOLS" perhaps you should use the handy search function on the site and stick some of the names listed above into it and read some of the amazing features you'll find. And yes, one or two of them might just be about sexism in the music industry.

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John Doran
Nov 18, 2011 8:19pm

In reply to John Doran:

Also, breaking news just in! Opinion pieces do not rely on quotes from the people involved in them, they do not (necessarily) reflect the ideology of the site (however in this case they do), they are not supposed to be an exhaustive, authoritative, last word on the subject feature that puts a topic to bed, they simply reflect the OPINION of the writer on that day and are a jump off point for DEBATE. It's almost like some people commenting here haven't really got used to reading newspapers for grown-ups yet or a bit confused to what all the different sections in them mean.

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SCUM
Nov 18, 2011 9:14pm

In reply to EDED:

Radical feminism doesn't advocate a matriarchy. The Wikipedia entry on radical feminism is actually pretty good - maybe you could give it a skim before making grossly inaccurate statements like that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_feminism

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Nov 18, 2011 9:22pm

In reply to CAN"T SAY:

Sorry but you can't read anything into that, there is no way of knowing how many women are sending in tunes to Hotflush in comparison to men

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Nov 19, 2011 12:35pm

In reply to :

There's a whole complex series of possible reasons why there are so few women producers/DJs, that's not to say people can't talk about what those reasons might be.

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Nacho
Nov 19, 2011 11:20pm

Wow this thread kept going. Just finished all the comments, and here is a suggestion:

Would it be possible to get either paragraph indents or breaks and a short line length in the comment section. [I'll email you the CSS if you want] Because the current format makes the comments pretty hard to read and makes the commentors all look like rambling nutters! [only a few are]

And yeah great everyone got talking. Shame some people descended into insults.

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John Doran
Nov 20, 2011 8:43am

In reply to Nacho:

FYI: We've saved enough money up to get the site redesigned which should be happening early next year. It's Ruby On Rails so not something we can do ourselves.

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