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10:29 AM on 06/17/14
#1
Jason Tate
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Fucking stellar piece of writing. Well done.



Nailed it all around. I hope people from the other thread read this as well. Lyman and Warped Tour don't HAVE to make a statement and include more female artists, just like AP.net doesn't have to diversify itself or even call attention to these sorts of issues, but fuck, it means so much to do so anyway, even if it's not profitable or if it's something that most of their audience doesn't think about (particularly the men), I mean, that's one reason (amongst a million others) why it's so important to actually put the spotlight on these concepts. There's no excuse not to and it only benefits this scene to make people engage with these ideas of inequality and misrepresentation when they've never had to before. Great job.
I think I used this exact line on a previous podcast, but the amount of hate I get thrown my way for bringing these issues up is 1-1,000,000th of what women in the music scene (and world at large) deal with on a day to day basis, and yes, it's ugly and brings out a lot of bullshit in the comments -- but it's something that needs to be talked about. Needs to be discussed. And I got multiple messages last night from readers saying that because we've addressed issues like sexism or using the word "retard" or "bitch" publically -- that they have rethought how they were living their lives before and feel like better people for having learned/changed.
10:39 AM on 06/17/14
#2
Jason Tate
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I think this entire issue has been blown so far out of proportion today. Is anyone actually accusing Kevin Lyman or anyone at the Warped Tour of being sexist? Is Kevin going out of his way to exclude bands with female members? Of course not. From my understanding of the article/interview, Kevin is simply choosing the BEST bands to include on his tour. In this case, the "best" is likely defined as a combination of bands that will pull crowds and sell tickets as well as talented younger artists that he believe have the potential to draw those crowds one day. Notice that none of those criteria involve gender in any way, shape, or form.

But that's the problem, right? Kelly, it seems that what you're really looking for is more in the vein of "affirmative action." The only actionable suggestion you provided in your write up is to include more up and comers with females in the group in lieu of similar-sized bands comprised solely of males. So, you're seriously suggesting that Kevin throw out the criteria mentioned above, where he is subjectively selecting artists based on merit/ability to contribute to the profitability of the festival and replace that with a quota based purely on the gender of the artists? Would female musicians even WANT to be included on a tour like this simply because they fulfill that quota?

This entire arguments seems moot to me as to your other point, there are simply LESS female musicians in this scene. Is it 50%? Hell no. I'd even venture to guess that if you gathered all the musicians from the last 25 shows I've been to, assumed 4 members in the band for a total of 100 people, there would be less than 10 in that group that are female. So how far off are we really from that 6%? If you're expecting anything close to 50% or even 30% for that matter I think it would be wise to stop arguing in vague ideologies and start looking at the real, specific demographics of this scene. I think I speak for many when I say that I don't want the quality of the Warped Tour to decline even further because Kevin is inviting bands with female members simply to reach some arbitrary quota and to exclude better male-only artists that deserve a fair and EQUAL shot at being successful.
To make this claim you need to be able to show that the bands currently on the tour are selected based on merit+ability+profitability. The countless bands that have everyone go "who?" makes this a hard argument to make with a straight face.

I think it's disappointing you believe the quality would decline if great female bands were added instead the pretty mediocre lineup of "relatively unknown" male bands that currently dominate the bottom half of the list this year.
10:54 AM on 06/17/14
#3
Jason Tate
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I think it has less to do with the fact that they're men and more to do with what people like and who the promoters believe in and believe deserve that shot. You're trying to claim that Lyman is purposely not giving female acts that opportunity because they're not men?
That entire argument was brought up in the last article: If a band with female in it does poorly and doesn't draw, it's because there was a girl in it. If these countless bands with guys in them don't draw, then it's never "because there was a man in the band" that they didn't draw. We know for a fact that a bunch of bands on Warped Tour have small sets. Did you see Finch's recent live-streamed set on Warped? There are more people at your local Starbucks right now then were viewing them play. What you've done is looked at the results and formed the narrative to fit. Your argument here contains a variety of other assumptions I find faulty, starting with: "what people like" is subjective and to claim people don't like bands with women in them is a non-starter.

Also, I never once made the claim you just associated directly to me making.
10:57 AM on 06/17/14
#4
Jason Tate
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I have absolutely, for the better, changed the way I say or use words such as "gay" or "retard" or "bitch" since I have started following this site and am very thankful this site helped me change the way I use them.
And every now and again when I get messages like this ... it reminds me exactly why I do it. So, thanks!
11:01 AM on 06/17/14
#5
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My point was that those bands that make people go "who?" are absolutely not selected for any reason to do with profitability and based on interviews I've seen/read with Kevin, he personally evaluates those up and comers based on who he believes are talented and have the potential for big ticket sales one day (merit and ability)..
That's my point, you can't make an argument that move the goal posts just to fit the status quo. To try and say there aren't plenty of bands that have more ability than the 10px font bands on the Warped bill I find nebulous at best.

As for the decline in quality, I'm not saying there would intrinsically be a decline because of the gender of the members. What I'm saying is that as soon as Kevin stops selecting these bands based on quality (or merit and ability as mentioned above) and focuses on gender, it's common sense that overall quality would decrease. The way to maintain quality is to have the highest quality bands playing, regardless or gender. As soon as you focus on anything else, overall quality will naturally decline.
This makes the presumption that the current "quality" of bands on Warped Tour is the absolute peak and apex of musical greatness. That I disagree with greatly. Claiming most of the picks are based on "quality" doesn't work when you look at the bands picked ... you can't tell me with a straight face those are the most "quality" bands making music right now.
11:22 AM on 06/17/14
#6
Jason Tate
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Don't get me wrong, I couldn't care less for the majority of the acts on the tour these days and I'm certainly not arguing they display any sort of quality.
But you kept using the words merit+ability ... you made a direct statement that the "best" acts were being picked.

Quote:
But I think those bands we're referring to aren't really the issue here. Kevin is going to bring Falling In Reverse and Breathe Carolina every year regardless because they sell however many tens of thousands of tickets. I think the more interesting argument has to do with Kelly's suggestion of handing out spots on the tour to female bands in lieu of potentially better bands that deserve a shot but only have male members.
See, you just did it again here -- "potentially better bands" -- go look at the Warped Tour line-up and tell me with a straight face that the cream has risen to the top and these male-dominated bands really do represent "better." If the quality of these artists is basically a non-issue, because we can admit that 1) it's subjective, 2) it's not a high-bar to jump over -- then any argument that a "better" band would be overlooked is basically a nonissue. I right now can point out "better" bands than most of this tour -- it's virtually irrelevant. You've tried to paint it as though Kelly's suggestions would dilute the quality of a bunch of bands that aren't particularly dripping with quality in the first place -- that's why I think your argument doesn't work.

Quote:
In general, I think it would be refreshing to spin this discussion to how can we encourage young females to start bands of their own and try to develop a more female-friendly ethos. Maybe let's start by taking a hard look at the misogyny in the metalcore scene and baring certain acts from the tour because of their anti-female attitudes. I just don't think the answer lies in any action plan involving hand outs to female musicians.
One way to develop a more female-frendily ethos is to not shout down the women that raise issues and start associating their concerns with "hands outs" and "affirmative action." It's to not make it seem as though if they're on a bill they're taking the spot of a "better" band. It's, above all, to listen.
11:38 AM on 06/17/14
#7
Jason Tate
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The number of horrifically ignorant comments in both of these threads is astounding. First off, applying a capitalist framework to a so-called "punk" festival is laughable at best. I understand people need to make money, but I think its high time that everyone acknowledges Warped as more of a money making monstrosity than some kind of alternative music festival safe haven. The same rules apply for Bonnaroo, Reading, Leeds, etc. That being said, capitalist perspective or not, there is a serious issue to be dissected here.

6% of women being represented in bands on warped is fucking ridiculous, and the arguments being made against this article are futile in several respects. First, lets consider the "marketability" aspect. To say that bands with female members are somehow less marketable is fucking stupid. Unfortunately in much of our scene, and music as a whole, women are treated as some kind of gimmick. Looking at the exploitation of popular women in the punk and alternative scenes is indicative of this. As mentioned in the article, Hayley Williams is the poster child for this kind of exploitation and the same could be said for Gwen Stefani. This exists on a smaller scale as well, with women like Sierra Custerbeck and Cassidy Pope. While this kind of exploitation is horrible, it does lend itself to profitability; women in music are deemed profitable because they are treated as a commodity. With this in mind, the accusation of the potential earning power of a band being a primary factor in how Warped selects its bands is simple minded at best in terms of the representation of women.

The next most popular argument being perpetuated is that of Warped selecting the "good" bands. This too is bullshit. Aside from the obvious bands that turn this statement into a fallacy, such as Falling In Reverse, BrokeNcyde, and countless other horrible bands being heavily promoted on the tour at any given point, this argument also infers that only 6% of bands with women in them are good enough to play Warped. This is the point in the argument where I would implore people to ask themselves, "really?" If the implication within this argument actually is that only 6% of bands with female members are good enough to play Warped, my only response would be that anybody saying this seriously needs to broaden the perspective and listen to new music.

So, what does this all mean for Kevin Lyman and his behemoth of a faux-alternative tour? Is he a sexist? Does he have social responsibility in terms of the methods he uses to maintain his livelihood? These questions are subjective. My interpretation of the situation leads me to believe that Kevin Lyman isn't sexist, just apathetic and stagnant. Unfortunately, social responsibilities are often hard to recognize until someone is made aware of them. This is by no means an excuse or a justification, merely the way I see how most people exist with regard to their own social responsibilities. What I can not understand, however, is his defense of his own positions. Kevin Lyman is a man with a significant amount of power within the scene, and could surely bring together the best and most aspiring unknown bands if he so chose. His issue is that he's been running this tour for however long, and its doing well for him. The burden of social responsibility and for enacting change is something he's uncomfortable with; he views it as a threat to the complacent way in which he books his tour. I feel that once a social responsibility has been brought to light to a person in such a position of power, its that person's obligation to do their best and use their power in order to combat a social injustice. Kevin Lyman disagrees with this.

Bottom line: There are absolutely more than 6% of bands that include female members, are marketable, and are good enough to play Warped tour. Anyone who disagrees with that needs to reconsider the sheer number of bands out there that fit this criteria, as well as reconsider their own perspectives. /rant.
So many good things here I hope people read -- way better articulated than I was able to write; especially about this "good bands" thing I keep seeing. THIS deserves a cavalcade of "this" posts imho.
11:53 AM on 06/17/14
#8
Jason Tate
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Thanks a lot Jason, I appreciate that. I actually run a podcast called Subculture City, and our first podcast was about feminism in the punk scene with my friend Christina, who is a vocalist in a local band called Gouge Away. If anyone is interested, here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRlW75yk5wc
Thanks, will definitely check it out! Added to my Pocket for listening later.
11:56 AM on 06/17/14
#9
Jason Tate
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I don't mean to downplay the significance of this article or issue at all. But, I come to this site for my music news. The news here is beginning to lack objectivity. Anyone who has ever taken journalism 101 should know that a key component of delivering the news in any form is maintaining an objective perspective. I've been coming here for a long time and every time I see that staff has incitited a debate over a divisive issue such as this one on a stickied front page thread, it turns me off and makes me want to not come back.
Just two cents from a long time reader.
To be honest: I'm sure there are plenty of other vanilla sites reposting the same press releases over and over again. We have never been, nor will we ever be as long as I'm here, one of those. I would bet they also show "Good Night, Good Luck" in Journalism 101, which includes the awesome quote: "I've searched my conscience, and I can't for the life of me find any justification for this, and I simply cannot accept that there are on every story two equal and logical sides to an argument." We post things we're passionate about and have an opinion on ... I don't ever see us being a press-release link farm.
12:04 PM on 06/17/14
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And as Meg & Dia go..... sorry, but I mean..... I would hit on either of them any time any where.

The singer from Rocking Horse Winner, too... and Kenotia... and...
Nothing classier than dudes online telling everyone who they would totally hit on.
12:07 PM on 06/17/14
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This thread is proof positive that we have a lot - A LOT - of work to do in society and in our music scene. Just as sexism in technology is finally coming up and more people are talking about -- the sexism in the music world is absolutely in need of this.
12:10 PM on 06/17/14
Jason Tate
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You're insufferable.
12:24 PM on 06/17/14
Jason Tate
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Agreed, specifically to your point about the wishes of female musicians (who I believe are the only group that hasn't come out of the woodwork to comment on this thing).

How would female musicians feel about being selected for a tour solely because they are women? How would they feel about being a part of this "initiative" and to quite literally fulfill a quota.

Furthermore, would that even make a difference? Someone stated that bands CHOOSE not to play Warped because of the misogyny and other social issues that are perpetuated. Why not try to make Warped a BETTER place for women rather than simply inviting more to the circus?
No one said you can only do one thing.
01:58 PM on 06/17/14
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Always love it when dudes tell women that they are missing the point in sexism/misogyny debates.
The most disappointing part of this thread has been that ... the ignorant dehumanizing comments I can write off a little easier but the amount of *this* occurring is painful.
02:04 PM on 06/17/14
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Now replace Kerrang!/AP in 2007 with all social media in 2012-14. Both genders in the scene are constantly harrassed by fans, and, still, these websites. Their love-lives and fashion are purposely on display through twitter, tumblr and instagram. Read the comment sections for an Oli Sykes photo and a Hayley Williams photo, and then compare how inappropriate they are. They likely match up rather evenly.
The comment sections do not match up evenly at all on men vs women posts -- not even close.

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