10:28 AM on 06/17/14
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 crowded all the musicians from the last 25 shows I've been to (including unknown openers, assuming 4 members in the band for a total of 100 people), there would be less than 10 that are female. So how far off are we 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 specific demographics of the scene because 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 invisible target and to exclude better male-only artists that deserve a fair and EQUAL shot at being successful.
10:37 AM on 06/17/14
He said "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" in his post that you just quoted. The definition he gave includes popularity/draw. Either way, there are female artists on the tour.. being given the same opportunity as the male artists on the tour. It depends on talent and popularity. Not gender. It's music. It's a festival.
10:45 AM on 06/17/14
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.
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?
10:47 AM on 06/17/14
So lets assume you're right and he really is just picking the "best" bands. Does that mean you're okay with the state of the scene if only 6% of the "best" punk rock musicians are female?
That's a completely different argument though. It's one thing to argue there's not enough female bands in the scene due to discrimination reasons, but it's a whole nother thing to argue that a festival should be booking more women simply because they're women. There's no starting point there. It's a known fact that the scene is male-dominant. And THAT'S what needs to change before you take it to festivals.
10:57 AM on 06/17/14
No, I don't. Why? When did I even imply that? I'm a musician, I know a lot of people. My girlfriend is an extremely talented musician, I have plenty of friends that are female that can absolutely shred a solo or kill it behind the drums. A good band is a good band. A good musician is a good musician, regardless of gender. I respect that, and I respect your point of view.. however I just don't feel that festivals are a good starting point for this argument. How can we yell at festival promoters to book more female acts if the scene is clearly male-dominant. Is THAT an issue? Sure. If there were 20% more successful girl bands in the scene, and still only 6% female musicians on the tour, THEN maybe we can point fingers and wonder why they're being excluded. But there's no sense in asking festivals to reach a quota on females if there are simply no more female acts they're interested in.
11:28 AM on 06/17/14
Well then, you're not placing this in a real world context.
There is not a magic top level of small bands who are all male. There are 100s of bands that have the exact same talent that Lyman could choose to play smaller stages, because there is a bias in alt music (and the world at large) an all male band is likely to be chosen above a female band, despite them having the same skill level - this happens in pretty much all walks of life, our scene is the one we can impact.
Regardless of what criteria Lyman uses to book bands, I honestly doubt booking more men than woman is a conscious effort. Even if it works out that more pop/punk fans prefer guy singers than girl singers, and that's why (indirectly) more male acts get booked, that is an issue far beyond Warped. And honestly, we may not want to face it, but that may be the truth. If that opinion is based on gender, then that's clearly wrong and sexist and an issue in it's own, but if that opinion is truly based on personal preference, then that's just how the scene is.
I'll be honest with you, I listen to a lot of girl singers and girl bands, but not many that are in the "scene." I love girls singing indie, acoustic, pop, etc (Tegan and Sara, Rilo Kiley, Broods, plenty of other indie bands..) but I prefer guy vocalists in heavier music. Does that make me sexist? No. It means I'm able to have an opinion. Maybe it just works out that more people prefer men in the scene than women, which in that case is evident when festivals are being booked, because there are not as many popular or appealing female bands to the public.
Again, this is a hypothetical situation and in no way am I claiming that is the case. But because you said "because there is a bias in alt music (and the world at large) an all male band is likely to be chosen above a female band, despite them having the same skill level," that doesn't' mean it's a for a sexist reason. There's just not as many female bands in the scene, and maybe there's not as many being booked because there's not such a high demand for them. It may have nothing to do with the fact that they're women and not men in a sexist sense.
02:25 PM on 06/17/14
Why is it a problem if female artists aren't so well liked in a specific genre? It's not that female artists aren't allowed in the scene, and aren't allowed at Warped, but maybe people just aren't big fans of female singers in heavier music. If more people were fans, then there would be a bigger demand for them. It has nothing to do with sex. It's personal preference.
06:42 PM on 06/17/14
i would argue that preferring a males voice over a females voice on a general level is sexist in that society has shaped your preference due to the sexism that runs through it. that is, you're exposed to more bands with male singers so you grow to prefer that style. there's no other objective reason to say mens voices are better, or more preferable, than women's voices. again it comes down to a problem of representation.
That's just absurd. I mentioned this before but I absolutely LOVE female acts such as Tegan and Sara, Rilo Kiley/Jenny Lewis, Broods, NONONO, Sleeper Agent, etc... but when it comes to heavier music I prefer male vocalists. You're literally calling me sexist for having an opinion and musical taste? It has nothing to do with the fact that the girls are girls, or the guys are guys in a way that's connected to gender. It's personal preference, not discrimination.
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