So, the Grammy’s happened last night. I didn’t watch live, but have caught enough articles and videos that I may as well have.
Being a survivor of sexual assault, I have followed the #metoo campaign fairly closely, and I appreciated all the performers and attendees who wore white/white roses to stand up for victims, especially the absolutely stunning group of ladies that performed with Kesha (and Kesha herself, obviously).
What I didn’t appreciate, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this sentiment, were the comments made by the Recording Academy president Neil Portnow, who suggested that if women wish to collect more golden gramophones moving forward, they need to double down on their efforts.
He further commented, “I think it has to begin with women who have the creativity in their hearts and their souls — who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, who want to be producers, who want to be part of the industry on an executive level — to step up, because I think they would be welcome,” Portnow told journalists backstage after the show.
“I don’t have personal experience with the kinds of brick walls that (women) face,” Portnow continued. “But I think it’s really a combination of us in the industry making a welcome mat very obvious: creating mentorships, creating opportunities, not only for women, but for all people. And moving forward, creating that next generation of artists who feel like they can do anything and say anything.”
I say again, excuse me?
While he is correct in his statement that he has no idea, no personal experience, with the kinds of brick walls that women face, it appears to me that he may just be one helping lay the bricks in those walls. I would call that personal experience of a sort.
Honestly, I don’t know how you can listen to and especially watch, Kesha’s performance from last night of her song, Praying, and say something like that and mean it.
There are many talented women in the music industry, so to make such a misogynistic and perfectly shitty statement that women need to double down their effort if they want to win? Dude, you’re a jackass.
So nothing has changed. Women are still expected to give 200% in order to get where men do. We have to come together in groups in order to be heard about sexual misconduct. I’m sorry, I thought it was 2018. Where’s the equality? Probably in the toilet where the morals of some people seem to live, the ones who think it’s A-ok that our President is one of the men who should be on that list of predators to watch for, the ones who think the women who have come forward since #metoo were most likely asking for it.
I’m not saying all men. I’m also not saying every story surrounding #metoo is automatically credible. What I am saying is, as someone who has been there, someone who works her ass off daily to be heard, to help those without a voice realize it is within them, someone who has “doubled down” and still struggled, Mr. Portnow, and others like him need a reality check.
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My memoir discussing my journey from victim to survivor is available on Amazon here.