Friday, April 6, 2018

MeToo, some reflections.

Now when it has gone a couple of months from MeToo. I'm going back and see some reflections on it on the music side. First of all, it was a MUST that it happened, and it really changed in many good ways. At the same time when revolutions happen, it also brings up a lot of people that are just grabbing a piece of the pie.

In Sweden, they are opening a festival for only women. It's called Statement. I think it's not such a smart idea to exclude anyone, so I never liked the idea. What is next? No people with blue eyes? It is a dangerous road. Still, it's an interesting experiment, it is interesting to see what happens.

Of course, there will be stupid men that try to destroy the festival, just because they can. Which is not the way to go and is even worse than the idea of excluding. Then you have other obstacles like are you allowed to exclude a gender from a public event? You are not allowed to it on religion or other things in Sweden. Also, male musicians are allowed. But how about security can that be male or just female, vendors and such? And in the end are the public really interested in this solution at all?

The sad side is that they are not taking music seriously. The music is just a weapon in the fight. Many claims it is only a manifesto to show they can do it. And of course, Statement claims they doing it for the music. I would like to see them having this festival in seven years in a row to be able to claim they are doing it for the music. Also getting an audience coming for seven years. The first year is kind of easy then many just what to show sympathy for the thing. Right now they are mainly using music as a weapon. And it becomes clearer when the girl who started the whole festivals is going to Tallinn Music Week to talk. That is good that she is doing that, but with the words "We are talking in a panel and then we will drink beer, I take with me the economy lady on the festival, she needs some fun".

Doesn't sound like she is taking this festival that serious, more like an excuse to get drunk in Tallinn. Not a single word about seeing bands, listen to music, no drinking beer is the priority.

At the same time, I wonder if she will get such a good time. I have been speaking about Statement in several panels around the world. The reaction has been that female music industry persons are getting really angry around the whole project, thinking that Sweden has gone too far. The male has just listened and said nothing. Then I have asked why not? The most answer is that it's not the answer to sexual harassment and it will not make a favor for the hard-working women in the business.

The last one I also have heard a lot of. Many of the panelist we ask to Live at Heart ask if we choose them for their gender or their knowledge. Of course, we choose for their knowledge, still like Ulrika on Musichelp our CEO won't speak on festivals right now, because of this. The hard-working serious ones are afraid to be mixed with people just doing it to make a statement.

Then there is another thing that has struck me. So during MeToo, there were several secret groups on social media where the persons that were doing things was discussed. Some of that went into public and several record labels were exposed to have male employees figure in the discussions. Also on the labels, many of the artist with the biggest stories were given out.

If you find out that your boss is the worst kind of creep, would you not look for another job if you can't get him fired? I was expecting some female artists leave those teams. So far I haven't seen any changes. In fact, even male artists should be leaving these teams. And I haven't seen that either. In some bigger organizations some were replaced but on the whole, nothing changed. I even see some of the bigger whistleblowers now even make business with these teams. It was like of these chairs doesn't really have any power let just take a woman and put her on it for the sake of it. No real change was done. The power chairs are still men. The thing that change is the overall attitude against harassment which is very good.

At the same time, one of the more influential female lawyers in Sweden now has been exposed to more or less using Metoo to getting more jobs and money and treat the staff like shit.  It's so sad that a thing like Metoo is used by several people just for personal gain. Today I just bumped into another one, she has gotten a chair from a guy, but she won't work with the things she got to help other women, she mainly just sits there.  I hope though that it leads to some good things down the road, or I know it will. You just have to take off the Maximilien de Robespierres of every revolution.

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