Almost exactly a year ago, on a sunny fall afternoon, the Discwoman crew rolled into the VICE office for an interview on the lack of women in dance music. A few days earlier, the feminist DJ collective had thrown their first mini-festival at Bossa Nova Civic Club, featuring a lineup of exclusively female-identifying talent. This proved to be an effortlessly effective tactic for highlighting the wealth of talented female DJs working in the industry—while also throwing a truly dope party. (Funds from that festival also went to the Sadie Nash Leadership project, a charity for young women.)
Back then, the Brooklyn-based feminist DJ collective was still in its nascent stages, but it was easy to see how founders Christine Tran, Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson, and Emma Burgess-Olson were on to something big. Since then, Discwoman has thrown parties everywhere from Puerto Rico to Philadelphia, attracting plenty of admirers and media attention along the way. I've also collaborated with the crew several times, including speaking on a Discwoman-hosted panel at the Red Bull Studios.
Today, Discwoman landed one of its biggest features to date: a profile on NPR by music writer Michaelangelo Matos. Matos deftly traces how Discwoman has grown over the last year from a loose collective into a DJ booking agency. In one particularly hilarious moment, Matos recounts a party at Brooklyn nightclub Verboten, where an oblivious opening act playing "dumb bro-house" in the room next to the Discwoman girls drops a 2 Live Crew classic: "Heyyyyyyy! We want some puuu-ssy!"
The profile is great—full of vivid scenes that illustrate the challenges these women face, as well as the determination they have to overcome them. However, as if to prove how much work there remains to be done, the comments section quickly devolved into a cesspool of misogynistic garbage, save for a few saving graces here and there. Let's briefly recap:
Commenter 1: "Feminists only are concerned with getting women into power positions."
Commenter 2: "Boys and men are attacked by feminism."
Commenter 3: Women need to stop complaining!
Commenter 4: "Feminism has destroyed everything it's gotten into."
Commenter 5: Why don't you make real music, man?
When I hit up Decaiza Hutchinson on Facebook to ask what she thought of these comments, her response was predictably heroic: "There's literally no good argument that would make us be like, 'Oh dude you're right.' So they can fuck off."
"It just further affirms what we know is true: misogyny is very real," she explained. "Men denying that women are making sense is an act of misogyny. They hate women speaking, [and this] happens every time a woman does anything. [Women are] constantly policed. I'm so thankful that I have a pretty thick layer of skin especially when it comes to interacting with men, so misogynistic comments barely resonate. But I don't not see them."
Per usual, The Black Madonna shut it down with this tweet on the whole affair:
For more on this subject, catch Decaiza Hutchinson and other inspiring women at THUMP's panel on gender equality during Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival. It's going down this Saturday, November 7, at the VICE office in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. More details here.
Follow Michelle Lhooq on Twitter