In the midst of so many accusations of abuse against women in the music industry, it's certainly heartening to see people taking stands. That's a move which has recently happened in a big way in Sweden, as 2,192 women who work in the country's music industry have signed an open letter condemning abuse, and sharing their own stories of discrimination, harassment, and assault.
The letter appeared in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, and in English it begins:
Not long ago the majority of the people on stage were men. The people who wrote about music in newspapers were men, the people in power at record companies, concert halls and rock venues were men. Men had the interpretative prerogative in all aspects of the music industry.
Today the situation has changed. The big companies have female directors; award shows are dominated by female prize winners. Even the gender balance among critics in the media is close to 60/40 - a distribution which is the expressed goal in the industry.
But behind the scenes—what we call backstage—artists, musicians, composers, students, record company employees, trainees and others testify of assault, sexual harassment and a sexist jargon.
Here are some of our stories.
What follows are a number of anonymous testimonies from some of the women involved, which range from instances of sexist language and exclusion to reports of assaults. Those who have put their name to the letter include the internationally beloved popstar Robyn, Tove Lo, First Aid Kit, and Zara Larsson. When the news around this issue has been so bad recently, it's good to see women banding together to share their experiences and find strength in collectivism. Read the whole letter in English here.
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