Krewella's Jahan Yousef finally broke her silence surrounding the messy ejection of former bandmate Kris Trindl earlier this year. Kris claims he was kicked out of the group unfairly—with the hilarious and probably made-up reason that he wasn't partying as hard as he used to—and promptly sued Jahan and her sister Yasmine for at least $5 million. Once the news broke, the internet exploded. Many media outlets and commenters responded with troublingly sexist attitudes, which THUMP called out back in October.
Yesterday, Jahan explored the same issues through a searing op-ed against misogyny and cyber-bullying. Her first target was Deadmau5, one of dance music's most outspoken and controversial critics. Thanks to his no-bullshit attitude towards the industry, Deadmau5 has amassed more than three million followers on Twitter. His opinions are listened to and respected, which is why it is even more dangerous when he tweets stuff like this:
As Jahan pointed out in her op-ed, Deadmau5's assumption that Kris—as the male producer—is the only guy who "does shit" in the group unfairly discounts Jahan and Yasmine's work as vocalists, songwriters and entertainers. Also important to note: due to his struggles with depression and alcohol addiction, Kris had stopped touring with the sisters before his departure from the group. Yet, even he had tried to downplay their importance to the group.
Deadmau5's words were parroted by his followers, who took his sentiments to new levels of misogyny:
In her op-ed, Jahan thanked Deadmau5 for "saving" them from the porn industry—a sarcastic offside that Billboard somehow decided was worthy of their rather clickbaity headline—and argued that this unhealthy climate of sexism and bullying is damaging to young people of both sexes:
"I am asking for everyone to think about the impact this unwelcoming online environment has on our youth wanting success, respect and acceptance. Isn't that what we all want? I am asking for everyone to think about girls who are looking at this public reaction who might now be discouraged to pursue an authentic place in a male-dominated industry. I am asking you to think about boys who internalize messages that vulnerability, sensitivity and standing up for gender equality means they are a pussy."
Yet, despite Jahan's passionate plea for dance music fans to challenge the intolerance preached by Deadmau5, the comments section of her op-ed proves that many people are still doggedly holding on to their belief that Kris was the only valuable member of the group:
Predictably, the last person who would be willing to re-think his presumptions was Deadmau5 himself, who denied that his original tweet had anything to do with sexism.
He also reduced Jahan's eloquent exploration of sexism in the media and the toxic culture of cyber-bullying as "playing the sex card."
Most appallingly, Deadmau5 claimed that sexism in the dance music world does not exist—despite hard facts pulled from festival and agency lineups, which THUMP reported earlier this year, that prove that this industry is still very much a boys club. By denying the existence of a deeply rooted and systemic problem, Deadmau5 is also doing something much more dangerous—he's putting a muzzle on serious discussion and holding back positive change.
Instead of fostering a real conversation, Deadmau5 opted for sarcasm instead, quipping that maybe Jahan and Yasmine should have gone down the porn route after all.
Stay classy, Joel.
Michelle Lhooq is THUMP's Features Editor - @MichelleLhooq