A Professional’s Perspective On Sexism In The Music Industry
Summary/Commentary:Stacie Huckeba paints a picture of women's experience working professionally in the music industry.This article originally appeared on Huffington Post
I walked into the venue and found the sound guy. I introduced myself, handed him my audio transmitter and asked if he could give me an XLR mix out. “Why,” he asks. “I am filming the show and need clean audio.” “Yeah, but what is this going to?” he asks. “A wireless receiver,” I reply. “Who is running it?” “I am,” I tell him. He wants to know where and if he can see it. “It’s on the other side of the room. It’s just a basic receiver. It’s on and programmed. All I need is an XLR mix out. It’s all dialed in.”
“Don’t get b*tchy.” He smiled. It didn’t feel like what you’d call a friendly smile. He continued, “This is a direct board feed, you won’t get much bass so you’ll need a room mic.” He seemed surprised that I knew, let alone had one already set up. Then went further. “The line I’m giving you is mono not stereo, someone will have to help you with that and the vocals are going to be hot. Hot means loud...”
And with his increasing condescension, I feel my ears turn red and I tuned out. When he finished, I say, “Got it, can you run this or not?” He plugs in the transmitter, and I hear “B*tch” under his breath as I walk away.
That happens more times than I wish it did. Funny thing is, when my male assistant asks, the answer is either “Sure,” “Nope,” or “Will a stereo line work?” I’ve never seen them say anything else, let alone take 10 minutes to give him a dissertation on what a board feed is, sounds like or what else he’s going to need. And I’ve never heard them tell him, “Don’t get b*tchy.“
I’ve worked in the music industry for over 30 years. In that time, my boobs have gotten me in serious trouble. Not because I’ve used them for anything or shown them around. I keep these babies on lock down. But they exist and people know it and sometimes they make me feel like they think I can’t do my job because of them.
And once I started calling them, I realized this was a whole new ballgame. Many gave me stories, but all of them asked to remain anonymous or to not tell it at all because it would out them. They all felt like they would be fired, blackballed, it would get worse or it would perpetuate the b*tchy, slutty, crazy appellations they are already fighting. I understood it, but it bothered me.
We’ve all had those blatant moments. In the three decades I’ve been in this game, I’ve been manhandled, grabbed, groped and violated in inconceivable ways. I’ve thrown out torn clothing and cleaned bloodstains while I refused tears I was too proud to let fall. I’ve been called a whore, a tease, a groupie, a sycophant and everything in between. That sh*t is not ok, but I’m guessing none of it is news for any woman who works in a male-dominated field.
Read the full story by Stacie Huckeba at The Huffington Post