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10 things you can do to make dance music less sexist

Enough chat – it's time for action

  • Words: Sirin Kale | Illustration: Eliot Wyatt
  • 8 February 2017
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7 Vote for women in opinion polls...

Here’s a story: Every year major dance music magazines publish polls of the public's favourite DJs, and every year no-one votes for all the talented female artists out there, and predictable Twitter outrage ensues when all the top spots go to men.

How can we end this repetitive cycle of social media outrage, which isn’t the magazine’s fault? By voting for women in opinion polls.

This also goes for all the journalists contributing to staff lists, too.

8 ...And Use your platform to promote women

The explosion of incredible underground internet radio stations in the last decade has been beautiful to watch, and if you’re lucky enough to have a show on one – use it. Bring young female talent on the show, give them a guest mix, push it on social media, and let them talk about their musical inspirations and what they do.

“From my experience, the entry into professional music felt almost impossible to me as a woman,” NTS resident DEBONAIR tells me fresh from a recent set at Panorama Bar. She explains that curating sets for her radio show was great preparation for club djing, building her confidence and sonic identity. Now she feels an obligation to help other female artists. “Sharing your airspace and inviting women on air is a great way to connect with and support women in music,” she argues, “as you can garner exposure and create a comfortable environment for them that often isn’t available elsewhere.”

The same principle applies for any other platform. Run a website? Ask women to do a podcast, or commission female writers; If you’re a music PR or booking agent, make it your business to seek out female talent and help grow their careers; Has your label not released music by women? Dive into a SoundCloud wormhole and sort it out; Book women to speak on your panel events (and pay them).

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