Björk Calls Out Media Sexism In Powerful Open Letter To Fans

Written by Tom Williams on 22nd December, 2016

Björk Calls Out Media Sexism In Powerful Open Letter To Fans

Influential Icelandic artist Björk has used an open letter to fans to slam sexism in the music media, saying that journalists have treated her differently to her male counterparts.

In her letter, which was posted to Facebook and can be read in full below, Björk says her experience at Texas’ Day For Night Festival earlier this month was “magical”, but also made her consider how the media responds differently to female and male musicians.

“Some media could not get their head around that i was not ‘performing’ and ‘hiding’ behind desks . and my male counterparts not . and i think this is sexism . which at the end of this tumultuous year is something I’m not going to let slide : because we all deserve maximum changes in this revolutionary energy we are currently in the midst of,” Björk writes.

“Women in music are allowed to be singer songwriters singing about their boyfriends . if they change the subject matter to atoms , galaxies , activism , nerdy math beat editing or anything else than being performers singing about their loved ones they get criticized : journalists feel there is just something missing … as if our only lingo is emo.

“I made Volta and Biophilia conscious of the fact that these were not subjects females usually write about . i felt i had earned it . on the activist Volta i sang about pregnant suicide bombers and for the independence of Faroe Islands and Greenland . on the pedagogic Biophilia i sang about galaxies and atoms but it wasn’t until Vulnicura where i shared a heartbreak i got full acceptance from the media.

“Men are allowed to go from subject to subject , do sci fi , period pieces , be slapstick and humorous , be music nerds getting lost in sculpting soundscapes but not women . if we don’t cut our chest open and bleed about the men and children in our lives we are cheating our audience . eat your bechtel [sic] test heart out.

“But i know the change is in the air . we are walking inside it . therefore i leave this with you in kindness at the end of this year and i hope that in the next year even though i was brave to share w you a classic female subject matter : the heartbreak , i get to have a costume change and walk out of this role .

Earlier this year, Björk called out sexism in both the music and movie industries ahead of the opening of her digital exhibition for Vivid Sydney.

Read Björk’s full open letter about media sexism, below.

Watch: Björk – ‘Black Lake’ (Two Screen Version)

Björk Statement (Via Facebook)

dear little miss media
!!!! happy winter solstice !!!

as you know the majority of my career i havent moaned about sexism and just got on w it . but im feeling there is an enormous positive current in the sky , a flow w possible changes
so i wanted to mention one thing

last weekend i djd twice at a festival in texas . it was a magical event with some of my favorite musicians djing : aphex twin , arca , oneoh trixpoint never and matmos … the list is endless !!

most of us played mostly other peoples music and would slide in instrumentals of what weve been working on recently
i am aware of that it is less of a year since i started djing publicly so this is something people are still getting used to and my fans have been incredibly welcoming to me sharing my musical journey and letting me be me . its been so fun and the nerd in me editing together pieces of others peoples songs for weeks , gets to share the different coordinates i feel between some of the most sublime music i know .

but some media could not get their head around that i was not “performing” and “hiding” behind desks . and my male counterparts not . and i think this is sexism . which at the end of this tumultuous year is something im not going to let slide : because we all deserve maximum changes in this revolutionary energy we are currently in the midst of
its gotta be worth it

anyways
women in music are allowed to be singer songwriters singing about their boyfriends . if they change the subject matter to atoms , galaxies , activism , nerdy math beat editing or anything else than being performers singing about their loved ones they get criticized : journalists feel there is just something missing … as if our only lingo is emo …
i made volta and biophilia conscious of the fact that these were not subjects females usually write about . i felt i had earned it . on the activist volta i sang about pregnant suicide bombers and for the independence of faroe islands and greenland . on the pedagogic biophilia i sang about galaxies and atoms but it wasnt until vulnicura where i shared a heartbreak i got full acceptance from the media . men are allowed to go from subject to subject , do sci fi , period pieces , be slapstick and humorous , be music nerds getting lost in sculpting soundscapes but not women . if we dont cut our chest open and bleed about the men and children in our lives we are cheating our audience .
eat your bechtel test heart out

but i know the change is in the air . we are walking inside it . therefore i leave this with you in kindness at the end of this year and i hope that in the next year even though i was brave to share w you a classic female subject matter : the heartbreak , i get to have a costume change and walk out of this role . you froze edith piaf and maria callas in it ( not one documentary i have seen about her doesnt mention onassis but no mention w male musicians the women they loved or broke their hearts )
lets make 2017 the year where we fully make the transformation !!!
!!! the right to variety for all the girls out there !!!

onwards
merry christmas
björk


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