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YOU WANT ME TO
STEP UP?

Leave it to the music industry to overlook the importance of the women’s movement.

To be frank, I’m ashamed, as well as deeply saddened. And most unfortunately, I can’t say I’m surprised.

Some people argued the Golden Globes’ vibe was overkill. Okay. Sure. Fine. Whatever. I can recognize that point even if I don’t fully agree. Maybe it didn’t make for the most “entertaining” show, but it was important. “Overkill” is much more acceptable than complete ignorance.

If I’m not mistaken, aside from a quick murmur from Lady Gaga mid-performance, the Time’s Up movement wasn’t really acknowledged until around the two-hour mark. Unless you count Paul Shaffer’s distasteful crack during the pre-telecast. "When I say ‘take this, darling’ I mean it with the most #MeToo kind of respect,” he quipped while handing an award to a model standing side-stage. My eyes haven’t rolled further back in my head in quite some time.

And where was the symbolism? A few white roses here and there, but it wasn’t obvious. If Gaga can wear a meat dress in 2010, surely someone can wear a rose bush in 2018. I joke, but you get the point. The power of #MeToo was rooted in its glaring appearance. It was in your face, it was everywhere. It couldn’t be avoided. The occasional single white rose? Not enough.

I've been told about the emails: male executives chatting about how they want to “fuck me.” I see the inappropriate glances. A male executive once thought, if he ponied up a few grand, he could pay for a date with me. I sit at a business dinner and a male executive will put his hand on my thigh as a greeting. (Would he do that to a male peer? Doubt it.) After a rock show, I go backstage to meet with the band, their team, their friends. What do I hear in the main room when I return? “She probably sucked his dick backstage.” I’ve been cornered. I’ve been propositioned. I haven’t been raped. My story isn’t as severe as others. But me too, me too, me too. I’m just one 26-year-old female in this male-dominated industry. My story is not unique. We are everywhere. My struggles are the norm, and that is not okay. Luckily, I am beyond blessed. The men I directly work for protect me. I feel safe in my office. Not all women do, and that goes for female executives and creatives.

Women need to step up, Neil Portnow? That’s what he said, and that’s what’s being taken away from the 60th anniversary of Music’s Biggest Night. Don’t tell me I need to step up. Have some sensitivity and don’t be so fucking tone-deaf. Awareness is key. You have one female Album of the Year nominee—you better invite her onstage. And don’t say there wasn’t time, that you can’t accommodate everyone. Make time. Lorde being onstage was way more important than a handful of the moments the Recording Academy went with instead.

Only one woman won an award on the telecast: Alessia Cara. This show was obviously booked to get ratings. Women were used in the performances. You put females in the front row, the cameras panned for their reactions, but you don’t acknowledge their work. As the New York Times pointed out, of the 899 people nominated in the last six Grammy Awards, 9 percent were women.

Four of the five nominees for Pop Solo Performance were women, and still the award went to Ed Sheeran for a song about the shape of a woman’s body. Come on.

Sunday night was embarrassing. Women should not be swept under the rug. I’m beyond pleased that Kesha had her time in the spotlight, but again, that’s not enough. Her story is one story and we know it. We need to make the epidemic clear. Finally, women are starting to see change. But time is fleeting. We can’t let this pass as a phase. We need your support now more than ever. We must keep acknowledging this struggle until equality is clear and unavoidable. Listen up, music industry, and learn how to use your far-reaching platform the right way. Stay fucking woke. And Lorde, please pass me that flask.

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