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Musogyny: If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say…

Everyone knows it’s a man’s world out there (thanks James Brown) but there is none more so than the big bad world of music. From Miley’s twerking to Sinead’s slut shaming, these last months have seen an upward trajectory in the debate around gender issues within music. Rest assured that we here at Planet Notion will be keeping a keen eye on all things sexism and there may even be some naming and shaming along the way.

Another week and there’s another open letter to the world. This time musician Sky Ferreira has put her two pennies in by jotting down some forthright thoughts about Musogyny like an angry pen-pal.

Disillusioned with the way internet users have been directly sexually abusive comments her way, the LA hipster has essentially delivered a blunt and somewhat less eloquent reprise of what we heard in Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry’s Guardian piece on social media sexism.

Nonetheless Ferreira makes gripes known in a Facebook delivered tirade of her own, where she lays out the basic problems with trolls:
“I’m exhausted of (more than some) people telling me how I should look or be if I want to be a ‘pop star’ & how they think it’s okay to say vile & (sexually) abusive shit to me on a daily basis over the internet. I’m not only writing about myself … because almost every person has to deal with this. It’s a shame because I now feel like I can’t connect or directly speak with true fans.”

It appears that the Courtney Love lookalike, whose five year in the making debut album ‘Night Time, My Time’ is finally to hit UK shelve this month, has had enough of the net’s flipside especially when it comes to her past:
“I’m not a mess, I’m not a drug addict, I’m not a slut or a bitch. I recently blocked someone because they were constantly harassing me & making fun of sexual abuse that happened in my past … Which I’ve publicly spoken about to hopefully help others. They came to one of my shows & my friend confronted the person. We were accused of being homophobic after. Which is absolutely insane because my friends, my family & a majority of my fans are homosexual. Sexuality, gender, race & age are irrelevant to me. As it should be for everyone by now. Treating people like shit because you feel like shit doesn’t help anyone. If you see hateful/disgusting/abusive comments, please start reporting it or deleting it. I think that’s the only way we can start to lower that sort of thing from happening. Use the internet as a way to connect with others & LEARN. Show & spread compassion. <33333

PS: Sorry for the typo.”

A quick snapshot into life as a young female star with a raging and mostly unregulated internet dissecting all aspects of her character, it is a reminder that social media can sometimes run away with itself as people forget hurt can still be felt through a screen.

In a day where the internet affords direct access to the inbox and notifications of musicians, public figures and even indeed the little people, sexist trolling is happening frighteningly often.

Especially as it’s not just singers like Mayberry and Ferreira that have suffered at the hands of wayward tweeters, as feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez and Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy also faced a barrage of sexually charged abuse during their lobbying to get Jane Austen onto a pound note. Academic Mary Beard also suffered a similar fate after an appearance on Question Time and found that the misogyny online was “truly gobsmacking.”

Unfortunately an almost accepted dark side to the internet, it’s an important modern age issue for sexism that is worth addressing. As answers don’t seem to lie in policing the internet, at the moment it’s just strongly worded outbursts like Ferreira’s that continue to remind us that we should all probably just think before we type.

- Sarah Joy

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