It’s no secret that sexism is pervasive in almost every industry. The music industry is no different. Icelandic singer, producer, and DJ Bjork had some strong words in regards to the topic via a facebook post. To contextualize, this letter comes to us after Bjork performed a DJ set at the Day For Night Festival in Houston, and critics thought she was “not ‘performing’ and ‘hiding’ behind desks.”
She had some strong words to say about the limitations imposed upon women in the music industry:
“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 …”
Bjork went on to speak about how she strove to challenge those limitations:
“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 .”
Additionally, the Icelandic singer made it clear that she has more plans to continue challenging the norm next year:
“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 )”
Read the full letter below.