On Monday, Jessica Hopper (music writer, culture critic, author of the recent and wonderfully titled The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic) asked her Twitter followers a simple question:
“Gals/other marginalized folks: what was your 1st brush (in music industry, journalism, scene) w/ idea that you didn’t “count”?”
Needless to say, more than a few people responded. After a short period of writing back encouraging, personal responses, Hopper started retweeting the stories en masse.
Over the past 48 hours, Hopper’s timeline has filled with hundreds of individual stories; specific events, conversations, and aggressions, relayed in 140 characters or less. If you were hanging around the internet yesterday—or at least certain corners of the internet—you probably heard people talking about what was going on, and urging you to head over to Hopper’s page for a look.
A Twitter user named Laupina put together a Storify of Hopper’s timeline from the period in question. It’s a brutal, intimate, moving, difficult to read, and also inspiring testament to what it’s like to a be woman in the music world.
And what’s it like to be a woman in the music world? You will be mercilessly hit on, sexually harassed, endlessly accused of being the girlfriend/sister/mom, treated like an imposter, made to justify your presence, possibly threatened with violence, and constantly on the lookout for whatever fresh hell (and/or groper in the mosh pit) might be coming your way next. And that’s just the very short version.