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Grimes is not your waif
April 24, 2013 9:08 AM   Subscribe

"I don't want to have to compromise my morals in order to make a living" - Claire Boucher, a.k.a. Grimes, has apparently canceled her 2013 tour via Tumblr. (previously)
posted by mrgrimm (222 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good for her. Fuck the music industry.
posted by mykescipark at 9:12 AM on April 24, 2013 [15 favorites]


I say we all chip in and buy her a working keyboard. Just kidding, I loved Visions.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:13 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Good for her. The world needs waitresses and baristas, too.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:14 AM on April 24, 2013 [18 favorites]


I aways thought being famous sounded horrible. Being a famous woman literally sounds like a level of hell.

Good for her. The world needs waitresses and baristas, too.

I know a lot of Mefites think that if a musician doesn't tour, they don't deserve to make a living, but it is still possible to do so. Boards of Canada hasn't played live since 2001.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:16 AM on April 24, 2013 [42 favorites]


Yes. Good for her. I feel especially awful for her regarding the gross, shitty behavior she encountered on tour because her track "Oblivion" was made in response to having been sexually assaulted.

It's unfortunate that people can't see her live, but I'm sure she'll find a way to make making music work for her without having to deal with this bullshit.
posted by griphus at 9:17 AM on April 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


Didn't she mention at one point that she hates performing live and generally self-medicates in some way to even get on stage?
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:19 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


In other meta-music news, thallus has a new free download available.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:21 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm glad she wants to concentrate on making music.

Anyway that fake Adult Cat Finder ad in the corner of her blog made me actually LOL.

Local Cat: moew?! MEOW meow!?!? meow
Local Cat: moew moew!! meow meow

posted by zsazsa at 9:25 AM on April 24, 2013 [56 favorites]


Not go on tour? Well, her career is going to nosedive, look at what happened to the Beatles!
posted by King Sky Prawn at 9:27 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, half of them died.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:27 AM on April 24, 2013 [36 favorites]


I wish her nothing but the best; I don't remember where I first heard Grimes but something from her catalog always seems to make it into the mix on my better mix cds.
posted by NiteMayr at 9:29 AM on April 24, 2013


that fake Adult Cat Finder ad in the corner of her blog

(Our corporate network blocks that ad because "Category: Pornography".)
posted by Slothrup at 9:30 AM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Paul_McCartney_concert_tours
posted by UncleBoomee at 9:30 AM on April 24, 2013


Never heard of Grimes, but that "Oblivion" track is damn good.

Good on her for doing this.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:32 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am so sorry that the things she wants aren't things she can take for granted.
posted by Zed at 9:32 AM on April 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


Adding to the chorus of people pleased that she's taking steps to make music the way she wants/needs to, and a hearty "fuck yes" to her for standing up against the bullshit music industry machine.

brb listening to Visions another twenty times
posted by fight or flight at 9:33 AM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I know a lot of Mefites think that if a musician doesn't tour, they don't deserve to make a living, but it is still possible to do so.

Yeah, she'd make a fantastic fucking producer.
posted by griphus at 9:35 AM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Good for her. The world needs waitresses and baristas, too.

However you meant this, it reads as condescending.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:37 AM on April 24, 2013 [141 favorites]


Ok, this has convinced me that I finally need to start listening to her. Man what the hell took me so long?
posted by capnsue at 9:37 AM on April 24, 2013


the tour schedule says she just played Coachella. is it telling that she is saying these things now?
posted by spindle at 9:38 AM on April 24, 2013


How so?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:39 AM on April 24, 2013


Being young, pretty, talented and famous sounds like a complete nightmare.
posted by mrhappy at 9:41 AM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Never heard of Grimes, but that "Oblivion" track is damn good.
Good on her for doing this.

Same, same, and same.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:41 AM on April 24, 2013


I don't know of her or of her music, but after reading that post, I have a ton of respect.

Through her words, I was able to feel her anger, slowly turning into exasperation and disappointment at constantly having to deal with people who objectify her and refuse to take her seriously because of her gender and her style.

No matter how hard she tries, it seems, there are always jerks who are trying to undermine her, to make themselves feel better, or just to prove a point.

She says she doesn't hate men, and I believe her. She just is tired of all the idiots to whom she is constantly exposed.

Reminds me of a story my wife told me - she was filling up her car with gas and some guy insisted she had to fill it up with premium gas - this was a regular sedan. Who knows, maybe he was a shill for the gas industry, but I doubt he would have told any other male the same thing. What is it that makes some people feel so entitled, even when they're in the wrong? Is it narcissism? Insecurity?

I don't think the problem here is solely "these guys are disrespectful jerks"; I think there a lot of wrong messages being delivered to us - "all women need a strong man to protect them"; "women want a man to take control"; "all musicians are easy and willing"; "women with tattoos are promiscuous"; "women who dress a certain way want to do it with everyone".

None of those statements are correct, but for some reason, these are the messages that are being diffused into our brains.

We as a society objectify people we don't know. It's difficult to personalize every single human we see. We are constantly grouping people as being a certain way. Men are like this. Women are like this. Minorities are like this. Republicans are like this.

And I don't think that there is a catch-all solution for mitigating this issue. Different people think these things for different reasons. Some guys have had positive results thinking this way; other guys are likely socially awkward and get their messages from movies and music videos.

I think the best solution is to teach our kids that we are all individuals. Expose them to as many different types of people as we can. Maybe that's overload as well. Who knows.

Anyway, I'm sorry Grimes, that you had to give up your tour. Hopefully you'll regroup and find the enthusiasm to take it up once more some time in the future.
posted by bitteroldman at 9:42 AM on April 24, 2013 [15 favorites]


I was horrified, but not surprised, when I read her tumblr post. I didn't know there was still a tour on to be cancelled when I read it. I hope things work out for her and that the consequences of cancelling the tour don't bite her later. (I also hope her experiences are better in the future, but I'm too cynical to think that likely.)
posted by immlass at 9:43 AM on April 24, 2013


Good for her. The world needs waitresses and baristas, too.

So you're saying only women who are willing to put out should be able to practice music?

I think you have the definition of "Musician" confused with the definition of "prostitute".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:44 AM on April 24, 2013 [21 favorites]


Being young, pretty, talented and famous sounds like a complete nightmare.

Oh, please.

Being young, pretty, talented, famous and female in an industry which routinely belittles and abuses you in the name of conformity or profit sounds like a complete nightmare, and I applaud anyone who manages to break free of it. As should you.
posted by fight or flight at 9:44 AM on April 24, 2013 [43 favorites]


how so?

I've never been to Coachella and I don't know what it's like, and so I wonder if there is a connection between the experience of playing there and finally having had enough of the sexist bullshit of the music industry. (I don't mean to slander Coachella, I just honestly wonder about the timing.)
posted by spindle at 9:45 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


How so?

Coachella is a huge outdoor music festival. I've never heard of a festival like that that didn't have complaints about awful behavior toward women from dudes.
posted by griphus at 9:45 AM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Being young, pretty, talented and famous sounds like a complete nightmare.

Being pretty means people will deny or ignore your talent. It means they'll think you're famous because you're pretty. Ditto being young.

I assume that Grimes puts a fuck of a lot of work into her music. The two tracks I've now heard were each pretty excellent, so clearly she knows what she's doing. And because she's found success while coincidentally happening to be young and pretty means she has to put up with a whole lot of shit that you don't have to deal with otherwise.

She's not saying "fuck why did I decide to become a musician", clearly she is doing what she loves. Does that mean she's not allowed to call attention to the awful things that a young woman in the music industry has to put up with? Such as, say, people dismissing her problems because being young and pretty means there's no possible way you have anything to complain about?
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:46 AM on April 24, 2013 [20 favorites]


Wow, I'm kind of appalled that she can't get security when she asks for it. What kind of crap is that?
posted by Malor at 9:50 AM on April 24, 2013


From the follow-up post on her blog:
i wrote what i wrote below not to complain or make anyone sad, but because i feel like if its possible to not accept stuff i hate and live a comfortable life then i want to do it :) in a broader sense, ideally stereotyping of any kind is something that can eventually be overcome or at least minimized. the fact that the response to this has been almost entirely positive is amazing and really nice and yeah.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:51 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Grimes is fucking awesome.

The inevitable Grimes/Macklemore indy tour is going to change the world.
posted by R. Schlock at 9:58 AM on April 24, 2013 [21 favorites]


Yay for Grimes. Just bought Geidi Primes from her site. It's cool.
posted by Mngo at 10:03 AM on April 24, 2013


Can I be the token person who doesn't quite get this? She's a fine musician, and she darn well shouldn't have to take sexual harassment of any sort. That's wrong, and is awful. But some of the issues about which she's complaining seem to have little to do with sexual harassment & touring, and more with general issues of sexual harassment. Others just seem kind of vague.

im tired of being referred to as ‘cute,’ as a ‘waif’ etc., even when the author, fan, friend, family member etc. is being positive.
I’m tired of creeps on message boards discussing whether or not they’d “fuck” me
Sexist dudes are going to talk about her on message boards now regardless of if she tours because she's in music videos on the internet & will presumably be in more. Sexist dudes are presumably going to tell her that it's good that she's thin because that's how all dudes everywhere act (or so I've been told). It's awful, but not tour-related.
(Also, her definition of "waif" ignores the fact that the word has also been used to connote being "thin" since the 60s. Unfairly just applied to women, though.)

im tired of being considered vapid for liking pop music or caring about fashion as if these things inherently lack substance or as if the things i enjoy somehow make me a lesser person
This seems like an issue with cliquishness, not gender. I'm thinking of how Sonic Youth was once considered rebellious because they liked Madonna.

im tired of people i love betraying me so they can get credit or money
This seems like an issue with fame, not gender.

I’m sad that it’s uncool or offensive to talk about environmental or human rights issues
What's the context for this? Last time I saw the Flaming Lips, they'd worked a whole "End the Iraq War now" thing into their act. Is she being told that she can't do that sort of stuff because she's a woman? Are people just getting mad because she's saying political things on stage? I'd gladly be angry on her behalf, but this is hella vague.

Many of the comments are approving of her standing up to the music industry machine, or breaking free of the industry, but it isn't necessarily clear how she's doing that. She's cancelled her tour, which affects a lot of people, and kudos to her for taking that authority. But she's presumably with Arbutus records, right? So I'm waiting for more of a manifesto than "Touring is terrible and I'm going home." But good luck to her.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:04 AM on April 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is awesome

Also you can type into the Adult Cat Finder text box and apparently it is astonishingly therapeutic to pour your soul into.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:05 AM on April 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


Being young, pretty, talented and famous sounds like a complete nightmare.

Well, it is if it means random dudes take it as a license to grope and harass you. It's the same reason why few sane women use a female sounding name in online games.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:12 AM on April 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Being young, pretty, talented and famous sounds like a complete nightmare.

I was never accused of being pretty but I did have two brief run-ins with so-called fame before I turned twenty-five, both of which I managed to sabotage (unconsciously?) before they amounted to much. And thank God for that, because both situations knocked me very much off kilter, cost me friends, cost me sleep, cost me pieces of my soul (which I managed to get back).

I remember somebody saying to me once, "Being famous must be weird, when more people know you than there are people you know."

I remember laughing at the time, but quickly becoming haunted by it. Because it is an inherently weird situation, unnatural, not good for you (not good for me anyway).

I remember talking to someone else about it a few years later and he put it thus. "Who would want to famous? Fame just makes you a target, all kinds of weirdos wanting a piece of you. That thing Andy Warhol said about everybody being famous for fifteen minutes. That was a warning, not something to get excited about."

Anyway, good for Ms. Grimes. Just keep doing the work. Everything else will be forgotten anyway.
posted by philip-random at 10:12 AM on April 24, 2013 [16 favorites]


For fucks sake, not everything that she takes issue with has to be reducible to 'I don't want to tour'.

You are also treating this as if gender can be easily extricated from all the other issues that she has to deal with.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:13 AM on April 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


This seems like an issue with cliquishness, not gender. I'm thinking of how Sonic Youth was once considered rebellious because they liked Madonna.

One of the ways casual sexism/classism/racism works these days is to take a meaningless trait associated with a class and then say that trait is bad. It's not a coincidence that the music genres associated with black people (rap), poor southerners (country), and women (pop) are all considered vapid and stupid. I'm pretty sure this is what she's getting at.
posted by john-a-dreams at 10:15 AM on April 24, 2013 [41 favorites]


The people who successfully do X for a living long-term (whatever X is) are often not the most talented, or the most passionate, but rather those who have the highest tolerance for the bullshit that comes with X when the rubber meets the road. You need love and talent less than you need the ability to shed the bad stuff. That's unfair enough of life, even without the additional burden of gender issues creating more bad stuff.
posted by tyllwin at 10:15 AM on April 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


It's not a coincidence that the music genres associated with black people (rap), poor southerners (country), and women (pop) are all considered vapid and stupid.

If I were dictator, you would be excused for punching someone in the face if they said they liked "all kinds of music, except rap and country."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:19 AM on April 24, 2013 [29 favorites]


fight or flight: "Being young, pretty, talented and famous sounds like a complete nightmare.

Oh, please.
"

Hey, I don't think mrhappy was being sarcastic.
posted by boo_radley at 10:21 AM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Good for her. The world needs waitresses and baristas, too.

So you're saying only women who are willing to put out should be able to practice music?

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:44 PM on April 24


What the ever-living fuck?
posted by Decani at 10:21 AM on April 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


What the ever-living fuck?

MetaFilter: Greasing up the slippery slope since 1999.
posted by R. Schlock at 10:24 AM on April 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


Good for her. The world needs waitresses and baristas, too.

Hey, now that you mention it, I think I might go buy Visions.
posted by edguardo at 10:28 AM on April 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


I’m tired of men who aren’t professional or even accomplished musicians continually offering to ‘help me out'

In every city bearded so and so's with artful tatts, helpfully sidling up to her offer help with Cubase.
posted by Damienmce at 10:30 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


What the ever-living fuck?

Yes, that dismissive crack about waitresses and baristas was pretty disturbing, I agree.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:35 AM on April 24, 2013 [23 favorites]


Also, on the "this is fame and not gender" stuff — well, so?

She's walking away from the music industry because she's sick of the bullshit she puts up with. Some of it is sexist bullshit. Some of it may be nonsexist affects-men-and-women-equally bullshit. But from her point of view, it's all bullshit, and it all affects her. So why shouldn't she walk away? Is this like a game of bullshit rummy, where you can't go out until all your bullshit is sorted into a single category?
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 10:35 AM on April 24, 2013 [26 favorites]


She doesn't claim she's quitting the industry or even swearing off touring forever. Just calling off the current tour based on the last album and working on new music.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:39 AM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


(right, thanks for the correction)
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 10:40 AM on April 24, 2013


It's a huge leap from the thoughtlessness of "The world needs waitresses and baristas, too" to the thoughtlessness of "So you're saying only women who are willing to put out should be able to practice music?". The first comment is sexist and clueless, while the second is only clueless.
posted by item at 10:45 AM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hey, I am happy to have curious artificer correct me if I've understood him wrong.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:47 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Boards of Canada hasn't played live since 2001.

The whole mystique-building, one-album-every-seven-years, no-touring-ever thing has worked great for them but I would never in a million years believe that that career model is their sole financial means of support. I assume they either have day jobs (and who would know) or are just well off enough to afford the luxury of going about their careers that way.
posted by anazgnos at 10:48 AM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Fame is a wart."
-Ken Kesey
posted by broadway bill at 10:49 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


For some reason, the immediate mental image I got when thinking of what BoC's day jobs were was GOB from Arrested Development sarcastically pretending to be a waiter.
posted by griphus at 10:50 AM on April 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


Well hopefully you got Curious Artificer's safeword before you started jamming all those words in his mouth.
posted by boo_radley at 10:53 AM on April 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


Listening to her music is a blast. I hope she has as much fun making it as I do listening to it and drowns shitty tour experiences with joy.
posted by mean cheez at 10:56 AM on April 24, 2013


"help me out" ewwww, I can almost visualize the creatures that throw that line out there. Are they fishing to sleep with her or ride on her coat tails or.... both.

This is why stars end up with an entourage. It insulates them from this shit.
posted by Gwynarra at 10:59 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't really understand why everyone's piling up on EmpressCallipygos when Curious Artificer's "joke" was one of the most off-putting comments I've ever read on this site. CA is the one who deserves to be called out here.
posted by corey le fou at 11:02 AM on April 24, 2013 [50 favorites]


[Maybe folks just leave that whole thing alone and move on in here?]
posted by cortex at 11:04 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The people who successfully do X for a living long-term (whatever X is) are often not the most talented, or the most passionate, but rather those who have the highest tolerance for the bullshit that comes with X when the rubber meets the road.

I think the point is that a lot of the bullshit surrounding the music industry isn't necessary anymore. You can make music in your house, market it yourself, and exchange download links for $5 through Paypal. It simply isn't a requirement that you play the music industry's game to get your music to fans, especially if you already have name recognition. You can opt out of the media training, the musically-irrelevant fashion shoots, the expectation that all female artists be sex symbols, and, yes, even live performances.

I understand why music initially got to a place where you were expected to (or required to) sell out all of your values and compromise your health and safety for anything that made you more profitable/marketable. What I don't understand is why some people act like that's still the case. I applaud her pushback and hope she can make it work.
posted by almostmanda at 11:06 AM on April 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


I realize that she specifically names sexism as a thing that was wearing her down, and I can see why people are focusing on that, as there is a lot to unpack there that is worth talking about.

But given her other complaints, I tend to think of her stepping back as a more general knowing-when-to-save-your-soul kinda reaction. Not everyone can put up with the bullshit that comes from being a touring musician/minor celebrity. It's nice to see her unafraid to draw the line, take a step back and get a breath.

It may seem like a hassle if you were looking forward to seeing her on tour this year, but then, it probably seems like a fine way to get sorted if you compare it to say, Jeff Mangum falling off the face of the earth for a decade.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:13 AM on April 24, 2013


I’m tired of people harassing my dancers and treating them like they aren’t human beings

Honest question, but do the dancers and support staff still get paid? Everyone has a right to choose their battles and to choose how to fight them, but it's not great to invoke other people's battles in the course of making things harder for them.
posted by Skwirl at 11:14 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Honest question, but do the dancers and support staff still get paid?

It depends on how big the band is, but I would assume in Grimes case -- "assume" based on what I've heard from touring musicians around her popularity level -- they get a cut of whatever money is made on tour and isn't spent on getting from point A to point B with all your equipment intact. The label probably throws some money/equipment their way, but no one is getting paid anything resembling a living wage.
posted by griphus at 11:17 AM on April 24, 2013


never heard of her til now. Just watched Genesis video.

She is good.

Thanks OP
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 11:19 AM on April 24, 2013


Also, she's not invoking other people's battles anymore than if a rock musician was saying they didn't like their drummer or bassist hassled.
posted by griphus at 11:19 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


But...having your words being taken out of context, having sexist idiots talk about you on boards, being betrayed - these things happen to folks who have an impact, whose words are heard and whose existence is public. I'm not saying it's good; it sucks. But just to quit because of it? Doesn't that seem like a cop out? What about fighting the good fight and all of that?

I mean, obviously if she doesn't want to tour, don't tour. But you're gonna face the assholes no matter what you do. Running away doesn't help anything, does it?

In any case, I really like Grimes, so this is a bummer.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:23 AM on April 24, 2013


I find her post to be really fascinating, having seen her at Coachella this past weekend. Wasn't familiar with her music or her public persona before that, and her style of music isn't really my bag. But she was very impressive, both musically and in her ability to engage the audience.

This post leaves me feeling uncomfortable because my only qualm about her performance was this: I knew I wasn't sure that I was reading it right, but I *thought* that I perceived that she was selling an image of cartoonish vulnerability as part of her appeal. And I wondered what the gender politics of that was - whether (if I was reading it right) it was a wise/reasonable/creative thing for her to be doing. (I had similar concerns about Bat for Lashes: immense talent, but there seemed to be something funny going on in terms of selling a particular image of "exotic female vulnerability").

So now this makes me think I have learned a lesson - that she was just being herself, and that I was the one wrongly reading it as "cute" "waif" because of my own deeply-ingrained assumptions.

Good for her.
posted by sheldman at 11:25 AM on April 24, 2013 [24 favorites]


"Copping out" is anyone and everyone's right. No one is required to fight the good fight until they die.

I don't see her "copping out" here. I see her taking measure of what she's willing to put up with and what she's not. Who else is in a better place to judge? If she can go on and find ways to be creative and productive - as is the case with other non-touring musicians - then good for her.
posted by rtha at 11:27 AM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


"This post leaves me feeling uncomfortable because my only qualm about her performance was this: I knew I wasn't sure that I was reading it right, but I *thought* that I perceived that she was selling an image of cartoonish vulnerability as part of her appeal. And I wondered what the gender politics of that was - whether (if I was reading it right) it was a wise/reasonable/creative thing for her to be doing. (I had similar concerns about Bat for Lashes: immense talent, but there seemed to be something funny going on in terms of selling a particular image of "exotic female vulnerability")."
sheldman

I was at Coachella the first weekend and saw her perform, and I also saw her last summer at the Pasadena Free Music Festival, and I don't think she's selling an image of cartoonish vulnerability at all. My take is almost the opposite, that she presents herself as an UNsexualized performer, in that her sex appeal doesn't (to me) seem to be part of her performance at all. I don't know about the second weekend but the first weekend even her dancers were dressed totally casually, in baggy clothes and stuff.
posted by Aubergine at 11:30 AM on April 24, 2013


"Copping out" is anyone and everyone's right. No one is required to fight the good fight until they die.

Oh, definitely. I'm not saying otherwise. It just makes me feel like the assholes win a little.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:31 AM on April 24, 2013


"I was at Coachella the first weekend and saw her perform, and I also saw her last summer at the Pasadena Free Music Festival, and I don't think she's selling an image of cartoonish vulnerability at all. My take is almost the opposite, that she presents herself as an UNsexualized performer, in that her sex appeal doesn't (to me) seem to be part of her performance at all. I don't know about the second weekend but the first weekend even her dancers were dressed totally casually, in baggy clothes and stuff." (Aubergine)

I wasn't saying that she was presenting herself as "sexualized" in the way that many performers (male and female) do - almost in some sense the opposite, as you say. Hard to say what it was that I thought I saw - almost "romanticized" as opposed to "sexualized."
posted by sheldman at 11:36 AM on April 24, 2013


It just makes me feel like the assholes win a little.

"The only winning move is... not to play"
posted by junco at 11:36 AM on April 24, 2013


It just makes me feel like the assholes win a little.

I think dismissing this as "there will always be assholes" also kind of means the assholes win a little. Hold those fuckers accountable. The blame rests with them for ruining a good thing. Don't blame Grimes for not wanting to put up with it.
posted by almostmanda at 11:42 AM on April 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm not convinced that people in a position of power do have a total right to cop out. I always have an obligation towards people who are more vulnerable than me and towards people who depend on me. I need to close out my existing obligations with care before going off the grid. I'm talking abstractly in as much as I don't know the case here. In griphus's drummer example, you don't lay off the drummer because you don't like seeing the drummer harassed. You use your power as the key performer to banish the asshole harassers. Maybe in music culture, it's just accepted that you have no living wage and you have no promise of a future pay check, but that is a social injustice in and of itself that needs to be fixed. Maybe the fixed tour will address this.
posted by Skwirl at 11:43 AM on April 24, 2013


"Copping out" is anyone and everyone's right. No one is required to fight the good fight until they die.

Oh, definitely. I'm not saying otherwise. It just makes me feel like the assholes win a little.


Respectfully, I think this is one of the few times the assholes don't win. These wearying and endless small acts of sexism stay in place because they're so small and commonplace that it's not worth it to fight it on a case-by-case basis. Women shrug them off because they don't have much choice. They don't have the kind of credibility and audience that she has. Their complaints will be dismissed. Some might say that she shouldn't complain because she doesn't know how good she has it. She should be complaining, because of how much she has. She's precisely the kind of performer who should be complaining, because her complaints and refusal to perform are more likely to be felt, discussed, and acted upon.
posted by rhythm and booze at 11:45 AM on April 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


Also, she's not invoking other people's battles anymore than if a rock musician was saying they didn't like their drummer or bassist hassled.

No, but it is a bit weird to say something like, "I'm tired of (among other things) my bassist getting hassled, so I'm going to cancel the tour he's been working on." For Grimes, the benefits of touring are not worth the shit she endures, but that may not be the case for her dancers.

Quitting her tour via tumblr is such a Grimes thing to do, though. Generally if you're a professional, you should keep your professional commitments. But for Grimes it might be okay. It's part of her artist-persona that she lives on the internet and is sensitive and communicates with her fans directly in eloquent blog posts and is passionate but tries to stay level-headed and sane.

If she hasn't burned her industry bridges with this move, and/or if her fanbase is large enough to support her + passionate enough to notice when she emerges again with new music, I guess I think she'll survive this.

Then again, it's always possible that she'll announce a few days from now that after talking it over with everyone who would be affected if she canceled her tour she's decided to play the next few dates, take a long break, and then finish the tour with a handful of rescheduled dates where she'll play new material, etc etc. I mean, I'm not saying that will happen, but it could happen.
posted by subdee at 11:48 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, half of them died.

I think it was Andy Ihnatko who pointed out a while back that The Who have a lead singer and lead guitarist left, while the Beatles have a drummer and a bassist, and that they should totally get together and kick ass on the greatest rock and roll tour since forever.

posted by Celsius1414 at 11:50 AM on April 24, 2013 [19 favorites]


There needs to be a global DNC movement: "Dude. Not Cool", which consists of a commitment to shutting down assholish behavior whenever you see it, rather than refusing to get involved, or sniggering in bro-ish amusement or believing the target is asking for it or whatever. The only thing that's going to stop this sort of crap is when people start experiencing social consequences for doing it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:52 AM on April 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


For Grimes, the benefits of touring are not worth the hassles, but that may not be the case for her dancers.

I can't imagine she's in that much better of a place than the dancers just because she's got some releases out. Plus the dancers may actually have an easier time than her getting work after this, although I'll admit that I don't know how (shitty) the situation is for dancers.

...they should totally get together and kick ass on the greatest rock and roll tour since forever.

Isn't Zak Starkey drumming for the Who now? He's like the Kwisatz Haderach of this supergroup. Except his mother wasn't in the Who I guess.
posted by griphus at 11:54 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Generally if you're a professional, you should keep your professional commitments.

I don't think you, specifically, meant it in this way, but that kind of sentiment often boils down to "act like the intolerable assholes that are making money off you tell you to, or they will blacklist you". It's refreshing to see somebody say "no thanks".

If she hasn't burned her industry bridges with this move,

I'm sure Arbutus Records will be happy to put out anything she sends them. They're not really part of the "industry" in the same way that Coachella or 4AD are.

And seconding griphus's previous comment.
posted by junco at 12:01 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The omnipresent backbeat and repetitive elements of electronic and dance music annoy me to no end (particularly when I'm not actively dancing, which is always) but even I can recognize that Oblivion is an extraordinary track. I've no idea what sort of filters or transformations she ran her voice through, if any, but the result is heavenly, and the precision with which the vocal tracks are layered is exquisite.

...on preview, so is Genesis. I've purchased both of them.

I appreciate her complaints. Nobody deserves to be verbally or physically molested, and I hope she finds a context for her art that minimizes or eliminates those occurrences.

At the same time, I think it's absurd of her to put out images like this and complain so bitterly when random internet fuckwads on some message board speculate about those few parts she chose not to reveal. And even considered in its best light, her disgust at other people perceiving her as "a waif" or "cute" is decidedly unproductive. If she does not like what her image implies, she should work to change that image.
posted by The Confessor at 12:02 PM on April 24, 2013


Oh, definitely. I'm not saying otherwise. It just makes me feel like the assholes win a little.

I understand. It's just that your wording puts the burden of solving the problems she's facing entirely on her; calling it "running away" is a pretty dismissive way to frame the issues she's talking about, and saying that well, that shit is everywhere can't get away from it, sounds like none of it can be fixed and just has to be put up with oh well. Honestly, I think her decision to stop touring is a much more optimistic and forward-looking one - and one that might bring about more change in the long run - than your framing of it.
posted by rtha at 12:05 PM on April 24, 2013


I'm kinda of amazed at her presence of mind and very down to earth approach to self-preservation here. I don't think most 24 year old males or females, have that much together at that point to be able to do that, especially faced with the complexities of a world tour and so many voices (agents, promoters, dancers etc) giving differing opinions.

It makes me wonder how she keeps it together so well and keeps herself grounded and, also if, there was some sort of event or crisis that led to this decision. I'm not saying that has to be a definite case here, maybe this is just a case of a general annoyance finally reaching the tipping point, and she just said "Fuck this. Enough, already."


Anyway that fake Adult Cat Finder ad in the corner of her blog made me actually LOL.

I had a long and very nice discussion with that cat. I never realized "Meow" and "MEOW MEOW?" and "Meow, meow, MEOW MEOW" could convey so much...
posted by Skygazer at 12:12 PM on April 24, 2013


> I've no idea what sort of filters or transformations she ran her voice through, if any, but the result is heavenly, and the precision with which the vocal tracks are layered is exquisite.

I hadn't heard of her before and I really did like the video I saw - but now I'm finding our she does her own production (or at least started out doing her own production) I'm really impressed.

I'll definitely buy some of her stuff.

> Being pretty means people will deny or ignore your talent. It means they'll think you're famous because you're pretty. Ditto being young.

It is harder for women, but I don't agree that this is inevitable. Consider Joni Mitchell, or Kate Bush, both of whom were taken seriously as artists pretty well from the beginning. Both of them have quite serious personas - but Nina Hagen also comes to mind - she was taken quite seriously as an artist even though her persona was very off-the-wall.

Of course, that was a long time ago, in a more progressive age.

Overall, I'm sad that she cancelled her tour. Allowing a few assholes to spoil everyone's fun is lame. There are few enough women touring, and bookers will come up with any excuse to avoid female artists. Breaking tour dates is irresponsible, and it'll just make it harder for her or other women when they want to tour next time.

As the performer, you're in control. If there are assholes in the audience, notify security in advance. They'll be more than happy to throw out disruptive individuals on a moment's notice, and generally the crowd will cheer as they're dragged out. I've seen this power both used properly and abused before...

That said, going out on stage can be very hard and if she's too frightened to do it properly, then there's nothing to be done.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:19 PM on April 24, 2013


Oh, and if I didn't make it clear, I do support her decision, and the strong way it was expressed. I'm just sad that this was the resolution.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:20 PM on April 24, 2013


Good for her. The world needs waitresses and baristas, too.

Hey, now that you mention it, I think I might go buy Visions.


I just bought the LP (120G, of course) from the 4AD Store. Even with the shipping it seems comparable to Amazon/resellers.

I am curious how she feels about 4AD.

At the same time, I think it's absurd of her to put out images like this and complain so bitterly when random internet fuckwads on some message board speculate about those few parts she chose not to reveal.

Don't dress too sexy now, ladies. ;)

If she does not like what her image implies, she should work to change that image.

I think that's what she is likely assessing now. And, FWIW, if you couldn't tell, the pink-braided silver-suited dancer in Genesis is not Grimes. That's Brooke Candy.

Choice quote from "Grimes" interview about Genesis video above:
Everyone's so overexposed with Grimes right now, and I'm so sick of my own music that I don't know if I can edit another video, which involves hundreds of hours of listening to your own song again and again and again. It becomes so grating after a while. I've moved on; I'm psychologically past this album.

I want Grimes to get a lot less cute and a lot more aggressive. Obviously, I like things that are cute and aggressive at the same time, but I didn't want it to just be mini-bangs and lip-syncing in a dress. I need to get away from that stuff."
Is this like a game of bullshit rummy

Now there's a card game I would like to learn!
posted by mrgrimm at 12:23 PM on April 24, 2013


I am also a little confused on what her point is.

If she DOESN'T want this type of treatment, say, when performing, why doesn't she perform in places that are more controlled and safer (and maybe she does, I don't follow her)? Why Coachella, and not some sort of women-centered music festival. Or the warehouse art/music space? Performing solo with a keyboard/synth/mixer/mic. is like, whatcha do there in those sorts of spaces. It's old hat. We're all in our rooms writing music on beds with borrowed Casios.

She wants more? OK. More what? band? stage? fans? money? It's strange to think she's gotten this far, without realizing the corruption of it all. Go take some pages from Fugazi. "Fan" acting shitty? Kick them out, give them a refund, have those refunds already in envelops to give out. It brings the entire show up one little level. Everyone's happy except the asshole, and they were an asshole.

There's plenty of good (women, etc) performers who have pulled off, "do what I love" and, "get respect". So I hope she does, too. Getting harassed happens, and we can't control other people (or shouldn't really want to). My band members get harrassed, even though they're middle-aged fat dudes, in ski masks. Assholes know no boundaries.
posted by alex_skazat at 12:24 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


So she won't be doing The Gathering of the Juggalos this year then?
posted by Brocktoon at 12:25 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


The 'cute' and 'waif' thing is kind of a distraction -- I'm not really a fan of verbal hygiene arguments -- using dictionary definitions for words that no one looks up the definition for. However, I take it in the spirit it was intended -- there is a patronizing element that ties into the rest of her complaints.

It's possible for someone to be cute and accomplished, but the requirement that musicians must be attractive and visible is gross -- and it keeps getting grosser. And it's not just being attractive, but the focus on visual artists and stage performances takes away from the music. Yes, live performance can be good, but we don't scrutinize the body shape of classical musicians or require them to dance around in music videos -- yet the art is still good. :-)
posted by smidgen at 12:27 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I like her more every day.

This is really how the world can change. People with talent walk away from the machines that grind them up. And thanks to the Internet (which gets a capital initial for this), they have an alternative approach and do not just disappear because they have avoided the maw of the monster.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:32 PM on April 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


> Why Coachella, and not some sort of women-centered music festival.

Because you cannot make enough money to live that way. Because this is a ghetto that's hard to get out of.

> Or the warehouse art/music space?

Because you really cannot make enough money to live that way.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:33 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Fan" acting shitty? Kick them out, give them a refund, have those refunds already in envelops to give out.

Well, one of her complaints is that she doesn't want to hire people to protect her, and the venues are clearly not doing it. A bunch of middle-aged fat dudes in ski masks might not have an issue booting someone. A small, young woman, on the other hand, needs to pay people money to make sure this doesn't happen. And money isn't exactly pouring forth.
posted by griphus at 12:33 PM on April 24, 2013


If I were Grimes, I'd try to find out if The Residents are hiring.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 12:39 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


> Well, one of her complaints is that she doesn't want to hire people to protect her, and the venues are clearly not doing it.

I don't buy the literal truth of that. Big clubs bring serious muscle to shows. Some specific genres of music bring people who bring weapons. I was talking to security at Terminal Five last year and they said that they confiscate serious knives almost every night and guns at least once a week.

If her booker contacts the venues and says, "Hey, she needs some serious extra security for these shows, there have been incidents," the venues will be more than happy to accomodate her. It's a tiny amount of money, a few hundred dollars in tens of thousands of dollars of profit, and reduces the chance of what clubs hate: a serious hassle, violence, lawsuits, being closed down for an investigation, etc - and the clubs are very used to this sort of request - controversial shows are big shows, they know that they'll more than recoup the investment.

And it's certainly better than losing the show and almost certainly losing quite a lot of money.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:40 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


A small, young woman, on the other hand, needs to pay people money to make sure this doesn't happen. And money isn't exactly pouring forth.

also, the people presumably being paid to make sure this doesn't happen aren't doing their jobs very well: "...and I’m pissed that when I express concern over my own safety it’s often ignored until people see firsthand what happens and then they apologize for not taking me seriously after the fact…"
posted by spindle at 12:41 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


If she DOESN'T want this type of treatment, say, when performing, why doesn't she perform in places that are more controlled and safer (and maybe she does, I don't follow her)? Why Coachella, and not some sort of women-centered music festival. Or the warehouse art/music space? Performing solo with a keyboard/synth/mixer/mic. is like, whatcha do there in those sorts of spaces. It's old hat. We're all in our rooms writing music on beds with borrowed Casios.

What.

How is this different from "Well, everyone knows that working the factory floor is gonna be pretty damn sexist, and if you don't want that treatment then why don't you go work as a....[this is where I try to come up with some field devoid of sexist treatment, and I fail, but I'll make pretend here] kindergarten teacher or some other woman-centered profession?" Come on.
posted by rtha at 12:45 PM on April 24, 2013 [50 favorites]


I doubt it's just fans who are the problem. I'd assume it's harder to get employees, owners, managers, or other performers booted from venues.
posted by jaguar at 12:45 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


If she DOESN'T want this type of treatment, say, when performing, why doesn't she perform in places that are more controlled and safer (and maybe she does, I don't follow her)? Why Coachella, and not some sort of women-centered music festival.

This comment makes my blood boil.
posted by azarbayejani at 12:46 PM on April 24, 2013 [36 favorites]


Skygazer: Anyway that fake Adult Cat Finder ad in the corner of her blog made me actually LOL.

I had a long and very nice discussion with that cat. I never realized "Meow" and "MEOW MEOW?" and "Meow, meow, MEOW MEOW" could convey so much..."


Or get the cops called on you.

I was waiting out back of my building having a smoke with a neighbour while my little buddy was spazzing in his carrier. Shots day, dontchaknow.

We're smoking and talking and he's meowing up a storm when we see a copy turn in behind the building. No big deal, a lot of people cut through there.

My ride calls to basically tell me I am too early. While I am talking, the cop stops and my neighbor approaches. I see them talking for a sec and the neighbor gestures back towards me.

Apparently someone called the police and said there was a young child yelling "NO! NO! NO!" repeatedly. The gesture was my neighbor pointing out the pissed off cat. So, instead of Mr. J, his name today is Narc.

Also, thanks for turning me on to some new music! Yay new (to me) music!
posted by Samizdata at 12:47 PM on April 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don't buy the literal truth of that.

Do you know the specifics of what she is complaining about? Because the way you have phrased this, it sounds like you are claiming to know more about her circumstance than she does, and that she is lying, or misrepresenting her circumstance somehow. Do you have some actual insider dope about her claims?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:48 PM on April 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


I doubt it's just fans who are the problem. I'd assume it's harder to get employees, owners, managers, or other performers booted from venues.

I find the focus in this thread on the matter of the venue providing bouncers or not really weird, given that that issue accounts for like 6 words out of her entire post.
posted by junco at 12:49 PM on April 24, 2013


Well, it's also the issue where she cites potential bodily injury (unless she pays up, of course) as a direct result of being a woman in the music industry.
posted by griphus at 12:52 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think she should have to go to another festival to get away from boorish behavior or indeed real danger.

What might help is concerned fans not going to the festivals that aren't dealing with the issues. And them letting the festivals know why they aren't going.

Otherwise, as mentioned above, you'll just get the continuing ghettoization of women's music.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:53 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know a lot of Mefites think that if a musician doesn't tour, they don't deserve to make a living, but it is still possible to do so.

Totally - and Grimes' main medium is her studio. Performing live is almost orthogonal to what she's all about.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:54 PM on April 24, 2013


Well, yeah, but she's talking about hiring bodyguards due to getting harrassed while "at shows or walking down the street". And this is just one instantiation of the effects of her exposure to "people who perceive [her] as an object that exists for their personal satisfaction" which pretty clearly applies to a far larger group of people than terrible audience members at her shows.
posted by junco at 12:58 PM on April 24, 2013


If she DOESN'T want this type of treatment, say, when performing, why doesn't she perform in places that are more controlled and safer (and maybe she does, I don't follow her)? Why Coachella, and not some sort of women-centered music festival.

Because she wants venues to take care of female performers instead of being told that it's not their problem. This really is an issue of respect--if they valued their female performers enough, they would make an effort to make sure they were safe. Asking that your dancers not be groped is pretty much at the bottom of "Unreasonable things rock stars ask for" list. She's not asking for hand sorted M&M's. Just basic respect.

It's hard enough to make a living at music. It's hard enough to get noticed and to get paid for the work you do. Why make it even worse for performers? An attitude of "if you can't handle it don't play" only drags everything down. She's not the problem. Live concerts don't have to be inherently dangerous and disrespectful. I go to messy punk shows where people can manage to mosh and still treat each other with respect. If that's possible, it's possible for people to come up with ways to ensure that female performers are treated with respect.

My band members get harrassed, even though they're middle-aged fat dudes, in ski masks. Assholes know no boundaries.

Yes, that is why she is attempting to put some boundaries in place. I don't know if it will work, but at least it's better than putting her head down and accepting bad treatment.

Also unless your band is routinely being groped and catcalled by people who outweigh them by a good thirty pounds of muscle, I'd like to suggest that this is not an equivalent situation.
posted by rhythm and booze at 12:58 PM on April 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


At the same time, I think it's absurd of her to put out images like this and complain so bitterly when random internet fuckwads on some message board speculate about those few parts she chose not to reveal. And even considered in its best light, her disgust at other people perceiving her as "a waif" or "cute" is decidedly unproductive. If she does not like what her image implies, she should work to change that image.

As someone who has often been called "waifish" or "cute" not because I am attractive but simply because I am exceedingly diminutive in stature/size, and as someone who has also dared to wear clothing that may be considered revealing or risque: I am biting my tongue with every ounce of strength that my cute, waifish body contains.

I had no idea who Grimes was prior to today, and I feel like a fucking dinosaur when I look at Tumblr. But I have had over three decades of experience with life as a small woman, so I know that she has every right to live freely, dress however she damn well pleases, and do whatever she damn well wants, however she wants to do it, without getting pelted with sexist, condescending bullshit simply because she is living fearlessly and unequivocally as a woman in her own body. When you are a young woman, whether you're playing Coachella or slugging it out in a flyover state cubical, you may find that you are often dismissed as weak, defenseless, or otherwise in need of a man's assistance and/or superior knowledge because you exist. Being seen as anything except statistically average in size, on either side of the spectrum, DOES NOT HELP.
Hey, world, guess what? Grimes and the rest of us small folks -- we cannot somehow choose to be larger or more intimidating in hopes that it will get our ideas or wisdom taken at face value. If we are women, we cannot choose to be male in hopes that it will lend us credibility. But sometimes we're just so small, you see, that no matter what we do, any semblance of seriousness can be tossed off to the wayside in favor of "cute." Cute! Not even cute like a grown-ass human being, but cute like a bunny, or a widdle kidden. And for complaining about being treated so disrespectfully for having the gall to exist as a woman, she is referred to as BITTER?

Pray tell, how are we supposed to work to change that image? How are we responsible for altering the widespread perception of our apparent inherent weakness? This is, literally, how we were born. My permanently child-sized frame is nothing more than the result of having been born to a family tree whose very largest member towered over us at 5'7" and a whopping 135 pounds; it is not the result of diet, exercise, or personal choice -- but would it really matter if it was? Must we cover ourselves up in shapeless muumuus, puff up our feathers or scruff so as to appear larger, or otherwise somehow transmogrify into a different body altogether?
The bias is cultural. It is pervasive. It certainly transcends the lifetime of someone who was born in 1988. Seriously, what is Grimes supposed to do about the fact that she is small, conventionally attractive, and talented? Maim herself? Quit making music? I cannot describe how many times I have personally witnessed a woman's desire for basic respect and safety getting dismissed completely out of hand based on her gender or size, so reading this post was a huge blast of fresh air. Kick them in the goddamn skull, Grimes. Do what you gotta do. You go.

If she DOESN'T want this type of treatment, say, when performing, why doesn't she perform in places that are more controlled and safer (and maybe she does, I don't follow her)?

Phew! This helpful reminder is much appreciated. Thankfully, I can attest that women do not tend to forget that people (men) really do think about them in this way. Do you really believe that this young creative professional should be shunted off into a smaller stream, cordoned into a 'safer' or 'more controlled' space -- what, so the mean old men can't hurt her waifish fee-fees? No. Hell no. As above, this is nothing but a tired variation on the age-old canard of "Well, if she doesn't want to be called a slut, why is she dressing like one?"
posted by divined by radio at 1:08 PM on April 24, 2013 [145 favorites]


If she does not like what her image implies, she should work to change that image.

Yeah Grimes, bulk up. Do you even lift?
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:17 PM on April 24, 2013 [40 favorites]


divined by radio, that's an awesome comment.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 1:23 PM on April 24, 2013


It's also worth pointing out that when women do form their own festivals, they are accused of being reverse sexists. It's a marvelous system, if by "marvelous" you mean "either way you lose."
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:26 PM on April 24, 2013 [23 favorites]


It's funny how gender related debates always get a massive amount of comments on Metafilter. It's healthy too. Can hardly imagine how bad it must be on the NRA forums or Nascar bulletin boards.
Never heard of Grimes before. She sounds like a mix between early Björk and Dan Deacon. I'm sold.
posted by surrendering monkey at 1:30 PM on April 24, 2013


If she DOESN'T want this type of treatment, say, when performing, why doesn't she perform in places that are more controlled and safer (and maybe she does, I don't follow her)? Why Coachella, and not some sort of women-centered music festival.

So women should be separate, but equal, eh?

Anyway, good for Grimes. I like her music a lot and she shouldn't have to put up with this bullshit.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:32 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Grimey," as she likes to be called, taught us that anyone can triumph over adversity. And even though her agonizing struggle for a musical tour was tragically cut short, I'm sure she's looking down on us right now...
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:46 PM on April 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is 4AD a terrible label?
posted by KokuRyu at 1:48 PM on April 24, 2013


I hear Grimey made a mean beef stroganoff
posted by pullayup at 1:49 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I hear Grimey lived in an apartment above a bowling alley. And below another bowling alley.

I was just thinking about that episode, and it seemed to me like all of Frank Grimes' complaints work as metaphors for this circumstance.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:51 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


divined by radio: I've only done this a handful of times in my eleven years as a member of Mefi, but I just wanted to let you know your comment is awesome and hopefully will put some otherwise idle brain-hamsters in motion. I don't know Grimes from an extra hole in my head, nevertheless some of the shit being said in this thread is disgraceful and downright embarrassing.
posted by item at 1:58 PM on April 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


This is a lousy way to discover great music.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:01 PM on April 24, 2013 [17 favorites]


From the fine article: "CHANNELING LIZ FRASER. Grimes’s first album for 4AD."

Few things are more likely to get me to check out an artist than invoking Liz or 4AD. Both at once is like turning on the jiawen-signal: "Your attention is needed here."

Her music is beautiful. And she's taking a stand against misogyny? Yep, just bought Visions.
posted by jiawen at 2:09 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I take your Grimes and raise you a Bachelorette. Same general idea - self-produced electronica etc. - but I like her vocal and musical ideas (Grimes music leaves me a bit meh cold - de gustibus non est disputandum) - just throwing it out there for people who like this kind of music; an artist who lives even further from the center of the music industry compared to Grimes (New Zealand!).
posted by VikingSword at 2:16 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is 4AD a terrible label?

No. It's legendary. And probably one of the best labels in the world at this point, with an indie culture and major label $$$$ behind it along with the distribution and other structural advantages that brings.

Grimes is the real deal in every way. And I'm glad she's taking a stand, and glad she's going back to re-inventing and writing new music. She could be as huge as Lady Gaga if she wants it, and I'm sure she's been told that and knows it, but decided that wasn't her pathway forward.
posted by Skygazer at 2:16 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


> I don't buy the literal truth of that. Big clubs bring serious muscle to shows.

I've toured a lot with a moderately successful group (as a friend, not a performer) and, man, even when venues are run well and have lots of great staff, the hardest core (and often creepiest) fans are the ones waiting for you two hours after the encore, after you've hung out in the green room and are walking back to the bus.
posted by gilrain at 2:18 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


METAFILTER: a lousy way to discover great music.
posted by philip-random at 2:25 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Anyway that fake Adult Cat Finder ad in the corner of her blog made me actually LOL.

Fake?

Well I just wasted an hour of my life.
posted by yeti at 2:31 PM on April 24, 2013 [18 favorites]


I confess, I spend a lot of time on 4chan's music board, more than is healthy, and it strikes me that Grimes's post is directed heavily at the sort of people who post there. Every time I see a thread about a female musician, it's never about their music, but about wanting them to be their "waifu" (more "wife" than "waif" but I can see how it could be interpreted that way), or how ugly and terrible they are. Combine with regular threads where posters bemoan their lack of girlfriends, and you can see a lot of trouble brewing. Its a scary trainwreck of self-loathing, adolescent sexual desire, social ineptitude, and objectification, and there's precious little way any of it could escape Grimes's notice.

Naturally, the reaction of /mu/ to Grimes's post has been one of mostly impotent "how dare you" rage, like a child who's toy has been taken away, and the latent misogyny has bubbled to the surface.

Good on Grimes for calling these sorts of people out. I dug her stuff ever since I first heard "Oblivion" and Visions was my Album of the Year for 2012. I think I'm going to have a lot to talk about on my podcast Sunday...
posted by SansPoint at 2:34 PM on April 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


prize bull octorok

That's a very narrow reading of my comment. So very narrow, in fact, and so uncharitable, that I doubt you are engaging in good faith.

Image needn't refer only to physical characteristics. I was focusing more on how she chooses to present those characteristics to her audience.

The video for Oblivion, for example, opens with a scene that contrasts Grimes' small frame with some tall, very muscular men. The lyrics to the song may belay this (I can't decipher more than a few scattered phrases of it, and I haven't checked the lyrics yet to preserve my first impression), but if I were to describe what I see, I might just use the word "waif" myself.

Many of the other scenes in the Oblivion music video feature Grimes (who is, as divined by radio says, conventionally attractive) dancing animatedly against unfocused backgrounds, with the background action sometimes seeming to move in slow motion. Honestly, the first thing that came to mind was the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope, but I might have used the word "cute" to describe her appearance in those scenes.

(side note: for being filmed on "a shoe string budget", as Wikipedia says, that video is awesome.)

It's possible that none of these inferences were meant to be drawn. It's possible that the video was conceived without anyone realizing, or perhaps caring, that they would be drawn. And its shitty that a small, conventionally attractive woman is obliged to "package" herself differently than a large, conventionally attractive woman... or a man of any description.

...but that's reality. The fact that it's shitty doesn't make it any less real.

I would have liked to have spent more time on this comment, but circumstances have intervened.

I guess my point is that if you wish to alter the conclusions people have drawn about you, changing some of the aspects of your image that led them to draw those conclusions is more effective than shouting them down after the fact.
posted by The Confessor at 2:47 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Grimes is the future.

I have no doubt that she'll continue to be successful. Even if she burns every industry bridge she has, it's not like she can't keep going without them. She made Visions herself on a Macbook. There are fans who will buy her albums. She'll sell out shows wherever she can book them.

However: this sucks and it shouldn't have been necessary. I don't think it's wholly a gender issue: famous people of whatever gender have to deal with fans treating them like objects. I imagine it's pretty exhausting: every fan just wants a little piece of your life, and they know it's an inconvenience to you, but each individual one of them is only causing a small inconvenience so none of them feel bad. But on top of that, young pretty famous women have to deal with people treating them like sex objects: and that's when things change from draining and frustrating to degrading and frightening.

If, on top of that, your tourmates and friends, who are supposed to be backing you up, dismiss you because you're a woman, it would take serious motivation to keep touring. And like, I don't get the sense she has that: she doesn't seem like the type who thrives on the thrill of the crowd, she doesn't want to be part of the machine and be a huge star, and she doesn't need the money. It makes sense.

Of course, I'm sure a ton of people are going to dismiss this as, you know, a vapid girl pouting and folding her arms, she's so stubborn, isn't it adorable. I almost feel like it would be better for them to accuse her of being a man-eating feminazi, because then she at least gets her point across.

On preview: she's posted stuff from /mu/ on her tumblr, so like she is definitely aware of it. I don't really go there any more, but a while ago people (at least the majority) were willing to talk about female musicians' music. It's a shame the creepy entitled misogynist element has seeped in.
posted by vogon_poet at 2:47 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


On preview: she's posted stuff from /mu/ on her tumblr, so like she is definitely aware of it. I don't really go there any more, but a while ago people (at least the majority) were willing to talk about female musicians' music. It's a shame the creepy entitled misogynist element has seeped in.

I've not followed her Tumblr, mostly out of ignorance, so I didn't know she had /mu/ stuff on there. I'm not surprised, though. It's hard not to keep checking on what people say about you. I'm not even famous, and I'm constantly checking these things.
posted by SansPoint at 2:55 PM on April 24, 2013


SansPoint: The funny thing is, it wasn't even about her. It was just some video they made where a bunch of people recorded themselves singing a song and then they overdubbed them all. Like I get the sense that as an Internet person she might just have wandered around 4chan occasionally. In which case, yeah, suddenly seeing the one of the worse parts of the Internet creeping out over you would really suck.
posted by vogon_poet at 2:59 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess my point is that if you wish to alter the conclusions people have drawn about you, changing some of the aspects of your image that led them to draw those conclusions is more effective than shouting them down after the fact.

Can you not see how that's a really nasty argument to make, 'shitty reality' or not? Especially given that a petite conventionally attractive woman is just what she is, and you're asking her to deliberately project a different image to avoid having assholes disrespect her. Why is this the reality we should accept? Why should we accept the conclusions assholes draw about us and change to suit them? Maybe it's more 'effective' to do so, but does that make it right?

Is it even more effective, anyway? If she wore baggy clothes with shoulder pads and, um, platform shoes and um, danced with skinny boys instead of muscley dudes (would that do it for you?), do you think the misogynist chatter would suddenly cease and people would suddenly start to respect her? Women get shit for being too feminine and for being not feminine enough. There's no winning this game.

"I don't want to have to compromise my morals in order to make a living". A fuck you to the assholes who think who she is and what she expresses is up for group debate, and rightly so.
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:07 PM on April 24, 2013 [14 favorites]


And she'll make a living anyway. Because 5000 fans + the internet = a living.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:10 PM on April 24, 2013


Big clubs bring serious muscle to shows.

Back before I completely snuffed out my career in music along with a flaming torch of stupidity, I played in the legendary mid-sized venue that's in most every decent-sized American city (and some not decent-sized, some not American, and many non-legendary spots, to boot) and I have no idea what you're talking about. Yes, there's bouncers at every good-sized club and yes, they'll keep Joe Fanboy from wandering backstage to try to smoke a joint with the acts, but believe me when I tell you that accessing lower-tier-major-label/upper-tier-indie artists is as easy as having a tiny amount of patience and/or persistence. Unless you're Miley Cyrus, James Hetfield, or Beyonce, local venue staff isn't going to do shit to keep folks from approaching you, especially if you're not in an area that's been predetermined to be off-limits to the general public.

Grimes is popular but she's not Miley Cyrus, James Hetfield, or Beyonce popular, and chances are most of the employees at the places she plays wouldn't even be able to pick her out of a police lineup, let alone keep some starry-eyed fan from trying to ask her if she'd like to get a drink after the show.
posted by item at 3:11 PM on April 24, 2013 [18 favorites]


Hey The Confessor, I will cop to the fact that my comment was more of a drive-by than any kind of engagement with your point, but I don't really agree with what you're saying here. In an ideal world, a woman (or anyone) in the performing arts should be able to present any image she wants to without being "infantilized," "molested," condescended to, or subjected to fuckability debates on the internet. I realize that we don't live in a world where these things aren't gonna happen, but I don't think there's anything absurd or bitter about lamenting this crappy state of affairs, and I don't see her post as trying to shout anyone down. Nevertheless, I apologize for bouncing off your post with an easy retort instead of responding more thoughtfully.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:13 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


OMG Grimes' debut album was called Giedi Primes and fully half the song titles are Dune references. "Caladan", "Shadout Mapes", "Zoal, Face Dancer", "Feyd Rautha Dark Heart", "Sardaukar Levenbrech". So. Awesome.
posted by Rory Marinich at 3:23 PM on April 24, 2013 [15 favorites]


Sardaukar Levenbrech. Very different from "Oblivion" or "Genesis" – lots of Eastern influences going on, in a way that reminds me of early Animal House but less frustrating. Now I find it easy to imagine that Grimes is a precursor to the Bene Gesserit.
posted by Rory Marinich at 3:26 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Arg. I remember her being a blogpop fave, especially on ILX, but I just couldn't do it. I love her music and production, but I just have trouble with her voice — it's too close to the children's choir Christmas music for me (a lot of Cocteau Twins hits that same distaste). I hope that her wanting to be less "cute" means a little less high pass filter.

Still sucks that she can't tour without getting harassed. I hope that she can figure out a way to reground her performance and aesthetics into a space where she has more control, and can avoid some of that bullshit.
posted by klangklangston at 3:28 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ooh, that Sardaukar Levenbrech is good!
posted by klangklangston at 3:29 PM on April 24, 2013


Rosa is good too! Was I just done in by unrepresentative singles?
posted by klangklangston at 3:32 PM on April 24, 2013


At the same time, I think it's absurd of her to put out images like this and complain so bitterly when random internet fuckwads on some message board speculate about those few parts she chose not to reveal.

This is just totally vile. Women have the right to exist and have bodies without that being an invitation to verbal and/or physically sexually harass them. However much skin I show is NOT and will never be an invitation to anything. Telling women to dress more demurely is telling them "Make sure he harasses the other girl." That's bull shit. The message should be "Do not harass." Period. Full stop. We have the right to expect better.
posted by stoneweaver at 3:47 PM on April 24, 2013 [56 favorites]


thank you for posting this thread. i now know who grimes is and i freaking love her. i'm not even sure if i enjoy the music in a conventional sense of "oh, i want to listen to [specific song] now!" but it's absolutely brain-breakingly interesting.

this kexp performance is so, so good. it's straight up relaxing to watch her replicate her music live. i love a good looping musician/performer and she is a great one.
posted by nadawi at 3:54 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


She reminds me weirdly of Emilie Autumn, only where Emilie Autumn is Victorian parody, Grimes is post-Singularity prophesy.
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:00 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


However much skin I show is NOT and will never be an invitation to anything.

That isn't how I interpreted The Confessor's comment. Grimes is making several different points in her essay, and indeed some of them ("be[ing] molested at shows or on the street") are abhorrent things that shouldn't happen no matter what she says or does. But she also seems to be objecting on a more fundamental level to sexualization, and that's what I understood The Confessor to be addressing.

She also objects to things that have nothing to do with sexualization ("as if the fact that I’m a woman makes me incapable of using technology") or even gender at all ("im tired of people i love betraying me so they can get credit or money"). She has a lot of complaints. Overall, it doesn't seem to me an essay about sex as much as a person who is tired of attention. It's probably good she's taking a break. I wish her well.
posted by cribcage at 4:04 PM on April 24, 2013


The Confessor, that whole video is explicitly about a woman entering and dominating a stereotypically male space. There is absolutely no contradiction between the message she's sending there and the message she's sending with this post. If anything it shows that this gendered power dynamic is something her art directly engages with. Here's an interview with her and the video's director.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:05 PM on April 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


I guess my point is that if you wish to alter the conclusions people have drawn about you, changing some of the aspects of your image that led them to draw those conclusions is more effective than shouting them down after the fact.

Let us know when you begin this life-changing mission then because some of your commentary on here has definitely drawn conclusions about your image.
posted by panboi at 4:11 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


And yeah, the lyrics to Oblivion matter a lot... she's singing about "coming up behind you" and "break[ing] your neck". What I've read suggests that she was drawing on an experience of being assaulted, but inverted that in this song to recast herself as the aggressor.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:16 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry she's burned out on touring before I got a chance to see her, but the good news is that it sounds like she's going to the woodshed to make a new record.
posted by vibrotronica at 4:20 PM on April 24, 2013


All I know is now I am a huge fan. Thanks for the post.
posted by angrycat at 4:40 PM on April 24, 2013


What's the story with 4AD? Is she new to the label? Did it treat her badly? Back in the day 4AD had the very best of the best bands (after Creation) so i would like to know the backstory!!!
posted by KokuRyu at 4:50 PM on April 24, 2013


The reaction to my point here reminds me of the reaction one faces upon suggesting that a woman should take steps to minimize the chance of being assaulted: "don't wear a miniskirt after dark in a bad part of town", or something to that effect. No matter how delicately the suggestion is phrased some people take umbrage, as though any acknowledgement of "shitty reality", as I described it before, is an acceptance or endorsement of that reality.

Perhaps it's me; perhaps I lack some empathic lever that should inform my thoughts and keep me from offering that sort of advice... but I do not believe that a desire for a better world should keep one from acknowledging or accounting for the imperfections of this one. To refuse to do so is naive, in my opinion, and reminds me of nothing so much as the discredited Cheney doctrine of diplomacy: "We don't talk to evil."
posted by The Confessor at 5:02 PM on April 24, 2013


The Confessor, the problem is that a) no one asked for your advice on this matter and b) there's a whole lot of naiveté involved in assuming the people you're telling it to haven't heard it a thousand times before, including, quite frequently, directly after being assaulted. You are not saying anything new, and the stuff you're reiterating assumes that the people whom you are needlessly advising aren't considerably and personally more informed on the subject than you are.
posted by griphus at 5:08 PM on April 24, 2013 [44 favorites]


The reaction to my point here reminds me of the reaction one faces upon suggesting that a woman should take steps to minimize the chance of being assaulted: "don't wear a miniskirt after dark in a bad part of town", or something to that effect. No matter how delicately the suggestion is phrased some people take umbrage, as though any acknowledgement of "shitty reality", as I described it before, is an acceptance or endorsement of that reality.

The shitty reality is that the majority of sexual assaults are committed by people known to their victims. Even staying in "good" neighborhoods and wearing a burqa wouldn't protect you. It's about power, not sexual attraction.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:09 PM on April 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


Big clubs bring serious muscle to shows.

Yeah, the clubs I know of do not. Hell, even the stadiums I know of do not. If they did it would not have been so easy for me to sneak backstage when I was 18 and hang out with two of the biggest bands in the 00s. Thinking of it now, in this context, I've never ever had a problem sneaking backstage in some way when I wanted to (and I've done it tens of times, at indie shows and shows put on by dudes who just played the Grammys) but I will say that most artists must have the impression that their / the venue's security can and will stop this sort of thing because anytime I've crossed a velvet rope, so to speak, I've been treated like I belonged.

Back on topic, good on Grimes times like, eleventy million. I would like to think that within the indie music scene this sort of thing doesn't happen (I've never witnessed it but that means nothing) and her saying that these are things she deals with makes me wonder. It makes me want to ask and work to make it stop. It makes me want to invite hundreds of chicks and chick bands to my house for shows just because I know they'll be comfortable here, without all that shit to worry about. And what a shame it is that she has to worry about it at all.

Highest of fucking fives, Grimes. Your music both confounds and confuses me but I dig you as a musician / artist and even more as a human. You seem righteous.
posted by youandiandaflame at 5:25 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Perhaps it's me; perhaps I lack some empathic lever that should inform my thoughts and keep me from offering that sort of advice

listen to that voice. women are taught their whole lives how not to get raped, how to hold their shoulders, cover their beers, lower their hemlines, carry their car keys out (and learn how to use them as a close range weapon), etc. the advice is never ending, and as griphus and Rustic Etruscan point out, near useless or used as a weapon. and in this thread, where one of her complaints is sitting through "advice" from men who are far less skilled than her in the arena they're trying to advise her on, it is just beyond gross.
posted by nadawi at 5:27 PM on April 24, 2013 [35 favorites]


The problem is everyone focuses on what women should do not to get assaulted as if that's under their control; instead of focusing on the person who could CHOOSE NOT TO ASSAULT. No matter how nicely phrased, that's victim blaming.
posted by Space Kitty at 5:41 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I’m tired of creeps on message boards discussing whether or not they’d “fuck” me"

i'd strongly advise her to just not look at those message boards - it's not going to change, it's not going to ever make her feel good and she has better things to do with her time

if she can walk away from a tour, and i think she's got some good reasons for doing so, she can certainly look away from that
posted by pyramid termite at 5:50 PM on April 24, 2013


even if she didn't look at those message boards, they'd show up in the comments on articles about her, posts she makes, and emails and letters directly to her. hell, just today someone responded to something she said on twitter with "you are so beautiful, marry me!" which is really just a nicer way to tell her she's fuckable. shrouding ourselves and removing ourselves from public and the internet are not acceptable answers to systemic sexism, even if it's sometimes our only option. i'm glad she's at least trying to figure out a way forward that she feels good about.
posted by nadawi at 5:58 PM on April 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


shrouding ourselves and removing ourselves from public and the internet are not acceptable answers to systemic sexism, even if it's sometimes our only option.

it's not just systemic sexism she's got to shroud herself against, it's fame - she could be confronted with 100% positive comments all the time and it would still have a corrupting influence on her

would you advise kim gordon or thurston moore to read the thread that was posted about them here yesterday?

i looked at her blog - and her last entry is "don't go on the internet - time for work" - that's precisely the right attitude for her to take
posted by pyramid termite at 6:06 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hmm, interesting. I guess New York City is different, all the big clubs (and for that matter the big underground parties too) are well-provisioned for security.

Looking at her schedule I saw all these big festivals in large venues so I naturally assumed there'd be a lot of security.

A shame. I'm usually not in favor of that sort of thing in general but there are a lot of drunks at concerts - it's so much easier if four big guys can just lift the drunk guy by his elbows and deposit him outside without damage than if there are just one or two security guys feeling threatened...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:34 PM on April 24, 2013


nadawi

There was never any voice; just a far-too-late inkling (and only an inkling) that there perhaps should have been. My opinions - that Grimes should seek to change her image rather than attempt to challenge the misperceptions of others after the fact, and that it was entirely proper for me to express that opinion in this thread - remain unchanged.
posted by The Confessor at 6:41 PM on April 24, 2013


Good for her. The world needs waitresses and baristas, too.

I'm sorry but fuck this so much.

Fuck the assumption that everything Boucher points out is Just The Way Things Are, Hon, and fuck the implication that if she can't take it then she can just make [you] a coffee or fetch [you] a sandwich.

And fuck the privileged condescension in just tossing off this one line like we're all sure to agree.

Ugh.
posted by AV at 6:58 PM on April 24, 2013 [32 favorites]


Congratulations to her for making what must have been a difficult decision.

On the other hand, I saw her in Montreal not that long ago and the show was *terrible*. The music was only ok and I left convinced that her dancers were simply people she'd met in the bar the night before.
posted by Maugrim at 7:19 PM on April 24, 2013


I'm not even a big fan of Grimes, but beer and "Genesis" are doing a good job making me feel less annoyed about all the fucked up shit said in this thread.
posted by azarbayejani at 7:31 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe she could just do an in-studio tour? She would be more than welcome at KCRW in Santa Monica I would think, and I'm sure one of the BBC channels as well. Late night shows, etc. The Daily Show would be a good place to discuss her concerns too.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:07 PM on April 24, 2013


On the other hand, I saw her in Montreal not that long ago and the show was *terrible*. The music was only ok and I left convinced that her dancers were simply people she'd met in the bar the night before.

There is also the possibility that you are not a good match for the music she is making and that she is attempting something that didn't resonate with you. I find it a useful exercise to ask, when I think art is terrible, if what I think is terrible is a deliberate decision; there is all sorts of art for all sorts of audiences, and it need not click with everybody.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:27 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


i'd strongly advise her to just not look at those message boards - it's not going to change

It certainly will never change as long as we treat those people's behavior as both helpless and inevitable, and tell people who are bothered by it that they have to just not read it. I mean come on, this isn't mosquitoes or spring hail or bindweed we are talking about here, these are human beings who choose to be shitty because they are told over and over again that they don't have to change, that it's the responsibility of those bothered to avoid their words -- even if it means staying off the entire internet -- and not their responsibility to not be shitty in public where others can see them.
posted by KathrynT at 9:08 PM on April 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


I guess New York City is different, all the big clubs (and for that matter the big underground parties too) are well-provisioned for security.

Maybe it is different in NYC, but keep an eye on what the security guys actually do. I've been to and worked a ton of shows where security is there to shut down fights ASAP, to discourage open drug use and underage drinking, or sometimes just to make the patrons feel like big shots. Keeping performers from getting hassled might be pretty darn low on their priority list, no matter how many security guys there are.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:22 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


but I do not believe that a desire for a better world should keep one from acknowledging or accounting for the imperfections of this one. To refuse to do so is naive, in my opinion...

Unless creating that better world requires precisely an attempt to push against the pressure to "account for imperfections".

Example 1: "I'm okay with people being gay, but the world isn't friendly to gay people and will beat them up, like Matthew Shephard, so I think it's safer if gay people are in the closet."

Never mind the fact that the increased visibility of LGBT people => increased awareness => increased tolerance => a shift in atmosphere => a shift in consciousness => a change towards a better world.

If you want to talk in the vocabulary of Cheney and diplomacy, then it's probably more naive and less "strategic" to actually "account" for the imperfections. That is to say, to not confront casual sexism / victim blaming head-on is good 'tactics', bad 'strategy'. More importantly, it's the wrong thing to do. Especially in cases like this, where it's especially more important to be conscious of a culture of casual sexism / victim blaming, pushing against the continual call to "account for imperfections" is the right way to solve the root problem entirely.
posted by suedehead at 9:22 PM on April 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


It breaks my heart that when Grimes finally hit MeFi, the FPP takes the form of bad news in the sense she's responding to a shit situation. If one listens enough to her tracks, one might see a kind of irrepressible integrity in her music which forecasts her refusal to take music industry bullshit.

But also Boucher has admitted to wanting to do everything even when performing live and she has acknowledged her insistence on complete self-sufficiency is a bit of a problem. I'm guessing some of that influenced her decision.

And finally, I'm irritated that Grimes is now a thing for those who (to my eyes) communicate their love of music as a shibboleth to coolness. The condescension in the pronouncements that "Wow, Grimes's tracks are good" is palpable. (As if our approval is proof her art is valuable.)

Looking very forward to the next album-sized chunk of stuff she puts out.
posted by mistersquid at 9:28 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Good for her, and I'm glad she'll continue to make music on her own terms.

That said, I love her music but honestly don't think she's that great a live performer. So maybe this is a win-win for her anyhow.
posted by bardic at 10:09 PM on April 24, 2013


"And finally, I'm irritated that Grimes is now a thing for those who (to my eyes) communicate their love of music as a shibboleth to coolness. The condescension in the pronouncements that "Wow, Grimes's tracks are good" is palpable. (As if our approval is proof her art is valuable.)"

what
posted by klangklangston at 10:38 PM on April 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


You know, months ago I said about Grimes "She's really interesting, and I genuinely like some of her music, but she seems to be the sharp end of a trend of singing that always sounds like it's about to devolve into baby talk"

So, yes, the misogyny in music everywhere and horrible. No one should have to put up with it. If she feels like she needs to step back from that, I respect her decision and probably would feel the same if it was me.

However, as to the 'not being a waif', friend, try sounding like an adult.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:43 PM on April 24, 2013


I saw her play a few months ago at a very small club, she was great, the dancers were great, best show I've been to in a while. Love her. It's a little condescending to imply that the reason she sings the way she does is because it hasn't occurred to her to try sounding "adult," isn't it? Presumably she has tried different ways of using her voice and found what works with her music?

Also, I didn't read her comment as saying her 2013 shows were cancelled. Those are festivals. I assumed she meant that the previous tour was over, the one that was specifically a Grimes tour and not a festival or two per month over the summer.
posted by citron at 10:53 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ralph Nader spoke in 1982 to Kansas State University students. He said the best way to not get hired was to ask if one could bring their own ethics to work.
posted by breadbox at 11:30 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lumpenprole, Elizabeth Fraser would like a word with you.
posted by boo_radley at 11:44 PM on April 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


It certainly will never change as long as we treat those people's behavior as both helpless and inevitable

i assume that you've found these message boards, emailed the moderators and signed on to tell these posters what jerks they're being

look, a substantial proportion of the human race are assholes - that isn't opinion, that's verifiable fact - and given something like the internet, they're going to express that assholishness with depressing frequency

if you want to actively confront that, then do it - call them out where they'll see it

or you can continue to do what you're doing now - avoiding them and making your comments about them in a place where you feel safe making them - which is what i've advised grimes to do

i've learned the hard way - you can drive yourself crazy trying to get people to change when they absolutely don't want to change - or you can try to talk to somewhat openminded people and persuade them and perhaps succeed, like you can here

it's a lot easier to build a good community as an alternative to the bad ones than it is to go to the bad ones and try to make them be good - and it's my belief that if you build good enough alternatives, eventually some of the people in the poor alternatives are going to look and say to themselves, "i could be missing something - maybe i ought to change"

that's basically my suggestion - show people you have something better and make them want to change - don't argue with them and try to MAKE them change

if you think differently, have at it - don't tell me, tell THEM

maybe if a few hundred offended people signed on to one of these message boards and called people to task it might make an impact - or you might all get banned - but perhaps a few people might change their ways

i would never try to do it by myself - or waste my time by just lurking and saying, "this is an awful thing"

i guess it all depends on what you feel you need to do about it
posted by pyramid termite at 3:18 AM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


It breaks my heart that when Grimes finally hit MeFi, the FPP takes the form of bad news in the sense she's responding to a shit situation

Uh, did you hit the "previously" link? There have been regular posts about her for two years.
posted by griphus at 5:07 AM on April 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Considering how vile the victim blaming is here on MeFi, I can only imagine what it is like in the real world.


I have the utmost respect for Grimes.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:16 AM on April 25, 2013 [14 favorites]


hell, just today someone responded to something she said on twitter with "you are so beautiful, marry me!" which is really just a nicer way to tell her she's fuckable.

How much nicer does it have to get before a fan complimenting an artist becomes not creepy? By the standard of "you're pretty, marry me" being functionally the same as lasciviously leering, half the teenage girls in the world are pervert assholes. This is taking the idea of micro-aggressions to preposterous extremes. Lovers gonna love.
posted by 0 at 6:23 AM on April 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


If you think teenage girls, which in practice means 'children', tweeting Justin Beiber (a world famous entertainer who has made it his goal to be a world famous entertainer) that they want to marry him is analogous to an adult male tweeting the same to Grimes (a true artist whose apparent goal is to make and perform good music), then you fucking suck at analogies.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:06 AM on April 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


If you think Beiber and Grimes are in fundamentally different occupations then you suck at reality.
posted by 0 at 7:16 AM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Any "fundamental difference", perceived or real, is not essential to recognizing the very real differences in context between the two situations I described.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:22 AM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


How much nicer does it have to get before a fan complimenting an artist becomes not creepy?

What's wrong with "I think your art is awesome"? If the only thing you have to say about the artist is how pretty/fuckable they are, then you're ignoring their art and reducing them to an object for you to look at. Which to my mind makes it problematic regardless of whether it's teenage girls lusting over Bieber, forty-something women lusting over under-age actors playing sparkly vampires, or internet perverts lusting over Grimes. (It becomes extra creepy when it's older adults lusting after minors in a Jail Bait Wait)
posted by talitha_kumi at 8:13 AM on April 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


OMG Grimes' debut album was called Giedi Primes and fully half the song titles are Dune references. "Caladan", "Shadout Mapes", "Zoal, Face Dancer", "Feyd Rautha Dark Heart", "Sardaukar Levenbrech". So. Awesome.

...

Rosa is good too! Was I just done in by unrepresentative singles?

1. Caladan
2. Sardaukar Levenbrech
3. Zoal, Face Dancer
4. Rosa
5. Avi
6. Feyd Rautha Dark Heart
7. Gambang
8. Venus in Fleurs
9. Grisgris
10. Shadout Mapes
11. Beast Infection


Doh, of course, Geidi Prime is also on spotify and (i'm sure itunes/amazon/mp3 blogs that are like first page of google results.... anyway, yeah, not totally my thing, but at the least interesting)

you suck at reality

Shee ow! No need to be mean.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:23 AM on April 25, 2013


[Ease up and don't make things personal, folks.]
posted by jessamyn at 8:47 AM on April 25, 2013


nadawi, that performance is great! Thanks for the link.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:02 AM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Solange: "I find it very disappointing when I am presented as the 'face' of my music when I write or co-write every fucking song."
posted by Richard Holden at 10:16 AM on April 25, 2013


solange seems to have some great things going for her - but, with regards to artistic credit, she has a harder row to hoe being beyonce's sister and the controversy that follows beyonce about song writing/producing credits.
posted by nadawi at 10:23 AM on April 25, 2013


True story: I lurked at MetaFilter for seven years before I signed up for an account.
Initially, it was because I felt the level of discourse was generally so high here that I would not be able to participate in a meaningful way because I am not exactly what you would call educated. After I'd been hanging around for a while, I decided not to sign up because of threads like this. (And then I signed up anyway, because my browser bookmark folders were overflowing with hundreds of favorited comments, and now here we are. Yay!)

Over the years, I watched many people I had long considered to be admirable and wonderfully outspoken feminist thinkers get frustrated and/or overwhelmed, flip out and/or throw in the towel, and occasionally even permanently disable their MetaFilter accounts after being told over and over, in response to their deeply relevant and directly experiential narratives: You're crazy, you're too shrill, you're not loud enough, you just need to use a more appropriate tone and maybe we'll listen to you, you just need to dress in a way that aligns more/less with my idea of stereotypical femininity, wear clothing that is more/less revealing, weigh less/more, wear more/less makeup, these problems are not actually related to sex or gender, there is no such thing as sexism, you must hate men!
And in that list, did I cover all of the objections that a certain percentage of males seem to spew out whenever they are moved to comment upon the individual behavior, artistic value, or choices of a fellow human being who has committed the grave offense of Living While Female? Not even close. Yet that last one has such a corrupting influence, and remains so rotten and poisonous, that Ms. Boucher felt the need to devote an entire paragraph of her post pointing out the fact that her statements of truth mustn't be dismissed as misandry. At the ripe old age of 25, she already knows she will be accused of man-hating simply for speaking about the world as she lives in and experiences it. "I'm sad that my desire to be treated as an equal and as a human being is interpreted as hatred of men rather than a request to be included and respected." You and me both, sister.

Here at MeFi, just as in real life, I have observed dozens of women speaking honestly and openly about their lives and experiences only to be told by men, precisely none of whom have any idea of what it is like to exist or live as a woman for even an hour of a single day, that a woman's recounting of her own experience is generally invalid and even outright inaccurate. There is no line of work we can pursue, and absolutely nothing we can wear, say, or do that can reliably protect us from having to deal with even a fraction of the rank and unadulterated sexism we regularly endure. Still, over and over, we are told that we're lying, we're exaggerating, we're wrong.

I listened to Grimes' songs and it turns out that they are just not my thing, like, at all... but I mostly listen to rap and folk music, so I was not exactly expecting that it would be. Do I feel like this means I should probably tell her and/or MetaFilter how she could change her art to make it "better," alter her image or style in a specific way so as to cause less of a stir with the apparently otherwise uncontrollable menfolk, or adapt her mode of personal expression so I will find them more to my personal liking? No, because she's an artist. I'm far from an intellectual, and VERY far from an authority on the topic, but I feel like that's kind of what art is all about. It is just one or more human beings expressing themselves creatively, and we can like the end result or not, but we never have the right to insist that the artists must be going about their business all wrong just because we don't enjoy or appreciate what they made. Isn't "your favorite band sucks" a running joke here for a reason?

Even though I don't particularly care for her music, the video for "Oblivion" was so powerful that it gave me goosebumps; I could tell exactly what it was about within about 20 seconds of the opening shot, before I even looked up the lyrics. And the part in "Genesis" where she's swinging around a flaming sword? Her and her friends wielding giant medieval weaponry, hanging out the windows of a black Escalade as it hurtles across a dry lake bed? And she was inspired to make the video by Hieronymus Bosch?!!! That is so fucking awesome. I would definitely give both Grimes and Brooke Candy a most righteous set of high-fives if they said it was OK.

Most, if not all of the behavior that Ms. Boucher objects to can be dismissed as a mere trapping of fame, you say? Right, OK. Let's address this claim on the 'merits.'
1. Unless you consider "non-starving artist" to be equivalent to "fame," she's barely famous. But even if she was, I'm curious: At what level or tier of "fame" does a person start to deserve what's coming to them in terms of continual harrassment, condescension, disrespect, and/or physical violence? How many records or tickets does a person have to sell before that type of behavior becomes part of the deal rather than a problem about which they might still so magnanimously be allowed to object? Is it 50? 500? 50,000? It would be really useful to get a number or even an estimate on this because then Grimes and all other female artists will know how to whittle their fanbase down to a safer, more controlled group.
2. Has a similarly "famous" man ever published something like what she wrote, right down to the specifically gendered insults? No? Weird. I wonder what could have possibly inspired her to write what she did. Guess we'll never really know.
3. I am a mousy Midwestern secretary (with a decidedly high-pitched voice, and I somehow actually lack the ability to permanently change it at will -- oh no! I'll never be in a band now!), yet through some strange course of events, I and every other woman I have ever met have been forced to deal with at least half of the shit on Grimes' list every day of our lives that we choose to spend outside the house. Why? Because as we gestated in our mothers' wombs, we inexplicably made the decision to be born as women. And whether we are born as small women, large women, "beautiful" women, "ugly" women, women who possess any combination of class, religion, race, or gender expression, women who wear makeup and frilly dresses, women who wear suits and ties, larger women who wear smaller clothes, smaller women who wear larger clothes, talented or untalented, Coachella headliners or administrative assistants, we are here to tell you: Ms. Boucher's experiences as she relates them may not be quantifiably universal, but they are real, and they both deserve to and must be heard and treated as such.
posted by divined by radio at 10:29 AM on April 25, 2013 [44 favorites]


At the same time, I think it's absurd of her to put out images like this and complain so bitterly when random internet fuckwads on some message board speculate about those few parts she chose not to reveal.

Not that it matters at all, but the woman with pink hair in the shiny bikini armor is not Grimes.
posted by oinopaponton at 10:31 AM on April 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's pleasant to me as a woman to watch the Oblivion video and see Grimes herself as the subject and all the men as either her friends or semi-sexualized objects. I feel like I'm in this conventional, male space and actually seeing it through my own eyes for once (they way I'd actually see it, outside of a movie or Friday Night Lights or a Pepsi ad, the way I'd actually see and sense it in my own mind, as a "girl"), reflected in art. The shirtless guys with the painted chests are unabashedly sensual and we're allowed to see them that way, instead of it being an unencroachable, male-dominated space. It makes them publicly vulnerable in a way that women usually are "supposed" to be-- and Grimes herself existing in that space with a right to be there and anywhere she wants is just great. Someone in a past Grimes thread said something about this being an unabashed paean to the female libido and I love that. She is the subject. This is about her and her art and her intelligence and her subjectivity. Watching that video and saying "omg waifuuu ♥" is just not even bothering to think about her headspace as an artist or what her music and video say about her in context. (Which to me seems obviously that she is a person and an artist and also small and female and these are not mutually exclusive nor should we expect them to be nor should she be expected to play along.)

So anyway, really great stuff, 100% pure pop in the best and most exciting, fascinating, pleasurable, sensual way, and I just love it. And this thread is ridiculous and if you are a man who feels the need to repeat "WOMEN YOU CONTROL HOW YOU'RE PERCEIVED, JUST FIX IT" you're ignorant and should stop it. ♥
posted by stoneandstar at 10:32 AM on April 25, 2013 [23 favorites]


Also, the layer of darkness over the whole video while she is in these male dominated spaces is really difficult to ignore once you reach the halfway point-- there's just such a fascinating play of soft male sensuality with violence and the obvious disparity in "stature," what she's saying about being there in that locker room or dancing in front of the moshing boys with a sailor dress on. It does give me goosebumps. And watching that and being like "cute!" is just weirdly tone deaf to me.
posted by stoneandstar at 10:41 AM on April 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'd like to take this opportunity to link to the first song of Geidi Primes, Caladan. It's the first song I ever heard of hers, and it made me a huge fan ever since. Caladan, of course, being the third planet of Delta Pavonis and the ancestral fiefdom of House Atreides.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 11:32 AM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Uh, did you hit the "previously" link? There have been regular posts about her for two years.
I didn't even see it. Me so (sometimes digitally) illiterate.
posted by mistersquid at 1:12 PM on April 25, 2013


divined by radio: " I am a mousy Midwestern secretary (with a decidedly high-pitched voice, and I somehow actually lack the ability to permanently change it at will -- oh no! I'll never be in a band now!), yet through some strange course of events, I and every other woman I have ever met have been forced to deal with at least half of the shit on Grimes' list every day of our lives that we choose to spend outside the house. Why? Because as we gestated in our mothers' wombs, we inexplicably made the decision to be born as women. And whether we are born as small women, large women, "beautiful" women, "ugly" women, women who possess any combination of class, religion, race, or gender expression, women who wear makeup and frilly dresses, women who wear suits and ties, larger women who wear smaller clothes, smaller women who wear larger clothes, talented or untalented, Coachella headliners or administrative assistants, we are here to tell you: Ms. Boucher's experiences as she relates them may not be quantifiably universal, but they are real, and they both deserve to and must be heard and treated as such."

2013 Rookie of the Year right here. Good post, would enjoy again.
posted by boo_radley at 2:25 PM on April 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


There is also the possibility that you are not a good match for the music she is making and that she is attempting something that didn't resonate with you. I find it a useful exercise to ask, when I think art is terrible, if what I think is terrible is a deliberate decision; there is all sorts of art for all sorts of audiences, and it need not click with everybody.

This is all very true but, besides the fact that I generally like her music, I like to think I get out enough to recognize something that is well executed but doesn't appeal to me.

I didn't feel that was the case at the show I saw. I would have been just as happy staying home and listening to the album. Clearly there are other people who have seen her and thought she was great so maybe it was an off night or maybe I'm not as open minded as I thought. Whatevs.
posted by Maugrim at 2:32 PM on April 25, 2013


Small 25-year-old woman here. This de-valuing because we are small? Because we are cute? Because we are young women? The cheapening of our work? This happens all the time. But because Grimes is a big name and makes badass music, she gets it from all sides, writ large, publicly, and directly threatening. The other day a male student commented that I look much nicer than I usually do - was I going on a date, or something? I took a look at my evaluations for this semester yesterday. "It's cute to see someone so passionate about monkeys." After the first in-class discussion where my students had clearly not done the reading, one of my students asked if there was anything he could do to help me get the class to run smoother. "But it's not a real science, it's just anthropology." "Wait, you mean they pay you to do that?" "I bet you just got into it because your advisor is attractive." At a conference I just attended, a male professor told me I was pretty, then asked the male graduate student sitting next to me to tell him about his research. "But you just primatology because the monkeys are cute and furry, right?" On my last exam, someone wrote that orangutans were their favorite primate because of all the rape. So yes - Grimes is making a stink and cancelling shows and inconveniencing people who wanted to see her perform - and I appreciate it, because I'm not sure how to do it, but dammit, I want to get that same message across.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:17 PM on April 25, 2013 [21 favorites]


Lumpenprole, Elizabeth Fraser would like a word with you.

Oddly enough, I talked to her a couple times in the early 90's. Very nice person.

Listen, Grimes should under no circumstances be belittled or assaulted or anything. I'm overall in favor of the stance she's taking, and I feel like she should get plaudits for it. Women get the shit end of the stick. In almost everything.

All I'm saying is that her saying "Don't call me a waif" is a bit like Bjork saying "Don't call me a weirdo". I think I'd respect her a bit more if she said "Who gives a crap if I sing like a waify fairy girl. That doesn't give you the right to treat me like shit."

But I'm kind of sorry I derailed this. Because she's a talented human being who deserves to be treated like a talented human being.
posted by lumpenprole at 4:37 PM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


i see her point being more - even if i wear sailor dresses and sing in a ethereal tone, waif and skinny aren't the compliments you think they are. and, i mean, it's not just the way she sings - enya doesn't seem to be called a waif back then or now. if grimes were 5'10" and 200lbs with the exact same voice, no one would call her a waif. it's very specifically a comment on her voice+body.
posted by nadawi at 4:47 PM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think it's insulting that not only does Grimes have to deal with all the condescension and thinly veiled sexual come-ons and insults she gets, but it's equally insulting that she's turned into some sort of poster-girl for small women who're tired of being treated in any sort of manner...

She's an individual and an artist above all, and she's no one's appropriated anything at all...end of story.
posted by Skygazer at 7:33 PM on April 25, 2013


Well, that's a shitty thing to say. The point I was trying to make was that this is actually a pretty standard pattern - the way society often deals with young women. And it sucks across the board for all of us. And that it is obnoxious when the takeaway from these stories is "it sure is hard being young and pretty" or "I've never seen that sort of thing happen" or "maybe she should just give up dream x altogether and do something orthogonal to that." And it is awesome that someone with visibility and a certain amount of power is doing something about it. Because for those of us who see aspects of our own frustrations in hers, it is resonant. Nobody's appropriating here.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:45 PM on April 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


I've been watching this thread from the sidelines and mentally pumping my fist at comments like divined by radio's, but I just wanted to add to that side of this debate and say this thread has made me disgusted in my own gender. I expect that from places like Reddit, but not MetaFilter. How dare you deny this woman's plain statement of her own lived experience. How dare you say she is somehow complicit in her own objectification, her own harassment, her being condescended to. That's victim blaming, plain and simple. How dare you act like men being shitheads on the Internet is a fundamental law of physics and it's silly to complain about it.

Get your fucking act together, men. Do better than this.
posted by valrus at 9:33 PM on April 25, 2013 [14 favorites]


Just bought Geidi Primes, and sent her my encouragements via Band Camp's "message to the artist" feature.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:54 AM on April 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


She's an individual and an artist above all, and she's no one's appropriated anything at all...end of story.

It's crappy to deny Grimes' lived experience and it's also crappy to deny the lived experience of women in this thread. The reason why feminists in the 70s said "the personal is political" was because of comments like this, that deny the commonalities of women's experiences as they live and report them and thereby discourage action to improve women's situations and alter the systems that make women's lives difficult.

I'm not a little woman and I'm not a musician, but I've known women who are, and everything Grimes wrote rang true to me based on what I've heard. Her experience is horrible, but she is not a special snowflake in that way. If you pretend that she is, you're part of the problem.
posted by immlass at 8:09 AM on April 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, jesus christ. This thread is a laugh. Now women are insulting Grimes by commiserating with her? Because of "appropriation"? What is wrong with this place.

who're tired of being treated in any sort of manner


lol

You're the one who is speaking for her at this point. Is there really any reason to believe that she as a feminist would disagree with other women talking about how our culture treats small women, besides YOU being annoyed that women are talking about it?
posted by stoneandstar at 8:11 AM on April 26, 2013


Everyone is a fully dimensional human being. Women, men, short or tall or whatever...

I'm not disagreeing with the comments here commiserating with her, in any way.

My comment was meant simply as a corrective to what seemed to me like an individual being reduced to and put in a very specific box.

I would do the same for anyone.

No one should be turned into a single issue human being.


And yes, I'm sure (stoneandstar) she's as wary of being treated like a "fuckable waif" as she is of being turned into someone's one-dimensional poster-child for anything.

But please take note of the projection to the comments against me. I'm reduced myself, to some sort of comic book neanderthal who has to "get it together" or be told that he's acting like a man from 1972, and the tedium of certain brand of old-school Feminism is that it needs to put a neat box and a neat undifferentiated script into the the hands of any man who dares to try and insert an idea.

It seeks to overthrow a system of control, by supplanting it and becoming itself, a new system of control. And it's like what the heck did anyone learn if that's the point?

Even worse, I think, it echoes male authority by reducing all women to one-dimensional beings except in this case it's not that all women are sexual objects, but that all women are victims.

And all men are oppressors and rapists-in-waiting.

Sigh. It gets really tedious and really frustrating really fast.


As I said, my comment was a corrective. I'm one voice and one idea inserted here, and I wouldn't even have made it, if I didn't think this thread was in danger of losing sight of a fully multi-varied multi- dimensional FULL perspective on what any person and any individual should be given as their due at all times. No matter what they do, or make, whether it's a job or not.
posted by Skygazer at 12:22 PM on April 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seriously though, what the hell. Other women talking about their shared experiences has nothing to do with your lecture. Nobody here is putting Grimes here on a poster or a flag and repeatedly invoking her name-- they're talking about themselves, in reponse to the cluelessness in this thread.
posted by stoneandstar at 12:40 PM on April 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


If your point is that men and women are too complex to discuss in terms of gender relations, all we've got left is the status quo.
posted by stoneandstar at 12:42 PM on April 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Really? All we have left is the "status quo"?

When we try to look at people beyond their gender, and as multi-dimensional beings that are unknowable in their limitlessness, all we have is the status quo?

It's sad, that's all you see. But to each his own.
posted by Skygazer at 1:08 PM on April 26, 2013


when the complaint is specifically related to her views on how people react to her gender and size, other people responding about the commonality of experiences is not refusing her multi-dimensional personhood. when someone, especially a man, tries to redirect that conversation, or offer correctives as you've called it, to "people are just people!" it can raise some hackles because that has a pretty long history of a silencing tactic (one that is often followed with the "view all men as rapists" thing which is a serious reduction of the argument that women make about their own safety).
posted by nadawi at 1:18 PM on April 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh Christ, please.

It's hard for me to not see your "corrective" as sad and unnecessary. I don't see at all how we're making ourselves into victims to say "I'm a woman and these are the negative things that have repeatedly happened to me in response to my womanhood." Nobody's saying "poor Grimes, she has suffered yet she has risen again as the savior of small women." No one's saying anything even close to that-- nearly all the responses in the vein that you seem to be targeting are focused on how women are misperceived due to their size and voices and how Grimes' act seems like a very positive act of self-possession-- along with a wide variety of comments on her music and artistry. Grimes herself is a feminist and participates in similar discussions all the time-- I wouldn't pretend to speak for her the way you have, but it's frankly wrong to assume she never discusses female cultural icons and their bearing on her POV. As the women here are. If you're asking us to keep in mind at all times that every human being possesses multitudes and to never discuss acts in context, you're asking for something superhuman and frankly impotent. I hear a lot of cries for feminists to think of people as people and not men and women (oh, the humanity), but what that essentially boils down to is "don't discuss women or women's issues or the tangible difference in social position between men and women. You're losing sight of men, er, humanity."

And please show me your realistic plan for improving the economic and social position of women by viewing them as "multi-dimensional beings that are unknowable in all their limitlessness." You don't seem to realize that pushing past the misconceptions of women based on their height and size and clothing and performance is a radical act of appreciating multidimensionality... maybe because it's about women and not the grandiose history of human life?

I mean, I could go on and on about the unknowable limitlessness of human beings at the soup kitchen but... that doesn't feed people. And it sounds like a lot of b.s. when there's an obvious disparity at hand, one you can talk about with words that mean things.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:20 PM on April 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


the "view all men as rapists" thing which is a serious reduction of the argument that women make about their own safety

not to mention a super-derail.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:20 PM on April 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


[Folks, this is turning into one of those all-about-one-person discussions. Please dial it back, everyone, and let the conversation breathe. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 1:33 PM on April 26, 2013


[MetaTalk is your option, this is not a new thing. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 1:44 PM on April 26, 2013


Think Progress on Grimes.

I do not know this artist. I read her blog post and the above article, and I have to say that if it's this way for her, that sucks, but seems to me she's ignoring her own privilege. Again, I don't know of this person, but she seems to be a celebrity, seems to be talented, seems to be white. Sounds like what she really needs is to surround herself with better handlers. I doubt Lady Gaga or Pink put up with shit like this.

I fully admit I am probably talking out of my ass, since I don't follow any of the artists I've mentioned, but I read the blog post and kept thinking how if it was this bad for her...imagine how it must be for the women without her gifts.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:30 PM on April 26, 2013


A lot of us don't actually have to imagine, since being a non-celebrity ordinary woman is pretty common. I am happier to have her speak out than to stay silent and put up with the shit, even if the shit she has to put up with isn't The Worst Shit In The World. It's still shit that no one, no matter if they're famous and talented or no, should have to put up with. "Better handlers" might be able to insulate her from the shit, but the shit is still there.
posted by rtha at 7:55 PM on April 26, 2013 [11 favorites]


She's "famous" but not Lady Gaga or Pink famous (354,000 listeners on last.fm for Grimes vs. 3.1 million for Lady Gaga and 1.5 million for Pink). She may not be able to even afford handlers. Unless you're huge you're not making much money. For example, Grizzly Bear (1 million listeners on last.fm) can't all afford health insurance.
posted by zsazsa at 8:07 PM on April 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


It may come down to a simple difference of opinion, but I just do not believe that all human beings must first out with a laundry list of their various personal privileges before they are allowed to speak out in recognition of any harm that has been done to them. Would the medicine have gone down better if Ms. Boucher started her post with "Before I begin, let me spell out the ways in which I must acknowledge my own role as oppressor; for example, I am a talented white celebrity"?
She's a woman whose complaints have a great deal to do with sexism. I am painfully aware that there are objections (usually from men) with statements like these, but I'd venture that sexism negatively affects basically all women, basically everywhere in the world, regardless of their individual privileges. Is there any other similarly oppressed group you would demand an acknowledgment of privilege from before allowing them to take umbrage at the way they are treated? The mind boggles.

Onto happy stuff!
Upon plummeting down what my friends are now calling "the Grimes rabbit hole," I discovered that in addition to being an amazing dancer and all-around badass, Brooke Candy is also phenomenally salacious, hilarious, whip-smart, openly gay rapper, and stumbling across her music is pretty much the best thing that's happened to me all year. She completely flipped my internal script on How To Do Feminism within the span of about 24 hours (example). Thanks, FPP! Thanks, Grimes!

So without further ado, here is some rap music courtesy of Ms. Candy (yes, that's her real name). All links very NSFW:
"Das Me" [video]
"Everybody Does" [video]
"I Wanna Fuck Right Now" [video]
posted by divined by radio at 9:10 AM on April 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


Grimes interviewed on the red carpet of the Met Ball, wearing Chanel.
posted by Flashman at 3:22 PM on May 7, 2013


Bravo. More power to her.
posted by homunculus at 12:40 AM on May 8, 2013


Nardwuar vs. Grimes
posted by KokuRyu at 9:43 AM on May 11, 2013


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