This is from Bob Lefsetz’ “The Lefsetz Letter” (a wonderful, important newsletter, often written about the music business and pop industry). Lately he’s been sending out newsletters shedding light on sexual harassment in the music business…. being an ally for all of these abused women. Kudos to you, Bob Lefsetz. Here’s the newsletter he wrote which is getting a ton of great feedback (and rightfully so):
I spoke at a conference in the Marina today, after I was done an old friend I hadn’t seen in nearly two decades came up to speak to me.
She is a woman.
That’s not that common in the music business. It’s a male-dominated construct, where there’s little upward mobility for women, they inhabit the lower ranks, but only a few make it to the top, and the business can’t stop championing those who do.
But that’s not enough.
It occurred to me during this conversation that men don’t really listen to women, certainly not in the music business. We’ve played our sports, we have our codes, and we exclude women. And most of us don’t even know it. We keep saying we’re not the problem, but we are.
You see there’s little opportunity.
Whether it be country radio programmers saying the audience doesn’t want women or the Grammys not offering Lorde a performance slot, but finding time for multiple appearances by Bono and Sting. Where were the three time female appearances? And although I am not a fan of the Lorde album, there was plenty of great work by women, let’s start with Miranda Lambert, but she doesn’t get any respect either, because country artists are redneck hicks and the coastal elites look down upon them. It’s true, have an accent and you’re dismissed. Isn’t that how we got into this mess, by leaving out others?
I don’t want to hear that they didn’t nominate any women producers because there aren’t any, that’s no excuse.
And one thing’s for sure, we’re not providing on-ramps for women, no way, we just say none play at the man’s level, that the opportunities for reward are not there.
That’s the crime of Neil Portnow, his bias, he doesn’t know any better, but that does not mean he should get a pass. Everyone can make a mistake, everyone can misspeak. But if you do it about race, you’re bumped, remember Al Campanis, DECADES AGO, but Neil gets another chance? I don’t think so. Meanwhile, the women are organizing against him and the men? Crickets. That shows how much support women are getting in this business.
Never mind the constant cries of “I never saw it,” “I’m not one of the bad guys.”
I guess you believe since you’re not racist no one else is, that African-Americans haven’t been shafted and don’t need a leg up.
We’re living in changed times folks. You’re so busy protecting the man’s interests. There’s a great opinion piece in Monday’s “New York Times.” It’s entitled
You need to read it, but right now I need to quote some salient points.
“This mass mobilization against sexual abuse, through an unprecedented wave of speaking out in conventional and social media, is eroding the two biggest barriers to ending sexual harassment in law and in life: the disbelief and trivializing dehumanization of its victims.”
When a man says it, he’s believed. When a woman says it, she’s “hysterical” or “crazy” or “on her period.”
“Even when she was believed, nothing he did to her mattered as much as what would be done to him if his actions against her were taken seriously. His value outweighed her sexualized worthlessness. His career, reputation, mental and emotional serenity and assets counted. Hers didn’t. In some ways, it was even worse to be believed and not have what he did matter. It meant she didn’t matter either.”
We’ve got to protect men and their careers at all costs. After all, women are breeders, housewives, it’s the males who are the breadwinners.
I’m not saying there aren’t false accusers out there, but I am saying that men have almost all of the control and power and the burden of proof on women is often insurmountable.
There’s a theory that this was all instigated by the election of the Pussy Grabber In Chief.
All I know is we can’t turn back the clock, we have to deal with the world we live in now, one where sexual harassment has been given light and airtime, and men take a backseat as the women lead.
The Wall fell, democracy reigned, and then strongmen appeared.
Whites felt powerless and elected Trump.
Women felt powerless and came out of the woodwork and accused men.
There’s pent-up anger about being left behind.
I’m sorry if it makes you feel uncomfortable, you need to feel more uncomfortable, then maybe you’ll put yourself in women’s shoes, know how they feel, instead of being silent, protecting the corporation and the bosses who don’t care about you anyway.
That’s right, the government eviscerated whistleblower protections but the people… They’re protesting.
And you can get on the bandwagon or not, you can come down off your high horse or live in that ancient world where you wink at your bro and let them get away with it.
If you’re a male and you don’t know a male who has mistreated women…
You are the problem, you let them get away with it. Because you believe in some team ethos, a silent code.
But that’s for the Mafia, and in America it’s been eradicated.
Furthermore, just because you’re sexualized, that does not mean you’re giving license to be taken advantage of. We keep hearing from old men “she was asking for it.”
Come on, have you got no self-control, can you not hear the word NO, can you just for a second believe these women are right?
We’ve heard rumors for decades about some of the fallen. No one believed their victims back then, but now they do.
Maybe you should too.
Not only the famous are abusers.
Wherever there’s money and power there are liberties taken.
Like in the music business.
As for Neil Portnow forming a task force…
Sometimes you need new blood.
It’s not about investigation, it’s not about a new code so much as pushing aside the ancient men with their out-of-date values and replacing them with young thinkers who will do the right thing. Hell, that’s one of the inherent problems in today’s music business, the ruling class of old white men who missed the internet and think they know better.
And they need to be held accountable.
And we all must pay for their sins.
That’s what living in a society is all about.