Digital DJ Tips muses about the absence of notable female DJs in the scene. And it is, indeed, a question worth tackling. Recently I discussed the stupidity of Paris Hilton scoring a residency in Ibiza, and it’s definitely related.
Music creation and production has always tended to be the domain of men. Go back to Beethoven and Mozart for examples of talent in that arena. Of course, feminists will be quick to point out that women are strongly represented as singers and pop artists, but let’s put that aside for just a moment and ask why men are so interested in becoming musicians.
One word: sex. DJ Coone tells us in his famous song that people who think DJing is an easy way to get laid should just fuck off. It’s about the love of the music, he says. And that’s definitely a factor. Creative expression is what makes music authentic. If you don’t enjoy doing it, you won’t be any good at it.
But sex is still the dominant factor. You have to do something in life in order to satisfy a woman’s hypergamous impulses. You could be a politician or an actor, a drug dealer or a DJ. Either way, however, you must prove your value to a woman, and becoming a musician and/or DJ is one of the most visible ways to do it. Some musicians are less aware of this than others, but the drive still exists.
Now, fast-forward back to a lack of female DJs. Women don’t have to impress men with anything but being attractive. A dumb woman without any measurable skill or talent can still land a valuable man if she is hot. That isn’t to say there isn’t value in a woman having talent and skill — obviously there is — but the sort of single-minded determination to succeed that’s necessary in the highly-competitive world of DJing just doesn’t exist in most women, because they don’t need that level of personal success to land reproductive success. And only the most determined in this industry will generally succeed. Another way to put it is men are desperate for success, and that serves as one hell of a motivator.
This, incidentally, explains why female singers are much more common than female DJs. Pop stars and lead singers get a disproportionate amount of attention in the spotlight, more so than DJs, and their job is essentially to be beautiful. Granted, this beauty is in the auditory sense, but nonetheless it fulfills a woman’s drive to be attractive and the center of attention. Women will work tirelessly for that. And nevermind that most pop stars at least start their career as attractive women. DJing in a sweaty, beer-stained club, on the other hand, does not appeal to most women. If they could fast forward, like Paris Hilton, to instant success in Ibiza, then more women would be interested in DJing. But as a DJ, your career will begin in the most divey of dives, and for most DJs it will probably end there too. It’s not the glamour-filled world women crave. Even the aspiring singer belting out a number in the Karaoke bars will generally have a better time of it than DJs when their career begins. At least the audience generally claps after the singer finishes. There is no such recognition for the DJ.
DJing isn’t sexist. In fact, real women DJs tend to score gigs easier than their male cohorts, especially if they are attractive. Nothing makes a club owner or promoter see dollar signs like a hot piece on the stage. Most women will tire of the work, however, and move on to something more interesting. Men will stay and put up with the absurdly low pay, clouds of noxious cigarette smoke and terrible song requests, because we must. The “be hot” career option isn’t available to most of us.
It’s a divey career. But as a DJ, you’re still the king of that dive, and for men that has value. This is especially true if, like DJ Coone tell us to, you really love the music. DJing isn’t an easy way to get laid — but it IS a way.
My friend, DJ Velz, pointed out that Nina Kravitz has been slamming the “sexism” of the electronic music scene. One of her complaints is the typical feminist claptrap about objectification. She slams critics who were pointing out that her semi-nude and nude photos were just “taking a bath” and tasteful photography. But you don’t see male DJs posting nude photos, then complaining about the resulting objectification. Nina Kravitz wants to be the center of attention, and wants to be appreciated for her body — electronic music is a distant second in her list of priorities. But since she’s an attractive woman, the industry lowers the bar for her. Once again proving that for most female DJs, it’s about being beautiful, not about music or success.