This is what a feminist looks like: Sexism in the music industry

Stories of sexism in the music industry and what you can do to make a difference


Candice from The Morning After
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She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry was at the Revue Cinema on Roncy last week. It’s a documentary about the beginning of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Sadly, it is still an uphill battle for gender equality, and the music industry is no exception. These incredible women spoke up and forced change. We need to speak up too. I hope you are as inspired by this film as I was. You can watch the trailer in the player above.

Be prepared to be enraged by this clip of a male reporter who calls himself a male chauvinist while “reporting” on the women’s liberation movement. I doubt he even lost his job after this obviously biased “news” report.

On the 50th anniversary of women getting the vote, thousands of women participated in the Women’s Strike for Equality. They chanted “equal pay for equal work”. It breaks my heart that in 2015, 45 years after the strike, there is STILL a 31.5% gender wage gap. Unbelievable.
Check out these three stories of sexism from Toronto women in the music industry.


Female musicians face sexism on a daily basis. From the assumption that if you’re a girl you obviously play acoustic guitar or piano, to the idea that you don’t know how to sound check/use your equipment. Often you can’t be on a bill with another female-fronted band because “it would be too similar” or “too blonde” or whatever.


Being a female rock guitarist and vocalist, I’m often regarded as some sort of magical horned creature from another planet. I can’t count the amount of times where a guy comes up to me after a show and says, ‘When I saw you walk onstage, I just assumed you would be like, you know, a folky quiet girl act or whatever and I almost left. But whoa…you ROCK!’ They think it’s some kind of compliment or hilarious story, and I smile and nod and say thank you, because I am too polite. But jesus christ. That’s like telling a male nurse who’s administering a proper amount of drugs to a patient, ‘Whoa, dude, I totally thought you were gonna come in here and give this sick guy a steak and a cigar, but you totally gave him the right amount medicine. You RULE!’

Like me, you are probably asking yourself “what can I do?” Well, you can start by informing yourself. Here are a few books that were mentioned in the film that you can check out.


It’s also good to find a group or meeting to attend. This website is a great resource.

Get inspired with some of my favourite feminist quotes:




Coming soon: an interview with Mary Dore (Director/Producer) of She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry.