Author and journalist Jessica Hopper isn’t shy about speaking up about all of the ways in which the music industry oppresses and attacks those in the margins. And so earlier this week, when she tweeted, “Gals/other marginalized folks: what was your 1st brush (in music industry, journalism, scene) w/ idea that you didn’t ‘count’?” people listened. And then they responded, in droves, with tweet after tweet containing jaw-dropping stories about sexism, racism, misogyny, condescension—and much, much worse.
Hopper’s been diligent about retweeting responses to her initial tweet, and cumulatively, they paint a picture of an industry where anyone who’s not a straight white man is belittled for even existing. This oppression isn’t limited to music writers, either: Musicians, booking agents, publicists, venue workers, tour managers, and photographers relayed harrowing stories about being treated like girlfriends and groupies rather than competent workers; having their knowledge and expertise demeaned by others; being hit on by everyone from colleagues to band dudes they’re interviewed; and even being raped.
“Imagine how many women, queer kids, POC might stick around scenes, industry, journalism if they encountered support not hostility,” Hopper tweeted at one point—and, reading example after example of infuriating and inappropriate behavior on her timeline, it’s hard not to agree 100 percent.