Who is censoring who?

translated by Midi Grrrl // Deutsche Version

„Did you knowingly decide, to be a straight-up girl band?“, „Wow, you are a female band!“. „Somehow you hear it in your music, that you are all women.“, „Does the fact that you make music, have something to do with your sexual orientation?“

One is confronted with comments and questions like this, when one makes music (especially with many other women). I don‘t think that an all-male band are asked at what point in time they decided to only have male musicians in their band or if they started learning the guitar as a result of their heterosexuality.

Girls that make music together are a girl band. Boys that make music together are a rock band, a punk band, a funk-ska-reggae band or whatever. Male musicians are rarely asked in interviews about their gender, their environment determines that they rarely have to deal with their own subjective positions. It is normal to be male, white and heterosexual when you play in a band! As a result of this everyone can say: It’s all about the music!

It is never only about the music as an aesthetic sound, an autonomous piece of art or whatever! This is noted and felt by everyone, from whom it is not expected that they would operate in this area and who do it anyway. In interviews, discussions, at soundchecks or pre-concert introductions, they have to deal with the fact that they differ from the norm – be it stupid comments, unqualified and irreleveant questions or looks of disbelief.

Music ALWAYS has something to do with those that create it. First of all the social world does not allow everyone equal access to musical activities. Following on from this, societal power and relationships of dominance and authority influence the production of music, of texts, of performances, of CD covers and performances in music videos.
Sexist, homophobic and racist content are no rarity, but unfortunately they represent the societal norm. Most of the time those that produce this rubbish called art don‘t even have to deal with the dehumanizing crap they produce. They stabilize and promote hegemonic relationships. When they are criticized or are not allowed to play at an event, they scream at the top of their voice „Censorship“!!!!

I will not hear this anymore!

Censorship exists to prevent the flow of information, in order to stop the dominant system from faltering. Most of the time in the form of existing laws set up by states rather than individuals or even groups that criticize sexism and racism.

Something basic is being confused here. When people stand AGAINST sexism, homophobia and racism, they are standing against what is currently the normal state of affairs in the culture industry and elsewhere. It is a practice of resistance and is not intended to stabilise the dominant order. Therefore, the term censorship is totally out of place!

Now there are individuals or groups who are creating or trying to create spaces, in which people can articulate themselves, whose voice or music or art rarely finds a place in the masculine and white dominated society. Some practice critiques of theatre performances, advertising campaigns, CD covers, song texts, concert performances and intervene in the sexist, racist and homophobic everyday. The five-piece all-male band, who sing about an ex-girlfriend with words like „slut“ and „cunt“, will play rarely at this festival. Texts are written and actions are planned, to ask for the cancellation of the theater piece in which blackface is practiced. The DJ is uninvited, because he called attention to himself at the last party with homophobic statements.

But that is censorship! Oh yeah?

The accusation of censorship is a medium to stop you from having to examine and deal with your own privileges and to silence those who criticise, intervene, who are affected by discrimination and / or rebel against it. When I deflect criticism from me, I don‘t have to challenge or scrutinize my understanding of music or art. I also don‘t have to admit to myself that I stabilize sexist, homophobic and racist structures and with this the dominant system.

So please, who is censoring who?

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