Sunday, July 10, 2016

Food for thought: Who are you to judge?

I was planning on posting my usual weekly list of music I plan on listening to at work for the week but then I came across a post on Facebook that forced me to change plans.

A friend of mine posted a post on Facebook from the Garbage Message Board, here is the exact post that has gotten my undivided attention:

I miss redhead Shirley...

Just saying.

Then the shit storm of sexist and ageist comments started trickling in, especially this gem:

I miss the old Shirley who used to take care of how she looks on stage. I know it's hot up there but she never looked bad to me on stage until this tour. It's horrible what she's doing with her hair. I mean, the NYKOP hair bun was annoying (because she had it 90% of the tour) but she always looked great.

This small, pink and improvised hair bun she's doing after 4 or 5 songs makes her look terrible.

I know she doesn't care and I'm happy because she's more confident and everything, but sometimes, you know.

Sexist, ageist, and patronizing all wrapped up in one, three things I try to avoid in a man. Oh hell! Those are all traits that are never attractive in any human being regardless of gender.

Here is a picture of Shirley from Thursday night that I took at the concert. Personally I think she looks fabulous with pink hair. I also think she looks beautiful, 49 or not. To say that she does not take care of herself reeks of ageism and sexism. all wrapped up in one.

It is a well known fact that women are continually judged by their appearance , more so than men. Just stop it, men. This is ridiculous and makes you look like sexist pigs.  I definitely do not think all men are sexist pigs but judging by the post I read tonight, some men are still stuck in the mindset they have the (male) privilege to judge a woman's appearance.

After my friend posted a really excellent response to the blatant sexism and ageism comments, here is one of the guilty party's response:

I would say the same If Butch started to make a man bun or something weird. It's not a gender thing at all. We all have different opinions, I didn't attack her as a woman, I admire her, what are you guys saying? We are not asking her to change because we don't like the way she looks, you guys went way too far with this...

Hello butthurt?! I almost came close to faceplanting on my laptop with this response. Typical knee jerk response from someone who is not in a marginalized group and was born into privilege right from birth. When a person criticizes a woman for her looks, that damn right is sexist. There is no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Don't try to pull that crappy excuse that you would criticize a man for his looks too. Once you let the genie out of the bottle, you can't put it back in it, so either own it or sit down!

I know Shirley most likely doesn't care what people think of her hair color or how she appears. If you follow her on Facebook you would know she is more than capable of defending herself but I wrote this post to really address the issue of sexist attitudes towards musicians, especially female musicians (cisgender and transgender alike). Women are and still is a marginalized group who continually gets treated with less respect than men, especially in the music industry. As a music junkie, I will be damned to let anyone get away with their judgment on the physical appearances of women in music.

Considering the recent events in Dallas (Texas), Saint Paul (Minnesota), and Baton Rouge (Louisiana), the one thing people are whining about the most is Shirley Manson's hair color on Facebook at the time. Should these people not be focusing on Garbage's latest album and their current US tour and just enjoy the band's music? Some of you really need to check your privilege and go outside to see what is really happening in the world. No one wants to deal with your self-absorbed, whiny little diatribes. Social media sucks at times because of all the ugliness I see on it, onn the other hand, social media has exposed just how stuck some people are in their privilege ways as well as seeing  how woke most people have become regarding the issues of race, gender, age, class, and LGBT rights (especially trans rights). 

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