So I got to interview three lovely ladies who are part of an amazing team that organised an awesome event called ‘The F Word.’ It’s a music gig featuring all kinds of music genres and it’s been put together by an all female team and features a line-up of all female music artists. Read what Zoe Paige-Dawson, Darion Melinda Eleni Ludkins, and Emma Maitland all said when asked about the impact of assembling the ‘The F Word.’
HC: Who are you and what is your area of expertise?
ZD: My area is expertise is popular music meaning that I focus what is on the charts. I mainly cater to people who know what they want to do music wise and for others who need a manager. (Pictured: Zo Paige-Dawson)
DL: I am 20 year old student at Falmouth University and I specialise in comics and graphic novels. I’m also from London. I actually used to to be a musician, but I transitioned out of that industry into the comic and graphic novel one when I came to uni. I made the change because I didn’t like how the music industry was a volatile environment people regardless of gender; you have to watch your back all of the time. Also, a lot of people that I’ve met who are part of the music industry aren’t very nice. There’s no camaraderie in the music industry and it’s very dog eat dog world there; the comic book industry isn’t like that.
EM: I’m Emma and I specialise in music. I also work with indie and rock bands.
HC: Did you know that about 60-70% of your industry is made up of males? How does that make you feel?
ZD: I feel like I’m under pressure. I’m going to a industry where everyone expects you to be a secretary. I want to work for Sony and Warner Bros— both of which all of the managers are male. If I do make it there, it’d be weird to be the only woman in a man’s world. There’s definitely a large gender gap in this industry and since I’m a black woman I have two things working against me. I think that especially in America, a place where I want to work, race is something really big. I think that the British music industry is more accepting and diverse. England seems to be the country with the most accepting music industry whereas countries like Russia and the United States are more reluctant to fix the gender wage gap and the ratio of men to women.
EM: I think it’s crazy how the majority of my industry is male-dominated, considering that most of my classes have actually been made up mostly of females. It doesn’t make sense why these women aren’t getting enough of the jobs in this industry. I’ve noticed this especially in executive positions; I’m not sure I know of any women who are the CEOs of record companies and that needs to change!
(Pictured: Emma Maitland)
DL: For DC Comics, they actually went down from 12% to 1%. There’s a lot more females in the industry now than there was before. I definitely think that the comic book industry is opened to the matter really. It’s an industry where you won’t be judged even if you are female.
HC: How is gender valued in your field and how do you value it? Do you have an example of how genders have been treated differently?
ZD: Yes, a little bit. I also play football and I fight for a team in Birmingham; I’m seen as quite manly for doing that and I shouldn’t be. My brother does dance and football so he was classified as girly. I don’t get how people aren’t accepting of genders doing things that don’t stereotypically correspondent to their gender. There isn’t one way to be a boy and there isn’t one way to be a girl.
EM: I think that females are becoming more valued in our field— or at least I hope so! I find more and more men exclaiming “look at that small girl carry all that gear!” when I do stage work at festivals. I think a lot of people are starting to become more open minded and less misogynistic; if someone can do the job then that’s what’s important. As for me, I don’t judge someone based on their gender, although seeing more ladies out working in my field is a nice change. I remember one time when I was back in college studying events production and I was sat with a group of boys. The stage needed sweeping, and my manager/tutor came straight over to us and handed ME the broom as if all I’m good for is cleaning! I don’t think he did it intentionally, but there was something in the back of his mind that told him to give it to the girl. A lot of people do things like that subconsciously and hopefully we can change that and it won’t be an issue.
DL: I’m not a creator or a writer of comic books, but I do want to go into publishing. I do know more about creators since that’s what I’ve researched; with DC Thomson, their attitude is basically ‘comic for boys can’t be written by a woman because they can’t understand what it’s like being a boy, but men can write for girls.’ I haven’t personally experienced any kind of gender-based mistreatment, but I’m not exactly a girly-girl or timid. I’m very headstrong and I prove that I am equal more than anything else so I wouldn’t be a target.
(Pictured: Darion Melinda Eleni Ludkins)
HC: How does it feel to be part of a team made up entirely of people who identify as female?
ZD: It feels bad-ASS! I’ve never seen anything done like this and I haven’t done a event like this either. It makes me feel empowered and happy because no one else has been able to do this; other women probably have, but we’re the ones shouting about it! We’re an all female team at an event and it’s exciting.
EM: I think it’s awesome! It’s so rare especially in the entertainment industry. I think it’s really good to get the point across that we can do this just as good as men. Everyone is really supportive too, so it feels really empowering. For once I’m NOT being discriminated against for my gender!
DL: It’s not something I’ve ever done before and I think most of my friend groups as a kid were guys so it’s a new experience. I don’t know how I feel about it yet.
HC: What do you hope to get out of this event?
ZD: I would like to see the outcome of a female organised event. Also since I’m working with a group of strong minded women who all know what they want in life, I’m really looking forward to the end result.
EM: For me, I’m just really going to enjoy the experience. If anything I hope that the audience takes away a positive message about gender equality!
DL: A good grade haha! Also encouraging empowerment and working towards gender equality.
HC: What courses are you on?
ZD: Music Theatre and Entertainment management with a focus on popular music.
EM: Music Theatre and Entertainment Management with a focus on indie and rock music.
DL: Music Theatre and Entertainment Management.
The F Word is going to take place at the Woodlane Social Club in Falmouth. Tickets are still available so get them here before they sell out!