The Black Madonna delves into how misogyny operates amid Konstantin controversy
Giegling co-founder and artist Konstantin has been embroiled in controversy over the past day after German outlet Groove published a profile on the imprint which detailed a number of sexist beliefs held by the artist. In the article, journalist Laura Aha writes (in German), “He considers it unfair that female DJs are supported so much at the moment, although they, in his opinion, are mostly worse DJs than men. Following this logic, he says, it’s therefore much easier for women to be successful as DJs, as the few women who are interested in DJing are disproportionately promoted.”
Aha describes the artist’s outlook as being predicated upon “pseudoscientific references to a ‘natural’ aspiration to power and need for recognition which is inherent in men.” Continuing to voice Konstantin’s view, Aha writes, “Woman who strive for a career in the male-dominated DJ business therefore lose their ‘feminine qualities’ and become more “masculine.”
Backlash against Konstantin since the publication of the Groove article has been swift and widespread. London’s Sunfall music festival, which will take place in August, dropped the Giegling party that was to take place following news of the remarks.
1. Out of respect for the incredible female talent at Sunfall, it’s with regret we announce the Giegling night session will not go ahead…
— Sunfall (@SunfallLondon) June 22, 2017
2. We are shocked to hear of Konstantin’s recent comments, and disagree with them completely…
— Sunfall (@SunfallLondon) June 22, 2017
Many have noted that the Groove article published a description of the artist’s words, rather than direct quotes. In response to the controversy, Konstantin issued a statement claiming that the article was a misinterpretation of his conversation with Aha, wherein “she did not appreciate my bad sense of humour and my habit of taking opposite positions to challenge people, even if it sometimes goes way beyond my own opinion.” Asserting that he himself “learned to DJ from [his] friend Sarah,” the states the following:
“I feel deeply sorry about the words that have been printed. These words are not a direct quote and are in my opinion misleading. I actually learned to DJ from my friend Sarah and of course I don’t think women are worse DJs than men…What was written does not reflect my opinion nor is it at all anything other people from the label would ever say or feel. I accept the journalist’s point on the boy’s club. But we want women to be involved and we were always trying to involve women in our action.”
While Konstantin questions the veracity of the article’s accusations, a number of industry figures have spoken out regarding their own experiences with him which mirrors Laura Aha’s characterization of the artist. The Black Madonna has been the most vocal artist to take the Giegling co-founder to task for his words.
So, I’ll read the article but last week Konsti said and I quote “You’re a feminist? You might not want to be around me. I’m a chauvinist.”
— The Black Madonna (@blackmadonnachi) June 21, 2017
In a series of tweets, The Black Madonna emphasizes the “number of unimpeachable sources who have corroborated that this is how he thinks,” and saliently points out that Konstantin making the comments as a tasteless joke doesn’t make the sentiments harmless.
4. And of course it’s just a joke, we don’t get, told to 50 trusted friends and the press who have been trying to talk him out of his shit
— The Black Madonna (@blackmadonnachi) June 22, 2017
The controversy surrounding Konstantin isn’t limited to the Groove profile, but rather, is an omnipresent imbalance in — and beyond — the music industry. However, in light of the ongoing situation, The Black Madonna takes the opportunity to discuss the impact which sexist attitudes and commentary made “in private conversation” has in the public world:
Women are the canaries in the coal mine. We bear witness and often go down in the process, but we’re reliable indicators of toxic shit. I believe women. I believe them when they tell me what they saw and heard. I believe women because telling our stories does us no favors. I don’t need to litigate the accounts of women when they tell me what happened to them. Their testimony is enough.
I also believe men when they tell me that they are monsters. I don’t need a second opinion. I take them at their word. I am exhausted living in a world where male peers both openly and privately talk about me like I am the creation of a lesser god. But I am more exhausted by having the realness of that experience interrogated over and over and over.
It’s not just locker room talk. He’s not just an awkward guy. It’s not theoretical. He’s talking about real women in his life. This is real. Whatever you think you know about toxic misogynist shit is just the surface. I assure you, it is so much worse off the record than on it.
They’re never misquoted. They’re underquoted. They’re forgiven. The worst is left out, cleaned up, given the benefit of the doubt. I have zero room for discussion of what misogyny that is undeniable, corroborated and repeated openly. And if you do, then ask yourself why.
Misogyny is your friends. It’s the person you’ve liked but disagreed with. It’s the joke you didn’t take seriously. It’s right here. And last but not least, god damn it I want to see some men use the balls they were born with and stand with us. Don’t be cowards!
Sorry one more thing. If you are minimizing misogyny you are fertilizing it. You are emboldening it. You are are a part of the system.
Featured image via Uli Weber/Mixmag.
H/T: Resident Advisor