Categories
AdviceHey, Bonita!

Let’s Talk About Sexism in the Arts Scene


What do I do about the sexist assholes with whom I bump elbows creatively? The worst offenders command too much influence for me to call them out publicly. But they’re awful, and I feel like a lot of other women are secretly thinking the same thing I am. Everyone seems too scared to say anything, especially when the offenses are mild, individually, but collectively form a pattern of exclusion and dismissal. HELP, PLEASE!

Wow, my friend: I think I know what you’re talking about. This question might seem vague to some readers, but the sentiment reminds me of many happenings within the local arts scene. I won’t be specific, but I can think of several recent occasions when a male musician or artist transgressed upon a female artist who then had the balls to call them out on it.

In all of these situations, I’ve seen these lady artists get shouted down and encouraged to swallow their pain or toughen up. I’ve seen women call for boycotts of certain venues or musical acts associated with creepy dudes, only to be met with ridicule. It’s always interpreted as an attempt to do damage to the local music scene when it’s meant to make it known that those venues are not safe, and those people are not safe to be around.

Every time I’ve seen one of these blowouts go down, the accused responds hesitantly and with no humility, finding ways to justify his transgression by way of artistic license, victim-blaming or just a simple declaration of, “I don’t care, I’ll do what I want.” I wince whenever I see these jackasses getting glowing write-ups in this very magazine. I’ve seen women, stunned and hurt by the lack of support in this town for females in the arts, stop making music or even move away from Athens to pursue rock or art stardom.

I would love it if you didn’t move or stop creating. Don’t let those assholes win! Call people out if you can, or if you want something known but don’t want the leak being connected to you, tell one very loudmouthed friend and let him or her do the work. Speak your truth, and stay close to the people who really support you. Dig your heels in and don’t back down.


I’m gay. Once, I made out hardcore with a really sexy straight friend of mine, but we were both absolutely wasted and surrounded by people cheering us on. We laugh about it now, but sometimes I think my straight friend was actually into it. He insists he is a heterosexual, regardless of his drunken antics, but sometimes that’s hard to believe when he’s groping me at 2 a.m. It does not help that I think he is incredibly attractive. I really wanna make a move on my friend and see how far we can make it around the bases, because he just CAN’T be as straight as he claims. How should I go about this?

It’s Not Gay if it Feels Good

toc-BonitaApplebum.jpg

Honestly? Don’t. This person is not gay, and we all know that you can’t hold someone to a drunken declaration once he’s sober. It sounds to me like your friend just really likes to kick up his heels and get affectionate when he’s drunk—like, really affectionate—and he’s globbed onto you for shock value. I’m sure your friend feels comfortable with you, and that part of the drunken PDA is sincere, but if this person says he’s not gay, you should respect that. I’m queer, too, and part of living that is dealing with tokenization by breeders.

I believe that straight people get a real kick out of dipping their toes in gayness, and the fact that they think it’s “outrageous” to play gay is actually kind of offensive to me. It says that they don’t think of gayness as normal, and trying to shock people with gayness is pretty much on the same level as dressing like a transgender person for Halloween.

Have fun with your friend, but don’t take it to heart. Most importantly, be respectful, and don’t end up accidentally sexually assaulting a drunk, stupid heterosexual.

Need advice? Email advice@flagpole.com, or use our anonymous form.

RELATED ARTICLES BY AUTHOR

  • Losing My (Friend’s) Religion

    One of my closest friends is extremely religious, and I’m extremely not religious. It’s usually not a big deal; we don’t ever have a reason to talk about it,...
  • Looking For a Diagnosis

    Hey Bonita, For a few years, I’ve been going back and forth about whether or not I should look into a neurodivergent diagnosis. This wasn’t prompted by a TikTok...
  • Immediate Housing and Roommate Regrets

    Hi Bonita, I am living off campus for the first time, and I’m having kind of a hard time. I have two roommates: one who is a casual friend...
  • Do I Stay or Do I Go?

    Hey Bonita, I’ve been reading your column for a while and know that you’ve moved around a bit. I moved from my hometown to Athens for school and have...