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Speaking of sexism and writing about music

Jessica Suarez
Jessica Suarez
2 min read

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Speaking of sexism and writing about music. Here about is a comment, probably my favorite of all time, from Gorilla Vs. Bear. When I worked at Pitchfork I saw comments on his posts all the time from anonymous readers saying I had ripped off his posts, when everyone gets the same press releases, and if a post was reblogging someone else’s MP3 find or whatever, we would link back to that post. It was the early days of Pitchfork’s MP3 blog trial, it was a work in progress, but I always tried to attribute work.

I saw lots of comments like this one on Gorilla Vs. Bear before I started full-time at Pitchfork and long after I left, but I never quite saw any like this, comments that accused the writer of having gotten their job by sleeping with the boss during their internship.
I had never interned for Pitchfork. I wrote a trial news post for them when they still had open calls on their site, because I was desperate to get out of Arizona and write about music. They hired me to write news (for free!) while I still lived there, and so I would go out to my car during my lunch breaks from my job and do interviews in my car. The air conditioning would be too loud while I was trying to interview musicians, so I would turn it off and just ask questions. By the time Pitchfork had hired me full time, I had worked at CMJ as a news editor, I had written pieces for Pitchfork, Nylon, the Village Voice, Paste and Blender. I was (and still am) inexperienced, but I was proud of my work because 90% came from cold pitching — sending clips to editors I had never met or talked to and hoping they would hire me only because they liked my writing. And I did get asked to write for places. So when I started seeing comments like this, it really hurt to have all my work reduced to “you slept with your boss.” I had written about music since I did zines in middle school, I had been on the school newspaper staff since I was in forth grade, I had done interviews in 100+ degree cars, had moved to New York with a suitcase and worked full-time at a music publication for less than $19,000 a year; I had, during that year in NYC, spent my lunch hours laying out clips and mailing them in manila envelopes to editors in the city, and written and interviewed people all hours of the day and night because I didn’t have money to go out or own TV anyway. But whatever, I was just some girl who slept with her boss.

By the way, if you can find me one angry post about a male Pitchfork reviewer that implies that they slept with their boss to get their job, I would LOVE to see it. I mean, you could send me 100 angry take-downs of Pitchfork writers, but I doubt any of them take that route.

I’ve got a lot more examples, so maybe I’ll dig them up and share them. But I’ll end this with a comment on an ABC Amplified interview I did with Donald Glover.

He did not! The human race is over.

[via Tumblr]

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