The singer says lack of economic power is a contributor to music industry sexism and abuse
Julian Marszalek
00:00 26th February 2018

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Garbage singer Shirley Manson has said that financial insecurity in the music industry has led to less female musicians speaking out against sexism and abuse.

“I think there are multiple issues at play,” Manson told I-D. “Female musicians are not as powerful as female actors, end of story. Actors have got much more income at their disposal, therefore their day to day existence is not under threat if they lose a job.”

She continued: “With the music industry right now, it’s much more difficult for anyone to make a living so I think people are scared to lose their already tiny foot on the first rung. They’re scared to put their career in jeopardy. And also I think they watch what happened to Kesha and Kesha was fed to the lions.”

Recalling her own experiences of how she was perceived in the media when Garbage first broke through in the 90s, Manson said: “When I look back on it now, I’m thinking, how dare these people talk about what boots I’m wearing or how kissable my lips were or what my body looked like? They certainly wouldn’t objectify a male musician like that. I was either the hottest, sexiest babe in town, or I was weird and freaky looking and I looked like an upside down broomstick. You know, really nasty, bizarre, cruel comments.”

Manson believes that the next crop of artists breaking through is more prepared to confront the problems of sexism and abuse.

“I feel like there's a whole generation of artists now who are much more willing to speak about ‘uncomfortable’ topics,” she says. “And I’m not just talking about women in alternative music. Women in hip-hop and rap are really fucking amazing and saying incredible and brave and provocative things. And the pop stars too. Someone like Halsey has been very vocal and Miley [Cyrus] has done some incredible things for people. I feel like the younger generation are, in some ways more political.”

Photo Credit: German Eluniversal/El Universal via ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

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