It was reported on Thursday 22nd June that Konstantin, co-founder of influential German record label Giegling, came out with sexist comments regarding his female peers.
German magazine Groove published an article in which the author had bumped into Konstantin on a train and they started talking about women in electronic music. Although the original article is in German, it loosely translates to reveal Konstantin’s apparently sexist views.
The article says: ‘He finds it unfair that women are so heavily promoted, although they are in his opinion usually worse at DJing than men are.’
The author of the article also reports that Konstantin voiced the opinion that ‘women who seek careers in male-dominated industries like the DJ business must lose their “female qualities” and become “manly”.’
Following the article, The Black Madonna tweeted her response to the controversy.
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
Sunfall festival in London also announced that they were cancelling Giegling’s scheduled performance at one of their afterparties at Bloc on August 12th. Organisers put out a statement saying, ‘Out of respect for the incredible female talent we have with us at Sunfall this year, it’s with regret we announce the Giegling night session will not be going ahead.’
‘We are shocked to hear of Konstantin’s recent comments, and disagree with them completely.’
Konstantin, however, argued that he had been misquoted: “I feel deeply sorry about the words that have been printed. These words are not a direct quote and are in my opinion misleading.”
“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.”
The bottom line is that this simply shouldn’t be happening in this day and age, especially not from a man like Konstantin. But, unfortunately, it is still the middle class of privileged white men that refuse to acknowledge themselves as anything but the best, and can’t see anyone else as their equal.
It is, quite frankly, tiring that we are still having to have this conversation in 2017. Have they not learnt. Always the same kind of man: take Donald Trump as your archetype and cut and paste him onto Konstantin in a watered-down form.
We live in an era where women are able to make their voices heard loud and clear. The recent Women’s Day protests were the largest of their kind, and sent a message that reverberated around the world that women are here, relevant, and deserve respect. However, as we are making steps forward, some ignoramuses like Konstantin are determined to hold onto our feet and slow us down. Our protests will always be ignored by people like him because they block out what they don’t want to see. But we will continue to knock at the door until they let us in because hey, that’s just what we do.
Of course Konstantin’s comments are completely wrong and unfounded. What’s shocking is how he can continue to hold such opinions when the evidence is so contrary. If he took just one moment to look up from his laptop and appreciate the world around him, he’d see that there are some excellent female DJs on the scene, almost certainly better than him, and retaining their idea of womanhood whilst doing it. I defy anyone to take a look at the work of Helena Hauff, Nina Kravitz, Lena Willikens, The Black Madonna, and say that their work is inferior to that of their male counterparts. These women are not rendering themselves more “manly” to fit in; they remain staunchly and proudly ‘woman’.
It’s so tiring that women must continue to have to explain their worth in this world to men like Konstantin. To men like him I have only four words: grow the fuck up.
Images: Megan Roe. Cover image shows Stephanie Pullen (left) and Hannah Marion Johnson