• Her Own Skin

Have ever felt like you needed to gamble with your self -worth for your career to thrive ?

I am sure a lot of women in the music industry had to ask themselves this question or had uncomfortable encounters to reach this thought. Jazz for her was a safe space where what she looked like was not necessarily the focal point. She looks up to many women before her who challenged the norms of society and its backward and diminishing standard of what should she look like for her to be successful. But unfortunately, that safe space she thought that existed was short lived. She saw that in jazz which is still predominately male had created certain ideas of what a women in the industry should be like. What about what the women envisioned for themselves before all these expectations were thrown at them? In this case some women have had to endure unspeakable things for their career to take shift for example some their male colleagues expecting sexual favors for them for a chance at fame. Sadly, it is heart breaking and still happening in this industry because it has almost become a norm. What she observed was that this norm has become an expectation and if there is a refusal then ultimately they are seen as pompous or unwilling to fit in the crowd. I often wonder to myself, how long must it be this way? Why should I gamble with my self-worth for my career to blossom when I have worked just as hard as my male colleagues to be in the industry? These unsaid things crippled us women to not really come into our own fully without worry about maintaining these expectations that we did not have a chance to question or approve. I am not trying to put the blame entirely on the males in the music industry but why do these expectations exist? Industry norms almost make you go out of the way do things you wouldn’t do to be acknowledged. Despite all that might be placed against a female musician that has not deterred many great musicians from fulfilling their purpose, we are fearless and resilient beyond words. We speak for those women still afraid to speak about their painful experiences and we bring dignity and honour to their names. B. Ramatlapeng --


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