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DJ TIna T. > Is DJing “Female Friendly?”

Is DJing “Female Friendly?”

I have dealt with sexist and degrading comments for a long time but after stumbling across some statements on twitter the other day, it got me thinking about the current state of DJing and had to give my opinion when I read the following tweets from @NYnightlife :

“If Serato & Traktor were never invented, how many female DJ’s would we have?”

“To say Serato (not carrying records) hasn’t made DJing more female friendly would be ignorance at its finest.”

When they mention not carrying records making DJing more “female friendly”, I wonder if carrying records was the one thing holding some women back from being interested in DJing all this time? Is that the reason why DJing was always male dominated,  because of the physical strength required to carry records? I know from personal experience, this was not the case. I am a petite 100 lb girl who used to haul full sound systems, turntables, crates of records and lighting to house parties on a weekly basis by myself. When you want to do something, you find a way to make it happen and it never crossed my mind that carrying records would ever hinder me in any way.

If carrying records was discouraging women from DJing all these years then why haven’t we seen more female producers, MC’s, B-Girls and Graffiti artists? They don’t have anything to carry… what is it about these elements of hip hop that are not “female friendly?”

So if digital programs have made DJing more “female friendly,”I wonder if any men out there might be taking advantage of the opportunity to exploit this new accessibility as well? Could there be a chance its not just women who might start DJing now, but also men, kids, teenagers, seniors, celebrities? DJing is now more “human friendly” than ever!

Maybe people who could not afford to buy all the equipment they needed back in the day are now jumping at the chance to take advantage of this new technology as well? DJing is now more “financially friendly” than ever!

To single out women as the only people who would all of a sudden take interest in DJing because technology made it easier is completely ignorant.

If inventing software or even an app could make every male dominated industry more “female friendly” and inspire more women to act then lets create something for politics, pilots, race car drivers, action sports, auto mechanics… i could go on and on… but I think you get my point.

Here is the reality I see:
As more girls become interested in DJing, they inspire other girls to do the same. We need to support women making moves and encourage others to do the same. “You can’t be what you cant see” – Marie Wilson (Miss Representation)

Don’t base your perception of female DJ’s on a small number of girls that you see in clubs or on flyers. Playboy playmates, porn stars, celebrities, topless DJ’s are not representative all of the female DJ’s out there and in reality only make up a very small portion. Open your mind and realize that there are tons of girls we don’t see or hear about that are in their rooms practicing right now, trying to make a name for themselves based on skill.

I’m lucky to work with young teenage girls who attend my DJ summer camp; Camp Spin Off, because they love music and are passionate about the art of DJing. They are excited to use turntables and play vinyl records! I hate to think that they will have to deal with sexist people questioning their intentions in becoming a DJ just because they are girls.

Props to the female DJ’s that have worked just as hard as the men and are dedicated to their craft.  I applaud and respect what you have accomplished while dealing with comments like this that disregard our work and devalue it with  stereotypes and assumptions.

Lastly, let’s circle back to @NYnightlife ‘s original question:
“If Serato & Traktor were never invented, how many female DJ’s would we have?”

Here are just a few  women who were playing vinyl records long before the invention of Serato & Traktor and inspired DJ’s like myself: DJ Spindarella, DJ Shortee, DJ Irene, DJ Collette, Reid Speed, DJ Rap, DJ Mia, DJ Baby Anne, Sandra Collins, Cuttin Candy, DJ Annalyze, DJ Naha… and more!

Women might have always been outnumbered by men, but have definitely contributed to the DJ scene before the invention of Serato & Traktor. Until @NYnightlife acknowledges this, they are a poor representation and uncredible source of nightlife in my opinion. I hope you will let them know how you feel and leave your comments below…

Tina T.

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May at 10:03 PM

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