MY GENDER IS NOT A COMPLETE DUMPSTER FIRE (I HOPE)
Recently, seven women musicians came forward with stories of Ryan Adams promising to mentor and guide them and their careers, only to push the relationship to a sexual one and becoming controlling and manipulative. This includes a number of well known musicians, his ex-wife Mandy Moore, and a woman who was supposedly a minor at the time. This was first reported in the NY TIMES which you can see here, and while I’m not for passing judgement on someone in the court of public opinion… seven women coming forward all with similar stories… is pretty damning.
However what caught my attention even more was a piece at Pitchfork.com by Amy Phillips called “Why Are Women Underrepresented in Music? Look to the Ryan Adams Story”.
I think about this a lot.
How many amazingly talented women have we lost out on, and never heard from because of shit like this? Potential is a tough thing to quantify, but I bet we've lost far too many. The worst part is the article is right, we would have never heard about this years ago. It wasn't newsworthy past a gossip column. Look, I'm not even a Ryan Adams fan, but this makes me sad.
We all have to do better. We have to BE better. To my fellow men in entertainment industry (and I know you see this post), use moments like this to reflect on how we behave on the daily. How are we treating those around us? How are our friends/bandmates/coworkers treating those around us? What are we choosing not to see? What are we dismissing? Even the words we use when we talk to people. Everything. It's worth it. Don't just say, "Well I don't do that shit" and move on. Reflect. Are we being the best we can be? What might we be doing that we don't realize? Talking over someone? Mocking them? Being casually cruel?
We should never stop trying to be better men and a better example to those who come after us. It's not hard, but it does take effort. We need to do better than this. I KNOW we can. I know too many great men to believe otherwise.
My gender is not a complete dumpster fire, but we can do better.