Women in Electronic Music Deserve Equal and Positive Media Coverage

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Pitchfork has posted a few interesting and thought-provoking pieces in recent past on the way women are treated in electronic music. They recently highlighted the struggles Björk faces as a female producer.

Yesterday Pitchfork published an article by contributing editor Philip Sherburne titled “EDM Has a Problem with Women, and It’s Getting Worse“. The article went viral in the electronic music community, sparking a conversation about the way women are discussed.

Sherburne’s article also faces scrutiny. Pitchfork has posted some great articles, but overall they don’t cover very many women in electronic music.

I love that a male critic stepped up to call out other men on their bullshit, but Pitchfork’s lack of coverage is also part of the problem.

The article calls out Skrillex’s recent artwork that objectifies women, but what about the excellent releases by women on Skrillex’s label? Skrillex’s NEST label recently put out releases from heavy hitters Anna Lunoe and Nina Las Vegas. Lunoe’s release also features a great remix from Jubilee. None of these women have ever been mentioned in Pitchfork.

+Anna Lunoe Walks Us Through Her Prolific Dance Music Career…

The Pitchfork article also calls out Destructo. I agree that the objectification of women in his songs makes me uncomfortable, but we could also discuss the women he champions. Destructo regularly books Anna Lunoe, Tokimonsta, Nina Las Vegas, Maya Jane Coles, and many other women for his HARD events. He’s also very aware of the gender imbalance found at electronic music festivals.

By no means am I attacking Sherburne’s article. He raises very valid points, outlets like Majestic Casual should expand beyond imagery that objectifies women. But I also think that while Skrillex and Destructo can improve, they deserve some positive recognition for what they’ve already done.

One could argue that Pitchfork isn’t really an electronic music publication, but they have coverage of Jamie XX, DJ Nigga Fox, and Galcher Lustwerk on their homepage. They also have coverage of Holly Herndon on their homepage, which is well deserved.

Overall, most publications could include more positive coverage of women in the electronic music world (but this is a wider issue that applies to many other genres). We can do a lot better than short lists of “Women in Electronic Music”.

Nina Las Vegas has unique insight on this issue, and raised some excellent points on Twitter:



Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more: @nine_u

38 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Anyone associated with EDM should be lucky they get any positive coverage.

  2. Willis

    I am so tired of this request for equal coverage. There are far fewer females in EDM than males, so it stands to reason that males get more press overall. If someone, regardless of gender, does something newsworthy then they should get coverage. If it is a good thing they do, then they get positive coverage. If it is bad, then they get negative.

    • Anonymous

      “I am so tired of this request for equal coverage”

      I’m not. I think male pop performers deserve as much media coverage as female.

      That’ll never happen, though.

      • Nina Ulloa

        and should male pop stars’ coverage be fixated on sexualizing them, the way female pop star coverage is?

        • Anonymous

          “should male pop stars’ coverage be fixated on sexualizing them”

          …because that’s definitely not happening already, is it…

      • Willis

        I think you missed my point. This isn’t an issue of gender. This is an issue of what is worthy of coverage.

    • Nope

      I know, right? All this privilege is soooo exhaustinggggg.

  3. Anonymous

    Tumblr style pages make terrible websites, sweetheart…

    Otherwise aint like theres any proactive investigative journalism in music, so if the women want more positive and equal coverage, they have to simply ramp up their marketing and promotion efforts and bump up their budgets, knock on inboxes more and more in hopes the journalist sitting by their inbox eating their Twinkies waiting for their next big story to come through, will finally maybe copy and paste their next journalistic masterpiece to their own blog, or like whatever man…

    So either step your blogoshphere begging game up, or else get your label or whoever handles that part of it to step their game up, poor media coverage can only be blamed or put upon the person or entity in charge of handling it and not the media or journalists, as besides fodder blogs scrapping for clicks, most media coverage is self made and copy and pasted, no journalists are out there proactively looking for music, they know the supply is gargantuan, so they can all just sit back and look at the hoardes and hoardes of people desperate for an article or some coverage, clamoring like a baby with a pacifier in their mouth crying for mommy to pick her up, or whatever…

    • Nina Ulloa

      “Tumblr style pages make terrible websites, sweetheart…

      you really just proved my point right there

      • Anonymous

        how so?

        i went to her page and wanted some quick links to music and all i got was some weird scrolling thing with whatever on it, thats all…

        if you took it as some condescending i am better then thou type remark, you crazy…

        if a girl can no longer take a compliment, or if she can no longer take a little jab or flirting, or anything, then theres some serious problems with your gender…

        Sweetheart, means the bit i looked over her pages and everything, she seems like she has a sweetheart, so i called her sweetheart…

        Im just dazed by women these days, make music for them and get annihilated, do anything for them and get spit on, i mean, whats up with yall??

          • Anonymous

            how so?”

            How do you think, sweetheart?

            Hmm, thats actually an incredible question… I dont know how i think, i just do it, i get out of my way and the synapses start firing about whatever im thinking about, but what exactly enables me to be able to think and how to initiate, control and come to any conclusions with it, i really dont know, i guess we just know how to think instinctively and intuitively…

            Im just a very rudimentary and simple man, hit stick on stone and make noise, beat woman over head with club and drag back to cave, me no know nothing, thats a question best left to an expert with the experience and credentials, respected by their peers, who has the schooling and education to levy you a proper answer…

            thanks for the question…

          • Anonymous

            You’re by far the most annoying spammer I’ve seen in this forum…

          • Anonymous

            You’re by far the most annoying spammer I’ve seen in this forum…

            Instead of using libelous remarks, how about expanding and extrapolating upon why you feel im a spammer??

            Instead of the na na na boo boo im rubber you glue kindergarten playground bully tactics, why not just actually say something of worth and that which is constructive…

            At least i have depth and i stay on topic even midst my seemingly wayward and swerving posts, and further more, i tend to try and keep it a bit humorous, overall making my posting some of the most relevant, entertaining and influential, all while people like yourselves just toss eggs and stones like spoiled rotten children, unable to contribute or say anything of worth or value…

            Personally id prefer yall just cut right to the chase and let everyone know why you truly find me annoying and why you truly dont like me…

            A decade later and yall are still acting like pathetic punks all while i suck it up and keep my chin up midst a constant shellacking and rip job from the industry and beyond… Im tired of it, my bridges burnt and relationships ruined, giving me no chance in music thanks to many of yall, and yet still i help and give back and work hard, its preposterous and pathetic…

          • Anonymous

            its frustrating because really i and my posts and basically everything i do is just the finest cut of kobe steak around, top kosher, farm fresh, organic, free range, organic fed, moved around to fresh plots, treated with respect and pride from the farmhands, slaughtered ethically and safely and responsibly, made with love and care, found only in the hippest of fresh shops, priced high and aggressively for the beauty and grade of the cut but still fair and reasonable for the peasant folk, making AAA look like throw away bad grade meat, and yet you have the sheer nerve and audacity to call me spam??

            It should be illegal, toss this person in prison, off with yee head!!!!!!

            Its libelous, its defaming to my character and ultimately it hurts my reputation, i cant afford to be kobe steak at tinned spam prices…

            savor me, dont spit me out like a piece of carboard rubber, cause not only am i the finest cut around, i chef the best meals, gourmet fine dining so good people kill just to get a reservation a year out…


          • Anonymous

            Haha, he’ll never get rid of that.

            I keep forgetting his real name — what was it? Mayor, or something…

  4. Anonymous

    Lets put it this way sugar plump, my dear, if you want to be known, remebered, glorified and celebrated for only your brain and not your body, then get out of music and especially EDM, even though in EDM the Molly flies and the loving is there and its all about peace and love and a good time, with the new synthetic mdma, there’s less empathy, so it’ll likely become more and more of a meat market sex show…

    Also as our society gets cleaner and safer and more responsible, our enetertainment gets nastier and more aggressive, just the way it is…

    If youre looking for acceptance of your brain and knowledge and intelligence, go be a physicist or a doctor or something else, music ain’t never about that and its laughable to expect otherwise…

    I’m just a face and a body, with a body, gawked at and dreamt of, my brain and everythnng else just doesn’t matter in music…

  5. jw

    Women deserve fair coverage, relative to their number & their talent.

    I don’t know if that’s what you mean by “equal,” but it doesn’t seem like it. If this is a quest for affirmative action in electronic music coverage, I don’t feel like it’s warranted. Women in electronic music shouldn’t get coverage specifically because they’re women.

    Paul, you should reign in your feminist junior blogger here.

    • Anonymous

      “If this is a quest for affirmative action in electronic music coverage, I don’t feel like it’s warranted.”

      Out-of-context that might be what it sounds like, but I think its more a dig at an outlet that has never covered dance music in any meaningful way trashing a scene & culture they 100% evidently dont know shit about for cheap outrage clicks

      I said it below in my own comment but Ill restate, I think all the names mentioned here plus more are totally deserving of positive coverage and a lot of the time do get it from outlets that actually know what the fuck they’re talking about when it comes to dance music

      • jw

        For what it’s worth, as someone who wouldn’t describe himself as an electronic music fan, I’m not sure this is a much better place to make the criticism than on Pitchfork. People don’t come here for updates on what Pitchfork should or shouldn’t be covering, & an article criticizing the context of an article, the substance of which Nina apparently agrees with, seems tedious at very best. At face value, this is a nuanced opinion piece that belongs on a niche blog; in the context of her other articles, it comes across as feminist propaganda.

        Everybody has artists that they love, that they feel are under appreciated & don’t get the coverage that they deserve. Nina is taking the position that, because the artists she’s championing are beautiful women, it’s a greater issue, worth writing about. How do you distinguish what’s sexism & what’s simply the fact that it’s hard to make it in the music industry, whether you’re male or female? In the handful of articles Nina has written on this subject, she’s never once actually substantiated the argument that women are treated unfairly on the basis of sex within EDM.

        To me, this just seems like an extension of “Gamergate” style amateur feminist journalism that contextualizes things very specifically, completely ignoring the greater influencing factors, all of which are inconvenient to someone who’s simply looking for examples of sexism. We ought all be able to agree that the call for “equal coverage” is retarded any & every way you try to look at it.

        • Anonymous

          Ill grant that this article is not very good and kinda pointless, but its DMN so I dont really know what you expected. “Feminist propaganda” seems really harsh to me.

          In an ideal world everyone would have just ignored the original article when its so clearly clickbait of the lowest order instead of getting defensive, but here we all are…

          • jw

            Nina, I don’t think he meant that the entire site is pointless… clearly the comment section is worth reading, at least. But this specific article, I agree, is insubstantial. Everything you write on this subject, in fact, just feels like you’re “playing the gender card,” rather than doing any actual research or journalism. It gets tiresome very quickly.

  6. Anonymous

    ya know, its like oh you poor girl, so terrible, what an epic tragedy of gargantuan proportions, i mean, we could ship you all off to nigeria to killed, raped and kidnapped by the boko haram, where you will become sex slaves and just slaves in general, likely traded as chattel for weapons or just sold for fun…

    i agree about equality, across the board, all color all age all gender all species all life, but i mean, as a middle aged white man law abiding hard working citizen who does and gets results, i cant get no damn satisfaction here, ive suddenly become like a black jesus hitler hew rag picker, all in one circa like 2000 years ago, this is ridiculous, such racism against middle aged white men i just cant take it anymore, i mean, im not neo natzi white supremicist, im just sayin, wheres the justice for the poor old middle aged white man??

    Im about to hit the street corner with a picket sign about the racism and disrespect im getting, going to chain myself to parliament hill to take a stand as an outcast middle aged white man, i cant keep being treated like this, whos with me??? 😉

  7. Anonymous

    Pitchfork is just interested in baiting clicks by creating controversy & outrage around a hot-button issue, and they seem to be succeeding… if they were interested in dance music beyond shit that crosses over to their target hipster audience theyd cover it, exactly like Nina LV suggests. There’s certainly truth here, but this strikes me as super fucking cynical and fake coming from Pitchfork of all places

    For what its worth I feel like Nina LV, Anna Lunoe, Tokimonsta, Jubilee, Kito, Nina Kraviz, Maya Jane Coles and some others who put out quality and have good teams behind them do get positive coverage from dance music focused outlets that unlike Pitchfork actually give a shit about the scene & the music

    Also lol these comments

  8. Adam

    I found it particularly ironic that the author of said article about EDM from Pitchfork uses the EXACT SAME IMAGE that he spent the article railing against, to bait viewers into his own article. What a load of sh*t! It’s all for money. Pitchfork should stick to music reviews and leave the criticism to real journalists.

  9. Irving Mindreader


    Artists deserve exactly the coverage they earn. This isn’t fucking preschool where everyone gets a ribbon for showing up. You pack the house, you make the money, you get the press. If not, until then, you do the gender a disservice by claiming rights unearned.

    Music is an equal opportunity sport. Leave gender (and race et al) out of it.

    • Anonymous


      Artists deserve exactly the coverage they earn. This isn’t fucking preschool where everyone gets a ribbon for showing up. You pack the house, you make the money, you get the press. If not, until then, you do the gender a disservice by claiming rights unearned.

      Music is an equal opportunity sport. Leave gender (and race et al) out of it.

      Unfortunately that just isn’t how it works…

      Packing a house doesn’t mean you’ll get any press or coverage, at all, period!

      Music is NOT sport and it certainly is NOT equal opportunity, its anything but…

      You just outed yourself Irving Mindreader, as having absolutely zero clue about how it really works or else spreading misinformation and propaganda for personal benefits…

      • Irving Mindreader


        True. Packing a house doesn’t mean shit unless you do it every time and grow the numbers.

        That done, better artists always get coverage, eventually.

        Gender driven coverage that flies in the face of those merits would be sexist. The absence of coverage might not be.

        Sounds like you need thicker skin. Or better material.

    • Anonymous

      If music were sport, all your industries top dog #1 gunning celebrity super stars, would be playing kindergarten 2 square hop scotch at recess, most of them cant even dribble the ball let alone be the greats they so constantly claim they are, and the industry just hands them mvp awards like they did anything other then follow a script and play a tiny position on a manufacturing plant, its pathetic to call it a sport…

      Music is POLITICS and ACTING, period, maybe throw some modelling in there, and thats it, there is zero sport to it at all…

      They use that so they can talk trash and bully and be total ignorant a-holes, helps to remove suspicions of their collusion and territorial actions, but all sports have governing bodies that fine players and keep everyone in check, music aint got nothing like that, instead they applaud, reward and celebrate anyone making a name for themselves through brutal thug criminal tactics…

      Making a ton of money selling drugs, and then paying everyone off and then paying a bunch of people to make everything for you, all while you paste your face everywhere, does not make you michael jordan, it makes you a fucking towel boy, a poseur, its pathetic, sports hahahahaha what a joke…

    • Anonymous

      Ive actually been thinking of some ways we can actually make it more like a sport instead of the silly gimmicky way its all set up right now, unfortunately im not in any position to get anything going, and the backlash and sheer annihilation id face from the industry et all would be gargantuan, but the ideas are just pure sheer gold, itd be incredible…

      No label run talent shows and the constant b.s. the industry spews forth, if i make enough money somewhere and i can put the right connections together, i could whip up some cool stuff to really take that idea to a true honest level, instead of leaving it to them as they would certainly just totally ruin it the whole way…

  10. JR

    No one deserves anything, no one is entitled to anything. If you start from that premise perhaps we can deal with any issues that are happening on gender bias if any.