feminist teen musicians tell sexist battle of the bands judge where to go

The feedback at a local Battle of the Bands was "glaring and crude, sexist and stereotypical," the girls say.

by Alice Newell-Hanson
09 September 2015, 9:35pm

Being a 14-year-old girl is hard enough. Being a 14-year-old girl in a rock band means you're probably exposed to even more scrutiny than your non-Kim Gordon worshipping peers. But it also probably means you're awesome. When teen rock trio Kalliope Jones performed at a local Massachusetts Battle of the Bands last weekend, they were given a note by one of the judges recommending they "use the sultry to draw in the crowd." They took the feedback like any self-respecting female musicians would.

"A woman's sex appeal, or anyone's for that matter, should not be the defining factor in their success in the music industry, and in addition to that, WE ARE CHILDREN! WE ARE 14-16 YEARS OLD," wrote 14-year-old bassist Amelia Chalfant on the group's Facebook page.

The girls - Amelia, plus 16-year-old vocalist Isabella DeHerdt and 14-year-old Alouette Battea, who sings and plays drums - say that they played "spectacularly" and were totally astonished and offended by the feedback that they should use their sexuality on stage.

Their Facebook post continues: "We are grateful to have ranked among the top three performers (who, by the way, besides us, were all boys), but to be judged on our sex appeal and told that we need to be more sexy in order to make it as musicians goes against everything we have been taught."

On Monday the trio followed up with a statement addressed to the event's organizers. The girls said they didn't want to be "demonizing or offending the judges," but that they did want to draw attention to the sexism of their comment. "We wish to be judged solely on our musicality, and not on our appearance or sexual appeal," they reinforced, adding that they hoped to turn the experience "into an opportunity for positive change." Rock on, teen heroes, rock on.


Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Image via Kalliope Jones Facebook page

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