björk calls out the music journalism 'boys club'
"I have been hitting walls," the Icelandic legend admitted at the launch of her new virtual reality exhibition in Australia.
90s Björk had no time for sexist bullshit, and 2016 Björk is even less tolerant of the patriarchal oppression of women's voices. The Icelandic legend (and repeat i-D cover star) has spoken out again about the still-rampant misogyny problem that plagues the music industry. This time she's directed her frustration at music journalism and the lack of diverse roles available for women in the spotlight — something she has become increasingly aware of since dabbling in acting 16 years ago — during the Australian launch of her Björk Digital exhibition.
"The fact I'm a woman and I can do what I do, it's kind of unique, really," she said. "I've been really lucky. But I have been hitting walls. What's really macho, for example, is music journalism. It's really like a boys' club. They like music that is... well, a lot of it is for boys."
Björk won best actress at the 2000 Cannes film festival for her role in Lars Von Trier's Dancer in the Dark, but it doesn't sound like she's planning to follow this up with any more acting credits. "I couldn't believe what it's like for actresses," she continued. "It's just a nightmare how they're treated. They have so little say in their career or roles they play as they get older. Guys can get older, but not women." The genre-breaking artist did hat-tip women like Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton for helping to (slowly) change the game.
It's insane that an artist as accomplished as Björk is still hitting walls, but unfortunately this isn't the first time her talent has been questioned by jealous man babies. Last year Tri Angle Records boss Robin Carolan wrote an Instagram post directed at accusations that Björk's progressive sound wasn't her own creation. "She is the boss. 100 percent," she said. "She writes, produces, composes, sings. She might bring people in to facilitate her vision, but first and foremost it is HER vision. Guys (and it's always guys) need to understand this. She needs no one. How much incredible music does one woman have to release until people cut this crap?"
Photography Ari Magg
[The Passionate Issue, No. 244, June 2004]