At this point in the game, any remaining argument over whether sexism exists in the music industry is completely pointless. It does, it’s overt and prevalent, and it’s constantly perpetuated both by the innate makeup of the system itself and several extra-vocal contributors who forget that Facebook is a public forum.
The latest of these inane outcries comes from DJ Justin James, a self-proclaimed “experienced DJ and dance-floor rocker” based out of Orlando, Florida. Posted in the Facebook group “Support FEMALE DJs !!!!!!!!” late last week, Justin James listed a series of requirements for potential female clients that he wanted to link up with through the forum. He mentions that his agency books “female DJs from time-to-time,” so his offer sounds like it already would be insulting to any self-respecting group members.
He goes on to outline the required traits for any female DJs looking to work with him. They include the minimum number of likes on their social media pages, their age range, height, weight, and that they “do not suck.” He ends the lovely post with the simple statement that “I only work with attractive female DJs that know how to read a room and play.”
As if this post wasn’t enough, another screenshot surfaced of a private message thread held between a group member and Justin James that even further cements his misogynistic ego. In it, he not only admits to shamelessly furthering industry sexism for his own personal gain, but says that “if [venues] wanted talented DJs, they would just hire men.” *Wink*
Clearly, DJ Justin James has – at least temporarily – compromised his career and public image with the release of these images. Being “honest” or “up front” about the blatant sexism in the industry while simultaneously encouraging it and profiting from it is no way to do business. With the spread of Justin James’s statements, we hope to continue weeding out toxic individuals such as himself, hopefully leading to a more pure and balanced industry as a whole.
Vilifying just a single person, however, will never truly address or affect the root of the issue. Sexism can be talked about, argued or fought over until you’re blue in the face, but unless action is taken, nothing will change. Rather than being a passive participant in the problem, or attempting to distance yourself from it in words only, we hope that decisive effort can be put towards changing its inherent traits – by people like Justin James – for the betterment of the industry as a whole.
This morning, DJ Justin James made a statement on his page. We’ll leave it up to you how to feel about it.