The Linkedin sexism saga is just the tip of the iceberg - as teenage rock band Kalliope Jones can testify

The band had points docked from a music contest and were told they might 'use their sultry to draw in the crowds' by a group of all-male judges

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The new girl power

As the LinkedIn lawyers saga rumbles on, on the other side of the Atlantic three girls also decided to go public with the everyday sexism they had encountered.

The rock group Kalliope Jones: singer/guitarist Isabella DeHerdt (16), drummer Alouette Batteau (14) and bassist Amelia Chalfont (also 14), last week  entered the Massachusetts’ Tri-County Fair Battle of the Bands and came third.

When they had finished performing, they were handed the notes the judges had made and, among the comments, was a note from the only male judge on the panel who had docked the girls points and suggested helpfully that they might “use their sultry to draw in the crowds”.

Kalliope Jones responded on their Facebook page: “A woman’s sex appeal, or anyone’s for that matter, should not be the defining factor in their success and, in addition to that, WE ARE CHILDREN! The judges tried to say they meant it as a positive thing and did not understand why we confronted them about it. From Merriam Webster: ‘Sultry – attractive in a way that suggests or causes feelings of sexual desire.’ We are grateful to have ranked among the top three performers, but to be told that we need to be more sexy in order to make it goes against everything we have been taught.”

Looks like the future of rock ’n’ roll is in safe hands for many years to come.

To Di for

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If only we could all make a few adjustments to the past in the light of what we later learn. Such a gift might be especially useful if one were, for example, a newspaper editor. Imagine the trust you could instil in readers if you could literally edit the past.

Last week, the Daily Mail celebrated the Queen’s record-breaking reign with a five-day splurge of  eight-page pull-outs. As the paper reprinted pages from across the decades, one astonishingly prescient detail caught the eye. It appeared in a spread from 1979 (reprinted on Tuesday) called “Which Charlie’s Angel will be Queen?”. In it, the late Nigel Dempster speculated about Prince Charles’s prospective partners and, in a snippet about Lady Sarah Spencer, said the following: “Lady Sarah has a 17-year-old sister tipped to be a heartbreaker. Her name is Diana.”

Could Dempster really have written that a full year before Charles and Diana had properly met each other? In full-on detective mode I hit Google and, don’t tell anyone, the Mail archives. So far, nothing. 

Interestingly, of the five pull-outs the Mail produced last week, only Tuesday’s had a box on the back page that read: “All of the articles featured in this pullout have been specially edited and adapted from the original editions.” Free in next week’s Independent on Sunday: “We Told You So: A Special Supplement Celebrating How We Were Right About Everything Ever.”

Making it up as they go along

With the latest high-profile musical to open in London looking like it won’t be long before it bites the Dusty (see what I did there?), lovers of musical theatre can rejoice in the fact that, between 24 September and 29 November, 80 new musicals will open in the West End. Seriously? Sort of.

The truth is that a show called Showstopper! The Improvised Musical is taking over the Apollo Theatre and, each night, the performers invite the audience to throw ideas at them which they swiftly turn into a show.

What, I couldn’t help wondering, are some of the troupe’s favourites from times gone by? Funny you should ask, they say, because here’s our top five: “Emotional Baggage (a love story in an airport); A Life of Brine (set entirely in a pickle jar); Sandy Crack (it starts on a nudist beach); Kentucky FC (a tale about a footballer who eats all the chickens in the world); and Sweeney Cod (a classic with a fish and chip shop setting).” Think you can do better? Go along and get shouting.

How to console yourself

As part of the publicity drive for The Gamechangers, this week’s BBC drama about the team behind the video game Grand Theft Auto, Daniel Radcliffe told one interviewer. “I played every iteration of GTA there is and I haven’t killed anyone.” Radcliffe’s remark comes on the back of a growing body of evidence which suggests that playing video games in moderation might (seriously) even be good for us.

New research from places as far afield as China’s University of Science and Technology and Oxford University points out that gaming enhances learning capabilities, helps us think and react faster and even fosters our ability to build healthy relationships. Now that really is game-changing. 

No rhyme or reason

Another in a regular series of limericks based on recent events:

While searching the hidden location,

A find that surpassed expectation,

So people get ready,

For homo naledi

And welcome our distant relation.

Twitter: @simmyrichman

Comments