Not okay: This teen girl band was told they weren't 'sultry' enough
Anybody who’s ever had to play a musical instrument or sing in public knows that it’s a nerve-wracking experience. Sure, maybe you’re playing to 30 people in a coffee shop, or maybe to hundreds as part of a school band competition, but you feel the pressure of performance so keenly. Which is why it’s enough that Kalliope Jones, comprised of three high school girls, played a local Battle of the Bands at all. Well, except for the part where they might’ve lost points for not being sultry enough. Say what?
The band, comprised of Isabella DeHerd (16), Alouette Batteau (14), and Amelia Chalfant (14) placed third in the Battle of the Bands competition at Three County Fair in Massachusetts. On its own, the placement is what it is (you can’t win ’em all), and the girls were satisfied with their performance. That is, until they received their judges’ feedback, which included some pretty inappropriate notes from one judge.
In the Stage Presence – Showmanship category, one judge gave the following notes about the band:
The band members were understandably put off about the note — who in their right mind would use “sultry” to describe three high school girls? Kallipe Jones quickly took to Facebook to respond to the comments, and laid down a solid rebuttal to the quite obvious sexist undertones of the comments:
While we applaud Kalliope Jones’ smart and totally understandable judge call-out, it doesn’t change the fact that for many people, women and girls participating in rock’n’roll is still seen as something”special” and “extra.” As Chalfant’s mother notes, “No one felt the urge to talk to the 14-year-old adorable boys to grind their hips a bit more. This is a double standard that goes far beyond the music business. 14-year-old boys are just cute boys. 14-year-old girls are sex objects.”
As rock camps for girls become more and more popular (see here, here, and here), we hope that what happened to Kalliope Jones doesn’t happen to any more girls already actively taking their rock destinies into their own hands. It’s never been better to be a female musician, but clearly there’s still some ways to still go.
Read the band’s full statement below:
(H/T Jessica Hopper. Image via Twitter.)