Björk explains how DJing and sexism work to critics who don't understand either.

Icelandic singer Björk is an artist who refuses to be put in a box.

From her music (a blend of trip-hop, jazz, electronica, and ... just about everything else) to her style and stage presence, which are unapologetically, 100%, pure Björk-ian.

You may know her from this swan dress appearance at the Academy Awards. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/AFP/Getty Images.


The latest act in Björk's career-long mission of breaking the mold is a series of DJ sets she's been doing at clubs and festivals around the U.S.

Lets talk about what exactly a DJ set is.

It's a not-so-little-known secret that musicians love music, and not just their own. They're constantly collecting influences, inspirations, and insights in the music they listen to and admire every day. A DJ set is when an artist plays some of their favorite music for an audience instead of performing it. They can play selections from their own work, but the night usually consists of a personalized mix of other songs from musicians they admire. It's an act of musical appreciation for everyone involved, but it's not a concert.

DJ sets are a pretty common part of the club and music festival scenes, and usually everyone present knows what to expect. They've been hosted by artists of all genres, from Animal Collective to Talib Kweli.

In December 2016, Björk was surprised by some of the reviews she received after a DJ set she hosted in Houston.

In a Facebook post, Björk opened up about the sexist double standard that she felt led to the criticism of her act that night, explaining that while most of the artists "played mostly other peoples music," only she seemed to get dinged for not playing her own music.

She wrote:

"Some media could not get their head around that i was not 'performing' and 'hiding' behind desks . and my male counterparts not . and i think this is sexism . which at the end of this tumultuous year is something im not going to let slide : because we all deserve maximum changes in this revolutionary energy we are currently in the midst of"

dear little miss media!!!! happy winter solstice !!!as you know the majority of my career i havent moaned about...

Posted by Björk on Wednesday, December 21, 2016

In the post, Björk lamented the fact that women in music are often limited to superficial topics, and experimentation outside of that is criticized.

"Women in music are allowed to be singer songwriters singing about their boyfriends," wrote Björk. "If they change the subject matter to atoms , galaxies , activism , nerdy math beat editing, or anything else ... journalists feel there is just something missing."

Photo by Malte Kristiansen/AFP/Getty Images.

Björk also noted that male artists are, in many ways, allowed to jump around in subject and experiment with their art more freely. "If [female artists] dont cut our chest open and bleed about the men and children in our lives we are cheating our audience," Björk explained.

"Eat your bechtel test heart out."

There are endless other examples of sexism in the music industry. As more artists like Björk come forward with their stories, the faster we can fix things.

From the lack of female representation at music festivals to Madonna and Björk herself having to constantly explain that, yes, they produce their own music to the truly horrifying and ongoing lawsuit between Kesha and the producer she alleges raped her.

Recognizing and appreciating the ability of female artists to branch out and experiment might seem like a small battle, but it's a big step in respecting who they are as artists and people — which could have far-reaching effects on the industry.

"Lets make 2017 the year where we fully make the transformation !!!" wrote Björk, clearly excited at the possibility. "The right to variety for all the girls out there !!!"

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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A 2015 survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that 60% of respondents turned to porn to fill in the gaps in sex education. While 40% of those people said they learned a little, 75% of respondents said they felt porn created unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex. Some of the unrealistic expectations from porn can be dangerous. A study found that 88% of porn contained violence, and another study found that those who consumed porn were more likely to become sexually aggressive.

But now the thing that breaks those unrealistic expectations… might also be porn? Pornhub has launched a sex education section.

The adult website's first series is simply titled, "Pornhub Sex Ed" and contains 11 videos and is accessible through the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center. The section also contains articles, some showing real anatomy and examples in order to bust myths people may have picked up on other portions of the website.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

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While many of us have understandably let the challenges of 2020 get under our skin and bring us down, a young man from Florida was securing his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full triathlon.

For the majority of people, a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride or a 26.2 mile run would be difficult on its own. The Ironman competition requires participants to complete them all in one grueling race. In a statement, Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock called Chris "an inspiration to all of us." She continued, "We are incredibly proud of Chris and the work he has put in to achieve this monumental goal. He's become a hero to athletes, fans, and people across Florida and around the world."

Nikic's journey to become an Ironman started off as a challenge far less lofty. He and his father, Nik, created the "1 percent better challenge." The idea was to keep Chris motivated during the pandemic and beyond. According to The Washington Post, the idea was for Chris to improve his workouts by one percent each day because he "doesn't like pain" but loves "food, videos games and my couch." The plan was to keep building strength and stamina while keeping his eye on the grand prize of completing a triathlon. Nik told the Panama City News Herald, "I was concerned because after high school and after graduation a lot of kids with Down syndrome become isolated and just start living a life of isolation. I said, 'Look, let's go find him something to get him back into the world and get him involved,' so we started looking around and we were fortunate that at the same time Special Olympics Florida started this triathlon program, and I thought, 'What a great way to get him started, get him in shape and get him to make some friends.'"


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