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 !!!"

True
Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

Keep Reading Show less

My husband and I had just finished watching "The Office" for the third time through and were looking for a new show to watch before bed. I'd seen a couple of friends highly recommend "Schitt's Creek," so we decided to give it a try.

My initial reaction to the first episode was meh. The characters were annoying and the premise was weird (pretentious and previously-filthy-rich family lives in a scuzzy motel in the middle of nowhere??). I felt nothing for the main characters, and I hate shows with horrible main characters that I can't root for. Even predicting that they were going to eventually be transformed by their small town experiences, I didn't see liking them. It didn't grab either of us as worth continuing, so we stopped.

But then I kept hearing people whose taste I trust implicitly talk about how great it was. I know different people have different tastes, but I realized I had to be missing something if these friends of mine raved on and on about it. So we gave it another shot.

It took a bit—I don't know how many episodes exactly, but a bit—to start liking it. Then a bit longer to start really liking it, and then at some point, it became a full-fledged, gushy, where-have-you-been-all-my-life love affair.

So when the show took home nine Emmy awards over the weekend—breaking the record for the most wins in a season for a comedy—I wasn't surprised. Here's why:

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

Keep Reading Show less

Biases, stereotypes, prejudices—these byproducts of the human brain's natural tendency to generalize and categorize have been a root cause of most of humanity's problems for, well, pretty much ever. None of us is immune to those tendencies, and since they can easily slip in unnoticed, we all have to be aware of where, when, and how they impact our own beliefs and actions.

It also helps when someone upends a stereotype by saying or doing something unexpected.

Fair or not, certain parts of the U.S. are associated with certain cultural assumptions, perhaps none more pinholed than the rural south. When we hear Appalachia, a certain stereotype probably pops up in our minds—probably white, probably not well educated, probably racist. Even if there is some basis to a stereotype, we must always remember that human beings can never be painted with such broad strokes.

Enter Tyler Childers, a rising country music star whose old-school country fiddling has endeared him to a broad audience, but his new album may have a different kind of reach. "Long Violent History" was released Friday, along with a video message to his white rural fans explaining the culminating track by the same name. Watch it here:

Keep Reading Show less