Gender Equity: why we have to have it

Why we have to have it: We used to think that we could organise our artist line up solely on the basis of talent. That’s how it works isn’t it? The cream rises to the top. So whilst last year at the time of the launch of our Sexual Harassment Policy we also stated an intention to balance up male to female/gender. Non-conforming representation on our roster; it just kept slipping away. The convenient argument is that there are just so many more male artists that we’re constantly receiving submissions from etc… Yes this is true and we could continue down the path of letting that be the truth. But the other truth, the truer truth is that there is a reason for the imbalance and until the imbalance is corrected it will continue to be so. Women have been marginalised in our society throughout the Industrial Age and before. We live in a patriarchal landscape where privilege, power, language, employment, expectations around care, parenting, behaviour and our very rights are influenced and defined by our gender. In a patriarchy men rule the roost and even though we’ve commenced modifying our structures, the functions remain. We have a lot of ground to make up. In rectifying imbalance people in privilege have to give something up. At Machine our artist rosters have been heavily skewed toward men. Not any more. Some men may be afraid of what this means. In reality men are just as affected by this disparity as women, they just happen to enjoy privilege at the same time as being fucked up by it. We all stand to benefit by active redress.

Artist Bookings Policy

We acknowledge that marginalised groups are under-represented in the techno culture. We will henceforth be actively seeking out women, gender non-conforming and LGBTQIA+ people, people of colour & First Nations People of Australia, to appear at Machine. Furthermore our bookings will henceforth enjoy a representation of at least 50% women and no more than 50% men and we acknowledge that gender is a diverse spectrum and when referring to women and men it includes those who identify as female and male, and those who are gender non-conforming.

This is actually not specifically equitable. It doesn’t mandate percentages for other marginalised groups, but it does ensure that women occupy at least half of every one of our rosters. It also means that men will take up no more than half. Men could be less than half and women could be more than half. This is not to punish men or to get overly funky with political correctness, but to make a statement about how things aught to be but aren’t.

If you’re a young man getting into music now, you might be pissed off by this mandated loss of your heretofore higher likelihood of being booked. It’s not your fault that there’s been an imbalance or that it has to change, but it’s part of your inherited responsibility to be the bastion of change. If you are good enough, you will get your chance. We will see to it. If you are a young woman you may also be pissed off. You may say this will affect how you are received, it will compromise the interpretation of your talent, the general public, the men will write you off and dismiss you. If this happens we will deal with it and attitudes will shift, it is not your fault, but it is as much your responsibility to go out there and be the best you can be and for the first time know there is some measure of balance being brought to the artist selection table. No compromise on quality; just gender equity.

We hope women will see this and be inspired to give it a crack. We hope that gender fluid and gender non-conforming artists do likewise. And we hope this puts a crack in a notoriously and traditionally male dominated industry. The research suggests that the more women and marginalised groups are professionally represented the greater the benefits in balanced attendance and attitudes within the space. 

If you would like to find out more about being booked to play at Machine send us an email: here