Where are the women and non cis males?


It always disappoints me when promoters in my city get pissed off for being called out on lineup and lineup of only male artists – their defense is always “put in the work and we’ll invite female djs / artists.” While there’s a certain degree of truth to this, their replies always feel like a chicken and egg question. Would there be more women involved in the scene if they cared about representation? Probably. I think everyone should “put in the work” but lets not pretend these communities are meritocracies.

Great article.


i totally recommend that we teach C or Java in High School for everyone. All genders and minds with whatever category or label we are comfortable using, just teach it. We can look at it in gender terms all day but i like what the video in the post shared about it being something structural and i whole heartedly agree. i work in education and i can share i am starting to see at least this next cohort a larger number of young women enrolling. i cannot speak to the non-cis/cis deviations because i think that is something an advisor might be privy too and i wont pretend to be able to gauge that.


I think I agree with this, but it’s worth noting that fixing industry is a much harder problem than simply teaching more women to code. Many university CS programs are already graduating many female engineers.

I am non-binary, so am able to skate by on being “confusing” to most men, but the way I have seen most cis-women treated in industry is… frankly awful, and I feel like an entire generation of toxic male managers and senior engineers need to retire before things can truly get better.


A lost generation :frowning:


I agree. I have many female engineer friends and have heard some terrible stories, usually involving older engineers that are “set in their ways”. Fortunately apart from one pushy client my partner (who is also an engineer) hasn’t run into any harassment or discrimination. That being said, I think our younger generation has a lot of work to do in building a more equal and accepting environment if we are to have better representation of non-cis males. It’s a constant battle.


My perception of the generation coming into the workforce right now is that they take no bullshit. Hang on to that with your life, kiddos, because they will do their level best to beat it out of you.


Definitely. There’s still lots of systemic discrimination, as well as individual.


Lots of interesting food for thought on here. I think about this a lot. I’m a forum visiting, GAS afflicted, queer, cis male electronic musician, and my partner is a non-forum visiting, non-GAS afflicted, queer, cis female electronic musician (http://sbreh.bandcamp.com).

We talk about feminism and music a lot. Her take on this where-are-women-on-the-forums topic is generally along the lines of “meh,” cuz she’s just not that into the internet. So I texted my next favorite female electronic musician (https://yarrowsound.bandcamp.com) to get her take on it.

Her response:

“… I’ll admit I definitely go into gear forums usually either because I’m watching demo videos for pedals I can’t afford or because something’s not working and I’m trying to troubleshoot. ((ALSO–am I alone in thinking there’s something comforting, almost Bob Ross esque in watching demo videos?))

But yeah, I see what you’re saying. There is a plethora of women making electronic music right now and a lot of them are also super visible. I find dudes often like telling each other how much they care about women//queer//nonbinary ~ but don’t actually put forth any effort into incorporating more of these artists into their vernacular. I encounter a lot of noise guys specifically that say all that shit but never try to book female artists or even look inwardly at the scene and ask what about it makes it so cis male dominated and is it the scene and culture that needs to change not the lineups.”


This is difficult for me to impact because I don’t feel I am a part of any “scene” at all.

Wouldn’t mind creating one though. Any thoughts on that?


I will +1 this sentiment. My kids are a few years short of entering the workplace and all of “these issues” are non-issues for them and their peers. They see the world and its inhabitants in a much more enlightened way, and are especially intolerant of “old people and their stupidity” (to quote my daughter).


I’m also nb and it’s actually really inspiring that you’ve found a way to skate by as “confusing” because lately I’ve been struggling with finding my space in the music world.

Solidarity and collaboration with other gnc folks or just cis women is often locked behind so many layers of tricky communication and is nearly impossible if you aren’t publicly visible.

And then the dudes who are actually getting gigs and putting out projects mainly coordinate in social settings, it seems. If I’m in town with him, I’m expected to chill out or grab drinks with him. That can be super uncomfortable and if I’m not well rested and on top of my dysphoria I just can’t handle it. And just like that you’ve likely been passed over for the job.


I admit i do not seek out artists based upon their chosen/born into prefix but i do not trim that list when the prefix or lack thereof is shared with me [like it’s any of my business anyway]

I am loving left field techno and glitch R&B recently and all who experiment and share in that vein



I’ve been slowly reading through this thread. I am new and am female so I thought I would put my two cents in.

The reason I got into modular was from an encouraging partner who also did modular. I would have never knew this community existed. I’ve had many partners who were musicians or DJS and I have to say that only maybe 2 men in my life have been inclusive about it. I’ve been interested in electronic music since my first rave and have slowly and quietly been learning and creating sounds. Analog has opened up a whole new world for me and finding threads like this in communities like this is so helpful. Asking the questions, starting the dialog is important so thank you. Portland’s got it right with S1. Need more opportunities like that for women and non cis folks to feel safe and welcome.


welcome xexyz :slightly_smiling_face:


straight, cis-male new member here just chiming in to say I’m happy this conversation is happening here. I ended up finding out about Lines after being disappointed in how some recent conversations went over at Muffs, and this conversation being able to exist without dismissive attitudes from both members and mods is heartening :brain:


ive been lurking here but i’ve started posting slowly. im agender and living that good androgyne life making techno and idm with modular synths and supercollider. im currently working on developing my own modules (slowwwwwly). finally done with mw and their white cis dude crap. thankful people here seem to be kinder.


Hi everyone!

Firstly, I want to echo the sentiments of quite a few previous posters about how good it is to see a thread like this, especially one that is constructive and hasn’t devolved into personal insults and gatekeeping [I’ve been on the receiving end of that elsewhere, not pleasant!].

I’m also jumping onto this thread rather late, but here are a few quick thoughts [and apologies if I am repeating any points previously raised]…

a) Specifically for here - I’m mainly on Lines for the Disquiet Junto, I don’t do much modular stuff - I’m mainly a psycho-geographer / performer / artist researcher type who uses Ableton and MaxMSP.

b) Despite the positive moves forward, music is still a very gendered place. Then there’s the men who practice gatekeeping on anyone who’s not masculine into these spaces.

As a woman, I constantly feel like I have to prove my competency in music circles, whereas men are just seen as competent by default. For instance, I remember having a discussion elsewhere about gender bias in the music industry, and a few men were like, “If you can’t handle it, then you should find another career instead of dabbling in music”. So I had to give these a quick run-through of my artist CV [which includes awards, artist residencies, conference talks, journal articles, national and international performances…] in order to make the point to them that:

  1. I was talking about gender issues as a professional artist, not a “dabbler” so please engage with me on that level;
  2. Fuck you, patronising assholes [them, not you guys here!].

Of course, none of the men had to justify their CV to me, and when asked to provide their CV, no-one responded.

Also, I’m in my 30s and I remember when I first started being in music, it was seen as normal to be praised on my appearance rather than my playing. “You look so hot”, “You are sexy”, “You play really well for a girl” were commonplace sayings. Also, being pigeon-holed as either just the “vocalist” [which many men used as shorthand for “stage decoration”] or being seen as a strictly acoustic guitarist strumming pretty chords [nope, women can do more than that!] were, again, commonplace. I didn’t like them, but since no-one else said anything to the contrary, I just sucked it up.

Or, I was the freak - not only was I a woman playing lead guitar in a band, but I was an Asian woman! Wow! Those two aspects of my appearance are clearly more important than my musicianship :upside_down_face:

It took me a long time before I actually met women who would basically go, “fuck you” when getting these comments to realise that these sentiments were unacceptable, and then even longer before I also worked up the courage to say the same.

I know there were lots of times when I felt discouraged and belittled as a musician. I can completely understand why so many just stopped. It’s draining to have to constantly prove yourself, and to fight back against being seen as lesser simply due to appearance.


While my personal situation doesn’t exactly fit in this thread, and in the interests of not hijacking the specifics, I’d say I have first hand experience (along another dimension, perhaps unknown to many) with the way “identity” folds all in and out of work, process, and the innermost visions that propel the work.

In short this shit DOES matter much more on a music forum or in general creative community.

I could see in every way, personal, social, spiritual, my perspective being negated on MW with continual attacks on gender, sexuality, spirituality, other interests and sub/cultural associations that perhaps do not conform. Shit I really don’t need with what I’m going through right now… stuff surfaced because of the actual success of the way I was developing musically last year after many years of no progress.

Person and work are intertwined for this reason: work circulates through repetition, not generality. The whole isn’t greater than the parts. Parts matter all the way down – this sound, this note, this texture. A paradox: the more specific, even personal the approach, the more universal the impact. It’s about how we as listeners/viewers etc. can form an open relationship with the work in all of its detail, not as an object to apprehend according to generality where parts can be substituted for one another (the domain of “aesthetics”), but as something we take into ourselves, where we recognize clarify our own dreams, our own visions, our own hauntings.

So yeah, when the person is rejected outright, it damages the entire creative community. It’s not about “fair and balanced”, not about “both sides”, it goes to the core of what kind of community we want to be. Hopefully a community that cultivates and enriches the personal growth of artists from all walks of life.


+10000000000000 thank you.