Mackinlay Ingham and Mája Ditrtová are taking on gender inequality head on with, The F Word. The live, multi genre musical event, put on and run entirely by people who identify as female hopes to shock it’s audiences into a change, hoping attendees will go away from the event empowered by the amazing things women can do and more likely to consider women as just as capable as men.
Truthfal’s, Pearl Pearce-Smith spoke to one of the organisers, Mackinlay Ingham about what the event is, why there is a need for it and how she became so passionate about gender equality in the music industry.
As well as being a student, 20-year-old Mackinlay is the FXU Women’s Officer and also the FXU Disability Office. Her roles in the FXU aims to bridge any communication gaps there are for the minorities she represents aiming to achieve positive change for everyone on campus, and because of her experience from these roles and personal experience of gender inequality and injustice in the music industry she is passionate when she tells me what she hopes her event will achieve.
The event is hoping to spread the word about the female talent there is on campus but also to vocalise the ingrained lack of inclusion of women at industry level.
“Unless you’re aware, you’re not going to be able to do something about it. So it’s not only about having an amazing night it’s also about the people that will go away and say ‘right so there are these amazing women out there. There are female managers out there, there are really talented female lighting technicians, and this whole event was put on by women so why isn’t that being reflected in the industry?’”
“I think we are all very used to just consuming this information and not really challenging it, not thinking, hang on why is that? Why are there so few females on this set?”
“the aim of our event is to promote the fact there are females who are just as capable, if not more than their male counterparts.”
“I want people to question, why has my boss always been a man? Why is that? Because I don’t know either.”
Mackinlay disagree with the idea that the event is ‘man-hating’, and stresses the importance of the event not being more of a celebration of females in the industry.
“This is a hard question because I do want it to be known that it was completely run by women but I think people always get a bit confused because statement events like this are not representations of real life, they are just that, they are statements.
“This gig is to make a statement about the lack of female representation in the music industry. So we’re not saying every event in the world should be all female, you need a mixed team dynamic for the perfect event. But the aim of our event is to promote the fact there are females who are just as capable, if not more than their male counterparts.”
On an individual basis, Mackinlay stresses the importance of every person’s effort towards change and why the music industry isn’t changing overnight.
“We live in an industry run by money, it’s not run on hopes and dreams and our best intentions. Structural changes like that cost money. That’s why awareness and conscious thought about your potential biases towards who you might hire or approach should be acknowledged, and challenged.
“Something I have really really learned through doing this project, is that we control the market. If the market is not there, industries have to adapt their product. If you go to a venue and tell the organiser ‘it would be really cool if we could have a more of a gender balance’ that change is more likely to happen. It’s completely in our control. We have this weird mentality that we can’t control the products that companies are shoving down our throats but you can because you are the customer and without the customer they can’t make money.”