By Alexandra Maes
People these days don’t like to say the “F Word.”
From “Free the Nipple” to “Time’s Up” everyone has their own definition of feminism, but no matter what your definition is, feminism in its true form is about equality, and as artists we need to change the narrative to be more about equal collaboration and representation.
During my time as an Ambassador on the Berklee Working Group, I was able to talk to professors and staff at Berklee about gender conflicts in the Berklee environment. Through discussion and conversation, the group agreed on the same conclusion: it’s necessary to have equal representation between genders because having different thought processes adds dimension to the art we design.
Collaboration is only honest when both parties are genuinely so excited to be a part of that collaboration. —Madame Ghandi
Madame Gandhi (female producer and drummer) isn’t a stranger when it comes to developing equality in the music industry. In a visit to Berklee as a part of a Student Government initiative I helped develop, she said “Collaboration is only honest when both parties are genuinely so excited to be a part of that collaboration.”
Through the process of creating my song “Red Dress,” I was able to see how both men and women can collaborate to create something spectacular when they respect and encourage each other’s ideas. Having both a female and male engineer, Zanne Hanna and Zac Towbes, elevated my track since both were able to support each other while listening to each other’s ideas equally to make my record quintessential in all aspects. Additionally, having Alissa Wyle (HolySmoke Photography) and Kevin Greene (K. Greene Productions) work on my music video enhanced my vision since both were able to showcase their talents. Kevin used his ability to capture great visuals to showcase the artistic vision that Alissa orchestrated with her ability to see movement and color as a continuation of music.
Women should receive equal rights because we all offer something different, and that is what feminism is aiming to accomplish: to develop equal representation for all genders so we can create and develop innovations and art that changes this world for the better. In the midst of collaboration we offer the ability to showcase all of our talents to enhance the product we are trying to create. When we develop an environment based on this we get Grammy winning albums such as Beck’s Colors, produced by Greg Kurstin and engineered by Emily Lazar or an Oscar-winning song such as “Shallow” produced and written by Lady Gaga, Benjamin Rice, and Mark Ronson. I’m so thankful to continue making art with fantastic men and women that are able to uplift each other, respect one another, and showcase their abilities. “Red Dress” is to show what women can do when they collaboratively embrace their power and own their worth. Embrace feminism, because in having more equality we are able to create better art.
Watch the video for “Red Dress”: