Bethany Cosentino of popular indie rock band Best Coast has penned an opinion article for Billboard, declaring 2017 “the year of male consequence.” It’s hard to argue with her logic, as artists/entertainment executives as huge as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey down to more obscure (at least to the mainstream) artists like Matt Mondanile of Ducktails and Ethan Kath of Crystal Castles have been accused of some form of abuse. Hammering home her point, just this week a very influential country music publicist named Kirt Webster stepped down from his own company after he was accused of abusive behavior by a former client – the company changed names and began shedding major clients like Dolly Parton and Kid Rock.
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna
But back to Cosentino’s post. The begins with the obvious point – Donald Trump, a man who Consetino calls a “sexual predator” currently has the most important job in the free world. She asks the question that many women may be asking themselves right now “how did we get here?” In her op-ed she alludes to the bringing down of Weinstein, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, calling his ability to stay at the top of the industry despite a reputation for being a “creepy dude” a systemic problem in our country: The Man With Power Who Abuses It.
After addressing the cultural shift we seem to be experiencing in 2017, she gets personal with some of her own stories of abuse. As a female musician, she certainly faces a great deal of prejudice – being labeled nothing more than a “girl with a guitar.” She describes experiencing abuse at the hand of her employer, to which her distress was pooh-poohed and his behavior excused as being the result of drunkeness. Even more personal, she describes being abused by a family member as a small child. She mentions issues she faces every day as a female musician, from condescension from a sound guy to being asked to show backstage credentials when her male bandmate can walk through without question.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat
She continues her article, declaring that she was not just a girl with a guitar, but also a girl with a voice. Thanks to the popularity of her band Best Coast, Cosentino has a powerful platform to address this abuse head-on. Her band is established, she is a highly respected musician – unlike up-and-coming artists who may feel that any protest against questionable or even illegal behavior could spell the end of their career before it begins.
Consetino laments the fact that this revolution has largely taken place because powerful “rich, white, famous” women finally spoke up. She points out that women of color have been “screaming their tales of assault and endangerment” but were largely ignored, even by those very “rich, white, famous” women.
She finishes off her column by calling for men who engage in this behavior to be punished immediately and appropriately. She says that while it’s great the creeps are being exposed and shamed, and sometimes pushed out of their positions of power, they largely do not face consequences. She finishes off her article with her declaration that if 2016 was the year we elected the “grabber-in-chief” than 2017 is the “year of male consequence.”
Featured Image Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna