"This isn't Mean Girls, this is country music. Where you actually CAN sit with us." - Keslea Ballerini
Kelsea Ballerini posted on Instagram about what seemed like a harmless post by a harmless Twitter account that actually aims to put the spotlight on female country musicians.
When I saw the post, in all honesty, it didn't bother me either until I read her post and it struck a couple of chords with me.
"kelseaballerini: This made me really bummed today.
Since I put out my first single over 4 years ago, every interview includes some form of question about the females in country music... or the current lack thereof. so we swim upstream and wear ourselves out trying to be heard and finally see the charts start to mention a few more of our names, the categories recognize a few more of our songs, and even start to cheer each other on. but then there’s something as simple and seemingly harmless as this, that sets us back. it takes the dozens of talented, determined, hard working, kind women that want to continue the incredible marks on the genre the woman before us have made, and it makes us feel like there’s only one spot available. so then there’s tension. And insecurity. and this magical bond that females have when we truly, actually want each other to win...it gets compromised. It makes me sad because I feel it. Heck, it makes me insecure. It makes me feel tension in a room where there is another girl that is successful. It makes me awkward. It makes me overthink conversations. It makes me assume the worst. Which is actually CRAZY. this is definitely an instavent, because I just don’t want the new females in country music to be misrepresented to the fans or the media as the popular girls in high school that pose for photos like were bffs but secretly despise the one that dates the quarterback. And more than that, I don’t want US to feel like that. This isn’t mean girls, this is country music. Where you actually CAN sit with us."
The reason this stood out to me was because as someone who has become a member of the Alberta country music industry, not as an artist but as an industry professional, I have seen how hard our women work and equally as important, I've seen how hard they work to support each other. They truly stand together as a sisters.
Calgary artist Mariya Stokes said something that really stood out to me and that I have brought up a couple of times with up and coming country artists, when she was talking about other Calgary artist Lauren Mayell and about the women in Alberta country in general, as a matter of fact, (not word for word because it was back in September) was, "When she wins, we all win."
This branches to all industries, not just country music.
I'm not going to tell you, if women don't step up, men are going to stomp all over us...or any of that, I'm just going to say, we have had a bit of a harder time than men and have had to compete with them having an upper hand for far too long - in far too many ways.
So why should we compete against ourselves - as women?
(Being realistic, in some cases, competition is a good thing, and of course, sometimes a win/promotion/raise doesn't seem fair for whatever reason and you don't have to like it or respect the decisions, but don't fight or bad mouth or belittle - that really won't get you anywhere)
I don't know all stats and facts of women in the workplace or any of that - these are just my views.
I do believe engaging and supporting bright, talented women as women is no longer the nice thing to do, it's a smart thing to do. You will see increased productivity, enhanced morale and better top and bottom-line results- countless surveys I have seen HAVE proven this. If we don’t help each other out, how can we expect our male colleagues to do so? How can we expect to set examples for other women to do so? How can we expect other women to do so?
So my message to you is to be kind to your fellow woman.
How do you show your support and postivie vibes for women in your workplace and community?