The Rochester International Jazz Fest is over. I return to my regularly scheduled life.
Except for one last detail. While wandering the streets, I had a few people ask me about one of my morning appearances on “Open Tunings,” Scott Regan’s show on WRUR-FM (88.5), to discuss the festival. What were the comments I had made opening Wednesday morning’s show?
It was nothing extraordinary. It is what should be obvious. A reminder, for those of us with a public platform, or if we’re just chatting with friends, of the importance of the words we choose.
So here it is:
No one said anything to me yesterday about this. I received no emails or tweets or Facebook posts about this. But I said something yesterday that I regret. I joked about stalking one of the all-female bands that I’ve admired at the festival.
Stalking is a part of our society’s culture of sexual harassment. Unfortunately, it’s nothing new. But in the last two years we’ve see the Me Too movement bring more attention to the issue. I’ve been shocked by some of the stories shared by my women friends.
We have a president in the White House – our house – who faces serious allegations of sexual harassment and assault. A new accusation came up last week. The president’s response? “She’s not my type.”
She’s not my type. That’s an astounding level of entitlement.
Women musicians deserve to be appreciated for their music. If dressing in a charming or sexy way is a part of that performance, fine. But I’m not allowed to take it to the next level.
So I apologize to VickiKristinaBarcelona. And I apologize to your listeners.
And with that, Scott played VickiKristinaBarcelona’s version of Tom Waits’ “Hold on.”