Here’s Your Damn List.
I am not a fan of the question “can you give me reading material on that?” (in any incarnation). It puts the onus on oppressed demographics to educate their oppressors on longstanding, pervasive harm that is being engaged in to this day (by providing a list of vetted sources, no less). I particularly hate it being directed at me in any context besides a serious, direct (in-person) conversation between two people or perhaps in a small group of friendly faces. If anyone asks me in public, the answer is almost always “no, you can do your own research.” Because, frankly, that’s always true. To borrow from an internet friend, your education is not my calling. It is your responsibility.
However, I know I’m going to be asked this question for a long time, so below is a by-no-means-comprehensive list of over one hundred resources I highly recommend to improve your own education about gendered violence (both in a physical-violence sense and a general-trauma sense). This took me weeks to assemble. Your work does not stop here. If it has an asterisk (*) next to it, that means I found it on the first page of a Google search. You could do that, too. Do better!
Last update: November 28, 2021
Books, dissertations, and significant resources:
- My blog. The search bar should help you filter by what you’re looking for.
- Rebecca Solnit: Men Explain Things To Me (bare minimum the essay, available online for free; preferably the whole book)
- Chanel Miller: Know My Name
- Dorothy Carvello: Anything for a Hit
- Ronan Farrow: Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators
- Jodie Kantor and Megan Twohey: She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement
- Kate Manne: Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny
- Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
- Michelle Alexander: The New Jim Crow
- Vilde Aaslid: “Interaction, Collaboration, and Improvisation in the Intersection of Jazz and Poetry”—I highly recommend the chapter on Jayna Cortez, but jazz musicians may find value in the entire dissertation.
- Monica Hairston O’Connell: “The Wrong Place for the Right People? Cafe Society, Jazz, and Gender, 1938-1947”
- The We Have Voice Collective Code of Conduct, designed to facilitate safe workspaces for performing artists of all disciplines. Your organizations/venues/bands should all adopt this policy. (Read a New York Times article about the Code here.)
- The We Have Voice Collective Open Letter (I also highly recommend checking out their Resources tab for more reading).
The Institute for Composer DiversityI no longer recommend ICD. Here’s why. After the fallout from that post, I also analyzed ICD’s internal review (read part 1, part 2, and part 3); a year on, I looked at what changes they’ve made and what they’ve promised but let slide (read here).
General feminism and gender topics (this is by no means all of them, and most of these resources are introductory):
- Rikki Rogers, The Muse: “Women Are Kind and Men Are Strong: How Benevolent Sexism Hurts Us All“*
- Melanie Tannenbaum, Scientific American: “The Problem When Sexism Just Sounds So Darn Friendly…“*
- John Oliver, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: “Workplace Sexual Harassment” (yes, it’s comedy, but it’s also an EXCELLENT primer on the legal and professional harassment landscape, featuring an interview with Anita Hill)
- Mistress Snow, The Chronicle Review: “I Told My Mentor I Was A Dominatrix“
- Ruth Whippman, The New York Times: “Enough Leaning In. Let’s Tell Men to Lean Out.“
- Jarune Uwujaren and Jamie Utt, Everyday Feminism: “Why Our Feminism Must Be Intersectional (And 3 Ways to Practice It)“*
- Sharonda Harris-Marshall, Medium: “Respectability Politics Can Get in the Way of a Good Story“*
- Tonie Snell, Medium: “Tokenism: The Result of Diversity Without Inclusion“*
- Mary Retta, Vice: “What’s the Difference Between Non-Binary, Genderqueer, and Gender-Nonconforming?“
- tooyoungforthelivingdead, tumblr: “This is a post about tone policing“*
- Celeste Mora, Grammarly Blog: “Tone Policing: What Is It and Why Does The Internet Dislike It?“*
- Crisis Prevention Institute: “CPI’s Top 10 De-Escalation Tips“*
- Mallory, Medium: “Gatekeeping Doesn’t Make You A God, It Just Makes You An Asshole“
- Manitoba Trauma Information & Education Centre: “Fight, Flight, Freeze Responses“*
- Ronan Farrow’s reporting and co-reporting on Harvey Weinstein, Les Moonves, Brett Kavanaugh, and others*
- Phaedra Starling, Shapely Prose: “Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without getting maced“*
- Rachel Charlene Lewis, Bitch Media: “What Do We Do with ‘Good Boys?’“
- Brigid Schulte, The Guardian: “A woman’s greatest enemy? A lack of time to herself“
- The Advocates for Human Rights: “Sexual Harassment that Creates a Hostile Work Environment“*
On sexism, gender marginalization, misogyny, and sexual assault in jazz:
- Lily Maase: “Playing While Female – One Independent Guitarist’s Account of Assault and Abuse in New York City“—Lily is a dear friend and role model currently based in LA. To write this post, she literally had to move away from New York. Also worth checking out: “A Ginger By Any Other Name – words, and the way we use them to diminish women” and “For My Students: On letting go of the idea that Being Cool is, well, Cool“
- Meagan Day, Medium: “Bulldykers and lady lovers: the rumors about lesbian blues singers were all true“*
- Sherri Tucker: “Big Ears: Listening for Gender in Jazz Studies” (PDF)*
- Teri Lyne Carrington, Huffington Post: “Sexism in Jazz: Being Agents of Change“*—written in response to Michelle Mercer’s post on NPR: “Sexism From Two Leading Jazz Artists Draws Anger—And Presents An Opportunity“, which in turn was written in response to the Robert Glasper/Ethan Iverson fiasco from 2017. There’s a great burn from Vijay Iyer in that second one, if you dig that.
- Sasha Berliner: “An Open Letter To Ethan Iverson (And The Rest Of The Jazz Patriarchy)“*
- Chris Robinson, Medium: “A Brief History of the Origins of Jazz’s Sexism“*
- Tia Fuller, NBC News Think: “2019 Grammy Awards: Why I’m using my nomination to speak out about sexism in the world of jazz“*
- Lauren Sevian, WBGO: “Sexism in Jazz, from the Conservatory to the Club: One Saxophonist Shares Her Story“*
- Alex Bandoni, Medium: “Charli Persip and the Misogyny of Jazz“8
- Trine Annfelt, Kilden Gender Research: “Jazz as masculine space“*
- Sherri Tucker: “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t in the History Books” as printed in Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History edited by Robert Walser
- Down Beat: “Jazz and Gender During the War Years” as printed in Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History edited by Robert Walser
On sexism, gender marginalization, misogyny, and sexual assault in music generally:
- Alex Temple, I Care If You Listen: “Where Are the Operas About People Like Me? Imagining a Trans-Inclusive New Music World“
- inti figgis-vizueta: “Introduction: On New Music Gathering 2017“
- Sammy Sussman, VAN: “Music’s Perpetually Open Secret“—fall 2019 coverage on the UT Butler sexual harassment and assault problems. The first allegations against this professor were made in 2002: “Music’s Open Secret” (paywalled)
- Kay Lazar, The Boston Globe: “Berklee let teachers quietly leave after sex abuse, and pushed students for silence“*—a great primer on the Berklee sexual assault problems.
- Amelia Mason, WBUR radio: “Berklee’s Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice Aims To Combat Sexism In Jazz“
- Kalia Vandever, Medium: “Token Girl“*—a primer on the Juilliard sexual assault problems and a great essay all around.
- Tricia L. Nadoly and Peter Dobrin, The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Abused, then mocked: Acclaimed violinist says she was sexually assaulted by her renowned teacher at the Curtis Institute, and then disregarded when she reported it“*—summer 2019 coverage of violinist Lara St. John’s allegations against the Curtis Institute. Related coverage: “Curtis Institute of Music response to sexual misconduct claim: Don’t talk about it“, “Curtis Institute will review sexual-assault policies after Inquirer story reports abuse“, “You Didn’t Think This Curtis Thing Was Going To Blow Over, Did You?“, “Credible, ‘horrifying’ sexual-abuse accounts at Curtis Institute of Music, law firm finds“
- William Osborne: “‘You Sound Like A Ladies Orchestra’: A Case History of Sexism Against Abbie Conant in the Munich Philharmonic“*—Abbie’s case is LEGENDARY and you should know about it. (Osborne is Conant’s husband.)
- The New York Times: “James Levine’s Final Act at the Met Ends in Disgrace“*. Related coverage: “Met Opera, James Levine Avoid Public Dispute in #MeToo Accusations, Settle Lawsuit“
- BJ Colangelo, Cleveland Scene: “Cleveland Orchestra Fires William Preucil and Massimo La Rosa Following Outside Investigation of Sexual Misconduct Allegations“*—Preucil’s misconduct was well-known for decades; see “Sour Notes“
- Tom Cole and Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR: “Plácido Domingo Out At Metropolitan Opera Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations“*
- Jennifer Jolley, NewMusicBox: “The Curious Case of Keiko Yamada“
- Alex Temple: “I’m a Trans Composer. What the Hell Does That Mean?“
- Dale Trumbore: “Don’t Expect Congrats“
- Michael Dervan, The Irish Times: “‘Men just get away with being composers. We have to do this activism and keep composing’“
- Emily Doolittle, NewMusicBox: “Why Yes, I Do Want My Music Performed“
- Andrea Domanick, Vice Noisey: “The Dollars and Desperation Silencing #MeToo in Music”*
- De Elizabeth and Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue: “Powerful People in Entertainment Who Have Been Accused of Sexual Harrassment or Assault”
On sexual assault, domestic violence, and trauma generally:
- For my blogs and thoughts on the matter, search Sexual Assault in the sidebar or scroll down on the Letters from the Aftermath page. Many of these posts contain links to outside resources.
- Lily Puckett, Teen Vogue: “What to Do When You See Your Sexual Abuser“—if you need a reality check, take a minute and let yourself digest that someone had to write this for Teen Vogue. And they did a damn good job.
- Vicki Peterson, The Mighty: “We Can’t Keep Treating Anxiety From Complex Trauma the Same Way We Treat Generalized Anxiety“
- International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation: “Dissociation FAQs“*
- Deb Schwartz, Lifehacker: “How to Cope With the Current News Cycle as a Sexual Abuse Survivor“
- Melissa A. Fabello, Bitch Media: “Touch Too Much: Let’s Talk About Consent Beyond Sex“
- Kyra Laughlin, National Sexual Violence Resource Center: “What Puts Survivors at Increased Risk of Suicide and How You Can Help“*
- Lisa Shell and Rachel Cassandra, Vice: “The Reason Some People Freeze When They’re Being Attacked“
- Laurie Halse Anderson, TIME: “I’ve Talked With Teenage Boys About Sexual Assault for 20 Years. This Is What They Still Don’t Know“
- Katrina Schwartz, KQED Mindshift: “Why Mindfulness And Trauma-Informed Teaching Don’t Always Go Together“
- Jamie Friedlander, Vice: “When Bad Circumstances Make Anxiety Vanish“
- Giffords Law Center: “Domestic Violence and Firearms“*
- Morgan Brinlee, Bustle: “What is The Boyfriend Loophole? Domestic Abusers Aren’t Totally Barred From Buying Guns“*
- Shana Lebowitz and Hilary Brueck, Business Insider: “The men behind the US’s deadliest mass shootings have domestic violence—not mental illness—in common“*
On trauma-informed artistic practices and making art that directly confronts any of these topics:
- Charlene Smith, HowlRound Theatre Commons: “Staging Sexual Assault Responsibly: Lessons from The Changeling“
- Intimacy Directors International’s pillars of rehearsal and performance practice (PDF)
- Alexander Lloyd Blake, I Care If You Listen: “Art for Art’s Sake: Steps to Prevent Tone Deaf Social Justice Concerts“
- Kate Lovell, Disability Arts Online: “Trigger happy? The difficult balancing act of trigger warnings”*
- Lauren Wingenroth, DANCE magazine: “We Need to Talk About Non-Consensual Audience Participation”
- Michael Paulson, the New York Times: “Brace Yourself in Act II: Trigger Warnings Come to the Stage”*
- Nathan Devanand Singh, DePaul University: “Theatre of Trauma”
- Ruthie Fierberg, Playbill: “Updated: Hamilton Choreographer on Removing Muskets from Tonys Performance” (watch the performance in question here)
- Alex Temple, NewMusicBox: “The Appropriation Problem“
Videos on any of these subjects (I didn’t Google them, but most of these exist within one continuous YouTube rabbit hole):
- Amy Cunningham, TEDxSanAntonio: “Drowning in Empathy: The Cost of Vicarious Trauma“
- Vicky Kelly, TEDxWilmington: “The paradox of trauma-informed care“
- Dr. Mary Crnobori, TEDxVanderbiltUniversity: “Why All Schools Should Be Trauma-Informed“
- Paris Goodyear-Brown, MSSW, LCSW, RPTS, TEDxNashville: “Trauma and Play Therapy: Holding Hard Stories“
- Vanessa Loder, TEDxFiDiWomen: “How to Lean In Without Burning Out“
- Dr. Geri Puleo, TEDxSetonHillUniversity: “Burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder“
- Ann Washburn, TEDxIdahoFalls: “Body Language: The Key to Your Subconscious“
- Vanessa Van Edwards, TEDxLondon: “You are contagious“
Art on any of these subjects:
- (me): Letters from the Aftermath
- Rachel McKibbens, LETTER FROM MY HEART TO MY BRAIN/LETTER FROM MY BRAIN TO MY HEART. “You have my permission not to love me;/I am a cathedral of deadbolts/and I’d rather burn myself down/than change the locks.”
- Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss: Six (Original Cast Recording)—the casual misogyny embedded in this musical is used very intentionally to make a point; if you’re looking for the most obvious case, listen to “All You Wanna Do”.
- Anne Powers, NPR: “Songs That Say ‘Me Too’”*
- Christobel Hastings, Vice Broadly: “The Timeless Myth of Medusa, a Rape Victim Turned Into a Monster”
- Paige Hardy, Texas Monthly, “At Baylor, a Sexual Assault Exhibit Opens the Door to Constructive Conversations”
- University of Kansas Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center: “What Were You Wearing?”
Thanks for reading! If you learned something from this post and would like to tip me, head on over to my Ko-fi page. For more analysis and commentary like this in your life, check back again soon, and consider subscribing to my mailing list (at the bottom of the page or in the sidebar) for quarterly update emails on my biggest projects. To support the long-term work I do as an artist and advocate, you can find me on Patreon and @honestlyeris on Instagram.