Justin James should have been more aware of what he was really saying when he posted his specific requirements for female DJs.
It's long been debated that women are not properly represented within dance music. This is evident in the lack of women on festival lineups, how much women artists get paid for gigs and also the general treatment of women in the industry. Many talented women artists simply do not receive the same treatment as men.
In a public Facebook group labeled "Support FEMALE DJs !!!!!!!!" a man named Justin James wanted to book some female DJs and posted his specifications for what he was looking for.
The first 5 specifications (he mentions 1 twice) are not so outlandish in the modern music climate. Some booking agents really are looking for the cream of the crop to have strong social media presence. With that being said, the final 3 requirements, and what he says after, are offensive and ridiculous. Age, height and weight requirements have nothing to do with the talent of an artist. He also says that he only works with "attractive female DJs" and that does not sound like someone who is looking to book the best artists. He also says he doesn't want to deal with agents, a clear sign that this guy is fishing for something.
He concludes with, "I do not work with DJs that do not know what they are doing. If you do not meet the requirements, then please please do not waste my time or yours. I look forward to hearing from a few of you :)"
As you can imagine, the hate from social media began to pour in, with many women asking Justin to explain himself or apologize. He never does apologize, but instead further explains his superficial viewpoint.
If this man was really searching for female DJs with talent, he would have never made the comments regarding height, weight and attractiveness. "Specific criteria" should always be focused around the music a DJ plays and how well they can control a room, not how good they look when behind the decks.
Let's not forget that throughout history women have had overwhelming obstacles to overcome. We as a human race have made strides in order to put everyone on an equal playing field, but there's still so much work to be done. All it takes is a guy like Justin to come along and show us how far we need to go in order to truly achieve equality in the music industry and in society.
On a side note, do not get this guy confused with the real Justin James, the techno producer from Canada. The artist took to Facebook to express his feelings on the situation.
"I understand that there is an individual, unfortunately, named DJ Justin James that has caused a great deal of drama with his misogynistic ideas about the electronic music industry. Please understand that I am in no way affiliated with this individual and more importantly do not endorse his misguided and distorted ideals."
It's unfortunate they have the same name, but those who know the music and the artist won't be confused.
Just a few weeks ago, a music publicist was called out by numerous women in the music industry claiming they had been sexually harassed by him. You can read that story here.
We reached out to Justin James for his comments and here is what he had to say: After Backlash Over Female DJs Justin James Says "Being 'attractive' is usually a beneficial thing"
[photos via Pile Rats]