Ask Alexx: Responding to sexist comments

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Alexx Calise - Photo by Anabel DFlux

As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 9 – Autumn 2019 – Ladies of Metal

Dear Alexx,

How do you respond to sexist guys who say things like: “Oh, she’s only popular because she’s a woman,” or any other misogynist stuff I see my female friends who are musicians deal with constantly?

~Nick Keith

Dear Nick,

That’s a great question. There have been plenty of people who’ve hurled barbs at me as a female musician, but I’ve found it’s more online, where people can be relatively anonymous. Whenever it does happen, I try to take the high road or come back with something witty, clever, or a bit jarring. Someone once said I had small breasts, for example, and I responded by saying that at least I won’t have to worry about playing hacky sack with them when I get older. I think they were taken aback by that because they didn’t expect me to respond at all, or to make a joke out of it like I did.

I just know that when people insult other people, it usually stems from their own insecurities, or it comes from a place of hurt. I think that the only thing you can do is laugh it off quite honestly, because a) it isn’t worth your time or energy, and b) you have to consider the source.

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Thankfully, the music community has always been pretty warm to me and relatively accepting of my being a female. What I have experienced a lot of though is getting hit on by managers, producers, bandmates, booking agents, etc. That’s starting to change a bit now, especially with the #metoo movement and all, but it still happens for sure.

The most important thing is having the guts to stand up for yourself and immediately putting the kibosh on inappropriate comments or behavior. If someone is truly making you uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to make it known. I’ve found that the more I’m assertive, the more people leave me alone.

If someone has something to say about my gender, or that I have more of an advantage being female, then they don’t really know me, and they have no idea what I’ve done to get to where I am. Any successes I’ve had are the result of thousands of hours of practice, blood, sweat and tears, and years of sacrifice. Not my sex. I know my worth and what I’m capable of, and at the end of the day, that’s really all that matters. Not what some jerk has to say about you on a forum. 

~Alexx

Alexx Calise is an accomplished singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Perhaps best known for her hit song, “Cry”, which became a staple on the show “Dance Moms” and boasts millions of hits on Youtube, Calise’s raw emotion, heart-and soul-lyrics, and unmistakable vibrato have impacted thousands of young girls all over the world. Calise is currently working on new solo material and songs for licensing and recently released a new EP with another music project, Batfarm. In addition to her musical pursuits, she also works in public relations and marketing and owns her own party entertainment business. When not playing shows or writing music, she enjoys horror movies, exercising or taking a well-deserved nap.

Have a question for Alexx?  She has an answer!  Email info@guitargirlmag.com.

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