Breaking the Glass Ceiling | Bibliography



“So it struck me as a little odd that so much of the recent debate over getting women to “lean in” has focused on getting them to adopt more of these dysfunctional leadership traits. Yes, these are the people we often choose as our leaders — but should they be?”

History of women’s active role in radio and technology + routine omission of their presence

Coercive Control

“Simply put, lack of diversity on concert programs is built into the institutional structure of American classical music organizations, leading to systemic discrimination against women, people of color, and other historically underrepresented musicians.”

“I want to start very near the beginning of the tradition of Western literature, and its first recorded example of a man telling a woman to ‘shut up’; telling her that her voice was not to be heard in public. I am thinking of a moment immortalised at the start of Homer’s Odyssey, almost 3000 years ago.”

“Patriarchy kills off stories and women to maintain its power. If you’re a woman, this stuff shapes you; it scars you, it tells you you are worthless, no one, voiceless, that this is not a world in which you are safe or equal or free. That your life is something someone else may steal from you, even a complete stranger, just because you’re a woman. And that society will look the other way most of the time, or blame you, this society that is itself a system of punishment for being a woman. Silence over these things is its default setting, the silence feminism has been striving to break, and is breaking.”

“For too long, we’ve lauded men’s domination and aggressiveness as a sign of leadership rather than possible red flags. When men talk over everyone else in a room, we call it confidence rather than entitlement. If they berate others in meetings, we call them powerful and passionate, not bullying. And when they treat women at work differently than they do men, we’re told that they’re not sexist – they’re just “old-school”.”

“Calling out misogyny isn’t, she understands, the same thing as explaining it, and it’s only by doing the latter that we’re likely ever to find an effective means of combating it.”

“This is why I’d like to get my thumbs on the throat of Harvey Weinstein. It’s not just that creeps like him drove my mother off the stage. It’s that in the process, they broke something. I don’t know what actually happened, or if any one specific thing even did happen; but the result was to leave her convinced she was unworthy; intellectually superficial; not genuinely talented; a lightweight; a fraud.”

APRA AMCOS addresses gender diversity

“It may be a surprise to some men that women feel that their comments don’t get the same response as a man’s – and that they are often “stolen.””

Jennifer Berdahl

Sarah Kirkland Snider

View at

Sexual Harassment in the work-place

“Affirmative Action” and the discussion in relation to preferential treatment of aboriginal Australians as a means to encourage equality and the backlash it has received.

Over the seventy years of the summer course, the stories and personal experiences of women at Darmstadt have largely been lost to us. Statistics can however give us a hint.

  • Only 7% of 4409 total works programmed have been by female composers.
  • There were 14 festivals where no female composers were represented, and 12 
festivals with only 1 female composer
  • Only 18% of the highly-sought-after Kranichsteiner Musikpreis have gone to 

Ashley Fure: “Which brings me back to the issue of pigeonholing, and the risk that if I speak of gender too loudly, all of my work will begin to be seen as women’s work, the blunt articulation of a feminist agenda, a banner for my sex and nothing beyond.”

Madonna: “She continued, “Thank you for acknowledging my ability to continue my career for 34 years in the face of blatant sexism and misogyny and constant bullying and relentless abuse.” She discussed her muse, David Bowie, who “embodied male and female spirit” and “made me think there were no rules. But I was wrong. There are no rules – if you’re a boy. There are rules if you’re a girl.” “

“Nothing will protect us except for ourselves—and what’s more fortifying than a defensive exterior? There are days when all I want is to become a human road sign, a blinking hazard to any man misfortunate enough to cross my path: “I WANT TO OFFEND YOUR SIGHT. I WANT TO OFFEND YOUR EVERYTHING.” ”

“The canon is so overwhelmingly white and male, but we can use new music to fix that problem. There are so many voices who should be heard in the concert hall today, of people whose music reflects a wide variety of experiences. That, to me, is the most important issue right now for contemporary classical music and classical music generally — how to get what happens in the concert hall to reflect the diverse society that we are.”

Andrew Norman – recipient of the 2017 Grawemeyer Award
“But if we start having more women in leadership roles, it operates as an encouragement to other women in the workplace. Women’s leadership is so important in ensuring that more women are in positions where they have the authority to decide and negotiate on issues that affect them.”
“It hurts because of all those studies showing that while powerful and ambitious men are readily accepted, powerful and ambitious women invoke people’s disgust; that women need to be likable as well as tough, charming as well as competent. That they need to know their place. Men just have to be men.”
“The women tried to win over men who were simultaneously their lovers and oppressors with an excruciatingly slow, patient drive to change their minds — remember all those petitions and referendums.”
“We’re accustomed to that pride flowing the other direction, from wife to husband, because men in our culture get to be more than just bodies, do more than just nurture. Men get to act and excel and climb and aspire and thrive and win and rule and be the audacious, hungry fulcrum of public life. It is normal for men to have ambition. It is normal for women to stand aside.”
“evidence of “devaluation” – that a higher proportion of women in an occupation leads to lower pay because of the discounting of work performed by women.”

“We don’t just want women to fail, we need it. Female failure is a live demonstration of all our stereotypes about female weakness, and a confirmation of all our old prejudices against women entering the public sphere.”

“Where is our primal scream against being bullied, dismissed, reviled for the misdeeds of others and witch-hunted for the crime of being competent while female?”

“women seeking to run for office still encounter barriers their male counterparts do not”

“But since that initial spark of dissent, she says, many students have since become aware of the historical and current context of their chosen profession.”

“We see right through you. We have all known you at some point. Your ways are not unfamiliar to us. We see through you because we’ve been dealing with you our whole lives.”

“Let’s end the war on women! “

“This is not normal, this is not politics as usual,” she said. “This is disgraceful, it is intolerable, and it doesn’t matter what party you belong to. … No woman deserves to be treated this way – none of us deserves this kind of abuse.”

“we’re not daughters and wives, we’re humans with lives”

“lord give me the confidence of a mediocre white man”

“It is all unspoken, a clubby secret, a male form of control based on exclusion.”

“Bush and Trump on that bus are, in so many ways, the apotheosis of what so many of Hillary Clinton’s supporters are ready to overturn: the musty sleaziness that went out of style in the 1970s; the old bosses who want their secretaries pretty; the cigar-chomping power brokers who think sexual harassment is the woman’s problem; the drooling dimwits who have gotten further than they should have on connections and male privilege. The bus is the old boys’ club that women rarely get to see inside — but it may also turn out to be the wrecking ball that takes down the club for good.”

“Helen Mirren was on the receiving end of quite possibly the most sexist interview ever”

“It is very often uncertainty and not mediocrity that holds women back, writes Julia Baird. We should all shun self-doubt and embrace a little white man confidence.”

“Whenever I assert myself or stand up for other women, I am often told I am just seeking attention. This is really dismissive – it’s saying that the things [women] care about are frivolous and don’t deserve attention,” she said. “But what’s wrong with getting attention about something you care about? Calling someone an attention seeker is an insidious way of taking power away from women who are using their own voices.”

“Studies of the hard data of gender bias—in an era of hard data—should be required reading of all administrators and all faculty who are called upon to make decisions about hiring, tenure, and promotion based on purely quantitative measures such as “productivity” or “citation counts.” An adage of data scientists is “garbage in, garbage out.” That means if the sample or the data is corrupt or biased when it is first entered, then any conclusions based on mining or crunching that data must be regarded with keen skepticism. You cannot simply count the end product (such as number of articles accepted, reviewed, awarded prizes, or cited) without understanding the implicit bias that pervades the original selection process and all the subsequent choices on the way to such rewards.”

“Equality comes from people either sacrificing their privilege or having it forcibly taken away from them. It does not come from waiting for the oppressed to rise up and meet it.”

“Adrienne Rich used the term ‘patriarchialism’ to refer to a state of affairs that pretends to promote equality by insisting that women’s contributions should look like men’s. This type of competition is an example of this. Many women composers report taking other creative paths as composers than the ‘standard’ orchestral commission route because they feel excluded and want to make their work on their own terms. Tara Rodgers’s book, Pink Noises brings together accounts from women in electronic music that show that this is also the case in this field, and that sexism, bias and gendered assumptions are things that women composers encounter on a daily basis.

Asking why women and non-white composers do not participate in areas that exclude them is not the answer.”

“A number of artists have recently spoken up about how things appear to be getting worse. Kaija Saariaho, in the same talk I mentioned earlier, states, “30 years after my own battles, young women still have to experience much the same everyday discrimination I went through. In reading more studies about our recent history in this matter, I have understood that the situation is not slowly getting better, but that the improvements seem to have stopped a while ago.” Bjork shocked fans in a 2015 interview with Jessica Hopper on online magazine Pitchfork where she claimed that she had been fighting to be recognised as the producer on her albums for her entire career “I didn’t want to talk about that kind of thing for 10 years,” she said, “but then I thought, ‘You’re a coward if you don’t stand up. Not for you, but for women. Say something.” These comments are important because they highlight the burgeoning nature of the problem. When someone with such a large public profile speaks up, everyone can listen. I particularly took heart from Bjork’s comment that she plans “to support young girls who are in their 20s now and tell them: You’re not just imagining things.” This harks back to my earlier point, when I looked at my own experience in a new light. Bjork also refers to the woman’s voice in the process of making electronic music “Everything that a guy says once, you have to say five times.” But maybe even five times isn’t enough.”

Olga Neuwirth “As I said, we are in the world of classical music, which is still white, male, and patriarchal—in other words, still rooted in a hegemonic system. And generally speaking all linguistic systems are still male, because an alternative female language hasn’t been found yet. That is not to say that at times women are not allowed to initiate things. But for the most part, a confrontational woman who consistently rejects false images and embellished tales of life and art is not taken seriously, but treated with contempt. In any case, the history of my life as a composer is also the story of the constant questioning of a woman’s ability to compose. And that’s demoralizing.”

“We need to keep changing the attitude that punishes women for their sexuality and rewards men for theirs.”

“Too many dicks on the dance floor”

“Token women are wheeled out constantly, but just because there is some female presence doesn’t mean we’ve got equality,”