Untouchable: The Male Gaze, ASU Jazz, and the Phoenix Community

When I was an undergrad running with the jazz boys, no one wanted to sleep with me.

…Yeah, I didn’t know how to start this one, either. For all my work addressing sexual assault, I actually don’t spend all that much time dealing with sex. (I tend to leave that creative artistry to Rebecca Drapkin, the sex-positive to my sex-negative.) While I love my body and everything it can do, I’ve grown accustomed to keeping my sexual side to myself. I’m still figuring out how much of it belongs in my artistic life. And though that answer is nonzero, part of why I keep my sex life (and body, and sexuality, and . . .) separate from the rest of my artistic discourse is just because I don’t share all of me with all of you. But part of it isn’t, and there are reasons for that—reasons I can trace back to a very specific time and place—and though I’d rather not discuss any of this, I think it’s time.

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On Jazz Performance and the Isolation of Women

*If you don’t like opinions, keep scrolling, friends.*

I don’t talk very much about being a jazz musician. I’m not sure I specifically discuss being a classical musician, either; I’ve spent enough time crossing between the genres that I’m not sure I really care what my label is right now. But I do spend quite a bit of time in the jazz world, listening to jazz music and interacting with jazz people. A lot of them are really awesome, and almost all of them are rational, reasonable individuals when spoken to one-on-one. But the problem with jazz, as with plenty of other male-dominated fields, is that when you get large groups of us together, mob mentality takes over and things are said that shouldn’t be said.

Continue reading On Jazz Performance and the Isolation of Women