Media sexist, says Bjork

Bjork at the Texas festival, where she DJ-ed wearing a mask.
Bjork at the Texas festival, where she DJ-ed wearing a mask.PHOTO: BJORK’S FACEBOOK

REYKJAVIK • Icelandic icon Bjork has lashed out at the media for its "sexist" views, saying women are expected to sing about romance, not science.

"Women in music are allowed to be singer-songwriters, singing about their boyfriends," she wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.

But, she added, "if they change the subject matter to atoms, galaxies, activism, nerdy math beat editing, or anything else (other) than being performers singing about their loved ones, they get criticised."

Bjork, 51, said she had not "moaned about sexism" through most of her career, but got fired up after criticism of her DJ set at a Texas festival last weekend. She complained that journalists attacked her for DJ-ing instead of performing, while male DJs escaped criticism.

"Some media could not get their head around that I was not 'performing' and (was) 'hiding' behind desks. And my male counterparts not. And I think this is sexism," she wrote. She was wearing a mask while DJ-ing, as she had in other performances.

Despite four decades in music, she said she was accepted by critics only last year with the release of an autobiographical album about her break-up from her long-time partner, artist Matthew Barney.

"I made Volta and Biophilia, conscious of the fact that these were not subjects females usually write about," she wrote, referring to her 2007 and 2011 albums.

"I sang about pregnant suicide bombers and for the independence of (the) Faroe Islands and Greenland... I sang about galaxies and atoms but it wasn't until Vulnicura, where I shared a heartbreak, that I got full acceptance from the media," she complained.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2016, with the headline 'Media sexist, says Bjork'. Print Edition | Subscribe