‘Promise me you’re never the victim’: Women musicians’ narratives of identity and creativity in the wake of the disclosure of sexual abuse

  • Rosemary Lucy Hill (Speaker)
  • Catherine Strong (Speaker)
  • Bianca Fileborn (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Recent social movements such as #MeToo and a growing number of research projects have drawn overdue attention to the normalisation of sexual abuse in parts of the music industries. This growing space that exists for disclosure of sexual violence or indeed, a certain pressure to disclose in a culture of confession- has meant that women musicians are increasingly publicly discussing their experiences of such abuse. By exploring case studies of three artists- Kesha, Lingua Ignota and Alice Glass--who experienced sexual abuse that took place while they were part of the music industries and at the hands of others involved in music-making, we will examine how creative expressions about abuse are incorporated into their musical works and how elements of their public identities are (re)framed in response to this. We find that while women who have experienced sexual violence must always do identity work that responds to cultural scripts and normative narratives about what it means to be a victim/survivor, women musicians are also constrained or enabled in various ways by genre norms, expectations of authentic music expression, and commercial imperatives in an industry that is at best an enabler, and at worse a type of perpetrator of, abuse.
Period17 Jun 2021
Event titleWomen in Global Music Network Launch
Event typeSeminar
LocationOxford/online, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational