Farrugia, R. 2009. Building a Women-Centered DJ Collective.

Farrugia, Rebekah. 2009. “Building a Women-Centered DJ Collective: From San Francisco to CyberSpace to Sister USA.” Feminist Media Studies 9(3): 335-351.

Investigates women-centered EDM DJ collective Sister SF and how it responds to gender inequalities in male-dominate EDM culture. Though collective’s goals reflect liberal feminist basis (equality between sexes) – rejects feminist label.

Within music cultures, women are more likely to be in less powerful positions – “consumers, fans, and dancers, as opposed to being performers, producers, and managers” (336, see also McRobbie 1994).

Late 1980’s – EDM grew in cities (NY, Chicago) that had strong disco/club cultures – EDM and rave grew and fragmented into subgenres in 1990s, without much notice or credit given to women beyond their dancing or anonymous vocals on tracks (Bradby 1993). Homosocial social networks in production aid the prominence of male DJs – kx^ could this homosociality also be reflected on-ground, in the now primarily masculinized consumption of EDM?

Historically – (and lesser now) – women DJs were rarely acknowledged, booked for EDM festivals – not reflecting many festivals’ growth in popularity. “Women continue to be underrepresented in DJ culture and interviewees claim that when they are included it is not uncommon for them to experience a lack of support from male DJs” (339).

The fear of feminist label roots in 1980s backlash against women’s movement (Faludi 1991) – where women’s radio stations (although deliberately feminist) would avoid feminist labeling for fear of alienating men, offending listeners (see also Carter 2004, Mitchell 2000a) — negative portrayals of feminism and post-feminist “girl power” substitutes for feminism “positions girls and women as in control of their own destinies but does little to change gender power dynamics at play in wider culture” (340).

***For use in HF paper – as with aforementioned women’s radio stations, HF treads a careful boundary – “although the voice can be female, the message cannot be gendered feminist if the voice is to remain viable” (Carter 2004: 180, here 341).

*** Re-read for good references on gender/punk, mainstreaming and corporatization, etc.


Bradby, Barbara. 1993. “Sampling Sexuality: Gender, Technology and the Body in Dance Music.” Popular Music 12(2): 155-176.

Carter, S. 2004. “A Mic of Her Own: Stations, Collectives, and Women’s Access to Radio.” Journal of Radio Studies 1(2): 169-183.

Faludi, Susan. 1991. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. New York: Doubleday/Anchor Books.

McRobbie, Angela. 1994. Postmodernism and Popular Culture. New York: Routledge.

Mitchell, Caroline. 2000. “Sisters Are Doing It… From Fem FM to Viva! A History of Contemporary Women’s Radio Stations in the UK.” Pp. 94-110 in Women and Radio: Airing Differences, edited by Caroline Mitchell. New York: Routledge.


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