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Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino shares essay on sexism within the music industry

Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast has penned an essay for actress Lena Dunham’s public newsletter, Lenny Letter, outlining her experiences with sexism within the music industry.

Lena Dunham Newsletter

Recently, Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against founder of Life or Death PR Agency Heathcliff Berru, where Cosentino was one of the first people to publicly support and back her up.

In the letter, she discusses her experiences with ignorant journalists, abusive and inappropriate behaviour from crowds and online harassment. In the letter, she states:

“I recently read a review that mostly lauded a Best Coast show — it specified how great the band sounded and how “sexy” I looked — but it bemoaned my lack of smiling. This article has, and continues to, deeply trouble me. This reviewer’s gendered critique of my presence onstage revealed how he thought a woman who he saw as “sexy” should behave. It also showed how ideas about the sexualization of women are reinforced. Many people did not see the underlying sexism of the review. In fact, in the social media referencing the article, countless people attacked me with comments like “Get over it! He complimented you! Quit being a whiny bitch!”

She adds:

“People need to stop calling women “bitches” because they’re strong and empowered. People need to stop calling me a “slut” for my public support of Planned Parenthood, an organization that has saved my life as well as many other men’s and women’s lives. People need to stop calling me a “whiny baby” because I write songs about heartache and my feelings.”

You can read the letter in full here.