Kalliope Jones, a band made up of three young teenage girls, competed against other 12-to-16-year-old musicians Massachusetts’ Tri-County Fair Battle of the Bands this weekend. The sole male judge on the panel reportedly took points away from the band in the “Stage Presence - Showmanship” category because the girls weren’t sultry enough and that is what girl performers are supposed to be.
On his scorecard, the unidentified judge wrote: “ ♥ the sultry in bassist voice + Guitar singer’s too... Use the sultry to draw in the crowd.” He then gave them a bonus point because “Chicks Rock.” The band won third place.
The band, which is made up of Isabella DeHerdt, 16, on vocals and guitar, Alouette Batteau, 14, drums and vocals, and Amelia Chalfont, 14, on bass, posted their response to Facebook:
As Amelia Chalfant said, “A woman’s sex appeal, or anyone’s for that matter, should not be the defining factor in their success in the music industry, and in addition to that, WE ARE CHILDREN! WE ARE 14-16 YEARS OLD.” The judges tried to say they meant it as a positive thing; that it was supposed to mean “soulful”. They did not understand why we confronted them about it...
We then asked if they had made similar comments to any of the bands that were made up of only boys. They said, “Oh, no. It is a completely different thing.” Actually, it really isn’t. This conspicuous act of sexist and stereotypical thinking was deplorable and pathetic.
The event organizers did not immediately respond to request for comment from MassLive.
“We do not, in any way, want to be demonizing or offending the judges, sponsors, or fair organizers by making this announcement,” the band wrote in a clarifying statement on Tuesday. “We understand that the judges may not have even realized that what they said was sexist; it’s just what many define the music industry as these days.”
“We sincerely hope the judges made an honest mistake in their use of the word ‘sultry,’ and that they, the sponsors, and the fair organizers join us in eradicating sexism wherever it may show up.”
This is the band. I feel jealous of how good they are.
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Image via Facebook.