One of the co-founders of the Giegling collective has come under fire after allegedly making sexist comments during a Groove Magazine Interview. DJ Konstantin made remarks about female DJs; claiming that: “he considers it unfair that female DJs are supported so much at the moment, although they, in his opinion, are mostly worse DJs than men.” He has since released a statement to Resident Advisor that he regrets making these comments.
The initial comments were made in German magazine Groove, which was then sent out to the magazine’s subscribers. The article in question has not yet made it onto Groove‘s website. It was then reported by Mixmag, all before Konstantin released a statement to Resident Advisor.
So What Was Said By Giegling’s Konstantin?
The comments that Konstantin said went viral through a loose translation of the article published by Groove. During the interview, an unexpected discussion of feminism, in general, becomes the topic of conversation. Upon this subject, Konstantin comments that he finds that women are “disproportionately promoted” within the industry; he also claims that they are worse DJs than men.
He continues to state that women who go down this career path, which is mainly dominated by men; “lose their ‘female qualities’ and become more ‘masculine'”.
Within the same article, the writer and interviewer Laura Aha speaks to Dustin and Frauke of the Giegling collective. They state that Konstantin’s views aren’t the views of Giegling as a whole. They went on to say that “sexism is fundamentally not an issue in the group.”
Giegling’s Konstantin Regrets His Sexist Comments
He issued a statement through Resident Advisor claiming that the writer, Laura Aha, did not appreciate his bad sense of humour and that what was written doesn’t reflect his opinion or that of the label.
Here’s the full statement that Konstantin issued through Resident Advisor:
“I feel deeply sorry about the words that have been printed. These words are not a direct quote and are in my opinion misleading. I actually learned to DJ from my friend Sarah and of course I don’t think women are worse DJs than men. I completely regret what was said in that private conversation with the journalist, where she did not appreciate my bad sense of humour and my habit of taking opposite positions to challenge people, even if it sometimes goes way beyond my own opinion. What was written does not reflect my opinion nor is it at all anything other people from the label would ever say or feel. I accept the journalist’s point on the boy’s club. But we want women to be involved and we were always trying to involve women in our action.”
Giegling Has Been Axed From London’s Sunfall Festival
Following on from the sexist comments that Konstantin made, London’s Sunfall Festival has removed Giegling from their line-up. The collective had been scheduled to host an official afterparty for the festival at London’s Bloc venue on 12 August 2017. Konstantin and Giegling’s Leafar Legov was expected to perform.
In a statement on Facebook, The Columbo Group – organiser of Sunfall Festival, said this:
Here’s The Loose English Translation Snippet Of The Groove Magazine Article:
Konstantin seems to be the visionary head of the group, even if he rejects the description. For him the idea of a collective, in which all members contribute equally, is paramount. For this reason he also finds it particularly important that Giegling speaks to the press with a single united voice, without emphasising particular individuals. Just the next morning it becomes clear that this becomes problematic when individual voices collide with the predominant views of the collective.
I meet Konstantin again the following morning, on the train on the way to the concert in Leipzig. Out of an inconsequential anecdote a quite unexpected discussion about feminism in general, and about women in the electronic music scene specifically, develops. As with many top labels, the proportion of women involved in Giegling is vanishingly small; most operate, if at all, in the background. From the outside the label represents what in feminist circles is described as a boy’s club—a homogenous, male-dominated group that seems impermeable to women. However, instead of—as one would expect from the typically left-leaning techno scene—arguing for more gender equality behind the decks and support for female and non-binary DJs, Konstantin comments surprisingly vehemently on the issue. He considers it unfair that female DJs are supported so much at the moment, although they, in his opinion, are mostly worse DJs than men. Following this logic, he says, it’s therefore much easier for women to be successful as DJs, as the few women who are interested in DJing are disproportionately promoted.
The fact that exactly such initiatives are urgently necessary for social change, due to institutionalised, structural and above all concealed discrimination, seems to him to be a weak argument. Instead, he justifies his view with pseudoscientific references to a “natural” aspiration to power and need for recognition which is inherent in men. Women who strive for a career in the male-dominated DJ business therefore lose their “feminine qualities” and become more “masculine.”
Following this I speak to Dustin and the visual artist Frauke, one of the few women on tour as part of the collective. Both assure me that Konstantin’s opinion is very much isolated—if not unknown—within the collective. They say that it has nothing to do with the views of the other label members, who distance themselves from it unanimously. “Of course, in a collective everyone also does their own thing and goes their own way. But sexism is fundamentally not an issue in the group. Since the tour started we all have a familiar relationship. I don’t have any siblings but I think this it what that must feel like,” says Frauke of relationships among the group. “You love each other and you also fight over certain things.”