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Creeper’s Hannah Greenwood: “I Find Myself Going To Extra Lengths To Prove That I Am Perfectly Entitled To Be On The Stage”

Creeper keyboardist/vocalist Hannah Greenwood reflects on the concept of equality on International Women’s Day

The dictionary defines equality as ‘the state of being equal, especially in status, rights or opportunities.’

Synonyms include words such as fairness, justness, impartiality, egalitarianism, emancipation, freedom, justice and many more. As a concept it seems straightforward enough; as a reality it is proving anything but straightforward, and continues to cause much bloodshed, debate, anger, angst and distress.

It is an enormous topic to describe, define and consider. It affects each of us very differently depending on the area of our lives, or others, to whom we are attributing the scenario.

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To take one example – that of women in the arts and entertainment industry – International Women’s Day is an opportunity to highlight the ongoing inconsistencies that detract from our sense of real equality in the workplace. As in so many fields, the sheer male dominance within the industry makes the simple equation difficult to balance. What is it that attracts so many men in the first place? Is it that certain instruments have been offered to men, where they have not been to women, and that steers women in a different direction from the outset? I remember at school the majority of my female classmates would learn the flute, violin or piano while several of my male classmates would be enjoying guitar and drum lessons outside of school.

It wasn’t until I was around 12 or 13 (when I discovered I much preferred listening to Sum 41 and Good Charlotte than Steps – although they have some absolute bangers), that I realised the sheer lack of female representation in the world of alternative music. I remember thinking how unbalanced the genre was and wanted to make a change to prove that it shouldn’t be just a boys’ club, so I joined my first band at 15 and picked up the bass a year later.

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I’ve had more than my share of being treated unequally in the workplace, just for being a woman – as so many of my female peers have. Sadly, I find myself having to go to extra lengths in order to prove that I am perfectly entitled to be on the stage or behind the barrier, despite wearing a brightly-coloured lanyard clearly displaying my pass, while male members of crew etc may have theirs tucked inside a pocket or not clearly obvious and sail on into the venue without so much as a second glance.

It would be nice to arrive at a point where women from all backgrounds can feel comfortable in any situation. I feel we are making some progress towards this, but sadly we still have a long way to go. Until women are viewed without any bias it is hard to imagine a definitive improvement. International Women’s Day helps raise the profile every year.

Posted on March 8th 2020, 9:00am
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