“I make my own decisions – good and bad – and that’s what feminism’s all about,” Charli XCX concludes at the end of The F Word And Me, her BBC3 documentary exploring what it’s like to be a woman in music in 2015. In it, she hears stories from her own band, Marina Diamandis and MS MR frontwoman and Neon Gold co-founder Lizzy Plapinger of the industry not taking them seriously or having to fight to do what they want in their careers.
It should be shocking that these women’s stories are so uniformly similar, especially in a time when feminism is such a huge talking point. But it’s not, because anecdotes like label execs blanking Plapinger in meetings and directing discussion at her male business partner are all too familiar. That’s why it’s so important that someone with the influence and sway of Charli XCX is showing what women’s experiences in music are really like. It won’t change attitudes over night, but programmes like The F Word And Me should make people – from label bosses and media, to other musicians and fans – think about how they interact with and treat women in the future.