Shirley Manson insists ‘men need to start policing their own’

Edinburgh rock star Shirley Manson has spoken out against the Grammy chief’s comments about women needing to “step up”.

In response to the controversial comments from Neil Portnow, the Garbage singer said that “men need to start policing their own” when it comes to representing their gender.

In an interview with The Independent, Stockbridge-raised Manson said: “If I were a dude, I would be so embarrassed to have my sex represented in this way.

“It makes men look so out of touch. Men need to start policing their own. These attitudes are so archaic, un-evolved and utterly insulting.”

Manson’s comments come after Portnow responded to the fact New Zealand pop sensation Lorde didn’t get asked to give a solo performance at the Grammys in January, despite being an Album of the Year nominee.

Apart from Jay Z, who turned down the chance to perform, all the other nominees in Lorde’s category were given a slot on the show. And all were male artists.

Portnow said at the time: “I think it has to begin with women who have the creativity in their hearts and their souls who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, who want to be producers, who want to be part of the industry on an executive level to step up.

“There’s so many opportunities today. So if someone’s passionate about it, doesn’t matter what your gender, genre, geography – do it yourself, take it from your heart and put it out there.”

Portnow faced heavy criticism for his comments – and now Manson has pitched in, saying: “My first thought on his embarrassing tirade was, ‘What an ignorant, sexist, misogynistic, out of touch and tone-deaf old fool’. My second thought was that we should demand his resignation.

“This kind of attitude and rhetoric must be stamped out. I am amazed more men haven’t spoken out in defense of female artists. It’s almost as though they don’t think it has any bearing on them or that it doesn’t matter to culture as a whole.”

As reported on AAA Edinburgh recently, Manson is to receive this year’s Icon Award at the VO5 NME Awards 2018.

She will appear in person to collect the coveted prize at London’s O2 Academy Brixton on February 14, where she’ll be “honoured for her consistently inspirational contribution to music and beyond”.

“I am quite shocked but delighted to be recognised by NME with this award,” she said. “I read it religiously as a young teen and well into adulthood, back when it was still a broadsheet, learning so much between its pages about music and the trailblazing artists who filled its pages.

“I will always be grateful for their support in being one of the first British publications to help break Garbage back in 1995 and I still use the website as an excellent resource for discovering new talent. So yeah…. I’m pretty chuffed about it.”

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