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‘If I had a dick, I would be treated differently’ says Garbage’s Shirley Manson

Shirley Manson
(Image credit: Rick Kern/WireImage))

Garbage vocalist Shirley Manson has offered a scathing critique of the music business as an industry where sexism, misogyny, exploitation and abuse is rife. 

Garbage released their seventh album, No Gods No Masters, on June 11, and while taking on media duties to promote the collection, Manson has offered a no-holds-barred portrait of the music industry as “an absolute nest of abuse of power and sexual violence.”

“If I had a dick I would be treated differently,” she tells The Telegraph’s Neil McCormick, revealing how she is still routinely patronised by “male musicians, male managers, male accountants. Whoever I’m dealing with, I feel relegated to second position because I’ve got a vagina!

“I’ve talked about this my whole career,” she adds.

“I’ve been able to maintain my integrity. If I’m going to be the only one standing up in the middle of the room pointing out the turd in the corner, then so be it. I’m quite happy to fulfil that role.”

“Look, this is an industry that’s entirely unregulated, that legitimises the selling of teenagers. The insatiable appetite for young flesh is sickening, when they are signing 13-year-old girls and literally grooming them until they’re 16 and then putting their records out. Children should not be used to make money for big corporations.”

Manson is heartened, however, by the fearlessness she sees in emerging female artists, and welcomes the  day of reckoning looming for the music business.

“I was an anomaly in my generation,” she states. “I was described as loud-mouthed, opinionated, ‘she won’t shut up!’ And now I see all the women at it. Even the ones who are making quite pleasing pop music – they are also speaking up and pushing the agenda forward of a more egalitarian society. That’s exciting to me.”