It’s a Tuesday morning on Earth, and all across work spaces, offices, newsrooms, and other places of creative gathering, women are being silenced, marginalized and disputed. Martha Meredith, of Toronto electronic-pop project For Esmé, is tired of it.
For Esmé’s latest single, the vibrant “Doubtmouth,” details Meredith increasing frustration of being a woman in the workplace, and recalls her personal experiences as a female voice working in male-dominated teams. It doesn’t even matter the industry in which Meredith toils in when not crafting pitch-perfect electro-pop, because the issue crosses over any career lines. “Doubtmouth” is all about how women are taught to suppress their anger, but it’s also about not settling for the bullshit anymore.
“Over the past few years I’ve worked in four different all male teams for different jobs and I was exhausted from all the tiptoeing I felt I had to do be heard,” Meredith says. “I found repeatedly that if I spoke the same way the men on my team spoke, that I would be treated negatively for being ‘too confident’ or ‘too outspoken’ or ‘too combative’ — even though it was precisely these traits that got me those positions in the first place. I have experienced being labeled an ‘angry woman’ first hand, and I am a very level person.”
She adds: “I dove into some psych studies and found the results disturbing. In a blind test, when men and women promote the exact same opinion assertively to a group (word for word), subjects overwhelmingly shift their opinions to agree with the man when he speaks, and are more likely to push against and oppose the same view if it comes from a woman. It was a relief to discover this wasn’t in my head, but it was also incredibly frustrating — if the bias runs that deep in both men and women, how do we overcome it?”
“Doubtmouth” is the lead track from her upcoming LP Righteous Woman, which is out May 25. We already hear it loud and clear. Listen to the song above via Spotify, and lock into Meredith’s brilliant lyrical wisdom below via the lyric video.
Featured For Esmé photo by Vanessa Heins.