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Grimes performs at the 2012 Polaris Prize Gala in Toronto last September. (Tim Fraser For The Globe and Mail)
Grimes performs at the 2012 Polaris Prize Gala in Toronto last September. (Tim Fraser For The Globe and Mail)

Grimes takes sharp aim at sexist attitudes in the music world Add to ...

“I don’t want to have to compromise my morals in order to make a living.”

Claire Boucher, the highly creative Montreal-based musician who goes by the name Grimes professionally, issued a bold and sharp manifesto yesterday on her tumblr account. The crystal-clear missive addressed sexist attitudes in pop culture and the music industry. “i dont want to be molested at shows or on the street by people who perceive me as an object that exists for their personal satisfaction,” wrote Boucher, who rose to high indie-act status upon the release of the album Visions in 2012. “I’m tired of men who aren’t professional or even accomplished musicians continually offering to ‘help me out’ (without being asked),” she continued, “as if i did this by accident and i’m gonna flounder without them. or as if the fact that I’m a woman makes me incapable of using technology. I have never seen this kind of thing happen to any of my male peers.”

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A stylistic omnivore, Boucher recently wrapped up her touring in support of the sublime, Juno-winning Visions with an appearance at this year’s Coachella festival in Indio, Calif.. A review of her performance by Rolling Stone described the 25-year-old Vancouver-born artist as less “a modern pop diva than an experimental producer,” and as a performer in charge of her dynamic electro-pop adventure. “Because it’s so improvised, I don’t like other people controlling the songs,” she later told Rolling Stone. “It’s interesting to be a front person who is controlling the majority of the sound.”

In her tumblr post, Boucher complained of being referred to as “cute” or as a “waif,” even when the words were being employed in complimentary fashion. She then went on to present the dictionary definition of the words, citing waif as a noun that refers to a helpless person and cute as an adjective more appropriate for a kitten.

After her online appeal for respect sparked a flurry of interest and support among Twitter users, Boucher posted an addendum that mentioned how rewarding it was to meet her fans, and clarified that “if u see me on the street its like, totally fine to say hi.” Boucher also said she would begin work on a new album, a record she told Rolling Stone would be less “synthy.”

In 2009, Boucher showed an exploratory bent beyond her music when she and a male friend attempted to sail down the Mississippi River in a self-built house-raft packed with chickens, a sewing machine and 20 pounds of potatoes. The Huck Finn-fuelled escapade, plagued by mechanical issues with the boat, was halted by Minnesota park police.

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