Patriarchal Pits: The gendered experiences of female concert photographers

Abstract: While the presence of women in photojournalism is increasing, the way they are treated by their male counterparts remains unbalanced. Drawing from feminist theory and embodiment, this study examines how the gendered experience plays out for women in a particular niche of photojournalism; concert photography. The restricted access of the music scene and the embodied nature of photojournalism combine to present unique barriers for women. In-depth interviews with male and female concert photographers show women still face a form of patriarchal oppression in the field. This is seen through gendered language, such as ‘one of the guys’ versus a ‘mom in the pit’, embodied actions such as direct sexual harassment or indirect benevolent sexism, and in how women are questioned when they identify themselves as a photographer.