Where are you from?
Massachusetts born, New York raised, Chicago married.
How do you spend your time?
Making music with some of my best friends and favorite people in Storm Clouds and Richard Vein, loving my pusses Pat Benatar and Isabella Rossellini, working with Chicago youth with iMentor, fighting for feminism, reproductive rights and respectful autonomy with SYA773, Women in Music Chicago and Feminist Advice from the City of Broad Shoulders. And I have basically the coolest job in the world as a talent buyer up here at the Metro family of venues.
What’s your story?
I am incredibly lucky in that I have worked in music my entire life. Piano teacher, Broadway, Universal Records, Verve Records, Cornerstone/FADER, Vice Records, Pitchfork, the Empty Bottle and now Metro. That being said, for most of my professional life I have been the girl in the room. Which is something I have always been aware of and for much of my life it didn’t really bother me. Everything sort of flipped on its head when I was hired at Metro – there was a piece written about me that included a photograph of my band and I am the only girl in the photo. I’ve benefited by having a first name that is fairly gender-ambiguous, talking like a sailor in real life and in writing and often it’s assumed I am male. And then all of a sudden I was out there. This is Christen. She’s a girl. Surprise! Really quickly I joined a team that has incredibly strong and capable women in major positions of power and influence and I was invited to speak in several arenas about being a woman in the music industry. It’s been a year I didn’t know was coming, but I’m reveling in the newness of it all and appreciate the strong, opinionated, smart, fierce, funny and talented women that have come into my sphere.
What’s your feminist story?
I like to say I’m a reluctant woman but a proud feminist. I identify as a queer woman and was raised by a tribe of terrifyingly confident and talented amazing queer weirdos. It was a gift and I didn’t know how valuable and freeing that rearing was until later in my life, but whatever confidence I possess at this juncture in my life came largely from discovering the hyper-masculine world of NYC music in the early aughts and the hyper-sexy-fluid world of the NYC queer scene during that same time. I have always thought of myself as an “other” but through it all have been awed by the power that the “other” have when they work together.
What is feminism?
It’s super fucking simple. It’s the belief that we all - regardless of the parts we are born with, the sex we choose to have, the people we get to love – we all deserve the same respect, rights, protection and autonomy.
What does "Feminist as Fuck" mean?
It’s a rallying cry. Storm the gates. Burn it down. Fuck any power that gets its power by holding others down. We are so much stronger, taller, more alive when we are together. Feminist as Fuck = Let’s Fucking Do This.
What feminist topics are most important to you?
Reproductive health. Intersectionality. Keeping others safe. Believing victims and figuring out how to hold abusers accountable. And professionally, creating safe spaces and respecting boundaries, needs and bodies.