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'Women stayed silent for way too long': Imelda May on abuse and sexual harassment

May said that while she was lucky to have good people around her in the music industry, she still faces sexist behaviour.

Source: The Late Late Show/YouTube

SINGER IMELDA MAY has said “it’s insane” that women have stayed silent for so long on the issue of abuse and sexual harassment, and said “it’s about time” that it’s highlighted.

Speaking to Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ’s The Late Late Show last night, May said most of her friends “have a story” that relates in some way to this form of harassment and that it was right to “expect a higher standard”.

The singer was responding in the wake of the revelations from Hollywood concerning the likes of Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein, with victims coming forward alleging abuse that stretches decades.

May said that while music can be a “man’s world”, she hasn’t fared too badly in the industry.

“I’ve had it in business though,” she said. “People turn up and say ‘whose gig is it really?’. They turn around and say to the guys ‘it can’t be her’.

I still get questions now, like ‘who writes your songs?’ which I find unbelievable. And if I do a co-write, someone might be like ‘oh, so someone helped you’. I say ‘no, it was an equal co-write’… I find it crazy.

She added that she constantly gets asked how she juggles motherhood and her career.

“Yes, I’m a feminist, in order to make things equal,” May said. “It’s time to set it right.

For women to come out and talk about this… It’s about time. It should be a safer world.

May was also asked about flying to Las Vegas to sing the national anthem at the Conor McGregor – Floyd Mayweather fight, and said she felt she made the right decision.

“It was last minute, yeah,” she said. “I had another gig. In 27 years of doing this, I have not cancelled a gig… It was a festival. People weren’t just coming to see me.”

She said she felt the call to sing the national anthem and that the promoter of the festival she was booked to play told her “if I was you, I would go”.

May also gave this rousing rendition of the song When it’s my Time, supported by the Discovery Gospel Choir.

Source: The Late Late Show/YouTube

Read: Vincent Browne: ‘We have a major problem with sexual abuse in our society, yet it gets no attention, nothing’

Read: Ibrahim Halawa: I didn’t rip up my passport and I don’t support Muslim Brotherhood

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Sean Murray

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