Your Source for Feminist Discourse

Business Or Pleasure?

Hello world! Cheers to you and cheers to my first blog post on JMU Shout Out!

I have been brainstorming what I should post for my first post for a while until this happened and I knew I had to write about it. It was something I had never encountered before and it left me with my  jaw dropped in shock, eyes wide with disbelief, and laughter filled with awkwardness. I clearly saw a shady side of the industry of my dreams. I have been working hard to get my foot in the door of the music industry through internships, school work, and networking. This past weekend I attended an event where I knew a couple of important people would be. After watching some awesome performances and chatting with a couple of people in the crowd, I had this conversations with a Regional Director who I briefly met earlier and gave my business card to…

Director: (catches my eye as he walks through the club) Oh hey! You just gave me your business card…you having a good time?

Me: (So excited someone important just struck up a convo with me) Yeah! This is cool, how about you?

Director: Yeah yeah enjoying the performances…what are you doing after this?

Me: Umm not sure yet, I have a friend that lives near by that I haven’t seen in a while so I might meet up with her.

Director: Hmmm well you see you should actually come back to my hotel…

Me: (jaw drops, quickly picks it up) Um? (Disbelief) Haha… (awkwardly laughs, not sure if he is just kidding)

Director: Silence. (Serious face)

Me: Oh, yeah, no, um..I’m actually here for more professional purposes…(feeling awk)

Director: Oh it’s ok I know how to separate business and pleasure…

Me: Oh..uh..haha..that’s good but no, no I’m just supporting a friend and meeting some industry people

Director: Well I should see you before you leave…when are you leaving?

Me: I’m leaving tomorrow so if you wanted to grab a cup of coffee and talk about your experience in the music industry, I’d love to hear about that.

Director: Oh I can bring you coffee in bed tomorrow…naked of course…then we’ll talk about music.

Me: Uh..(silent, looking in disbelief)

Director: Up to you…

Me: Haha, thanks but that’s really not why I’m here.

Director: Ha, okay (shrugs shoulders and walks away)

I was honestly so shocked/confused about what had just happened. I thought he was kidding at first. I thought, no way could I give this man my business card and talk about my internships just for him to find me later and ask me if I want to come back to his hotel?! What?!

The more I thought about it the angrier I became. Not only was this guy not seeing me as a professional, but he was using his position like he had some power over me…putting up road blocks as if sleeping with him would help me get ahead in my career. Get. Real. 

This had me thinking about women and the industry I am hoping to enter and I recalled many of the lectures and guest speakers I heard during my summer internship. All of the women always stressed the importance of your reputation. They would talk about how things will happen and you have to hold yourself to a high standard. People may still talk, but they said as long as you are true to yourself, you have nothing to prove to those people. At the time I didn’t fully understand, now I do. So sisters and brothers (the same situation could easily happen to a man), stay real, stay professional and don’t let someone like that get you down. I met a couple of other people during that night who were more interested in WHAT I was doing in life than WHO I was doing.

Has anyone else ever had an experience like this?? Leave a comment!


5 Responses to “Business Or Pleasure?”

  1. imagineherstory

    I wish that I could say that I was shocked that this happened to you, but as you said you hear so many horror stories like this it’s almost expected…which pisses me off! The ironic part is that in order for them to help you you’re supposed to sleep with them, but the moment you do they no longer take you seriously and the moment you don’t they tell you that you’re not willing to do what it takes to “make it”. You just can’t win with people like that. Not trying to call you out, it’s just I find it interesting that you felt the need to apologize for not wanting to go with him. I think women, in general, have this tendency to apologize for not wanting to be sexual with a guy, as if there is this inherent guilt a woman should feel for not wanting to have sex with someone. What do you think?


    • tohellwithsugarandspice

      Great point! I did not even realize I had apologized until you said that. I think in the moment I was so taken aback I didn’t know what to say but still did not want to be rude, especially since the music industry is such a tight knit community. Definitely an eye opener though!


  2. cpowell92

    WOW!! My jaw dropped just reading that story! It is so sad to think that some people do use their power over others like that. He stood a very small chance of any repercussions from that incident since you were in the lower position. I have to say though, I have experienced something similar to this. Last year, I was involved in an internship and my boss was an older man and the head of the entire establishment. I won’t give names or anything but it was for a counseling internship so he was in the psychology type area. Anyway, one day he all of a sudden started hitting on me and asking me if we could go get drinks on valentine’s day. I could not believe that he was so forward about it! He told me that he thought I was really “hot” (ha how sweet) and that he frequently dated younger women (he is 40, I was 21 at the time). I was so shocked that I did not know what to say and found myself trying to be really nice and felt bad if I were to reject him! (I of course did later on.) However, I was there to obtain interning experience and I really had admired him because he went to the same graduate school I wanted to go to. The whole situation was so uncomfortable and from that moment on, I lost all respect for him. I think I will be blogging about this situation but I thought I would share it with you as well! 🙂 You are not alone!


  3. ShoutOut! JMU

    […] of our fellow bloggers tohellwithsugarandspice gave me the idea to speak out when she shared her story! Before I begin, I want to discuss briefly what I have noticed about the difficulties of speaking […]



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