Da Black Whole

Friday, July 22, 2005

Stripping the Gender Fascists

Male Violinist Sues Philharmonic

Fri Jul 22, 3:09 PM ET

NEW YORK - A violinist who claims the New York Philharmonic fired him because he is a man says some of the women who were promoted ahead of him gave flowers and other gifts to their bosses.

Anton Polezhayev, 29, says in a lawsuit that he was asked to leave after the 2003-2004 season, in the last month of his 17-month probation, despite being told by orchestra officials that he was doing "a fine job" and that his playing was "perfect."

Polezhayev's lawyer, Lenard Leeds, said Friday that the Philharmonic's personnel manager, Carl R. Schiebler, even wrote a letter to a landlord on the violinist's behalf, saying he expected Polezhayez would be "a long-term member of the orchestra."

Meanwhile, Polezhayev says in court papers filed Thursday, seven female violinists won permanent jobs or were promoted over him, although some had less experience than he had, or had not auditioned for the positions.

Polezhayev's court papers and Leeds said that some of the women's progress was accomplished by giving gifts, including flowers and champagne, to musical director Lorin Maazel and Glenn Dicterow, the concertmaster or principal violinist.

Of the Philharmonic's 33 violinists, 20 are women, the orchestra's Web site says.

"I think that if I were exactly the same person in a female body they would keep me for life and never fire me," Polezhayev said Friday by telephone.

Eric Latzky, the Philharmonic's spokesman, said he had no comment on the lawsuit.

Polezhayev, a U.S. citizen since 1996, is a native of Russia where he began his musical education in Moscow. En route to the Philharmonic, he won or placed well in several international violin competitions.
During his Philharmonic probationary period, Polezhayev was supposed to have 13 meetings with orchestra leaders so they could give him feedback and progress reports, court papers say. No such meetings were held, he says.

After Polezhayev complained to Schiebler and Dicterow about what he considered gender discrimination, they brought his complaints to Maazel's attention.

Maazel told Polezhayev in a meeting that he was being fired for "unprofessional behavior" and because he "was not good for the orchestra," despite being a good violinist, court papers say.

The musician said no one had expressed concern before about his behavior. On Feb. 10, 2004, court papers say, he received a letter from Schiebler telling him he was being fired as a Sept. 19, 2004.
Polezhayev says in court papers he was actually fired "in part, due to his gender and/or because of his good faith opposition to discriminatory practices."

"There was long-term damage to my career," Polezhayev said in the phone interview. "I will have a lot of trouble getting a job with another good orchestra. Getting fired is a black mark on your career. All musicians know that."

Polezhayev's lawsuit names the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York, Maazel, Dicterow and Schiebler as defendants. He is demanding a permanent job, back pay, and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Leeds said that after his client was fired, he was forced to give up his Manhattan apartment and move back into his parents' Long Island home. The lawyer said Polezhayev has not worked since being fired by the orchestra.

The Philharmonic is currently in Vail, Colo., for a nine-day concert series.

how many times have i been subjected to similar discrimination in US workplaces, both public and private sector?

a fucking shitload, that's how many times -- and i've seen it happen to many other men, with the federal and state governments being the worst discriminators and oppressors

concurrent with the victory of modern feminism three decades ago, our streets and prisons suddenly began to overflow with dispossesed, "criminal" men

read the story again above if you want to know why -- just multiply Anton's experience by ten million


  • Written by Tommy Crain, Taz Gregorio, Charlie Daniels, Fred Edwards, Charlie Hayward and Jim
    (© Cabin Fever Music.)
    From "A Decade Of Hits", © 1974, Epic

    The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal.
    He was in a bind 'cos he was way behind: he was willin' to make a deal.

    When he came across this young man sawin' on a fiddle and playin' it hot. And the devil jumped upon a hickory stump and said: "Boy let me tell you what:

    "I bet you didn't know it, but I'm a fiddle player too. And if you'd care to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you."

    "Now you play a pretty good fiddle, boy, but give the devil his due:
    "I bet a fiddle of gold against your soul, 'cos I think I'm better than you."

    The boy said: "My name's Johnny and it might be a sin, "But I'll take your bet, your gonna regret, 'cos I'm the best that's ever been."

    Johnny you rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard.
    'Cos hells broke loose in Georgia and the devil deals it hard.
    And if you win you get this shiny fiddle made of gold.
    But if you lose, the devil gets your soul.

    The devil opened up his case and he said: "I'll start this show."
    And fire flew from his fingertips as he resined up his bow.
    And he pulled the bow across his strings and it made an evil hiss.
    Then a band of demons joined in and it sounded something like this.


    When the devil finished, Johnny said: "Well you're pretty good ol' son. "But if you'll sit down in that chair, right there, and let me show you how its done."

    Fire on the Mount, run boys, run.
    The devil's in the house of the risin' sun.
    Chicken in the bread pin, pickin' out dough.
    "Granny, does your dog bite?"
    "No, child, no."


    The devil bowed his head because he knew that he'd been beat.
    He laid that golden fiddle on the ground at Johnny's feet.

    Johnny said: "Devil just come on back if you ever want to try again.
    "I told you once, you son of a bitch, I'm the best that's ever been."

    And he played Fire on the Mount, run boys, run.
    The devil's in the house of the risin' sun.
    Chicken in the bread pan pickin' out dough.
    "Granny, does your dog bite?"
    "No, child, no."

    [instrumental to end]

    By Blogger Annie, At 3:18 PM  

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