Something I probably don’t talk about enough on here, yet feel very strongly about, is feminism.
I constantly get frustrated by all the sexism still going on in the world but as someone passionate about music it’s in that world that it annoys me most: the music business. First of all, both in the biz and in music criticism, there aren’t that many women to be found. This in itself pisses me off. But then it’s just the way some women are treated, spoken about etc. And the way people speak about feminism in a demeaning manner or deem it to be useless in this day and age. As it’s been stated so many times and as so many situations have proven: it IS still necessary. Like one of my favourite fashion bloggers, Annebeth, said: feminism is basically just about equality. About women and men being treated the same way. I suppose most of you do agree on that one, right? If you don’t then I’d appreciate it if you stopped reading this blog right now thankyouverymuch.
Before I link to a couple of good articles I’d like to talk about my own experience. As you all know I love music and I especially love going to shows. As an enthusiastic and spontaneous person I often end up talking to people I hadn’t met before. These can be people from the audience but I mostly make sure to tell a band how much I loved their performance – in case I did. Sometimes we end up talking about other random things or we end up hanging around a little more and every now and then some of them become friends. Because they are people too, in the end.
Herein lies the problem. First of all there’s the notion that straight boys and straight girls can’t be friends because of you know, the tension it’ll always cause etc. I’ve always thought this was complete bullshit. Secondly, there’s the notion of groupie. Now this is the true cause of the problem. Many times people have called me a ‘groupie’ for hanging around with bands. A lot of the times it were people I knew well or friends and family. It always ends up seriously pissing me off – which somehow makes it funnier or, to them, proves their point even more. Because if I’m getting pissed off it must be true, right?
First of all: the definition of a groupie is someone sleeping with the member of a band. I don’t think talking to people is considered sleeping with them now, is it? Exactly. And even if that were the case, then what does it matter? Everyone does what they want.
Secondly: what is inherently wrong with talking to someone new? Most people do it all the time. And why shouldn’t you? There’s so many cool people out there you can get to know! It’s fun! Just because this new person you just met is in a band, doesn’t make it any different.
Thirdly: imagine I was a guy and I was talking to bands or being friends with them, would you then call me a groupie? Imagine if I was a dude and I’d just watched this kick-ass all girl band and I’d tell them about it after the show. I’d compliment them on their skills and I’d tell them how much I loved their songs. The girls end up being really nice people and since they have nothing to do and don’t know the city, you go out for a drink. If this guy was your friend and he told you this story, would you call him a groupie? I’m pretty sure that in 99% of the situations people wouldn’t. And why not? BECAUSE HE’S MALE.
See how much sense that makes? Exactly, no sense at all. It’s sexist, it’s discriminating and it annoys me NO END. So please refrain from making these hilarious comments in the future and mind your own business.
ANYHOW, onto the more positive part.
Luckily, to counter all of this, there’s lots of great pieces out there right now on these subjects.
Firstly, read this article on women and the UK music press.
Then, read Laura Snapes’ piece on Chris Brown, who recently performed at the Grammys. Make sure you read the whole piece because, as she states, it’s not just Chris Brown. Violence against women has happened by many a musician before.
Ok so I guess some of you will be agitated by what you just read. Because IT IS unfair and IT IS not okay. But let’s not forget that there are so many people out there that DO take a stand, that ARE different and that are MAKING a difference.
I think Laura Snapes in itself does stuff that is to be applauded.
Mentioned in the first article is my friend Alan who runs Wears The Trousers, an online (and sometimes print) publication that writes solely about music made by women.
There’s the always amazing Rookie Magazine founded by 15-year old Tavi (of The Style Rookie) that constantly tackles feminist subjects and brings it to a level for teenage girls. I honestly think that whole Rookie crew deserves a medal. What they’re doing is flipping awesome!
There’s Annebeth, who I’ve mentioned above.
There was the riot grrrl movement in the nineties who stood up for women’s rights and were kick-ass musicians at the same time.
There are the women working in the music industry that inspire me (too many to name).
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so many positive stuff out there that totally outweighs the bad for me. Get on it!