Saturday, January 5, 2013

Just Another Feminist Rant

Happy New Year folks! I hope your holidays weren't too painfully filled with family and your NYE was safe.

If you think you could indulge me here, and as you're reading this right now I'd assume the answer is yes, because I'm about to go on a rant.

This morning I was going through a music blog that a friend recommended to me for some new bands and artists to listen to. I love discovering new music but I tend to get stuck inside my same old playlist so I try my best to actively seek out new sounds I enjoy. As far as music goes, I seem to have gotten pigeon holed in a certain sound. Years ago I found what I liked and I've kind of stuck to similar things since. I venture outside of it, but I always go back to the same aesthetic. So for me finding new styles of music that I enjoy equally is a big deal and finding people who can recommend new music is key.

So I'm reading and listening to this blog. I like a fair bit of it, I'm grooving, happy that I'm getting some exposure to artists I would've never otherwise heard. It's a great start to my day and I'm looking forward to plugging some of this into my ears when I head out in the busy slushy streets of Montreal later today.

And then I get up to get coffee and it hits me. Through three pages of this blog, there is not a single female identified artist. One band has a female singer, but there isn't a solo female artist or band. And my insides instantly go GGGRRRRRR.

I understand that this blog is written by a cisman. I understand that from his perspective this is just the music he enjoys and feels like sharing. It's not him neccessarily that makes me so irate. Its the entire entertainment industry. Its the lack of movies that pass the Bechdel Test (If you don't know what this is see: It's the fact that so often music written and performed by women is put into the Lilith Fair category and dismissed as something best left for the folkies. Or it's packaged and sold to the masses as airy, light, sexy dance club hits. Anyone who thinks music is no longer a boy's club need look no further than a magazine stand, radio, music blog or their local venues.

How many female identified fronted bands, solo artists or MC's do you see headlining shows? Look at the posters on the street. Check the festival lineups.

Most of all, DO NOT try to tell me that there are just less women making music. That is simply not the truth. There are women everywhere making incredible music and pushing boundaries. When a woman walks into the room and sits behind a drum kit, watch the faces of the people in the crowd. You will see more sceptisism and looks of "I wonder if this chick can actually play" then you would if a man sat behind the same kit.

I am aching for the day when women aren't cornered into only playing at womyn's festivals. So here's something you can do: go to local shows where women are showcasing. Buy the albums. If you're a musician and you know women trying to push their way into the scene, book them. Don't treat them as less than, don't instantly roll your eyes at 'chick rock' unless you want us to treat your 'cock rock' in the same manner.

If you disagree with me- show me that I'm wrong. Give me 5 local bands or artists that you love that are getting bookings, reviews and headlining shows with their male counterparts. Because I would love to go to a show and not only see a bunch of men rocking out (regardless of how awesome they are). If I go to a show where 3 bands are playing and not a female on stage in sight, I consider that a pity.

And if you're a reviewer, make sure there is AT LEAST one review of female musicians somewhere in your list of 'Best of 2012', because women are doing incredible things in the world of music. And that deserves recognition too.

-End Rant-

Here's an awesome track from Slutever, because they kick some ass.