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Author Topic: women and music  (Read 35999 times)

Allybee

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women and music
« on: 27 Feb 2011, 07:35 »

a group of my friends just started a band. they are the only band on campus with more than one girl (they are usually all girls, although one boy has taken over for the regular bassist who is abroad).

I think they're pretty good. they are, in my biased opinion, a lot of talented musicians who haven't had a chance to play in a band before but are taking it really seriously.

my school has an awful anonymous gossip board and they are just being trashed for not being able to play their instruments.

Quote from: Anonymous Guy '12
these idiots looked so stupid not knowing how to play simple chords

I've never seen a band get trashed like this for "not being able to play." ever. sometimes bands get trashed for their attitude or the music that they choose to play, but never for the ability of the musicians. and we have some terrible bands at this school. am I crazy for thinking that it's because they are women? and being pissed off? too much kathleen hanna? do you guys think that men are more critical of women playing music than they would be of other men? I can't figure out why the guy who wrote that comment would specifically identify himself as male (you have the option to identify yourself as a gender or to leave it blank).

also worth reading, the bassist that is abroad wrote an editorial about this last semester before the band started playing together.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #1 on: 27 Feb 2011, 08:08 »


Quote from: Anonymous Guy '12
these idiots looked so stupid not knowing how to play simple chords

Well, neither could the Ramones, and people seem to like them...

What's the current "trends" like at your campus?
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Allybee

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Re: women and music
« Reply #2 on: 27 Feb 2011, 08:23 »

trends have nothing to do with it, because the music that they're playing hasn't been picked apart, just their ability to play it. my anger has to do with the fact that they CAN play their instruments and this criticism is totally unwarranted.

Quote from: the article I linked
It’s no secret that men dominate the music scene at Wesleyan, but Kathleen confirmed what a lot of us suspected: music is, generally, a boys club, which tends to marginalize girl bands and musicians as novelties.
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Elysiana

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Re: women and music
« Reply #3 on: 27 Feb 2011, 08:48 »

From just that song you linked, all I can hear is the drums and bass. Were there other instruments?? I mean, the drummer was fine but there wasn't much to the drumline, and the bassist was fine but the bassline was repetitive (but you said that was a guy anyway).

I think I heard a violin at one point, and it was a bit off-key.

To be honest, it sounded like a group of girls doing karaoke. <edit> That's probably due to the production value for the most part - it's not in a studio so it's really hard to hear what's going on. </edit>
« Last Edit: 27 Feb 2011, 09:28 by Elysiana »
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Re: women and music
« Reply #4 on: 27 Feb 2011, 09:03 »

It has to be pretty anecdotal from band to band.  When I lived in DeKalb, there was a group of three girls called The Patience that were pretty young and played better music than most of the bands in that town (a college town and these were three juniors/seniors in high school).
They may have been regarded as novelty because they were young, or all female, or perhaps both, but they were well respected in the community as musicians. 

Honestly, though, it sounds pretty unique to me that you are on a campus where people never trash a band's musicianship... I've never really heard of anything like that.    I mean, I'm not usually in situations where people "mock" a band's ability, but if a band can't play they're pretty much dismissed or put in the "maybe they will be better when the get older" or whatever category. 

here's the music of that band from DeKalb, by the way:
http://www.myspace.com/thepatiencemusic
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Cernunnos

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Re: women and music
« Reply #5 on: 27 Feb 2011, 09:10 »

I am really glad you brought brought this up! this comes up a lot in visual art (which is what i do). In the classes I've been taking of late it's been a significant part of the discussion, because the gallery art world is still, unfortunately, a boys club in a lot of ways (Consider the necessity of the work of these ladies back in the 80's). I had started to think about how this problem related to other disciplines because quite frankly It seems like Music, particularly rock music, is most definitely a boy's club. Granted, there have been some standout figures like Patti Smith and Yoko Ono but It still, like so many other fields seems to have horrible built-in prejudices.

Speaking of which, Required reading: Why Have there Been No Great Woman Artists?

This was written in 1971 and refers to visual art primarily, but the issues it brings up apply: the structural problems of attempting to be a woman in a creative field and the dismissive, condescending attitude that encourages art so long as it is merely a distracting hobby.

As for this particular band, they sound fine to me, from what I could hear. It's hard to tell what's what when it comes to music because, to be quite frank, rock music is deeply mired in petty snobbery, meanness and "authenticity".
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Re: women and music
« Reply #6 on: 27 Feb 2011, 09:56 »

They sound pretty genuine to me.  Is this gossip board something everyone on campus uses frequently? If not, it's likely that the guys trashing the band are just lonely dorks who wish they had the confidence to start a band and are pissed they got beat to it by girls.  He actually sounds kinda like me, circa 5 years ago, listening to nothing but death metal and looking down on any kind of music that didn't sound as complicated.  Your friends are out there doing it, and that asshole isn't, and in any case mastery of the instrument isn't a requirement for making great music. 

If the gossip board is something that a lot of students view, then tell your friends to ignore it, because there are a lot of other people out there who'd dig something like this and aren't constrained by something as petty as gender bias.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #7 on: 27 Feb 2011, 10:22 »

So I listened to the vid you posted and the sound quality on the video isn't the best, but the band sounds decent enough to me.

I saw in the vid info that your school is Wesleyan.  Which, granted, I probably don't know as much about as you do.  But I just got accepted ED as an incoming freshman next year, so I know at least a bit.  And I'm thinking the anonymous board is the ACB?

Basically, my point: from what I hear (and the little that I've seen), the ACB (or whatever anonymous board this is) is stupid, and the same goes for the overwhelming majority of the discussions that take place there.  Everyone is kind of a dick on the internet, and that inherent dickishness is multiplied by a very large number on an anonymous board, where one doesn't even have to pretend to be held accountable for one's actions.

It's possible that this specific act of dickery was motivated by sexism, but honestly, why does it matter?  It's dickish and petty regardless, and not worth paying attention to.  And, IMO, this instance probably has less to do with larger cultural mores and sexism in art and more to do with the the occasionally entertaining but wholly despicable nature of the seedy underbelly of the internet.  And there didn't to be a single mention of the fact that the band is largely comprised of women.

EDIT: Also, I just checked out the ACB and indeed found the thread in question ("WAS LONG BROWN HAIR GUDDDD?"), which could probably use a few more Ds in its name (maybe bring things up to an even 10).  Anyway, the responses overall weren't terribly negative.  There were a few positive posts and a few lukewarm/meh, but only a couple that I would classify as truly "trashing" the band.  Which is only to be expected, really.

ANOTHER EDIT: That said, I do think there is an unfortunate tendency to view all-girl (or mostly-girl) bands as a novelty, and the fact that they are all-girl can be more talked about than their music itself.
« Last Edit: 27 Feb 2011, 10:43 by Algernon »
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Re: women and music
« Reply #8 on: 27 Feb 2011, 10:53 »

I could only hear the bass guitar and the drums, and neither really impressed me. I'd have to hear a better recording to judge whether the comment was justified or not.

I disagree with the idea that women musicians have to be "hypergood" (whatever that means). They just have to be good, the same as any other musician. But maybe I'm not sexist like other people. I dunno. I know not everyone can be as good as Kaki King.
« Last Edit: 27 Feb 2011, 11:04 by Be My Head »
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Allybee

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Re: women and music
« Reply #9 on: 27 Feb 2011, 11:43 »

really disagree. I have a lot more to say but it's midterms and I need to not block the internet.

algernon, wes is great, the acb sucks, send me a message and we'll talk
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Re: women and music
« Reply #10 on: 27 Feb 2011, 12:27 »

I disagree with the idea that women musicians have to be "hypergood" (whatever that means). They just have to be good, the same as any other musician. But maybe I'm not sexist like other people. I dunno. I know not everyone can be as good as Kaki King.
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Allybee

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Re: women and music
« Reply #11 on: 27 Feb 2011, 12:29 »

^ that
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sean

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Re: women and music
« Reply #12 on: 27 Feb 2011, 17:19 »

not gonna lie i dont like that band but that doesn't mean they are bad it means i dont like them. but it totally sounds like they can play their instruments. so fuck the haters.

also its scientific fact that girls get +5 cute points when they can play music, so really fuck the haters.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #13 on: 27 Feb 2011, 18:27 »

I too think it's cute when girls play music.

Look at them, trying to do men's things! So cute!

It's like a dog walking on two legs!
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Re: women and music
« Reply #14 on: 27 Feb 2011, 18:40 »

way to make me sound sexist >:c
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JimmyJazz

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Re: women and music
« Reply #15 on: 27 Feb 2011, 21:42 »

Girl musicians are awesome! Unfortunately, I know many people with an unfairly harsh attitude to female artists and who usually pass it off as a gimmick or who're only interested in their looks. I feel fucking awful that I can't talk about female musicians around some of my friends and that my protests to their prejudices are often met with jest. Yet I try and do what I can by scolding these people and promoting local girls making music as art just as equal to, if not greater than most music being put out by male acts these days.

« Last Edit: 28 Feb 2011, 00:10 by JimmyJazz »
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KvP

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Re: women and music
« Reply #16 on: 27 Feb 2011, 22:05 »

There's a lot of... I can't remember the name of it presently, I think it may be "tracking", but it's a term referring to the phenomenon of pushing people into areas of activity people are generally comfortable with (ex. men and women go into medicine, women become nurses and men become doctors, etc.) There's a fair bit of that in musical performance. Women play non-rock instruments usually as a supplement to a band - violin, cello, piano, synths, tambourine. Delicate instruments, pretty instruments, Not Serious instruments. Recently girl-group harmonizing is back in style so you'll see female vocalists playing the lead in that style. Back-up singing for a dude is fine too. As long as they stay within those strictures, you'll likely hear fewer complaints about their ability (though you'll probably hear about how the music itself is faggy). Within the traditional rock band, the cliche is the hot girl bassist, and I don't know where that started (Smashing Pumpkins?), but outside of that role it seems like women in rock are viewed as outliers notable for the fact that they are women playing rock music. That's not even touching pop music, which is widely hated even before gender gets into it.

I remember people really hating The Donnas when in terms of quality or authenticity they were at least on par with most other Garage Revivalist bands. Riot Grrl kind of folded in on itself from the pressure. Has there been a widely notable rock (mainstream or indie) woman who was not a sex symbol? Lita Ford, Joan Jett, Kathleen Hanna (people did and do fawn over her), Zooey Deschanel. I'd say Jarboe, but I think she sought to intentionally alienate people. Kim Deal?  Kim Gordon? Other Kims?
« Last Edit: 27 Feb 2011, 22:07 by KvP »
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Re: women and music
« Reply #17 on: 28 Feb 2011, 00:01 »

I was thinking when I read this thread last night that compared to some areas/genres post-industrial music is fairly well integrated, (though still the majority of people are men); lots of fairly even mixed-gender bands, female artists and various rotating female musicians. I wonder if that's got anything to do with the fact almost no one plays 'traditional rock instruments'? Actually, traditional folk music is even more mixed-gender, at least in the UK, and has been almost since the beginning of the folk revival, and definitely since the seventies. Maybe a component of the 'problem' (though in this aspect it's rather difficult to look at it as a problem) is that many women who engage in music engage in less commercially viable or widely visible subgenres.

The 'girls instruments' and 'mens instruments' thing does become rather tricky outside of rock music, as does the 'girls are only allowed to do acoustic' thing. We have to be careful not to end up in the absurdity of arguing that women are being marginalised or oppressed if they choose to play instruments or produce music that is of genuine interest to them and they genuinely enjoy playing. Rock is not the only fruit after all.

This brings up an interesting question. I know plenty of ladies who are in to rock music/heavy metal/death metal etc., but I would say, generally, that there is more of a tendency for the fans of these genres to be male (thought not to the same degree that men are over-represented in bands, I would say). Now we can ask to what degree either:

a) Women are less interested in these things because of the lack of female voices (notes?)
b) Women are less interested in these things because they are inherently masculine in some way
c) Women are less interested in these things because society projects the image that they are inherently masculine in some way
d) Women are less interested in these things because they feel unwelcome or are actively excluded
e) Some or all of the above

It's particularly interesting to consider what kind of relationship gender composition of fanship has to gender composition of bands, and to ask if things are getting any better? Using the example of the thing I know best, I would say things are slowly getting better, but far too slowly (as with anything). Thirty years ago women participating in heavy metal bands as anything except maybe backing vocalists would have been pretty inconcievable. Twenty years ago it was highly unusual. Ten years ago it was remarkable. It continues to become less so; for example, I have noticed in passing that in none of the press I have seen for The Lamp of Thoth (one of my favourite bands of the now) has it been even noted that they have a femalde drummer, where once upon a (very recent) time it would probably have been treated as a novelty. I remember seeing people bring up the fact that OMG Bolt Thrower have a female bassist! all the time.
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Nodaisho

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Re: women and music
« Reply #18 on: 28 Feb 2011, 00:09 »

I didn't really like The Donnas because it felt like they were basically sold on the premise of it being an all-girl band. And I'm supposed to find it sexy just for that and buy lots of records.

What about Liz Buckingham? I don't think she generally gets sexualized (although in a good portion of the pictures I've seen, she looks just as much in need of a shower as the other members of the band, not sure if that is cause or effect). I'm also curious, is anyone here either old enough to remember or know their history well enough to know how Heart was thought of way back when? I know there was that thing with their publicist saying that the sisters were lovers, but aside from that I have no idea.

edit: Oh, what about Thorr's Hammer? I was something like 4 when that album came out, so I have no idea how much  the "female growler" thing was played up then. I think the EP was pretty solid for a basement-recorded doom album (doom really needs a more full low-end than that), but the band seems to have a lot more following than I would expect just on that merit.
« Last Edit: 28 Feb 2011, 00:11 by Nodaisho »
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Re: women and music
« Reply #19 on: 28 Feb 2011, 00:23 »

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Re: women and music
« Reply #20 on: 28 Feb 2011, 02:09 »

I'm going to fuck up so much shit when I'm in this stupid industry
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Re: women and music
« Reply #21 on: 28 Feb 2011, 02:18 »

Liz Buckingham is interesting because she's one of the very few examples I can think of off the top of my head of a lone female in a band who is a guitarist, although even then she's rhythm. Can anyone think of any band which has predominantly male members but the lead guitarist is female? The closest I can think of is The Great Kat (I believe her backing band is normally two dudes). Then again, if we're talking about sexualisation, she has that whole dominatrix schtick going on.

Here's a question: what's the line between being sexualised and being in a band that sings about sex. Kinky sex is a pretty standard topic in some genres.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #22 on: 28 Feb 2011, 02:51 »

Boris!
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Re: women and music
« Reply #23 on: 28 Feb 2011, 03:52 »

Hanson are probably my favourite all-girl-band.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #24 on: 28 Feb 2011, 04:33 »

I'm going to fuck up so much shit when I'm in this stupid industry
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Re: women and music
« Reply #25 on: 28 Feb 2011, 04:57 »

There's a lot of... I can't remember the name of it presently, I think it may be "tracking", but it's a term referring to the phenomenon of pushing people into areas of activity people are generally comfortable with (ex. men and women go into medicine, women become nurses and men become doctors, etc.) There's a fair bit of that in musical performance. Women play non-rock instruments usually as a supplement to a band - violin, cello, piano, synths, tambourine. Delicate instruments, pretty instruments, Not Serious instruments. Recently girl-group harmonizing is back in style so you'll see female vocalists playing the lead in that style. Back-up singing for a dude is fine too. As long as they stay within those strictures, you'll likely hear fewer complaints about their ability (though you'll probably hear about how the music itself is faggy). Within the traditional rock band, the cliche is the hot girl bassist, and I don't know where that started (Smashing Pumpkins?), but outside of that role it seems like women in rock are viewed as outliers notable for the fact that they are women playing rock music. That's not even touching pop music, which is widely hated even before gender gets into it.

This sounds similar to how, in the Western classical tradition, the position of the composer (i.e. the real author or creator of music) was stereotypically male, while it was only the position of performer (i.e. the vessel who had to be obedient to the composer) that allowed for females, so maybe that has some bearing on the roles men and women have in contemporary genres. The stuff that you've listed for girls, for instance, might be seen as decorative, as opposed to the stuff that you've noted for guys, which might be considered structural. Actually, I'm not sure if I really believe that this is the division that's operating here, since I think even my characterization of the relationship between composer and performer oversimplifies things a bit much, but it might be a useful starting point for thinking about this.

Here's a question: what's the line between being sexualised and being in a band that sings about sex. Kinky sex is a pretty standard topic in some genres.

Do you mean with the former, some other party sexualizes musicians--a record label, to sell records or whatever--and with the latter, the musician is engaging in a sexual register, but it's more their choice, and less about profit? I dunno. I feel like it's tricky to talk about agency, and then reception is pretty important too. We'd probably have to start linking to specific examples to get at the "line between."
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Re: women and music
« Reply #26 on: 28 Feb 2011, 05:41 »

I was about to comment on classical music.  Women have been well accepted as performers for some time, as soloists as well as orchestral or ensemble musician.  As composers, none has reached the highest levels, but there are plenty in contemporary music who are at or near that level (though isolated examples exist throughout history, such as Hildegard of Bingen and Fanny Mendelssohn).  Conducting has perhaps been the most male-dominated area, but there are now a few women knocking at the door of the top levels.

Given the shameful continuing persistence of the glass ceiling in business and politics, I think that female musicians are doing at least as well as their sisters in other professions.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #27 on: 28 Feb 2011, 09:20 »

way to make me sound sexist >:c

I didn't have to try too hard. Maybe try not framing yr support of female musicians in terms of how attractive you find them in future?


Kim Gordon is an interesting case, namely because there was a period in Sonic Youth's history where she did very consciously make a shift from being just another band member to dressing up and playing ingenue, and this has certainly been read as a cynical move on the part of the band in an effort to draw more attention to themselves.

Ditto Kira Roessler, who started out looking more or less like "one of the boys"/jeans+t-shirt early in her stint with Black Flag but later (reportedly at the behest of the rest of the band) started playing in some pretty outlandish Madonna-esque get-up.

Of course it's much easier to believe Gordon had a more active role in the decision to change her on-stage presentation than Roessler.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #28 on: 28 Feb 2011, 09:38 »

I didn't have to try too hard. Maybe try not framing yr support of female musicians in terms of how attractive you find them in future?

I initially misread what he said too but on re-reading he actually just said he finds women more attractive if they play music.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #29 on: 28 Feb 2011, 09:42 »

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Re: women and music
« Reply #30 on: 28 Feb 2011, 09:44 »

yeah dovey that is all i meant, i am attracted to female musicians.

maybe i need to word my statements better but uh can you please stop misconstruing my statements/hating on me, i feel like you do that a lot.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #31 on: 28 Feb 2011, 09:49 »

Can anyone think of any band which has predominantly male members but the lead guitarist is female?

The Cramps!
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Re: women and music
« Reply #32 on: 28 Feb 2011, 10:36 »

It's funny, but I see that slight change in topic to be really relevant (regarding "girl musicians = win"). If I'd said "Man, boys who play guitar are cuuuute," I doubt anyone would have noticed. Cute does not necessarily mean cutesy - nobody would have assumed I meant "like a puppy or maybe a baby, d'awwww." Either way, I didn't read anything into Sean's post other than "girl musicians are cool, rock on." I don't really see why there's anything wrong with that, and honestly the biting response to it seems a good example of reverse sexism.

Khar, regarding your multiple-choice from wayy back in the thread, what DO you think women are generally into (I don't mean this to be a leading question, I'm just trying to think of what genres girls tend to lean toward)? Most girls I know listen to "rock" music if you can call it that (well, whatever's on the radio, but that's what most men seem to listen to also) and a good bit of urban/R&B. I'll agree, though, that there are more males than females who tend to listen to metal, and possibly that's because metal does seem to have a bit more testosterone to it, so to speak. However, I know an extraordinarily large number of women who love female-fronted metal bands like Edenbridge and Within Temptation. I on the other hand prefer male vocals; I'm not anti-female-vocalist, I just don't tend to listen to them as much.

However, as you said, things have definitely changed over the years. Whereas ten years ago I'd be one of the very few females at a metal concert, it seems to be more evenly mixed now (though far from 50/50). As far as female musicians being a novelty, I don't really remember a lot of people going nuts over the fact that White Zombie had a female bassist, even after they became pretty mainstream. It was cool, but not shocking. So I don't know, maybe it's partly a difference in the people we interact with.
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KharBevNor

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Re: women and music
« Reply #33 on: 28 Feb 2011, 11:13 »

Are you American? The European and American metal cultures are very different.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #34 on: 28 Feb 2011, 11:29 »

Most women I know like shit like Bruno Mars or Owl City but I'm pretty sure I know some awful women so v0v.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #35 on: 28 Feb 2011, 11:37 »

My other problem with the argument of "guys who think women that play music are hot are inherently sexist" is: what about the other side of that coin?
Girls that think musicians are attractive usually have their actual appreciation minimized or completely dismissed.  If a girl thinks a guy musician is hot, she is seen as a lesser fan or someone who doesn't care about the music, just the image.
Does this viewpoint make sense?  Because I think it is something that is overlooked and one I never really thought of until Dovey gave Sean shit about being a sexist for thinking female musicians are attractive (I agree that this viewpoint is not inherently sexist).
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Radical AC

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Re: women and music
« Reply #36 on: 28 Feb 2011, 11:41 »

Maybe it has something to do with back in high school when guys would form bands to be cool and get laid.  I didn't know any girls that tried that approach, but oh man, all my friends.  Then some of these people graduate get older and decide, "Hey, maybe there is something to this music thing aside from sex appeal."  Presto!  An entire generation of male guitar players.

Never saw the issue as much of a thing myself.  The majority of my friends for the past ten years have, male or female, been musicians.  A disparity in the male:female ratio doesn't necessarily denote a disparity in equality for whatever reason.  I'm sure if we really felt like it we could rattle off hundreds of bands of all, or mixed females that haven't been sexualized.  Music is too universal to find much of an inequality that you wouldn't find in society at large.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #37 on: 28 Feb 2011, 11:48 »

i've never met a person who started a band to get laid, they all genuinely loved music and could actually play it, so they did

then again, this is in Washington, and there seems to be something in the water here that makes people naturally rock or something. i dunno.



actually that's not true, i met some d-bags in arizona who played shitty jug jug metal music so they could get laid, but like i said, they were idiots playing shitty music in America's own little hellscape so i barely even count them as people, let alone legit people.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #38 on: 28 Feb 2011, 12:03 »

Khar - yep, American. I know there are some differences but I've never really gotten into an in-depth discussion about it. What would you say some of the main ones are (at least in relation to the topic... that could become its own thread otherwise)?

In general I think most of the metal I listen to is European-based, but of course most of the bands I've seen live have been American. I'm trying to think if I've noticed a difference in the makeup of the audiences for each. That would be interesting to learn.


ALoveSupreme, that's a valid point that I hadn't considered, and I think I agree with you but only in a limited sense. It really depends on the girl. I know too many girls who like a band because the members are attractive, or who want to be roadies because that sense of celebrity is intriguing, but otherwise they couldn't care less about the music; I also know a considerable number who know at least as much and often more about the music itself and music theory than some of the guys who listen to it, and if they said a certain musician was hot nobody would think less of them.

Conversely, my husband pokes fun at me for using a Devin Townsend wallpaper on my computer because really, the guy is butt-ass ugly but hey, he's an amazing musician so that's actually kinda hot. Same with Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth. Of course, he also knows I can run circles around him talking about the actual music. So I guess the question is, does it make me shallow that I think talent in and of itself is sexy and therefore consider an otherwise unattractive musician to suddenly be attractive?

On a related note, why is it that female musicians are expected to be beautiful? It's along the same lines of the disparity on television and in movies - there's often a matchup made between an unattractive male and an attractive female, but they'd never dream of setting it up the other way around. If a guy likes a female musician who is considered unattractive people give him shit about it - "How the hell could you like HER? She's ugly/fat/whatever." But if he likes an attractive female musician, even if she makes shitty music, nobody says a word, or at the worst they just say, "You have terrible taste in music, but yeah, I'd totally hit that."
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Radical AC

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Re: women and music
« Reply #39 on: 28 Feb 2011, 12:19 »

The attractive thing is still more of a social topic that could be taken almost completely independent of music itself.  It's no surprise that attractive people tend to do better in comparable circumstances than an unattractive person.  Looks are also a totally legit reason to be attracted or not to a person, with various social stigmas attached.  Likewise talent in itself could be used the same way.  What really makes something shallow is judging something or someone based on one facet of what they are.  Adversely, I don't really see anything wrong with lustful or shallow thoughts as long as it doesn't effect how you treat someone its harmless, and not bad in itself.
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Radical AC

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Re: women and music
« Reply #40 on: 28 Feb 2011, 12:34 »

i've never met a person who started a band to get laid, they all genuinely loved music and could actually play it, so they did

Unless you are Fred Durst doing it specifically for the nookie, it's true you aren't going to find many people getting into music with that sole mission.  Though, I'll bet the discussion of those ramifications definitely comes up with most bands in that age group.  Or, you must be in an exceptional place where people don't write crappy acoustic or pop-punk love songs for girls, and there is no, "that guy," at the party.  If it is the latter I am far too cynical a person and need to get my ass out to Washington.
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Elysiana

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Re: women and music
« Reply #41 on: 28 Feb 2011, 12:36 »

But I guess that's kind of what the question is - why is it seen as negative when someone has those thoughts, shallow or not, when really it kind of is a natural thing? People automatically make assumptions about it such as "You said girl musicians are cute, why are you so sexist" when really it should be more "You said girl musicians are cute, that's cool that you view talent as a turn-on."

I don't think someone's altruism should be called into question just because they think someone is attractive or not. If they follow a band only because they think someone in it is hot then I don't think they're really a competent judge on whether that band is any good, but I also don't think it makes them sexist. That's like saying that if you have a crush on someone who's attractive, you're shallow.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #42 on: 28 Feb 2011, 12:39 »

Given the shameful continuing persistence of the glass ceiling in business and politics, I think that female musicians are doing at least as well as their sisters in other professions.
I know that there have been studies that seem to show conclusively that if recitals are taped, with no indication of the gender of the performer, women do significantly better in competition.
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Radical AC

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Re: women and music
« Reply #43 on: 28 Feb 2011, 12:42 »

It is hard to judge people on their actions or intentions in a text based internet discussion.  Saying a girl musician is cute in the sense that it adds or subtracts from the band is by definition sexist even if it is, or is meant to be, harmless.  Sexism even in that form tends to have a negative connotation to certain people.  So, I think it is partly semantics, and partly a difference in acceptable viewpoints.
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Elysiana

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Re: women and music
« Reply #44 on: 28 Feb 2011, 13:05 »

Yeah, typing about a subject and waiting for replies often makes for misunderstandings, but I think we're doing well so far. Everyone's keeping a pretty level head.


Trying to follow here though. Are you essentially saying that people tend to see it as:
"That band is great" = acceptable
"That band is great and their lead singer is so hot" = possibly questionable
"That band is just okay but their lead singer is so hot, so I like them better than this other band that is arguably much better" = unacceptable

If so, I'm not sure sexism is really the right word for it. To me that implies that they think the band itself is better, which may or not be the case. It may be shallow, but I don't know that it's sexist. It would be more sexist to say "I think men are better musicians overall, and that lead singer is a male, so that band is better than this female-fronted band."
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Re: women and music
« Reply #45 on: 28 Feb 2011, 13:16 »

yeah dovey that is all i meant, i am attracted to female musicians.

maybe i need to word my statements better but uh can you please stop misconstruing my statements/hating on me, i feel like you do that a lot.

Out of my recent posts I can find two examples of what might possible be seen as "hating on you" and the one in this thread was at least half jokey and the other one was 100% jokey. Stop misconstruing me/sack the fuck up kthx. I would've made my first post about anyone, sean. It's not 'cos I have any special beef with you, except maybe you make dumb posts more often than other people, so I end up calling you out more (read: twice!).

As I said, my comments were at least half jokey, and I honestly don't feel bad about the half of it wasn't. In a regular conversation I wouldn't begrudge anyone an opinion like that and I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad thing to think that someone is attractive- for whatever reason- but I found it amusing how quickly "cuteness" came up in a thread specifically about differing standards between male and female musicians.

It's funny, but I see that slight change in topic to be really relevant (regarding "girl musicians = win"). If I'd said "Man, boys who play guitar are cuuuute," I doubt anyone would have noticed. Cute does not necessarily mean cutesy - nobody would have assumed I meant "like a puppy or maybe a baby, d'awwww." Either way, I didn't read anything into Sean's post other than "girl musicians are cool, rock on." I don't really see why there's anything wrong with that, and honestly the biting response to it seems a good example of reverse sexism.

This is a false equivalence for several reasons, a couple being that
i) Of course looks matter in regards to success in music, for both sexes. I'm not gonna retrench arguments that were already made perfectly clear in Radical AC's posts upthread, but I will suggest you go ahead and GIS the Top 40/100/200/whatever bands in the charts right now, and -more pointedly- your favourite bands (it's oretty safe to assume that the Top 40 crowd and you don't have many picks in common if you're posting here) and tell me how many legitimately unattractive people you see. Even in the obscure corners of music fandom, looks are still counting. "Attractiveness" might be a far more niche prospect in indie rock or hardcore or metal based on the proclivities of the typical listener of that subgenre but it doesn't visual concerns re: musicians any less apparent.

ii) Once again, this is something that's been stated perfectly well in other posts, but while men are certainly subject to a lot of the same judgments re: looks as women, it always seems a lot easier to separate that from other signifiers of value like talent or skill. When judging female musicians, it's all too often that judgments of attractiveness are intrinsically tied to the overall view, and is far more central to the audience perception of the performer.

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don't really remember a lot of people going nuts over the fact that White Zombie had a female bassist, even after they became pretty mainstream.

Said bassist would have you believe otherwise


N.B; This post was written mostly before the last two posts were made so it kind of talks past points made in those posts and doesn't really address the additional questions raised, sorry.
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Elysiana

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Re: women and music
« Reply #46 on: 28 Feb 2011, 13:42 »

I'm not sure we're debating the same subject at this point, honestly. You seem to be saying that attractiveness counts in how popular a band is - and I am not disagreeing with that. I'm just saying that it's more shallow than sexist.

Regarding your second point, for some fucked-up reason lots of preteen girls apparently think Justin Bieber is hot and listen to him mostly because of that. Same thing happens with a lot of boy bands. Hell, I know women my age who go to concerts just because the singer is hot. It's not just men who make comments about female musicians, it goes both ways. Is it right? Not really, but it's going to happen.

My argument is mostly that it's sexist to say that I think male musicians are better than female musicians, but not sexist if I think this particular male musician is better than that one because he's better-looking. I realize it's pretty pedantic to argue semantics but I think the distinction is important in this case.

And no, you won't find any of my favorite bands on a Top 40 chart lol. In fact, now that I think about it... most of my favorite bands have pretty unattractive members O_o I don't quite know why it's more acceptable in one genre than another. Perhaps something to do with the style and subject matter. Someone who's singing about evil that never sleeps or writhing in embers doesn't have to look good while doing it I guess haha.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #47 on: 28 Feb 2011, 13:44 »

interesting real-world example for this thread would be the All Girl Summer Fun Band. those girls made some great music and had legions of followers (maybe, i hope so) but most of those chicks were "homely" at best, and downright ugly at worst.

i still love them and think they're rad, as do many others, but it's an interesting example of what you guys are talking about.



....they probably definitely would have been more successful if they were prettier though so....you know....whatever...... :|

this thread is depressing and confusing
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Re: women and music
« Reply #48 on: 28 Feb 2011, 14:03 »

Even more confusing when you take into account the fact that I think a lot of people actually give women the benefit of the doubt over men or are a touch more sympathetic towards females in music. Certainly I am guilty of this positive discrimination and it remains to be seen if this causes it to even out somewhat. It's a different aspect of casual sexism which is probably more common than the more overt misogyny which is implied at the beginning of this thread. I have a lot to say on this issue but for the most part I try to stay out of the debate because all the women I know in music hate it being brought up. I guess I can kind of see how having a male over-zealously defend perceived double standards can be yet another form of patronisation. So it's basically a kaleidoscope of difficulty, which undoubtedly contributes to how often it is swept under the rug.
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Re: women and music
« Reply #49 on: 28 Feb 2011, 14:05 »

I'm not sure we're debating the same subject at this point, honestly. You seem to be saying that attractiveness counts in how popular a band is - and I am not disagreeing with that. I'm just saying that it's more shallow than sexist.

As I said in the addendum to my last post, I hadn't read your contention of shallowness vs. sexism when I wrote it.

For what it's worth, I don't think I disagree with you that it's shallow, but I think it's both! Also that it's not necessarily maliciously sexist, which I get the feeling is what you think I'm implying, just indicative of a wider disparity between how women and men are judged for performing the same task, which in turn is indicative of ingrained sexism in society overall.

Quote
Regarding your second point, for some fucked-up reason lots of preteen girls apparently think Justin Bieber is hot and listen to him mostly because of that. Same thing happens with a lot of boy bands. Hell, I know women my age who go to concerts just because the singer is hot. It's not just men who make comments about female musicians, it goes both ways. Is it right? Not really, but it's going to happen.

Absolutely. I think my main problem with it is that people who have that opinion of male performers, i.e; liking a male's music principally based on how they look, that opinion is regularly dismissed as stupid or inconsequential whereas I think even in the upper echelons of musical criticism, tying a female's attractiveness to her worth as a performer (regardless of the type of music she is making, just by the way) is far more acceptable and not questioned. As I said, the way I see it, if a review of a male performer mentioned his attractiveness, it would generally be dismissed as frivolity and not really relevant to the content of the music whereas the way a female performer looks can determine her identity and the way she is perceived. Once again, this isn't necessarily single reviewers being purposefully demeaning or attempting to devalue a performer's art by way of tying non-artistic factors to the overall judgment of the work, but just another way in which the fundamentally different way in which males and females are perceived in every field.
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