On “Being the Only Girl in a Band”
This Impose response to a Noisey article about being the only woman in a band (“Learn How To Apply Makeup In A Moving Vehicle”) collects, from various women who are the only women in their bands, anecdotes and kernels of advice that are a bit more nuanced than the original text. Here’s Alanna McArdle, lead singer of Joanna Gruesome:
Existing as a woman in a band is an incredibly difficult and brave thing to do, and not because I have to figure out how to put my makeup on in a moving van. I recently spoke about the sexism women in music face in an interview and it resulted in me receiving rape threats. I’ve been groped by guys at shows I’ve played and attended, countless times I’ve been patronised by men in other bands regarding my musical ability, and one time a sound guy at a venue patted me on the head after (needlessly) explaining to me what feedback is.
I agree with Mariel [Loveland, author of the Noisey piece] that ladies are a team, but she prefixes that statement with the instruction to “lighten up” if you’re a woman reading the article. But I just don’t think reducing the incredibly difficult struggle that women in music face every day to the stereotypes perpetuated in this article demonstrates being on the same team at all; telling us we shouldn’t take it so seriously invalidates our very real experiences. Surviving being a woman in a band is a lot bigger than figuring out where to shower on tour: it’s an active and very important fight for safety, equality, and respect.