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Thread: Gender issues in bands/music

  1. #16
    Jazz is Life bilbo230763's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Felixstowe, Suffolk, United Kingdom
    My point wasn't that men won't let women rock, it is that most women are conditioned from a very early age to live their lives for others and not to indulge themselves with things like guitar playing or wanting to be a rock star. They are the ones looking after elderly relatives, young siblings, having kids of their own, keeping house for the rock star husband. Most women would never dream of spending 6-8 hours a day in their bedrooms learning to shred. I know this is a generalisation but women generally remain an oppressed group, even in 21st century. Being a rock God just doesn't feature.
    I don't think therefore I'm not...

  2. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    yes thats all true.

    but can women come up with a great rock song? guitar solo? guitar instrumental etc

    im sure they can. i just havent come across one that blew me away, yet.

  3. #18
    Registered User LadyLuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    i'm one of two girls in an eight piece band and gender is definitely an issue. We have to shout a lot louder to get our views across than the boys do. I often feel i am not expected to be able to organise gigs for example and when i do the boys are a bit shocked aand patronise me with their congratualtions.

    There are some complicated romantic issues in the band too, although these are mainly to do with jealous guys who fancy the other girl having a problem with her giving other guys attention, haha. Also, I had a thing with our old drummer but he left ages ago and the band is fine, and we still have a thing

    also on stage i tend to wear dresses and different clothes to the others as i'm the frontperson, but the other girl doesn't really dress up.

  4. #19
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Twickenham, UK
    [NB: the following is designed to be opinionated and contentious: enjoy! ]

    Rock music is not only a gender-specific cultural form, it's also age- and race-specific.
    There are (almost) as few black rock stars as there are female ones. (Hendrix, yes. How many more can you name me? I'm sure there are one or two. Exceptions prove the rule.)
    And rock is predominately an adolescent music. The old rockers are just those who've been doing it since adolescence (and often look increasingly sad doing so).

    IOW, it was created by young white males, for young white males. It was mostly stolen from black music (of course), but was re-shaped in a way more suited for and appealing to a young white audience.
    As a male occupation, it naturally involves a certain gang mentality (a club excluding girls), and also sexual display designed to attract girls - tho this aspect is often confused, and not always successful. Rock audiences are largely male...
    Its essentially an expression of male adolescent concerns. (Sexual confusion, longing and frustration; obsessions with death and fantasy.)

    Naturally, therefore, it generally doesn't appeal to either blacks or girls as a mode of self-expression. (With a few exceptions, of course.)
    Of course, girls CAN play rock if they want to - they just have to adopt male modes of expression, even appearance; and few want to in the first place. Why would they?
    Rock is a masculine kind of music: it involves posing and showing off in a peculiarly masculine way. (No need to point out the phallic symbolism of the guitar, I presume...)
    (The intriguing element is that the average rock god also has an androgynous streak. He comes across ideally masculine in some ways, but also in touch with his feminine side: long curly hair? spandex pants? bright colours? singing (screaming) about crying? make-up even? Obviously it's theatrical, but the androgyny seems carefully planned, even if it's not totally conscious. It fits.)

    IOW, rock defines itself this way. The more female interests and concerns it expresses, the less "rock" it is. The more women enter rock, the more it changes its character and appearance.
    (Women are traditionally allowed to express emotion in their normal lives. Men don't have that outlet - except by standing up on stage and bawling their lungs out... or doing the same thing via the guitar... Up there, a guy can even wear pretty clothes and get away with it...)
    Naturally, different genres of rock are less flamboyant visually. But they all share the "boys' club" aspect, and (most importantly) the codified system of emotional expression: not only admitting to feelings, but wearing them proudly on one's sleeve. (I don't just mean EMO. All rock music is about boys expressing emotion of some kind: in mediated ways to be sure, but clearly representing an outlet that is not available otherwise.)

    What's the point of a shred guitar solo? It isn't musical - or rather, it's musical in a very limited, specific way. It's more a sign of technical accomplishment than of artistic expression. Its point is the "wow" factor (for other men). It's like a bunch of hunters competing with how far, or accurately, they can throw their spears. Women, naturally, are generally going to yawn, roll their eyes, and wait for them to bring home some meat...

    I mean, I hate to be sexist (or evolution-determinist) about this, but IMO such a clear gender-demarcation has to have some primal basis.
    Social conditioning plays a part, of course, but it seems to me rock norms go beyond this. It's not just that women are habitually excluded; it's that they seem to have no real interest in performing rock anyway. In other areas where women are socially excluded, they tend to be hammering on the doors. Not in rock - they seem happy to leave it to the boys, as with other boys' games.
    Rock obviously answers some kind of socio-cultural need in young men. What did young men do before? (Before the technology and social conditions arrived that made rock possible?) They joined gangs of other kinds. They formed sports teams. They became soldiers and fought wars. And there was probably a "rock'n'roll" (boys' club) element in pre-rock musical groups, such as jazz swing bands, or folk groups.
    But amplification - and comparative wealth and freedom from conscription, and the social loosening up of the 1950s and 60s - laid out an exciting new playground for the boys.

  5. #20
    Artistically Bankrupt
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Young male primates beating their chests, JonR. Your post should only be contentious to those who regard pop music as more than what it is.
    "If a child learns which is jay and which is sparrow, he'll no longer see birds nor hear them sing."

  6. #21

  7. #22
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Twickenham, UK
    Yes, and there are many more. But not that many more, that's the point.
    When they do it, they do it fine. But the question is, why don't more do it?
    It obviously isn't because they can't. It must be either because they are prevented or dissuaded - or they don't want to to begin with.
    IMO, it's a combination of those (mostly the latter). But we still need to ask why: why they might be prevented, dissuaded, or uninterested.

    I think Blutwulf has it in a nutshell. Young female primates tend not to want to beat their chests...

  8. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2006
    I think the reasons that men and women start playing guitar in the first place are quite different. Most men start playing to attract the opposite sex. Women also like to attract the opposite sex but don't need to go to all the trouble of learning an instrument to do it. Most women learn early on that looking attractive/dressing sexy will attract men. Simple.

    To women the guitar is just a musical instrument, if they like it they will learn it, same as piano, violin etc.
    If you took away all the guys who only started out doing it to get girls there would probably be a similar number left, if any at all. The media also shows women as singers/dancers/perfomers and if women want to become famous this is obviously what they will choose to copy.

    More women and girls are starting to play guitar though. This is obvious by the increase in girls and womens guitars so who knows maybe we will see more in the future. If there's a demand for it of course.

    All it takes for change to happen is for people to start buying it

  9. #24
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Los Angeles
    i mean i would basically say when that occurs.. it pretty much boils down to the all around respect from the band members.. if everyone respects eachother and their position and contribution than there shouldnt be a prob.
    so if there is that particular issue than that very problem becomes a platform for many other different problems occuring anyways and you might really want to take full consideration of the longevity of the band


  10. #25

  11. #26
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    I can understand why girls would get more attention then guys on stage, cause if you look at the history of all the great musicians a majority of them were male. So if the upcoming musicians were girls i could see where they'd be noticed more than another rhandy rhodes or bach.

  12. #27
    I don't it is true that girls get all the attention in the band. Me, as a listener I would focus my attention on the singer or instrument player who is really doing good.

  13. #28
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Instrument Size

    I wonder if instrument size is an issue for female players?

    Neck thickness etc.

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