by Amber Goodwyn
Two awesome, potentially consciousness-raising shows happened here recently: punk band Against Me! with their transgender front person Laura Jane Grace and the raw and wonderful Perfect Pussy led by the inspiringly candid Meredith Graves. It made me daydreamy about how rad it would be to have such shows happen on the regular…sigh!
Also recently: a lady friend of mine took to Facebook to ask whether her friends bother to let organizers know when they don’t have enough women in their events (or bands or projects or teams, etc). Then, a few days later, another bud from a different city posted “When I see a concert where every single member of every band is a white male, I consider that show a failure.”
Somewhere in between, I had a conversation with some local (dude) musicians and asked about them about the notable lack of ladies in shows around town. They agreed that this was an issue but weren’t sure what to say or do about it.
Not-so-breaking-news: there are more guys than gals on stage in general, and a whole lot of them are pretty privileged fellas to boot.
This isn’t a new frustration, of course, and it certainly isn’t unique to Regina. I’ve had concerns about this stuff since I was a teenager (and have a stack of rumpled, photocopied zines as evidence).
In a way, it seems like there are two ways to address bullshit like this: action or inaction, and I think there’s a place for both. For a while I’ve been sitting on my hands, being all tired of it and I think there’s room for that; for burnout and for the need to recuperate. Other inactive folks don’t have the words and ability to say much at all. Then I wake up and see young ladies at local shows watching and rarely joining the stage and I seethe, or I get yet another invite to an all-bro-rock-show, and Get. So. Bored.
Maybe this is it: I’m returning to the land of living and action. Kindly hold all applause, please; I have no idea what to say or do. I guess I could start by writing a music column about the issue. Then maybe I could make an effort to tell people that they need more ladies in their shows. Perhaps another step would be to organize inclusive shows myself or to make an effort to play more and encourage other ladies to do the same.
I suppose one could always start an all-lady radio show on the community radio station or start up a Rock Camp for Girls summer camp program.
I’m open to other suggestions! (P.S.: and they’re not just for me.)
In my ears: Girls Got Rhythm compilation
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