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Hot Head

Rant In Response To February’s “Reported As Spam” Hot Head

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there’s nothing radical about being overly-critical of women. women in music are still a lightning rod for condemnation, people notice stuff that they don’t like on women way quicker than they notice anything on men. and with women still being the minority in the vancouver music scene, i don’t see how focusing on criticizing them is making it any more of an inclusive environment. it makes it a shitty environment. i’m a woman musician, and it’s fucking scary out there. you know that no matter what you wear or what kind of photos you take or what your stage presence is that people are gonna have harsh, unfair, and often overly-personal criticisms of you. yeah they’ll trash your music, but they’ll also project a ton of shit onto you and discredit you for any number of reasons that their brain can scramble towards.

as well, there’s no epidemic in the vancouver music scene of overly-sexualized women musicians. i don’t think being a sexy band is the norm, nor do i think it’s an easy ploy to get popular or anything. if anything, it clearly hurts your cause because people just use it to detract from you. in general, i’m not a big proponent of sexiness. but even so, this band’s sexualization doesn’t bother me. i don’t think it puts any more pressure on me to be sexy. i think they’re just expressing themselves, and the baseless criticism for it is going to stifle creativity and make a culture of fear down the road. like the common style in vancouver is to be sludgey and unpolished (sick). so a band being sexy is actually them going against the grain, and like all women who go against the grain, they get trashed for it.

in fact, the ease with which i’ve heard people think it’s okay to trash women musicians for being sexy is alarming. like, slut-shaming is back in a big way, and good news guys, it’s socially acceptable again. great progress!

furthermore, a local band writing all their own songs and organizing and designing all their own photoshoots is entirely different from the mainstream sexualization of women. there’s no male-run labels or producers making money off their self-sexualization. and i get it, we don’t want leagues of women thinking that they need to sexualize themselves in order to be involved with music, but really what we’re teaching them is the same thing in the inverse: that they must fit this exact mold of what an acceptable woman musician presents herself as or prepare for a world of shit.

basically, i think the music community is hostile enough towards women. ever notice that men are quick to call women great “songwriters” but way less likely to comment on their actual musicianship? ever notice that women get crap for playing simple parts (or that people even pay attention to the difficulty-level of their parts) when a ton of men musicians play those same parts and no one notices shit? it’s because both men and women are intimidated by women musicians, in a way that neither gender is intimidated by male musicians. and it isn’t progressive at all to disparage women who are actually trying to do stuff on their own volition.

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Hot Head is Discorder’s feedback column, encouraging any comments on the magazine or the community we serve. All submissions are welcome and will be considered for print unless they contain hateful language. To submit to Hot Head, email comments to editor.discorder@citr.ca clearly indicating whether or not the submission is anonymous. Physical submissions can be left for Discorder Editor-In-Chief Brit Bachmann at the CiTR Station in the UBC Nest. To submit to Hot Head is to consent to being published in the magazine and online at discorder.ca