Shows us your cats

Image: Tacocat

I highly recommend “Sexist Queers” by Bree McKenna over at the Stranger about the expectations placed on feminists by their own community and the sexism of music media:

I’ve always wanted to write a review of a dude band in the same way that some journalists write about my band, Tacocat. Because Tacocat is a band with three girls in it, people say the stupidest shit about us—the same stupid shit they say about all female-dominated bands. My idea is pretty simple: copy any old review of Tacocat but change the band in question to a “regular band” (read: male) to see how it would turn out.

For example, I could write a review of my roommate’s oh-so-male quintessential hardcore band Tit Pig. It could start out “Tit Pig is my favorite all-male band.” I would, of course, praise them for “just getting out there, they are so cute.” I would definitely point out that “it is just so great that they are doing it.” Then I would subtly condescend to them by mentioning how long they have been playing their instruments. In the case of Tit Pig, I would definitely slip in that even though singer Sean Evoy hasn’t been at it that long, he is just out there giving it his all, trying his hardest. Obviously, I’d need to slyly find a way to slip in that “it doesn’t hurt that they are all good-looking dudes.” I’d even go into detail describing their clothes and haircuts—drummer Chris Byrne’s dreamy blue eyes, bassist Willy Nils’s edgy, trendsetting dreads.

And then…

I was watching a band with my girlfriend last year, and they paused to have a quick shout-out about how important their lyrics were to them by saying (about a different girl-dominated band): “Last night we played with this band that had four females, all good at their instruments, but then all their songs were about cats… and that just made me angry. It’s like, we work really hard on our lyrics, and I don’t wanna hear some girl sing about her cat.”

My girlfriend and I were irate, since both of us were in bands that play songs about our cats, other cats, and all kinds of other apparently invalid things. I found it offensive that this political/queer/female punk band would get up onstage and trash another grrrl band for having fun subject matter. For anyone—particularly another self-described feminist—to discourage any women from making the music they want to be making is absolutely inexcusable. (Ironically, the band they were talking shit about are friends of mine from Bellingham who do indeed have a silly party band that sings about cats, but they were also part of the genius, ultrafeminist group Post-Post-Fuck-Fuck, which spawned several female bands after it dissolved.)


Cross-posted at blue milk.

Categories: arts & entertainment, gender & feminism, media

Tags: , , ,

1 reply

  1. The regendering amuses me greatly, as it almost always does, because it’s such a powerful technique for clearly displaying just how pervasive this sexist bullshit is.
    The we’re-more-feminist-than-those-silly-bints bit she highlights? Not so amusing. I am so over this sort of purity-meter contest.

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