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Hired Gun Lisa Christiansen with you today.

Today's Guest: The Bon ex-members of  Tijuana Bibles and The Leather Uppers

Interview

Okay, I’ve been working all night on this: last night the Grammy Awards liked Beyonce so much they put a record on it. After only 52 years, a woman finally won the most trophies – a total of six.

Coming in second, country artist Taylor Swift.

For lots of you, this is probably no big deal. But hey – maybe you’re a guy. No, just kidding. Before you label me some crazy, man-hating feminist, I’m here to tell you I like men just fine. Very much, in fact. But I have to say I have a soft spot - similar to seeing Canada do well on international stages – to seeing women succeed in what is often seen as a man’s world.

But being an indie music fan, these kind of events are pretty non-existent. It’s actually hard to just find some women up on the stage let alone winning awards.

So on today’s show I’m asking:

IS INDIE ROCK SEXIST?

Post your comments and let’s have at ‘er. And believe me, this will be so much more fun knowing we all think ourselves to be above such questioning due to our social values and commitment to all things fair and just.

Also coming up on the show, we meet The Bon.

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Today on Appetite for Distraction: Is Indie Rock Sexist?

Hired Gun Lisa Christiansen with you today. Today's Guest: The Bon ex-members of  Tijuana Bibles and…

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AlexOfAnders
#1 posted by
AlexOfAnders
on Feb 01, 2010

I thought for indie rock you just had to pick up some instruments, start playing music and try to make it. Sure, that's a super oversimplification but I'd think that all it takes to be an indie musician is the drive and desire to do it. So, if there aren't as many woman, wouldn't that not really be the "scene's" fault?

Benoit from Ottawa
#2 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Feb 01, 2010

...than girls (who may have more sense?)

Whereas girls, pardon me women, are more saleable as stars in the American Music Machine.

Hence their increasing number Down South.

mattyjames2001
#3 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

Not intentionally. 

We had this discussion around Polaris time when there was very little female representation.

I think it's just a lot harder for girls to get a break in such a male driven industry (which indie rock unfortunately is. Look at how many indie rockers have beards... about 95% of them I think)

Personally, I don't even notice if it's male or female as long as its good.

Absotively
#4 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

Although, like Matt, I don't think it's deliberate.  In fact, I don't know that it's that much worse than mainstream music, but mainstream music isn't that great either—I doubt the person who wins the most Grammys in the next decade will be a woman as often as a man (though I'd love to be proven wrong).

The thing about sexism* is it permeates pretty much everything.  I think it's usually more productive to look at what form it takes in different situations and how to address it there than to ask whether it's there.

*also racism, ablism, homophobia, transphobia, etc.

SomeGuyinB'moreMD
#5 posted by
SomeGuyinB'moreMD
on Feb 01, 2010

Hmm, from my exposure to the genre that women tend to be "poppier" in their indie efforts, while men have a more broad range.  When these "poppy" women get popular, they're transformed to just that, mainstream pop.  It is a fine line.

So yeah, I guess indie is sexist in that an indie girl is more likely to get pushed out of that genre and be labelled as mainstream much quicker than your average male vocals lead group.

 

But hey, just my opinion, and I guarantee its skewed.

boders
#6 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

in music. I know myself I am sick of hearing surprise about a group or artists sound when the sexual makeup of a group is discussed. I shudder to think of the crap bands like Vancougar and Pack AD have to put up with.

I don't follow awards too much, and I know that we discussed the disproportianate representation in the polaris prize this year. What about the juno's? Has there not been good female representation there?

@Lisa - I think I just heard you say women are under represented in indie.. are we talking amount of ladies releasing work, being part of bands, or recognition through awards and the like?

Mark MacArthur
#7 posted by
Mark MacArthur
on Feb 01, 2010

Depends, are you making a distinction between 'indie music' and 'indie rock'? 

I feel women are very well represented in 'indie music' but not as much in the sub genre 'indie-rock'. However, isn't this typical of mainstream music as well?  Perhaps you should just strip the 'indie' portion from this question and pose it as: "Is Rock sexist"?

 

mattyjames2001
#8 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

ding ding.  I think you hit the nail on the head.

We aren't talking female "artists", we're talking female STARS.  which is really all the Grammys/American mass media are about.

I'd say about 25% of the artists I see perform live here are female.  Should it be higher? I'm not sure what the exact number of ladies getting into the 'biz are.  I bet it's roughly that percentage as well, compared to men.

PKEW PKEW PKEW (gunshots)
#9 posted by
PKEW PKEW PKEW (gunshots)
on Feb 01, 2010

it could be a little sexist but i think its going in the right direction to not be. I can't think of lots of bands with women in them. Also remember that they aren't always the singers of these bands so there could be more than you might think. i always thought it was cool to have at least one lady in the band, they do make up a fairly substantial part of the population.

boders
#10 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

previous, but would it not be safe to say there are definitely more females picking up guitars, singing, drumming and everything else? I imagine/hope that young girl who wants to play guitar or drums today will receive more encouragement, opportunity to do so than 10 years, and 10 years before that and so on...am I just reaching at something that is not?

Lisa Christiansen
#11 posted by
Lisa Christiansen
on Feb 01, 2010

I'd say women are under-represented in all of the above.

mattyjames2001
#12 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

Can you imagine the crap Tegan & Sara put up with?  How many q's do you think they answer about being a) female b) gay c) sisters?

I'd like to know how that is relevant to the music they make AT ALL!?!?!

People just get so hung up on minor details it blows me away.

Absotively
#13 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

Hmm, maybe 25% for indie pop.  For rock, I'm pretty sure it's much lower.

Usually when I go to a show, there are three bands, with about four members each.  One of them might have one female member, but that's it.  So that puts it at under 10%.

Example: Two Hours Traffic, with Spiral Beach and The Danks.  Eleven different members between them, only one woman.

Of course, there are bands with multiple women, or that are all women.  But there are also a lot of shows where no women ever take the stage.

Lisa Christiansen
#14 posted by
Lisa Christiansen
on Feb 01, 2010

Also of note - Beyonce's whole band is female!

Benoit from Ottawa
#15 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Feb 01, 2010

And what I didn't say earlier, is just how much sex sells. (It's not the only thing: emulation and idolization also are "emotivators".) But there are many more 'Hollywood' sex symbol women being sold than men.

The market for jonas bros men is much smaller.

 

P.s. Gotta go. Back in a couple of hours, peraps a bit sooner.

AlexOfAnders
#16 posted by
AlexOfAnders
on Feb 01, 2010

I wonder, mattyjames and Benoit point out, is it that we're talking about the front man (or woman in this case) more than just woman being part of the band. I always feel a little weird dissecting bands on gender because it's not really something I think about, all that really matters is the music. If it's good, I listen, if it's not, I don't. Maybe I'm naive to think that all you need to be an indie rocker is the inclination, passion and some talent might help too.

Maybe it has to do with what boders is talking about, encouragement when people are younger. There are a lot of people (not to mention society) that still are really caught up in gender roles and what they "should" be.

boders
#17 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

At Mint Records Xmas party this year all of the groups playing featured in some way female members (I believe that proceeds went to a girls music camp) If the fact that all 'girl' bands were playing hadn't been pointed out to me by a friend who would be the first to admit he's a dickhead and a jackass...

so it's not a total counter example..he was whinning about all the 'girl bands'..but plenty of folks didn't notice/care. see Anders, Alex Of, tagish156 and myself post Pack AD friendly mosh pit

tb3
#18 posted by
tb3
on Feb 01, 2010

I mean, personally I am more pre-intrigued with bands that have women than just another group of 4 guys standing up there doing the same thing that's been done since like ever.

Maybe that in of itself is sexist?

But it has nothing to do with the physical attributes of woman that attract me. It's just I feel like woman, more often make music that is more interesting and fresh to me. And something as a whole I find has more to say to me.

I know it's cause for years and years they've had to work twice as hard to be taken seriously, but I find like that's one of the world's biggest tragedies that we see musicians by gender and not by what they make.

Sure gender comes into play when we make our art, but so do a lot of things that don't get near the concrete dividing line like being a man or woman does.

AlexOfAnders
#19 posted by
AlexOfAnders
on Feb 01, 2010

I think you mean 10 members between them ;)

mattyjames2001
#20 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

I wonder if that's because bands typically start out as a bunch of friends.

This probably isn't stretching it too far to say that guys start bands to get girls to notice them. (we do things like that). 

I'm going to mansplain things and just say that girls need to be nicer to guys in high school.  Then we can get more female members in said bands.

(for the record, don't use anything I say for any record)

dawn.h
#21 posted by
dawn.h
on Feb 01, 2010

Are YOU planning on going to the Toronto Island show? Because.. why aren't we?

flannel tom
#22 posted by
flannel tom
on Feb 01, 2010

it seems every indie band has a pre-requisite to have at least one female in the band. There's way alot of solo female artists out there too.

boders
#23 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

those numbers feel about right, at least in the ballpark...i'd toss out the numbers 10-15% overall members...25% in indie pop

I imagine that all the other cultural currents that steer young boys one way and girls the other for a range of things are at play in music as well..

If we are saying that females are underrepresented, are we saying there is some 'ideal' level that would be represented? would that 'ideal' necessarily be 51% (or whatever the current female/male breakdown in population is)

Absotively
#24 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

Actually, I think it does affect their music.  One of the reasons we need more women in music is because we need more music that represents women's perspective; there are still a lot of differences in how women experience our society as compared to men.

I'm going to use an example that's more obvious than Tegan and Sara; most $100 songs are very clearly from a woman's perspective.

Example $100 lyrics:

"I couldn't stand another trucker's hand run up my thigh"

"I never come but it don't matter, I could be any other girl"

"My mother's man, he liked my face, and that's not all so I took off at a child's age"

(They're also depressing, but it is country)

These are not sentiments I've ever heard an all male band express, and I'm not sure they could.

mcfflyer
#25 posted by
mcfflyer
on Feb 01, 2010

all female band that did it all - wrote all their own material and played it - and finally reached number one on Billboards' Hot 100 chart - The Go-Go's.

The Go-Go's were the first band that I really went gaga (pun intended) over.  Saw them open for the Police in 1982.  Those girls could rock.  Proved that girls could succeed.

Lee Hower - Sacramento, California

SomeGuyinB'moreMD
#26 posted by
SomeGuyinB'moreMD
on Feb 01, 2010

@dear cam

I figured if we ( men ) ask Tegan + Sara enough they'll turn straight.  Thats the master plan right ?

tb3
#27 posted by
tb3
on Feb 01, 2010

I am, but I have to save up my paper route dollars.

mattyjames2001
#28 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

Exactly (23)

The most important stat to me, that will never be published, is: amount of females that would LIKE to get into music but DON'T (due to sexist BS).

I'd sure hope that number decreases over time.

 

p.s. the Treelines sure sound a lot like Okkervil River.  Thumbs up!

Justin Beach
#29 posted by
Justin Beach
on Feb 01, 2010

Last night was great for women - I wish it had been female artists I like, but you can't have everything I guess. 

 

By the way - anyone who hasn't seen it should check - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE-l4gfiCM8

On the whole though I don't know if Indie Rock is sexist - though it seems some of the critics , many of whom are women, might be biased.

For example:

2009's Polaris Music Prize Short List:

Elliott Brood, Mountain Meadows

Fucked Up, The Chemistry Of Common Life

Great Lake Swimmers, Lost Channels

Hey Rosetta!, Into Your Lungs (and around in your heart and on through your blood)

K’Naan, Troubadour

Malajube, Labyrinthes

Metric, Fantasies

Joel Plaskett, Three

Chad VanGaalen, Soft Airplane

Patrick Watson, Wooden Arms

 

But at NxEW we left it up to the public (fans, blog contributors, musicians etc.)

Our "Shadow Polaris" short list:

Chad VanGaalen - Soft Airplane

Elliott Brood - Mountain Meadows

Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels

Hey Rosetta! - Into Your Lungs 

Laura Barrett - Victory Garden

Jenn Grant - Echoes

Jill Barber - Chances

Joel Plaskett - Three

Julie Doiron - I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day

Timber Timbre - Self Titled

(It's also worth noting that at least one woman played on all 10 of our shortlist albums). 

Polaris Winner - Fucked Up

NxEW Winner - Julie Doiron

jopopo
#30 posted by
jopopo
on Feb 01, 2010

 

This may be a generalization but I would say that the majority of the indie rock community, mostly the fans as that's who I know more than the artist are kids who have attended University for some kind of liberal arts program and more then likely have taken some kind of sociology or women's study class.

Whether Indie Rock is sexist, is debatable, but I would say that the community is a well read informed group of people who are aware and cognitive of social norms and functions.

I would imagine, if you asked the crowd at a Hidden Cameras show who has read some Judith Butler you would get quiet a few hands in the air.

ikilledtheradio
#31 posted by
ikilledtheradio
on Feb 01, 2010

to answer your question, 'is indie rock sexist'?

not nearly as sexist as punk or metal scenes. 

tb3
#32 posted by
tb3
on Feb 01, 2010

I still to this day crush hard on Belinda Carlisle.

MoniSki
#33 posted by
MoniSki
on Feb 01, 2010

Women are underrepresented... and I'm having a hard time figuring out why. 

I know I've heard a guy say once that he doesn't like female singers because they are whiny and not that talented at playing their instruments. I don't really understand where he got that from, but anywho. I also hear a lot of  "she's not hot" or "ya she's so hot"....its as if their looks are more important than the music they are playing? tsk tsk. 

If you want to look at it in evolutionary terms, I feel like (judging by the people I've known growing up), a lot more guys are given the opportunities to learn guitar growing up. Do you know what i mean? I'm currently taking a guitar class, and it's a majority of guys who already play well. Even the teacher laughed and said "Alright Girls, I know you're not used to ruining your pretty fingers, but you'll have to cut your nails and get calluses".... what's that supposed to mean? 

Girls are usually given piano lessons or violin. These aren't commonly used in "Indie Rock", but obviously, they are used, and that's why, whenever there is a girl in a band, she either sings or plays the keyboard/synths. Has anyone else noticed this? 

Growing up, I played piano, and now that i'm playing guitar, my dad, who was a musician in his younger years, was like "wow now you'll be able to really make your own music". Which makes me wonder... I guess a guitar is a more common instrument when wanting to be portable and write songs?

So to make a long story short, lots of indie rock artists are boys because they were given guitars as youngsters... and girls aren't commonly motivated to play the guitar. Hence a more male dominated genre, thus females are underrated?

Obviously, I'm judging this by my own experiences... any thoughts?  

Lisa Christiansen
#34 posted by
Lisa Christiansen
on Feb 01, 2010

Good point! Lyrics are so very personal and we could all use some gender equality in story telling in music. And country has always been a place women could shine, think Dolly and Loretta and who knows where Taylor might end up. One hopes she doesn't get jaded and stop writing lovely songs about first love, but of course that will change. She's in Hollywood after all and I heard dating a cast member of Glee.

mcfflyer
#35 posted by
mcfflyer
on Feb 01, 2010

Re: crush on Belinda Carlisle

Get in line after me, John.  I credit Belinda and the Go-Go's for helping me bridge the 30 barrier.  I'd never had a "teenage crush" before on any celbrity, so I let myself have one at 29.  Have seen them four times, the last time at the California State Fair!  (What a difference from when they filled Red Rocks Amphetheatre twice back in the 1980s.) 

BTW, did you ever see the nude layout that Belidna did in Playboy about 10 years ago?

Lee

mattyjames2001
#36 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

I've never looked up $100 lyrics, and it sure looks like I have to!

But do you know if the person that wrote them is gay? I wonder if their siblings are in the band?

I can't see how stuff like that is relevant, other than for PR's sake, to the music.  I mean, lyrics are a deeply personal thing and I don't think any two people can ever write the same meanings of life.  So depending on your experiences, be it what they may, it shouldn't matter who you are.

As for men writing lyrics like that, I can't quote any specific examples.  I'm sure Neil has a song or two about women doing him wrong, but I don't even know where to begin.

tb3
#37 posted by
tb3
on Feb 01, 2010

No… What's Playboy?

AlexOfAnders
#38 posted by
AlexOfAnders
on Feb 01, 2010

I will say that a lot of guys learn guitar to help with getting girls, I think someone said this already but it's true. I've had friends who started learning the guitar in high school and/or university tell me flat out that was the reason. Still, I think more than anything, the factors that are to blame aren't so straight forward as sexism. There's a lot of influences that leads to someone learning an instrument and forming a band so it might not be that they don't have the option when they're calling the shots but the choices aren't as available during their formative years to end up forming a band.

suckamc
#39 posted by
suckamc
on Feb 01, 2010

Women are definitely underrepresented for sure.  I can't speak to the question of whether it's due to sexism or not, I'd really like to say that's silly, but our world is still pretty messed up.  Perhaps someday once all the old white rightwing men (who run everything) die off, then things will finally be different.  Either that or their sons will take over and things will stay the same.  I vote for the former.

There definitely should be more women in indie rock, I am partial to a woman's voice for some reason.  Here in PEI they seem to be more in the folk category, but there are some in rock.  The Death Avengers have Kelly on some synths.  (Thus adding credibility to MoniSki's thought about that)

Martin

boders
#40 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

Aid orgs in Haiti have introduced redemption coupons for food that are only redeemable by women. This is a sexist tactic that is good and appropriate to take.

 

mattyjames2001
#41 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

I wonder if touring has a big part of all of this?

For some reason, it just seems more socially acceptable to have a bunch of dudes hop in a van and drive ridiculous hours to wherever they're going.  It's never a pretty sight, and a lot of times they probably never even break even.

I mean, if I was a parent, I wouldn't exactly be gung-ho on having my daughter go on a North American tour with Bison BC. (yes this is a gross exaggeration).

But ya know what I mean?! You're always trying to impress your parents.  Hell, even Garth Hudson had to lie to his family when he went on tour with The Band. 

Absotively
#42 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

Well, my first thought is that if the guitar teacher gets too annoying, I have this program and I like it a lot.  Also, if you watch the How To bits on QTV, a lot of the guitarists mention that they are self-taught.

I'm not sure about all the influences, but I agree that women are less likely to pick up guitar, and that guitar is valued more than keyboard/piano in most popular music.

MoniSki
#43 posted by
MoniSki
on Feb 01, 2010

Actually, I thought he'd be a bad teacher, but he's actually pretty great. So all is good there. Plus, it's a college elective credit... so I gotta stick with it.. though I have seen those QTV vids! I love them! And yes, they are generally self-taught. That's why all the boys in my class can't read music and play individual notes.... however... since I have piano experience, I can read the music! woot! 

 

 

PKEW PKEW PKEW (gunshots)
#44 posted by
PKEW PKEW PKEW (gunshots)
on Feb 01, 2010

it may not be sexist, there may just be less women that decide to try to make a career out of indie rock. Which is probably a wise choice.  I know lots of guys who are in their 30's who are still banking on the band to make it big, and they probably won't.

mattyjames2001
#45 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

and also, having both genders in a band inevitably leads to the "are they together?!" questions.  What happens if two members drunkenly hook up one night and someones feelings gets hurt?

I bet those factors come into play, although they're never spoken about.

That being said, Jack and Meg from the White Stripes were married/related/divorced whatever happened and they still kick ass. 

Relations sure led to some Rumours by Fleetwood Mac as well...

krib
#46 posted by
krib
on Feb 01, 2010

acc'ding to Wikipedia, they were manipulated a bit more by their management (but then, so were the Sex Pistols!).

They were formed by women, who had the idea for an all-girl rock band. They wrote a lot of their own stuff, or co-wrote with their producer (a man), and they definitely played all their own instruments.

They didn't top the Billboard charts, though.

Joan Jett went on to be the first female artist to found her own indie label, though

Definitely not nearly as many women in the "rock" category, that's for sure...Plasmatics, Lee Aaron...

krib
#47 posted by
krib
on Feb 01, 2010

There's also family issues. Women are still the ones who have to actually bear children, and are tied pretty closely to them for the first bit (I'd say two years but I'm a guy and am just going on my own experience with my kids).

So, being out on the road and having small kids are two things that probably don't go together so well

In fact, I was reading that Lullaby Baxter took a few years between albums because she was starting a family.

Absotively
#48 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

Sure, a lot of men sing about women doing them wrong.  But in our society, men tend to treat women differently than women treat men.  So songs about how men treat women are going to represent a different, and not entirely individual, experience.

I'd be surprised if you could find a song by a man about his female lover who leaves him unsatisfied, and only worries about her own pleasure.  But for the reverse, in addition to Careless Love (quoted above), there's It's Not Fair by Lily Allen, and that's just off the top of my head.  (Admittedly, Lily Allen isn't indie.  I'm sure there are more indie examples I'm not thinking of).

Absotively
#50 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

And in evidence that things have improved, the reason Joan Jett started her own label is because twenty-seven labels rejected her.  I don't think the situation is anywhere near that bad now.

MoniSki
#51 posted by
MoniSki
on Feb 01, 2010

But is it really a wise choice if a girl doesn't try to make it in the business? Just because society says that a woman should have children and a man by the time they are 30 doesn't mean they shouldn't try and just do it. I do see what you're saying, but I guess as female that's going to be entering the arts community, it scares me to think that its not fitting for a girl to try it out. I guess I'm hung up on what "wise choice" means. 

And even if the guy is in their 30s, i don't see why they can't keep trying to fulfill their dreams. If you play your cards right, and if you really want something, you will always find a way. Always. Those dreams might change over the years, and you might take different twists and turns along the way, but you should keep trying, no matter what. If that's what you truly want. 

Lisa Christiansen
#52 posted by
Lisa Christiansen
on Feb 01, 2010

Good points. I took time off to have kids, but I never, ever gave up what I was doing. So even if women have babies it doesn't mean they have to quite bands.

And gee MattyJames - that sounds a lot like the discussion around the US military and homosexuality.

MoniSki
#53 posted by
MoniSki
on Feb 01, 2010

Exactly Lisa. Never ever give up. 

missaimee
#54 posted by
missaimee
on Feb 01, 2010

I had a girlfriend tell me the other day that she just didn't like bands with female singers. I thought it was the weirdest thing I've ever heard.

mattyjames2001
#55 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

Well, in men's defence, we are often the subject of sexism (granted on a much smaller, less hurtful scale).  Noted: have you ever seen an unintelligent, lazy woman be the brunt of jokes a la most of TV sitcoms these days. So I'm sure women have a subliminal, pre-loaded gun at us in the same vein.

And I think you're right about the song.  The only one I can think of is "Soft" by Kings of Leon.  Typically, guys don't tend to brag about ED or premature TouchDown dances (or whatever, you know what I mean)
kelly
#56 posted by
kelly
on Feb 01, 2010

I beg forgiveness in not reading all 50 previous posts and therefore may have missed some points already made but here goes:

In these days of political correctness and fairness to everybody, it is increasingly difficult to see those excel from those who don't as all of our kids are told they are all great and wonderful and as good as every other kid in everything they do.  Well it's a lie and we ought to stop telling those who are mediocre they are great.  

Having said all that I personally love female vocalists and songwriters. I'd say 40% or more of the artists added to my collection every year are female and that's likely a larger percentage than the occupation gender split.

The Canadian culture is so liberal (not Liberal but liberal) that your race, religion, and sex matter a lot less than a lot of countries (we are not perfect I know) and therefore one gets in this country what they go and take.  So take away female artists!

 

MoniSki
#57 posted by
MoniSki
on Feb 01, 2010

You know what, I have a friend like that too. 

And when I think about it, I think it goes back to that "boys who play guitars get the girls" theory. We grew up loving boy bands, and being saturated with liking all the "cute" boys... etc.. etc.. So perhaps girls feel competition and compare themselves when it's a girl band/singer?? But with a band that has a boy up front, it's easy for the girls to find them attractive and thus like them? I know that's the case with my friend at least, i always hear "Matthew Barber, he's so cute" or "Justin Rutledge, so handsome".... thus really getting into their music. I'm not sure if this is a healthy way to be a music fan though... 

krib
#58 posted by
krib
on Feb 01, 2010

I read it was a mere 23 labels that rejected her :)

I can't find a link to lyrics, but the video for Male Monster from the Id is on youtube (by the Chills). I always found the lyrics interesting

boders
#59 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

now there's an interesting point; prudence in action in staying from indie rock. despite all the stereotypes about women/shopping and their ability to handle money, women are fundamentally better and smarter economic actors than males. I can dig for some studies that back that contention up too

my point about the under represented vs. ideal was just that there are many reasons why a breakdown of a particular activity might not fall along the male/female division of the population, and this might be positive sexism (see my comment about aid coupons that can only be redeemed by females). that being said, whenever any young girl being told she has to learn piano as opposed to guitar because that's what girls do is we have a sad situation on our hands...

PKEW PKEW PKEW (gunshots)
#60 posted by
PKEW PKEW PKEW (gunshots)
on Feb 01, 2010

I didn't mean that women shouldn't try. i just meant that in terms of career success, its not a wise choice for any human to try to make it in the arts/indie rock world. But, if thats the only type of career you will accept then thats what you have to do. in terms of age, i think your right about making it some way some how, but you have to give a lot of stuff up on the way if your really going to give it a shot. it depends on your goals i guess. Women have as much a place as guys tho. i'd never argue that.

Absotively
#61 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

Sure, I've seen that joke.  He's usually the husband of a woman who does all the housework, all the childcare, and often holds a job.  It's portrayed as funny that he just sits around while she does all the work at home.

Either that, or he's in a romantic comedy, where he meets a girl who changes him, and it's entirely up to her to make him be less lazy; he isn't expected to take responsibility for his own development as a person.

It's true that this whole joke is unfair to men, but it isn't exactly fair to women either.

krib
#62 posted by
krib
on Feb 01, 2010

so, Lisa, when you say "indie rock" do you mean "indie music" or are you considering a sub-genre of rock?

mattyjames2001
#63 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

and when I mention male sexism, I only know as much on the topic as Bill Maher told me during a comedy special. 

Before you roast me and Bill too much, we both feel it's males faults for letting it be like this. In summary:

We used to end arguments with our fists.  when we weren't allowed to do that anymore, women learned how to argue.  Men are lazy and didn't pick up that survival skill.  So now, instead of arguing, we just take the brunt of it. 

And that's why Oprah can go on air and say stuff like "men are STUPID!" and probably get a round of applause.  Can you imagine if Jay Leno did the same, towards women?  i think we'd get Conan back pretty damn quick.

Justin Beach
#64 posted by
Justin Beach
on Feb 01, 2010

Again, I think this is all changing and not because anyone decided to change it - just something that's happening: It seems like in the 90s Eric's Trip was something of a novelty because of Julie Doiron but now ... Julie Doiron, Leslie Feist, Amy Millan, Emily Haines, Jill Barber, Sarah Harmer, Jenn Grant, Laura Barrett, Neko Case, Coeur de Pirate, Valery Gore, Casey Mecija, Krista Loewen, Olenka Krakus, Hannah Georgas, Basia Bulat, Catherine MacLellan, Jill Zmud, Tegan and Sara, Julie Fader, Melissa Mcclelland, Meridith Luce, Kat Burns, Veda Hille, Ida Nilsen, Christa Couture, Lilly Frost, Molly Guldemond, Kara Keith, Rebekah Higgs, Jenny "Omnichord" Mitchell, Lily Fawn, Carolyn Mark, Kim, Barlow, Kathleen Edwards, Maylee Todd, Vancougar, Kyrie Kristmanson, Laura Smith, Pony Da Look,  ... 

It seems more and more bands have female members, female lead singers and even female drummers (Hot Panda, Construction and Destruction, the Superfantastics ...) - just compare that to 10-15 years ago. 

So, the critics and media may be taking some time to catch up but it seems to me the change is already happening and quickly - just a different generation with different ideas. 

 

boders
#65 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

I would love to hear a song by a guy worrying about making sure he gets a lady off. any guy who rolls over to sleep right away is no gentleman in my books. Perhaps I'll have to do 1/14th of the february album challenge and write this song

Lisa Christiansen
#66 posted by
Lisa Christiansen
on Feb 01, 2010

I saw a couple on some news show who wrote a book together called "Men are Stupid and Women are Crazy" or maybe it was the other way 'round - doesn't matter. Either way, we both get shafted.

boders
#67 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

if you are looking to improve your guitar chops I hope your fingers get as calloused as Leona Boyd's!

Absotively
#68 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

Mm, no.  Discrimination is the combination of prejudice and power; both men and women can be prejudiced, but men still have the power.

For example, you referenced the concept of mansplaining earlier, which involves men who ignore what women say.  So men may lose arguments (I don't know if they do), but many of them will ignore the fact that they've lost.

MoniSki
#69 posted by
MoniSki
on Feb 01, 2010

I had to look up who that was!

 

And yes, I suppose they would have to get all calloused up like hers eh. They are already starting, no more pains when I play! woohoo! 

Absotively
#70 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

Women may be more financially cautious, but we're also poorer, thanks to the wage gap (yes, it still exists), other kinds of job discrimination, and the fact that women are more likely to be single mothers.  So it's entirely possible that the reason women are more careful with money is because they have less of it.

mattyjames2001
#71 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

following in that same vein, look at sports. 

If a female has all the natural ability to play in a mens league, she should be fully given that right. 

But should we be surprised when it never happens? Take golf for example.  Lots of women golf.  LOTS.  But few of them ever play on the PGA.  Once in a blue moon, Michelle Wie will play but that's about it. So should there always be representation? What would be ideal? 1 female golfer in every tournament? What if she doesn't legitimately qualify, does she play anyways? Is that fair to either gender?

I think it all comes down to opportunity and recognition.  As long as there are avenues for females to get a fair shake when it IS their turn, society benefits.  It's up to us to open those avenues, be it the LPGA or maybe something specialized in music for women (not named Lillith Fair)

I sure hope girls don't look at any career choice, not see enough females, and get discouraged from ever trying.

boders
#72 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

and both sexes are capable of a lot of stupid sh%t, including our general characterizations of the opposite sex..like most oversimplifications, they tend to be grounded in some part of reality..

@Justin - you say things are changing, and I would agree [10], but that's it's not from anyone deciding to change..no, not a conscious "we will all do x now" decision, but as a society we ever so slowly tend towards...well, I don't want to take that mans words, but they hold I think. "Girls don't learn guitar" is a rationalization that is rightly challenged and moving out of fashion.

jopopo
#73 posted by
jopopo
on Feb 01, 2010

 

 There is a huge amount of music elitism to Indie Rock. I think it’s fair to say that the Indie Rock Community is a fairly expectant one.  It requires reading alternative magazines, listening to alternative stations not available on a standard radio and you probably have to live in a major urban center to see the shows.  Now I’m not saying that men do any of these things more than women, but within my circle of friends it’s the guys who have the massive CD, record, and digital music collections and start competitive competitions of one up man-ship trying to best one another with knowledge of a more obscure band, which is totally annoying I know.

Maybe this is more of a male trait? Or a manifestation of a competitive desire that doesn’t have an outlet? Saying it’s a “guy thing” is not an argument of course. But a huge commitment to music collecting seems to be a trait I’ve noticed more present amongst men the women.

Absotively
#74 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

Another point about arguments: When did you used to end arguments with your fists?  Rhetoric was a respected and male-dominated means of addressing disagreements in Ancient Rome.

mattyjames2001
#75 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

mansplaing can be used by either gender ;)

But the fact that "mansplaining" can be defined as saying something completely ignorant, to me, shows a preconceived notion toward Man in the first place.

It's not "stupidsplaining" "ignorantsplaining" ...  and womansplaining doesn't even exist.

 

But I do agree that men do have the upper hand when it comes to most things.  Most presidents/CEO's of anything are male.  Our "Boys Club" of directors  at work is all male, and pretty much always has been.

Why limit yourself to only HALF of the population, therefore HALF of the best qualified people for the job.

 

TeamQuiggan
#76 posted by
TeamQuiggan
on Feb 01, 2010

Indie music reversed my tastes on Women singers, Country and Hip Hop ALSO Punk rock, but in the other direction.

That's a good thing, yeah?

At least there is less "Girl does a thing, notable for being a girl" then you get in a lot of other Entertainment endeavors.

How many Women directors have their been? Less then 7% of the director's guild, 3 academy nominations and zero wins. I don't think it's just a problem in music.

Is it still sexist if you are moving in the right direction, but are still closer to the wrong one?

keydive
#77 posted by
keydive
on Feb 01, 2010

Is Indie Rock sexist I don't think so but the gender roles that we place on our kids are. Someone ^ there commented on young girls learning to play the piano while young boys learn the guitar. I would say this describes a gender role that we place on our children we want little Sally who is our delicate little girl to play a delicate and refined instrument and little Johnny who is a rough and tumble boy to play a little bit loader and abrasive instrument so we'll get him drum or guitar lessons. So to me it comes down to more males learn the traditional rock instruments and girls learn classical instruments. Which means a higher number of them are by simple statistic going to stick with it and end up possibly producing music. So what is my point I don't actually know anymore. I think I got one Let your daughters play the guitar instead of the piano and maybe one day they can be a poor indie rock musician.

 

Justin Beach
#78 posted by
Justin Beach
on Feb 01, 2010

@Boders - I think we basically agree. The number of women who want to play guitar (or whatever instrument) probably hasn't changed but I think that women who make that decision now are meeting less resistance from audiences, male musicians, promoters, agents, club owners, labels etc.,  

If you asked all of the musicians I listed (can't believe I left Pack AD out) most of them wouldn't say - I'm a female musician, or feel that they represented feminism in any way, they'd just say they were musicians. 

I think the music press is where the biggest obstacles are at this point (or so it seems to me.)

mattyjames2001
#79 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

Straight to the moon, Alice! Straight to the moon! - The Honeymooners in the 60s

Domestic violence is slowing, per capita, I assume. Though I could be completely wrong.  I'd say society in general is a lot less forgiving for hitting your spouse these days, as compared to the turn of the last century, hell even 50 years ago.

Again, I'm guessing, but the Feminist movement in the 70s (?) probably was about when it really wasn't cool anymore.

boders
#80 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

ohh the wage gap! I'm never satisfied with this number when I see it. I remember when I first encountered it when I was younger and I refused to believe it..and many of the studies that first cited whatever number they did did not control for any number of factors. But the numbers that have come out over the last decade seem to attempt to control for education, job sector, etc and a gap is still there. that is terribly upsetting. at least part of seems to be related to differences in how men and women bargain/negotiate. women are less likely to ask for raises, and when they do they ask for less than what men tend to ask for. an important negotiating lessen is to always seek more...gotta start big and pare back from there. This applies to not just wage negotiations, but all talks (another example is US healthcare refrom. they didn't even start with single payer as an option. this weak initial starting point was whittled back continuously..)

Absotively
#81 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

That's because mansplaining involves the mansplainer ignoring his audience's opinion due to (possibly unconcious) sexism.  The privelege is an important part of it.

There do exist other forms, such as whitesplaining, where a white person explains condescendingly to a person of colour.  But they often get referred to as mansplaining or just 'splaining, because it's easier to have one term, and mansplaining is recognizable to the largest number of people.  And was named first.

It's not the ignorance, but the condescension, that characterizes 'splaining.  The ignorance just makes the condescension clear, because it causes the 'splainer to ignore corrections and such.

Absotively
#82 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

Domestic violence was not an acceptable way to end arguments.  It was an acceptable way to enforce obedience, when people didn't really question "honour and obey."  Which I guess prevented arguments too.

mattyjames2001
#83 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

Wage Gap

I'm not entirely convinced on this number either.  I don't doubt that women make less money, for any number of factors, I just believe the number is skewed a bit.  At the only jobs I've worked, my pay stubs have been the same as any of my female coworkers.  I think the wage gap more reflects advancement to higher salaries, which reflects sexism.

This summer, we have to collectively bargain a new agreement between the Union and Employer.  One key thing I know they're focusing on is Maternity Benefits.  This is entirely tied to wage as many women start families at the peak of their careers and face resistance trying to catch up to where they were before.

I don't know any of the specifics, but I bet it has a lot to do with which parent gets the leave and for how long and all that jazz.  Not sure what  your thoughts on it would be.

hipped hop
#84 posted by
hipped hop
on Feb 01, 2010

Though I'm a bit twitchy about some of this stuff (Jay Leno not sexist! "Female" used as a noun!), I do want to say that I think no scene is exempt from sexism, though some are probably more progressive than others. I think the idea that successful musicians are just people who happened to want to be musicians is optimistic, but yeah, until we live in a post-sexist, post-racist, etc., etc., world, other factors are going to be there.

 

Also, I want Abso to be my new BFF.

Absotively
#85 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

It's true that maternity leave affects it, but as Boders said, even if you control for maternity leave, women make less.

It's not something I know a lot of details about.

I do know that the argument that it's because women aren't as good at negotiating annoys me.  I am not that good at negotiating for things.  But since I'm not a paid negotiator, why should that affect my pay?  Why should someone who is a better negotiator than me, but worse at his job, be paid more than me for the same job?

Justin Beach
#86 posted by
Justin Beach
on Feb 01, 2010

I think that part of it too is Canada - and maybe women are part of the reason that Canadian music is becoming so popular nationally and internationally. Canada prides itself on being open minded, diverse and multicultural. I don't think it's intentional but most of the big indie rock bands coming out of the states seem to be entirely (or at least predominantly) white males - Canadian bands seem to have more women and even more ethnic diversity. Sadly Oh No Forest Fires has broken up but what do you think the odds are of seeing an American indie rock band fronted by a guy named Rajiv Thavanathan ?

boders
#87 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

what do we mean? Are we saying that the fact that there are fewer females in indie music is a reflection of barriers that women face and that if these barriers were not present that the population of people making indie music would be close to the population breakdown of the sexes? definitely a barrier that exists is the forced gender roles that keydive mentions in [77], but what other ones are there? i'm sure that the marketing of the female form is another that has some play...

mattyjames2001
#88 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

Have you ever seen COPS? I don't think rhetoric would really work in a drunken Trailer Park fight at 3 a.m.

Not defending the scumbags that hit other people, especially women, I just think it's a much more comon way of "ending" a "debate" than we tend to realize.

But back on topic, haha, I do think women are much better communicators than men.  Is this because we used to hit instead of think (well, you've proven me NO) or is it because women are just genetically programmed that way?

I mean, it's not sexist to say one gender is just predisposed to being better than the other at something right?

Being devil's advocate (and I by NO MEANS share this view, one bit, at all): would the lack of female artists mean that male's are better at music ?

I mean this in the most scientific terms, if that means anything.  and again, I don't share this view in the slightest sense....  But maybe, just maybe, the male brain forms better patterns of notes or something like that.  Maybe.

boders
#89 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

I'm not saying it's right that your bottom line is different because of your negotiating skills..I'm just saying that IS one of the reasons why the pay gap exists. What do we do about that? I'm not really too sure, but I think a better financial education for all kids would be a good place to start. We now know that the parts of the brain that deal with risk/reward, money management, purchasing on credit and so forth are not fully developed until the mid 20's. Yet we give 18 year olds credit cards. I know that I did not do well with this initial responsibility.

hipped hop
#90 posted by
hipped hop
on Feb 01, 2010

@matty: "I mean, it's not sexist to say one gender is just predisposed to being better than the other at something right?"

Yeah. I mean, just, yeah :)

boders
#91 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

many of them feature females quite prominently...I'm talking about Metric, the New Pornographers and The Arcade Fire. I don't think it's a stretch to say that these three represent Canada's biggest contribution to indie music over the last decade...

boders
#92 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

@matty: "I mean, it's not sexist to say one gender is just predisposed to being better than the other at something right?"

Yeah. I mean, just, yeah :)

Yes. It is sexist. But not all sexist statements are negative or untrue. Usually they are. But I will totally back my sexist belief that it is prudent to have women in charge of food in disaster areas like Haiti. (although I'm having a hard time thinking of other examples...)

Absotively
#93 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

No, you just have to demonstrate that there are no outside factors that could be affecting things, and then I'll happily believe that one gender is just better than the other.

But I think we've established that there are outside factors affecting whether people become musicians, so that doesn't work here.

As for women being better communicators, is it because of genetics or because we are surrounded by people who are generally stronger than us, some of whom might hit us if we can't talk them out of it?  It's hard to say.

 

stew72
#94 posted by
stew72
on Feb 01, 2010

The inherent flaw with the whole discussion today is the assumption that women aren't fairly represented in indie rock.  The quesiton itself assumes that.  A) There are lots of female indie artists - probably a disproportionately large number of successful ones relative to the total number of female artists 'participating' (for lack of a better term); and B) I think gender is such a mainstream filter it wouldn't even qualify for consideration in most indie circles.  If you had said, how come there aren't more one-legged tranny musicians I would have  had to rack my brain for an answer, but I honestly wouldn't have even thought of gender as a limitation.  If indie music fans picked their music for some reason other than 'because they just like it' they probably wouldn't be indie music fans - they'd have been copnvinced they like something more popular by now.

Justin Beach
#95 posted by
Justin Beach
on Feb 01, 2010

"male brain forms better patterns of notes" - according to science, from what they can tell at this point about the way music is created: music uses many of the same centres of the brain as math and language and there is not, as far as I know, any difference between the abilities of men and women in this area. 

I have heard it said (Desmond Morris I think) that women are better at communcation because of the roles of the sexes from 10 thousand years ago. Men went hunting, women (largely but not always) stayed with the children (because they could breast-feed, men couldn't and there were no bottles). 

Women could, and did, communicate with each other and the children. Meanwhile, hunting required only the communication of simple concepts in as few words as possible (successful hunting requires quiet). 

hipped hop
#96 posted by
hipped hop
on Feb 01, 2010

@boders: I agree about the situation in Haiti (though I would hesitate to call it "sexist"), but that food distribution policy wasn't put into place between women are "predisposed" to anything (in any kinda biological/essentialist sense), but because women are socialized to be caretakers, to feel empathy that leads them to provide for others, etc., in ways that aren't encouraged in the same ways in men.

mattyjames2001
#97 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

Just goes to show that faceless giant corporations can't be trusted.  Any chance to save some money and they will, i.e. exploiting female pay negotiating.

Why is Fair Pay and Equal Wage so ridiculous!?

I have a tote bag that says "Labour Rights are Human Rights", while it's pretty preachy to be carrying my groceries around in, but I'd probably have to agree with the saying in principal.

Justin Beach
#98 posted by
Justin Beach
on Feb 01, 2010

you forgot Broken Social Scene (which is another good example of what you're saying.) Stars too...

boders
#99 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

we will have to share Absotively then...

dear Matt - re: wage gap. Yes if you are working the same contract job as a female we would hope that your wages are the same. and we have laws to ensure this is the case (how strong they are I don't really know. I do know that when they tried to improve these in the US (lily ledbetter law) pretty much all GOP voted against.) where the 'gap' seems to occur is when looking across a sector over time, ie Female account executives with x number of years of education and x number of years of work experience. Inherent (are we ok with that label?) differences in how males and females negotiate has at least something to do with that.

Absotively
#100 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

The thing about evopsych (men were hunters, etc) is that it's a collection of just-so stories.  There's little or no evidence for any of it.

For instance, I've seen it suggested that women may have done most of the hunting, since ancient humans may well have been endurance hunters, and women naturally have better endurance.

mattyjames2001
#101 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

Thanks!

Everything you've wrote it much more interesting and informative.  I'm out of counterpoints.

haha

PKEW PKEW PKEW (gunshots)
#102 posted by
PKEW PKEW PKEW (gunshots)
on Feb 01, 2010

Maybe there's just less women in indie rock because there are more men than women who want to be in indie rock. There's obviously lots of great female musicians that come to mind.  I don't think its a sexist thing that comes from music. Some female singers i like and some i don't, same goes for guys. Also, if it is a problem, it seems like a problem that is going away. so thats good.

Absotively
#103 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

Where are you?  I seem to be acquiring a lot of BFFs through the blog, but most of them are in other provinces, so if you're in Alberta you may have an advantage.

aman6a
#104 posted by
aman6a
on Feb 01, 2010

When I met my husband he had a much better job then I did and two years ago I landed a very good gig with Frito-Lay making a fair amount more than him and I never knew until just a few months ago when he got a new job making more than me that it bugged him..  He told me one night after having a few beers he felt like he "had his manhood back" very weird to me since it never bugged me that he made more than me before this.

boders
#105 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

If a decision is made based upon sex, how is that not sexist? If I am mangling/misinterpreting language let me know...We are taught to believe thst 'ists' are bad...and most often they are, be it for subservience, to entrench a power structure and are often the end products of specious reasoning. but not all sexist divisions are bad. Males and Females are both great and we should embrace our differences along with all the things that be share...

mattyjames2001
#106 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

Exactly.  From what I've seen at work, it's not so much the wage, but the career development.  Yes you may make the same $ as Joe beside you, but he got promoted to Senior Vice President Marketing - Western Hemisphere in only 2 years, where you've been working it for the last 5.

The rub is that most of these "advancements" aren't written in stone, and very loosely if at all. 

Was Lily Ledbetter the lady who collected backpay for 27 years of work at the same factory, with reduced pay?

AlexOfAnders
#107 posted by
AlexOfAnders
on Feb 01, 2010

It's been a gender role for a long long time that the man is the bread winner, even if the woman is making bread too. I've heard it bugs a lot of guys for their spouse to make more.

I don't think I'd really care if my wife (hypothetical, I'm not married or anything) if my wife made more. I mean, isn't the money going to the same place? I guess not all couples share wages though...

Justin Beach
#108 posted by
Justin Beach
on Feb 01, 2010

That's one we can't really settle here and now. I know that most of the cave paintings seem to be of male hunters but exactly how the brain works, why it works that way and how it evolved is something that they are still in the early days of exploring. Among North American aboriginals the hunt was largely (but not entirely) a male role. So there is even less evidence for what you suggest. However, there likely will never be more than anecdotal evidence for who took on what roles in pre-history (unless we figure out time travel.) We find skeletons, tools, etc., from time to time but what they mean is largely guesswork. 

mattyjames2001
#109 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

I'd have to agree with him on this one.

the sentence "Women are better at making breast milk for infants than men" is 100% sexist.

is it a bad thing? I don't necessarily think so.  Maybe if we could make milk ourselves (please Abso don't prove me wrong!!!!) it could be judged as a bad thing.

I dunno, not everything "ist" offends me or is evil.  Just about 99.9% of all things.

boders
#110 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

I think [108] is meant to be addressed to Absotively. I would tend to agree with her assessment that evopsych is mostly just nonesuch stories, but your point about what recorded history we do have (ie. cave paintings) would indicate male dominated hunting

PKEW PKEW PKEW (gunshots)
#111 posted by
PKEW PKEW PKEW (gunshots)
on Feb 01, 2010

My girlfriend makes more money than  me. She's smarter than me too, and a better employee.

Absotively
#112 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

The problem is when we dictate what it is that men and women are good at, without evidence that it is inherent and not conditioned.

As I said earlier, discrimination is the combination of prejudice and privelege/power.  So giving the food to women may be "sexist" in that it's prejudiced, but it isn't "sexist" in the usual meaning of "discriminatory" because women don't usually have the power in interactions between men and women, so it isn't enforcing an existing unfair power structure.

boders
#113 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

men can lactate...usually just need some pharmacological boost to do so..

krib
#114 posted by
krib
on Feb 01, 2010

this is getting a little carried away. That breast milk example is measurable. Many of the other statements aren't.

 

hipped hop
#115 posted by
hipped hop
on Feb 01, 2010

I use the "power + prejudice" definition of isms, rather than just "discrimination based on X." That's all.

 

@abso: Alas, I'm in Saskabush!

mattyjames2001
#116 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

Too much information. 

krib
#117 posted by
krib
on Feb 01, 2010

I wish my wife made more than me. I'd stay home and she could go work. We've talked about that but it's not really feasible. She's in volunteer management and I'm in IT management. Big difference in salaries. Not just because of gender but because most volunteer management is charitable/ NGO kind of work, and they aren't exactly overflowing with cash

Absotively
#118 posted by
Absotively
on Feb 01, 2010

Although I love you all, I must leave now, because I have to go home and finish cleaning before my landlord tries to show my apartment.

boders
#119 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

agreed [112]

Dear Lisa - thanks for the fun thread topic today. I don't think it's too controversial. I enjoyed the discussion. I'm pretty sure that we are all by in large in agreement that fixed gender roles that say girls/women can't/shouldn't play music/a certain instrument are bad things, and those are being eroded through time.

Hypothetical thought experiment: what level of female participation in making indie music do you think there would be if we were a more perfect society and barriers like i mentioned above did not exist?

stew72
#120 posted by
stew72
on Feb 01, 2010

Although I understand the point you are trying to make - your reference to women communicating better due to threat of violence is a stretch I think.  Aside from spousal/domestic violence, I think that most women (at least in developed countries) experience exactly the opposite.  I have rarely, if ever, seen a woman randomly punched in a bar.  I have rarely seen a man threaten to beat up a woman over a petty dispute.  I have, however, seen dozens of incidents where men have been beaten up for being nerds, or geeks, or 'staring at my girl' or any number of other absurdities.  I spent several years as a doorman and threw only 2 punches - I always preached you can talk anyone out of anything with a little pateince, but I have been told by countless people who are smaller than me that they haven't had the benefit of the same experience. My feeling is that 'picking on' or bullying in female circles tends to be more emotional (do not read that as less hurtful) while violence toward men tends to be more the 'I'm going to wait outside and kick your ass nature'.

BTW - I haven't read the whole string so this is not a criticism of the general argument that certain skills my be influenced my culture and experience - I just disagree with the concept that women's behavious is different do to operating iunder fear of being hit.  

AlexOfAnders
#121 posted by
AlexOfAnders
on Feb 01, 2010

Seems like we all have different definitions of what sexist means. Here's a google define and it looks like most sources on word definitions mention it being a negative or derogatory stance.

@krib - I think I could be into being a stay at home Dad but like that's feasible these days.

AlexOfAnders
#122 posted by
AlexOfAnders
on Feb 01, 2010

Great show! You always generate interesting and thought provoking discussions.

boders
#123 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

"I use the "power + prejudice" definition of isms, rather than just "discrimination based on X." That's all." - makes sense. I have never taken and 'social' studies classes and am not certain on the semantics (I am not using this word derogatorily). Would we call "discrimination based on X" just prejudice? If we are talking power + prejudice, what power is being exercised, and by whom that is preventing females from entering indie rock?

mattyjames2001
#124 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

I think krib is right and we're getting off point.

If Indie Rock is sexist, I should be offended at the lack of female artists right?  But, I'm not.  I mean, rock is sort of a male driven genre (rightly or wrongly) so I don't expect to see many female bands, much in the same way that..... well theren't aren't many music genres that are overpopulated with women. 

So maybe just the music industry in general is sexist?  I'd agree with that. I'd like to see the studies of how many female artists they turn down, in favor of a male group.  And if sex really did factor into them getting signed.

I really don't think it's the fans or the artists.  I think the whole gender issue is a moot point to all of us.

 

boders
#125 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

so what would we call something that is a breakdown by an inherent trait (ie sex) but without derogatory connotations?

Dear Lisa - I will second [122]. A while back Alex and I both mentioned that it was a shame that your show was on now when there were fewer blog posters, and as such, fewer of the great discussions you have always prompted (not to take anything away from Grant (we miss you Grant)). I hope everyone has been downloading the extended play podcast!

Lisa Christiansen
#126 posted by
Lisa Christiansen
on Feb 01, 2010

Thanks!

Benoit from Ottawa
#127 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Feb 01, 2010

"Obviously, I'm judging this by my own experiences... any thoughts? "

 

Also, speculatively, more guys than girls may think that playing a guitar is a good way to get laid.

That would be a motivation, right?

BigRockFan
#128 posted by
BigRockFan
on Feb 01, 2010

I’m waaaaay behind but in response to an earlier comment, Carl Newman has said that he thinks one of the most important keys to a having a successful band is having a female singer.  He intentionally found a female singer for the New Pornographers.  Neko Case is an incredible singer, of course, but I think he’s got a point in general.  I know I’m a sucker for a great female voice. 

boders
#129 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

but I imagine that the field of harpists is largely female one

Lisa Christiansen
#130 posted by
Lisa Christiansen
on Feb 01, 2010

And you too!!

Lisa Christiansen
#131 posted by
Lisa Christiansen
on Feb 01, 2010

Not trying to sound naive, but really - someone would spend hours and hours to learn to play guitar, then form a band and write songs and practice and tour in a van...just to get laid?

mattyjames2001
#132 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

you've screwed up plenty of my suppers.  I get home from work, tune into the Ceeb, and next thing I know I haven't got off the couch in a few hours.

Thanks for filling in earlier this week, I may make something that isn't microwaved for once.

 

keydive
#133 posted by
keydive
on Feb 01, 2010

"I'm not a paid negotiator, why should that affect my pay?  Why should someone who is a better negotiator than me, but worse at his job, be paid more than me for the same job?"

I'm gonna probably come of as a bit of a jerk here but I will appologize in advance. But your comment kinda peeved me a bit.

You have the wrong attitude all together in that comment. Sorry to say but we live in a free market society and if you do not negotiate a wage properly you are never gonna make as much as the next person who does the exact same job as you but negotiates better. If you are working as a company manager it is your job to keep your budgets as low as possible to make the company profitable. That means you don't give where it isn't asked. If you have employees that are willing to work for less you let them work for less. Sorry to say learning to negotiate your wage properly is something  you need to learn how to do in the business world. There is no manager that is ever gonna give you a wage increase you don't ask for and if you negotiate a wage that is $6,000 less than someone else trust me they are gonna let you work for $6,000 less. Is that fair no but life is not fair. 

I think I am done being a jerk on a soap box now though.

mattyjames2001
#134 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

Guys have done crazier things.  Didn't Van Gogh cut off his ear?

hipped hop
#135 posted by
hipped hop
on Feb 01, 2010

Yeah, I usually use prejudice for those situations. <ahref="http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/sexism-definition/">This is a pretty decent explanation.</a>

So with indie music, I'd just say that the sexism that women face in general is probably also faced by indie musicians--not necessarily that there's any kinda grand conspiracy, but that, y'know, like some people said above, there are some who think all female musicians are whiny/uninteresting/untalented, or that women have to be super hawt to be great. Some people in power in the music biz (record company execs, club owners, members of established bands) are likely to have these sexist attitudes, too.

 

 

hipped hop
#136 posted by
hipped hop
on Feb 01, 2010

psh, html fail!

krib
#137 posted by
krib
on Feb 01, 2010

I just logged into emusic to look at my downloads, because it keeps track.

out of 27 albums (or large portions of), I had 12 where there was a female person who was an active, contributing member of the band AFAIK (two actve female types in Voice of the Beehive). That doesn't include a band like Great Lake Swimmers because I think Julie Fader is more of a supporting musician and Tony Dekker does all the songwriting (correct me if I'm wrong).

Of course, I wouldn't count a whole lot of that as "rock"

boders
#138 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

Alex mentioned that point too, but it is an important one; incentives. My judgement of males in indie circles (including my own opinion) is that they perceive a girl playing guitar as insanely sexy (it is), and that females who mingle in those social circles will be more likely to play an instrument (partly due to incentives, socio-economic factors will also come into play), and hence be more likely to actually participate in creating indie music.

Benoit from Ottawa
#139 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Feb 01, 2010

Yes, it's a classic motivation. Guys are desperate, esp. when young.

No shit, the number of times I've heard a band member interviewed, who avowed somewhat bashfully that that was indeed one of the motivations. ( ind you, I think that might be much more common among garage bands than "folksingers".

mattyjames2001
#140 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

You are absolutely right in that stance.

I think Abso was coming across more of an "ethical" stance. If you are witholding someones raise,  just to make your budget look good to your boss, you are an excellent employee but a jerk.

AlexOfAnders
#141 posted by
AlexOfAnders
on Feb 01, 2010

I have to say that I agree, it's a little naive to expect to not have to negotiate. Pay negotiations are just how businesses work and you have to fight a get more, regardless of gender. If you plug away at your job for 10 years wishing you'd get promoted and bigger pay raises but never asking for them, they just aren't going to happen.

stew72
#142 posted by
stew72
on Feb 01, 2010

And.... nailed it. Discussion complete.

TwIsTeD_Maple
#143 posted by
TwIsTeD_Maple
on Feb 01, 2010

Here is a guide.

krib
#144 posted by
krib
on Feb 01, 2010

so,  buying a pet is out?

AlexOfAnders
#145 posted by
AlexOfAnders
on Feb 01, 2010

@Lisa - I think that guys might pick up a guitar first for the ladies but then find something they love to do. So, they might not stay a band to get ladies but it might have been a strong enough motivater. There's usually nothing a teenage boy wants more than to get laid

@boders - I wasn't saying what my definition was, just what the majority of the ones I looked up. I agree with your definition more actually but I think in society, it usually has negative connotations.

mynameismoe
#146 posted by
mynameismoe
on Feb 01, 2010

i have to say that the fact that beyonce won the most awards and was the first female in many years to do so didn't even enter my mind. i think that it's awesome that a woman has stepped up and cleaned up in the awards, however, i really don't like beyonce. i think it would be much more of a "win" for women if someone good* won.

also, amanda ash had an interesting podcast on women in music. i kind of wish it was longer.

i had a lot more written, but have been helping an ill mama and could only just sit down now (to first read over 100 comments..)

*my use of good is relevant only to what I think is good. and that's not beyonce.

Lisa Christiansen
#147 posted by
Lisa Christiansen
on Feb 01, 2010

So that's it? We've answered the question? The real reason there are so many men in indie rock is that they are all trying to get laid. So the number of women in indie music represents women who like music and their numbers look small compared to the men.

Do I have it right?

AlexOfAnders
#148 posted by
AlexOfAnders
on Feb 01, 2010

Every time I mention the thought of learning the guitar along side piano my girlfriend's eyes light up and she'll start to go on about how hawt it is.

boders
#149 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

no, not that whole thing to get laid. but the first step of learning to play guitar, yes. and that is the first step to being in a band (largely)

@hip hopped - re[135] the power structures you pointed out are fair enough. Are there any endeavours where womens looks aren't scrutinized to the Nth degree? Probably not. We are all biological machines with certain things ingrained into us. Yes, culture shapes and changes those attractions and dislikes. Biology should not be an excuse, we should always be striving to be a better society, but it doesn't do us any good to ignore biological realities either

For what it is worth, men are also judged on sexual merits in music too. Just not as much or as penetratingly as women are.

Benoit from Ottawa
#150 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Feb 01, 2010

''But do you know if the person that wrote them is gay? (...)

I can't see how stuff like that is relevant, other than for PR's sake, to the music.  I mean, lyrics are a deeply personal thing and I don't think any two people can ever write the same meanings of life.  So depending on your experiences, be it what they may, it shouldn't matter who you are."

The thing is that the sex (gender) of a person IS often important. Okay, not important, significant. Let's take Rufus Wainright: it's hard to 'get' him, in certain songs anyway, if you don't know that he's as gay as the day is long on July 20th.

Similarly, I probably couldn't like Emily Haines quite the same way if she turned out to actually be Emil Haines. I could be wrong, of course.

Benoit from Ottawa
#151 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Feb 01, 2010

see the beginning of 38.

krib
#152 posted by
krib
on Feb 01, 2010

HaHa - boders said "penetratingly" where's the rimshot guy?

everyone remember the hoopla around Susan Boyle?

TwIsTeD_Maple
#153 posted by
TwIsTeD_Maple
on Feb 01, 2010

'penetratingly'?  lol - interesting word choice, given the topic

keydive
#154 posted by
keydive
on Feb 01, 2010

That is the problem I think most people have when they go into wage negotiations they think the company is going to be fair when it comes to their financial compensation. There is no such thing as fair in the business world.

Benoit from Ottawa
#155 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Feb 01, 2010

"I'm not sure about all the influences, but I agree that women are less likely to pick up guitar, and that guitar is valued more than keyboard/piano in most popular music."

The part I bolded: I think the blame goes back to Elvis, no guff.

hipped hop
#156 posted by
hipped hop
on Feb 01, 2010

I LOL'd at "penetratingly," too. Whatever our views on the patriarchy, we're all 12 at heart.

boders
#157 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

At a highschool post grad party I was at, after everyone had drunkenly passed out I sat outside playing (to myself I thought) some guitar, and mostly the song Muzzle by Smashing Pumpkins. I did have an audience. It was a girl i've known most of my life. For the first 13 years of school (elementary and highschool) this school was continuously picked on by most of her peers, myself included. In one of my fits and starts of personal growth I apologized to her for all the years I had been an asshole. Then she heard me playing and singing that "I fear that I am ordinary just like everyone" and all those years of me being an absolutely terrible person were erased. she wanted to date me...it was sad/hard to tell her I had no interest in that...

Lisa Christiansen
#158 posted by
Lisa Christiansen
on Feb 01, 2010

Me too!

mattyjames2001
#159 posted by
mattyjames2001
on Feb 01, 2010

For sure, I can agree with that.  I think to "get" any artist you have to have a personal connection to them.  With Rufus' songs, you may need to know that he's gay to understand his songs. 

With Tegan & Sara, I don't think you need to know anything about their backstory to understand their love songs.  To me, they're unisex and the characters are probably interchangable to people in my own lives when I listen anyways.

the fact that they are female or gay really doesn't change my stance on anything they write or do.

BUT, that's just one example.  I'd say every artists has different needs when it comes to their art, and I know that I prefer to know something more than just what's on the lyrics sheet.

stew72
#160 posted by
stew72
on Feb 01, 2010

I was being a little cheeky - although I really do think there is validity to the argumment of devloping an interest for the 'cool factor' (with its associated benefits!).  That said, having interest and talent are different things.  My initial post (94) is closer to my real beliefs.  I actually don't think gender plays much role at all in the accessibility of indie music scene.  It is by nature available to almost anyone, that's why its indie.  You gotta be something a lot less common than simply female to qualify for descrimination.

boders
#161 posted by
boders
on Feb 01, 2010

agreed. somewhere above I mentioned that it's important in all negotiations to start with as much 'room' to work with as possible. not gonna get what you don't ask for.

dear krib - rimshot is ok, but can I get ah Hi-O!!

AlexOfAnders
#162 posted by
AlexOfAnders
on Feb 01, 2010

When Graham Wright of Tokyo Police Club was writing letters to R3 while touring with Weezer and he had a whole post about how he'd never get to go do a solo on stage like their guitarist? How all the girls flock to the guitarist after shows and only other keyboard enthusiast approach the keyboardist. It's true though, the ladies don't go nuts for the piano/keyboard as they do for the guitar.

Case in point, my girlfriend. When she says how sexy the guitar is, I'm all like "What about keyboard? How's it not sexy? Come one *tickles the ivories* how's this not as sexy?" and that arguement just gets a "meh, it's just not". Oh well, I really like the keyboard and it's not like I'm learning it to help with my love life.

TwIsTeD_Maple
#163 posted by
TwIsTeD_Maple
on Feb 01, 2010

I think you nailed it:

"I actually don't think gender plays much role at all in the accessibility of indie music scene."

Benoit from Ottawa
#164 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Feb 01, 2010

Young guys wanting to get laid was suggested as a motivator for learning to play the guitar or being in a band.

Why they persevere might be different.

Also, I don't think things can be reduced to a single factor, however true it might be.

For instance, young women are often (not always) far more sociable than men and have fuller lives; perhaps that's why they end up less monomaniacal than guitarguys. For instance.

However, in Canada, self-determination is what counts above all. Otherwise known as getting off your ass and into it.

BigRockFan
#165 posted by
BigRockFan
on Feb 01, 2010

Here’s a look at the top albums of the decade. The list of the top 10 most critically acclaimed Canadian* albums of the 00s would look something like this, in no particular order:

Rufus Wainwright: Poses

Rufus Wainwright: Want One

New Pornographers: Mass Romantic

New Pornographers: Electric Version

New Pornographers: Twin Cinema

Arcade Fire: Funeral

Arcade Fire: Neon Bible

Neko Case: Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

Neko Case: Middle Cyclone       

Feist: The Reminder

-Neko and Feist are female, and the New Pornographers and Arcade Fire have female members. 

 

The next dozen or so would probably be, also in no particular order:

Neko Case: Blacklisted

Neko Case & Her Boyfriends: Furnace Room Lullaby

Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It in People

Weakerthans: Reconstruction Site

A.C. Newman: The Slow Wonder

Wolf Parade: Apologies to the Queen Mary

Stars: Set Yourself on Fire

Destroyer: Destroyer's Rubies

Fucked Up: The Chemistry of Common Life

Japandroids: Post-Nothing

K'Naan: Troubadour

And probably one or two Plaskett albums as well.

(Note: I haven’t included any French language albums because I’m not sure at this point where they would fit in.)

-Neko is female, and BSS, Stars and Fucked Up have female members. 

 

So, clearly more men than women, but still lots of women, and maybe more female singers than male singers on the top 10 albums.   

 

Just for the heck of it, here are a couple of random videos from all female bands from the late 70s:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTakWq22kNw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyXGblps64M

 

fbaube
#166 posted by
fbaube
on Feb 02, 2010

So there's people that don't like female singers. This guy hears a male singer in indie rock and it's usually "done that, felt that, BFD" and it gives me about zero new or interesting. When a woman sings I tune in and it's communicated and it just works. Singers like Courtney & Kat Bjelland & Siouxsie & Donita are just so so good at getting the angst and the rage out and in your face. Yeah a sexist attitude...

BotchedAttempt
#167 posted by
BotchedAttempt
on Feb 02, 2010

I think that it's more difficult for women to become musicians because of feminism.  Think about it, music is one of those professions that most parents dread their kids getting into. We've all seen the stereotypical "slacker musician" in a movie.  Right now there's this big grand narrative out there about how women should be doing all these "big things" like becoming doctors or lawyers or something that takes a university degree.  Men don't have this pressure put on them anymore, so it's easier for them to go into a more artistic but less financially/socially prestigious field.

BotchedAttempt
#168 posted by
BotchedAttempt
on Feb 02, 2010

Er...  To continue on, basically I'm saying that there has been a trade off for women, and some negative effects have come from the current form of feminist thought.  Not trying to sound anti-women's rights here.  Just in case someone got that interpretation.

kashandblue
#169 posted by
kashandblue
on Feb 02, 2010

I think there is definitely a sexist edge in indie rock.The perception of what is called "cool," "innovative," or "talented" is too often coded as male.I also don't think that this should be taken as a blind attack on m

Some of the other comments left state that women just "don't seem to be in to making music" or like making "poppier" music, whatever that is. Rather than make statements like this, wouldn't it be more useful to ask why women won't seem to be making music? I completely reject the idea that "women" are a homogenous group that just aren't as into making music as some men.

I agree with some of the other comments below- indie rock as a genre is absolutely more open, and represents a much more open music community. Hooray for indie rock!

fbaube
#170 posted by
fbaube
on Feb 03, 2010

That seems weird that "indie" would be so tied to "male".  I thought heavy metal was the place for all the hyperbolic crotch-grabbing and miscellaneous meatheaded misogyny.

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